Thirty-four years ago I discovered The Shroud of Turin. It has been a source of fascination ever since. I have studied everything produced in print in movies, DVD’s, through lectures and ancillary sources with merely casual mention.
Ten years ago I produced a lecture with many visuals called “The Mystery of the Shroud” upgraded, to include more history, scientific information, ancient art and religion. Through it all I have concluded this burial cloth, that shows an image of a man is the actual burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth.
I will explain in detail why I have come to that conclusion and have eliminated all other possibilities.
What is The Shroud of Turin? It is an ancient linen cloth that measures 14’3” long by 3’7” wide. (See Illustration) Along seven feet there is an image of a man who evidently has been beaten and crucified. And then continuing another seven feet is the back image of the cr1ucified man. It is evident the man was laid on the cloth and it was then folded, the remaining half over his front.
Dr. Robert Bucklin, Forensic Pathologist from Los Angeles County said, “The evidence of a scourged man, who was crucified and died of suffocation is clear cut. The markings on this body are so clear and so medically accurate that they are, in my opinion, beyond dispute.”
The most striking feature is the front and back image of a man. The man was 5’10” tall. The image has not been painted on. There are no pigments or brush strokes. Close microscopic study shows the image has been formed from degradation and dehydration of the upper fibrils of the linen cloth. The darker areas of the image are the result of more dense degradation and the lighter parts of the image are from less dense degradation. It’s like looking at a newspaper photo through a magnifying glass-darker image, more dots; lighter areas, less dots. The image is superficial, just on the fibrils, about 1% of the thread.
Kevin Moran, an optical engineer, says “The shroud image is made from tiny fibers that are 1/10th the size of a human hair. To do this you would need an incredibly accurate atomic laser. This technology does not exist.”
Today scientists have concluded, this image was produced by intense ultra-violet radiation, gamma rays and with evidence of X-rays. And the radiation had to come from within. Had to come from the body. This is why I believe it is the image of the crucified Jesus.
Mark Antonacci, attorney and author of several books about the Shroud takes a very scientific view. He recently wrote, “Test the Shroud at the Atomic and Molecular Levels.” He has also come to the conclusion that the image must have come as a result of intense radiation. He also states the radiation came from the body. Many other researchers are of the same opinion.
Professor Alan Whanger, who has studied The Shroud for some 40 yrs, said, “The image is like an X-ray, revealing the internal structure of the body consistent with some type of radiation. You can see bones in the upper hands, teeth through the lips, roots and all.”
I believe the image was formed instantaneously during the resurrection of Jesus. The image overall, is very light and we have to stand at least 6 to 10 feet back to see it clearly. The image does not penetrate the cloth, but the many stains of blood do penetrate. Where there is blood there is no image; showing the blood got on the cloth before the image was formed. So a bleeding Jesus was covered with the cloth before the radiation occurred. No image beneath the blood.
Some have tried to explain the image as bacteria from the sweaty body of a crucified man. Most, today, say it must be from a radiant energy source – heat, light or radiation from the sun, which implies the body was left out in the sun before being put in the tomb. But what about the perfect image of the back side?
Recently, Mark Antonacci reported that experiments were done with an ultraviolet excimer laser with a 40 nanosecond burst against a control sample of linen. It created the same depth and coloration as the Shroud. Nothing of the experiments done through history have been able to accomplish this. Yet the fibers affected are still not as small as those on the shroud.
Radiation! I say the radiation of resurrection.
The image both of the front and also of the back, are on the inside of the cloth. That means the images had to come from the body! Radiation from the body
Rev. Albert Dreisbach said, “The image is on the cloth because of the transformation that occurred during the resurrection. How can you get that kind of energy from a corpse?
The image also contains distance information. The closer the body was to the cloth the darker the image. With more distance, the lighter the image. This is based on the number of degraded fibrils per area. This has led to investigation of the actual 3D images that we now can see of Jesus by using the NASA VP8 analyzer. The VP8 was developed to see terrain information on Mars and the moon.
Where there is blood, there is no image. The blood was absorbed on the shroud first and the image appeared later. This is also true of areas where there is dirt. Dirt first, image later, but not under the dirt.
There are other marks on the shroud which are more profound. There are burn marks on the cloth showing in eight places. In 1532 the shroud was kept in a silver box in a church in Chambery, France.
The church caught on fire. The fire was so hot that it melted some of the silver. The molten Silver dripped on the folded Shroud and burned eight large holes. The water used to extinguish the flames soaked the shroud. That created diamond halos that can be seen along the center line and borders. The eight light colored triangular shapes are pieces of cloth added afterwards to replace the burned cloth.
