Concerning the Image of Jesus in the Shroud of Turin


The Shroud of Turin 

A brief summary of its most strongly supported features. 

And a Personal Statement and Challenge. 

(RCW, August 20, 2014) 


It is the most scientifically studied ancient artifact ever. 

No one has ever been able to reproduce the methods used to create the Shroud.

It is not an idol, it has no “magic” powers. 

It is not a photograph. 

It has the properties of a photographic negative 

It is not a painting; there is no paint on the shroud 

It is not the result of scorching 

Some of the Pollen on the shroud is native only to Israel, and some native only to Turkey. 

Some of the dirt on the feet is native only to Israel 

The nails in the wrists are in the correct place for Roman crucifixion 

The thumbs being turned inward is the correct result of a nail passing through the wrist. 

The blood is human blood type AB Positive, and is still red because it is heavily saturated by bilirubin, an enzymes produced by the liver when a person experiences anaphylactic shock due to hours of torture. 

The person is a male, 5’11”   no more than 170 lbs, in his 30’s. 

The back of the Person has scratch marks consistent with carrying a heavy wooden board. 

One knee is bruised. 

The feet were nailed together with a single nail. 

The coins over his eyes were Roman Leptas from the time of Pilate 

The image is the only historical artifact with 3-D information imbedded in it 

The image is created by a superficial oxidation of the cellulose from the linen fibers. 

There is no pigment in any part of the image. 

The type of flog used has been identified. He was struck 40 times with a 3 strand flog, there are 120 impact marks. He was not scourged.

The type of thorns on his head may have been identified

Much of the crucial information is microscopic 

It’s history is well known from the early 1300’s until now. 

Its history before that is being discovered in bits and pieces. 

No one knows how the image was formed. 

Every attempt to reproduce even a small part of such an image using the most modern methods failed. 

The nose is broken, not the bone, only the cartilage. 

Both cheeks are swollen, the right cheek more so than the left, from some kind of hard impact. 

A portion of the beard is missing. 

The blood that is on the shroud is blood that flowed only after death,  caused by the removal of the nails, thorns, and the piercing of the side. 

The yellow stain surrounding the blood at the point of the right side where the chest was pierced is blood plasma, and is not easily visible to the naked eye. 

The legs are bent by rigor mortis.

There are no traces of myrrh or aloes anywhere on the cloth. 

The shroud is a single 14’ x 3’ linen cloth, this is exactly 2 cubits x 8 cubits as measured in Jerusalem. 

The linen is of an expensive style, a very fine herringbone thread, like many modern dress coats.

The cloth has been damaged by fire and water 

The image in the areas of the hands and mouth has x ray properties. Some teeth can be seen through the lips, and bones can be seen through the back of the hands. 

The best explanation for the image so far is radiation, passing through the shroud and the body in  parallel direction from a distant origin, through the back and front, but not the sides. 

The image is not an etching 

The image is not a rubbing 

The image is not the result of chemical absorption. 

The image is not the result of physical contact.There is much information on the shroud in the areas that did not touch the cloth, and the density of the effect on the fiber is directly related to the distance from the cloth to the skin.  

The dark image areas are the result of oxidation and dehydration of the fibers of the cloth, on the surface on 10-20 nanometers deep. (millionths of a meter) 

There is no absorption except where there is blood. 

The blood from the whipping is due to internal hemorrhaging and is seen only through ultraviolet light.  

The thorns on the head were not a nicely woven “crown” but something much less complicated.  

The facecloth is a separate cloth. It is called the Sudarium, and has been in a church in Oviedo, Spain since the 600’s AD. 

The blood type and the shape of the blood stains on that cloth known as the Sudarium, match the Shroud. 

The cloth was draped over the body and was in contact at high points. Yet the eye sockets are representative of several places where there is detailed information, where there was no contact. 

Dr. John Jackson (Physicist at University of Colorado)  is the one who proved  the blood was real. He is also the one who discovered the 3-D data due to the distance between the cloth and the skin. 

It is not a Bas Relief.  In 1/10 of a second a Bas Relief heat image burns the fibers much deeper than image effects found on the cloth. 

In 1196, the Shroud is in Constantinople, according to a manuscript painting at that time. 

The feet were pierced through the heel, not the top as some show. 

The Carbon 14 dating that led to the Medieval 1300’s date has been corrected to account for the presence of two separate pieces of cloth mixed in the original sample. The result is 1st Century AD.

Personal Statement and Challenge 

I am grateful to all of the people who dedicated their lives to the intense personal study of the Shroud.  

I opposed the reality represented by the Shroud for 25 years. I no longer feel any personal need to maintain an objective scientific approach, or use skeptical language concerning the Shroud. The Image is that of the Crucified Jesus. Paul, in Galatians 3:1, referred to its existence and public display before AD 60. Isaiah 52:14, written before 722 BC, foretells the existence of the Shroud and its impact on history.    

The present state of Shroud research among Christians is that the Image was created by Jesus’ resurrection. I see it differently.

1.  The confirmed total absence of myrrh and aloes on the Shroud means that it was not used in the actual burial of Jesus.  It is not a Burial Shroud. It is a “modesty cloth,” used immediately after He died, and it was removed before He was wrapped in cloth strips which had been  saturated with the myrrh/aloe mixture. 

2.  The body was not scourged. It was flogged. This confusion of terms should be easy to clear up. The problem is caused by Bible translator assumptions, an irregularity in the Greek text of Mark, and ignorance  of the difference between the whips used for flogging and scourging by the Romans. 

3.   All attempts to relate the shroud to the Bible story of Jesus’ burial are wrong. The image on the shroud was not created by the Resurrection of Jesus.  Jesus was not in the shroud when He was resurrected. The image was formed before He was buried. Many people accept the Islamic teaching that Jesus did not die at all. I believe the Shroud was given to us by God, not as evidence of the Resurrection, but of His sacrificial death, because it is needed for this purpose today. 

4.   When relating the Shroud to the Sufferings of Jesus, there needs to be more emphasis on the emotional suffering and stress Jesus experienced, without neglecting or exaggerating His physical suffering. 

Concerning the possibility of forgery, there is something that to me is more convincing than all of the well-known extraordinary properties of the Shroud. Why would a forger have the body flogged, if everyone believed Jesus was scourged? It seems to me that the Shroud contradicts certain popular beliefs about the manner of Jesus suffering and death. Why would such an inspired genius deliberately make a fraudulent representation of the crucified body of Jesus, and do so in a way that should prevented its acceptance by the contemporary leaders of the Catholic Church?  Notice that it is now 2014, and the Church has never officially approved its authenticity.  My long standing opposition to the Shroud’s authenticity was not based on any scientific evidence. It simply contradicted what I had been taught about the manner of Jesus’ death. Then I discovered that what I had been taught did not match what the relevant Hebrew and Greek Bible texts described. But the Shroud had been correct all along. It was the Bible that convinced me that the Shroud of Turin displays the image of the crucified Jesus. The discovery that the sample which was carbon dated was a patch containing two pieces of cloth, one from the 1st century and the other from the 16th century is only confirmation to me. 

The Shroud has now helped me to construct a harmony of all that the Bible says about the manner of Jesus’ death. I hope this will be the testimony of many more people in the near future.