There is something very strange about the image. It is a photographic negative. Blacks are white and whites are black. Today we take pictures and avoid going through that negative image process. Our pictures are digitized in full accurate positive images, in full color and are immediately available.
The first photographer to take a picture of the Shroud image was Secondo Pia of Turin, Italy in 1898. By that time it was kept in Turin Italy where it is, today. Thus we call it The Shroud of Turin. I call it The Shroud of Jesus.
A Secret Accidentally Found
A secret was discovered by accident. When Secondo Pia developed his glass plate, he almost dropped it. In positive, the picture was the face he said was “a picture of our Lord In my lectures I show a 14+ foot by 3.5 foot replica of the Shroud and we also see the front image that Pia took. So we see the original negative image and then the positive. The negative image that is actually on the cloth was formed at a time when there was no known concept of photography. It was formed from the radiation of the resurrection, in my opinion.
Also there are blood stains on the Shroud. There are 372! 159 on the front image and 213 on the back image. These are all from the Roman whip called a flagrum. There are also pools of blood from the nails or spikes; hands, feet and the spear wound in the side. In addition there are the stains and rivulets of blood from the crown of thorns… all on the Shroud! These blood stains are not superficial. They penetrate the cloth. The blood has been tested to be type AB, male human blood. This is common in the Mid-East but rarer throughout the rest of the world.
Micrographs of 32 times magnification have been taken of these stains.
So the image is only on the surface and the blood penetrates the cloth.
Put a light behind the cloth and the image disappears. IT IS ONLY ON THE SURFACE. The blood shows up even darker and clearer. It is solid.
According to Dr. John Heller and blood specialist Dr. Allen Adler, They found not only blood on the shroud, but blood highly loaded with bilirubin, a bile pigment that would only show up if the dead man had been severely and traumatically beaten. Pathologist Pierre Ballon came to the same conclusion Still there are some that say, this is a painted image done by a medieval arts. It has even been said it was done by Leonardo da Vinci and the head is actually his self-portrait.
Leonardo has also been a subject of intense interest and study of mine. I have seen his self-portrait. The comment is bunk.
Who Could Have Done This?
Given the scientific certainty the Shroud is not a painting, who, using what technique, could have made the Shroud. It has extreme impeccable realism and the image is in a photographic negative, before that concept was introduced.
*There are perfect anatomical and pathological details of the human body.
*Some bones of the hands and the face show through as if exposed to X-rays.
*The nailing of the hands through the wrist joints as anatomy requires if the body is to be suspended.
*The dumb-bell shaped marks of flagellation as produced by an ancient Roman whip with lead weights at the end of leather strips.
*What genius could have done all of this in the Middle Ages as some have said:
*Produced a full bodied image, front and back. The image only one micron thick.
*Who could have placed an image on one side of the cloth with none of it penetrating the light linen cloth to the other side? Only the blood penetrated.
*How was a photographic negative image produced when such a concept wasn’t even known?
Also there are X-rays of several areas that are close to the cloth. Not recent X-rays. Ancient X-rays. We can see the bones in the hands all the way up the back of the hand to the wrists. These X-rays are anatomically correct. X-rays of the face show teeth through the lips. All a result of more radiation unknown in ancient times. It shows the radiation came from the body itself.
There is yet another type of radiation shown on the Shroud. It is very clear with microscope examination. Corona radiation.
Corona Radiation sparks off of items that have definition. Peaks and valleys. There were two coins placed on the eyes of Jesus. They can be clearly seen, even identified. One is the Lepton struck by Pontius Pilate between 32 AD and 39 AD. The letters UCAI can be read, 1/32” tall. There is a picture of an augers wand which further identifies the coin. The other coin which identifies Tiberius Caesar was on the left eyebrow.
Father Francis Philis said, “Even the wildest imagination cannot now claim that the tiny letters of 1/32nd of an inch high could have been printed on the cloth. Produced by human hands.”
Many other images from corona radiation were produced by flowers that were around His head and near His hands; some of individual flowers and others of small bouquets. They were identified by Israeli Botanists.
So, we are seeing four types of radiation; Ultra Violet at high frequency, gamma rays producing heat, X-Rays showing internal bones and teeth, and corona radiation to see surface features of objects placed on Jesus.
Scientists, today, are speculating that protons were also released from the atoms. That caused the disappearance of the body for as the nucleus of the cells came apart the body did, too. We would have to go to the scriptures to pick up the rest of the story.
More evidence on the shroud that proves authenticity and geographical location, are stone and dust particles and pollen. Still more are skin cells from people handling the cloth, who are of Mid-eastern origin.
The dirt and dust have been transferred from the body along the nose, on the right knee and the left heel. Jesus is reported to have fallen on his knee and his face, breaking his nose and swelling his knee. This can be seen on the shroud. The dirt contains travertine, a mineral found in abundance in Jerusalem. This further ties the Shroud into that geographic area.
Some have said that the Shroud is a medieval fake created to raise money where ever it was shown. And it certainly was used for that purpose. A church fund-raiser.
Dr. Pierre Barbae, Chief Surgeon of St. Joseph Hospital in France said, “if this is the work of a forger, then the forger would have to be a trained anatomist, for there is not a single blunder.”
The Shroud image in 3D
At the beginning of the 20th century, Paul Vignon from the University of Paris spent considerable time investigating the Shroud. One of his observations was that the image on the Shroud varied with the distance of the cloth from the body. The parts of the body that were close to the Shroud produced darker images. The parts further away were lighter. Closer, more fibers per square unit were effected. This translates to 3D information.
Today, we have many 3D images that have been produced by sophisticated photographic equipment.
A television program on the History Channel, produced by Ray Downing, called “The Real Face of Jesus” showed the 3D imaging and gave us a view of the real face of Jesus.
The Shroud is an Illustration of The Gospels
We need to look at eight points. I am postulating that The Shroud is a witness to the execution of Jesus and later to His resurrection. Let’s look at what the Shroud shows and what the bible tells.
There is a severe swelling below the right eye and other facial injuries. The Gospels say Jesus was struck a blow to the face.
Bloodstains on the forehead and all around the back of the head show something spiked was forced onto the head. The Gospels say Jesus was crowned with thorns.
The body is literally covered with the wounds of a severe scourging. The Gospels say Jesus was scourged.
Scourge marks on the shoulders look blurred as if something heavy has rubbed on them. The Gospels say Jesus had to carry a heavy cross.
The knees look as if they were injured by repeated falls. The Gospels say Jesus cross had to be carried for him, suggesting that he fell repeatedly because he was weak from his previous injuries.
There are blood flows from his wrists and feet, apparently from nail wounds. The Gospels say Jesus was crucified by nailing in his hands and feet.
There are no signs that the legs were broken. The Gospels say Jesus legs were not broken.
There is an elliptical wound, as from a lance in the right side of his chest. The Gospels say a lance was thrust into Jesus’ side to check that he was dead.
Now, let’s look at facts about the Shroud as we know it, today:
*Man has the body of a carpenter.
*Man has a beard.
*Part of beard is plucked out.
*Right cheek is swollen
*Body is stripped all over
*There are puncture wounds all over his head.
*Wrists are pierced.
* Man has long hair.
*Man has side wound.
*Stomach is slightly swelled.
*Blood and water coming from the wound.
*Evidence of vinegar on the linen.
*Body was wrapped in linen shroud.
*No evidence of decomposition.
*Mineral deposits on back of Shroud are consistent with tomb.
*Pollens from Israel are on the Shroud.
*Pollens from a thorn plant are on the Shroud.
Is it really Jesus of Nazareth?
A number of scholars have based their evaluations on strictly scientific values. They needed to base their judgements on only objective considerations.
Here is a study on the balance of probabilities, made by Professor Bruno Barbaris of the University of Turin. The thesis this:
If you through a coin up in the air, the odds are two to one (1/2) it will land on the side you have chosen. If you throw a die up in the air, the odds of getting the face with your selected number are six to one (1/6). If you throw the coin and the die up at the same time, since the two events are independent of each other, the odds of getting the preselected side of the coin and face of the die at the same time will be twelve to one (1/2 x 1/6 = 1/12).
Now, let us examine the seven most significant characteristics common to Jesus of Nazareth. (According to the Gospels) and the man of the shroud. Let’s see what the odds are against all these characteristics being found at the same time, in the same man who had undergone the torment of crucifixion.
1. Both Jesus and the Man of the Shroud were covered in a linen sheet after the death of crucifixion. Not many crucified men could have had a regular burial. It was the most terrible of punishments, reserved for slaves, thieves and murderers. Then after death they were thrown in a pit to rot. Or the dogs ate them: One chance in a hundred. (1/100).
2. Both Jesus and the Man of the Shroud had a cap of thorns put on his head. No historical mentions any such usage of thorns. (1/5000).
3. The cross beam (patibulum) weighed heavily on the shoulders of the Man of the Shroud as it did also on Jesus’s shoulders. Only occasionally was the condemned man made to carry the horizontal beam of the cross. Blood on the Shroud is smeared showing the position of the beam. The Shroud speaks volumes. Odds of two to one (1/2).
4. Same odds (1/2) on how the hands and feet were attached to the cross. They could be attached by nails, but a simpler and quicker way was to tie them with ropes. Ropes were preferred by the Romans.
5. The Shroud displays a wound on the right side of the Man who was wrapped in it. John’s Gospel (19:33-34) tells how in Jesus’s case instead of breaking his legs, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance and immediately out came blood and water. Odds perhaps of ten to one (1/10).
6. The Man of the Shroud had been wrapped in the sheet as soon as he was lowered from the cross; no washing or anointing of the corpse took place. It was the same with Jesus, since the Jewish Passover was about to begin, during which no manual labor could be performed: odds of twenty to one (1/20).
7. The Shroud bears an imprint of a corpse but no traces putrefaction. Therefore, we know it wrapped a human body for a very short time. But it was long enough for an image to have been formed on it. Jesus rested in the tomb a little more than thirty hours, from Friday evening until dawn on Sunday. This is an extraordinary case of agreement which we may rate at odds of five hundred to one (1/500).
From this analysis, Barbaris then obtained an aggregate total of the individual probabilities considered, to be:
1/100 x 1/500 x 1/2 x 1/2 x 1/10 x 1/20 x 1/500 =1/200,000,000,000
Along with the scholars before him, he was able to deduce that out of a hypothetical 200 billion victims of crucifixion one alone could have possessed the same identical common to Jesus and the Man of the Shroud.
And the bible tells us he is JESUS CHRIST, who suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried and who on the third day rose again from, the dead.
In 1988, the Shroud was carbon dated and given a date range of 1260 to 1390. Can’t be. It was seen many timed in the 6th century and Icons of Jesus were taken from the Shroud in the 1st century. Before the Shroud was carried around by the Knights Templar it was kept in Constantinople. It was taken by the Crusaders and shown in Lirey France for years. Better, yet, an unofficial carbon dating was done a few years ago and it showed the linen cloth as dated from200 BC to 100 AD.
It is truly unfortunate there was so much publicity given to the bogus carbon dating. From that people are saying, “Oh yes I have heard of the Shroud of Turin. Wasn’t that proven a medieval fake?”
Not now. The first carbon dating was done with a piece of the corner of the cloth, where it had been handled by hundreds of people who would have left their DNA on the cloth as well as dirt. Also, it had been patched there with cotton thread. The thread was from the middle ages. Shroud researchers are not willing to trust the carbon testing.
Other scientists from Padua University in Italy obtained linens that were known to be from 1,000 to 5,000 years old. They measured the rate of chemical and mechanical decay. By comparing samples from the Shroud they were able to estimate a date from 260 BC to 220 AD!
Microbiologists say there is a bacterial coating on the threads that could altered the date. Other scientists have said the 1532 fire could have affected the carbon results. Spectroscopists say there is no trace of paint or paint binder. It could not have been a middle ages painting. Blood chemists say it is real blood, Human AB type most prominent in the Mid-east, not so common elsewhere. Botanists say the pollen on the Shroud is from Israel and the surrounding area. Image experts say the Shroud was the prototype for all Byzantine icons beginning in the sixth century. Jewish scholars say the shroud is consistent with first century Jewish burial practices. Anthropologists say the man appears to be a Semitic Jew from 30 to 40 years of age.
The religious say it is evidence for Christ’s resurrection. The skeptics say none of these matter – carbon dating is the only thing that counts.
To make all the foregoing details consistent with the radio-carbon dating of the Shroud between 1260 and 1390 AD we would have to postulate a cruel forger in the middle ages who had deliberately subjected a person to the rigors too Christs execution for the purpose of impressing this piece of linen on his corpse. What a horror story that would be. How could he have gotten the image on one side of the cloth, only. People who believe the carbon dating must not have all of the facts.
Today in the 21st century, despite all of our scientific advances, producing this kind of result is unknown. How could he have represented details of First century coins on the Shroud with writing of 1/32nd of an inch? Only microscopic photography can detect it, today.
I give you this information to tie the shroud into biblical history, geography, Jesus, and current facts most people don’t know. This is a very important cloth, for the believers and for those that need to be shown.
To me the Shroud tells the whole story. It is the witness to the resurrection. It takes me there and adds compassion, love, and reverence to my Christian life.