“The shroud is more than the image”

Italian scientists have claimed to have reproduced the apparent image of Jesus on the Shroud of Turin by wrapping a person in linen, rubbing him with ochre, and putting blood on the result. But now a group of pro-shroud experts is casting doubt on that casting of doubt. From the Christian Telegraph, Experts question scientist’s claim of reproducing Shroud of Turin:

Dr. Jackson first questioned the technique used by Garlaschelli’s team, taking issue with the method of adding blood after aging the cloth. Jackson explained that he has conducted “two independent observations that argue that the blood features on the shroud” show “that the blood was on it first, then the body image came second.”

Dr. Keith Propp, a physicist who is also a colleague of Jackson’s, told CNA that while Garlaschelli’s shroud “does create an image that could’ve been done in medieval times,” there are a many things that “are not consistent with what the actual shroud shows us.”

For example, he continued, we know that the blood contacted the shroud before the body “because there’s no image beneath the shroud.” He added that this image pattern would be difficult to duplicate “because it would ruin the blood stains.”

Another area concern for the scientists is the three dimensionality of the shroud.

Propp explained that while Garlaschelli’s cloth does have some aspects of light and dark to create a three-dimensional perspective, “it’s nowhere near as sophisticated as the shroud” and that “it misses out on the accuracy and subtleties that are in the actual image.”

Dr. Jackson from the Turin Shroud Center also touched on the same point, saying, “The shroud’s image intensity varies with” the distances in between the cloth and the body. While he admitted that the images of Garlaschelli’s shroud on the internet look authentic, when taken from a 3-D perspective, “it’s really rather grotesque.” . . .

Garlachelli’s technique has also received criticism from other experts. One scientist from the Shroud Science Group, a private forum of about 100 scientists, historians and researchers provided CNA with some of the critiques made in the forum.

One English-speaking expert explained that the blood used on the Shroud of Turin is not whole blood. “They didn’t just go out and kill a goat and paint the blood on the cloth. The blood chemistry is very specific,” he said explaining that the blood is from “actual wounds.”

He added that most of the blood on the shroud flowed after death. “The side wound and the blood that puddles across the small of the back are post-mortem blood flows,” he said, adding that blood flowing after death “shows a clear separation of blood and serum.”

Propp added, “In some ways, it comes out better than most others I’ve seen before. Still there are too many things – the shroud is more than just the image.”

I know, I know. Our faith comes from the Word, not relics. Still, I’m intrigued. Carbon-dating has the shroud originating in the Middle Ages, though some pro-shroud advocates have questioned that also. Are they saying that there is blood on the Shroud? That is, the blood of Jesus? I’d like to see the DNA sequencing of THAT sample. (If it showed only a female line, that would be definitive!) I know, I know. If I want the blood of Christ, I should go to Holy Communion. But a historical event, such as the transformation that took place at the moment of the Resurrection, could leave behind evidence, so this is worth studying.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • John in FW

    PBS did a series a few years back titled “Secrets of the Dead.” One show was on and titled, “The Shroud of Christ?” This was a very interesting and insightful film showing how the samples used for carbon dating have been taken from corrupted or over handled corners of the shroud. In the end, they basically suggest that the shroud IS what the Catholic Church claims it to be – Christ’s burial shroud. I realize our Faith doesn’t depend on the veracity of the Shroud, but this was a fascinating film. The film is out of print but you can still find copies, see: http://www.amazon.com/Shroud-of-Christ-DVD/dp/B001EP4CCC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1255001113&sr=1-1. If you’re interested Dr. Veith, I can lend you my copy.

  • John in FW

    PBS did a series a few years back titled “Secrets of the Dead.” One show was on and titled, “The Shroud of Christ?” This was a very interesting and insightful film showing how the samples used for carbon dating have been taken from corrupted or over handled corners of the shroud. In the end, they basically suggest that the shroud IS what the Catholic Church claims it to be – Christ’s burial shroud. I realize our Faith doesn’t depend on the veracity of the Shroud, but this was a fascinating film. The film is out of print but you can still find copies, see: http://www.amazon.com/Shroud-of-Christ-DVD/dp/B001EP4CCC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1255001113&sr=1-1. If you’re interested Dr. Veith, I can lend you my copy.

  • http://puttingoutthefire.blogspot.com/ Frank Gillespie

    I just have trouble believing the authenticity of the shroud. That being said, the carbon dating process does have some serious flaws and is by no means perfect. This is why Styrofoam cups can show up as millions of years old and diamonds (discounting any young earth theories) can test to be a couple of hundred thousand years young.

  • http://puttingoutthefire.blogspot.com/ Frank Gillespie

    I just have trouble believing the authenticity of the shroud. That being said, the carbon dating process does have some serious flaws and is by no means perfect. This is why Styrofoam cups can show up as millions of years old and diamonds (discounting any young earth theories) can test to be a couple of hundred thousand years young.

  • Joe

    Carbon dating can also be misleading because new carbon can be added to a porous item like the Shroud. Historically we know that the Shroud was housed in a church that burned. Many have suggested that the Shroud would have gained carbon from that event and that this would have been significant enough to distort the testing.

    On the grander scale (i.e. aging rocks and fossils) – carbon dating does no damage to the young age of the earth. It begins with two assumptions that can never be proven: 1. that carbon molecules have always deteriorated at the same rate and 2. that created things were not created with a certain amount of pre-existing deteriorated carbon molecules.

  • Joe

    Carbon dating can also be misleading because new carbon can be added to a porous item like the Shroud. Historically we know that the Shroud was housed in a church that burned. Many have suggested that the Shroud would have gained carbon from that event and that this would have been significant enough to distort the testing.

    On the grander scale (i.e. aging rocks and fossils) – carbon dating does no damage to the young age of the earth. It begins with two assumptions that can never be proven: 1. that carbon molecules have always deteriorated at the same rate and 2. that created things were not created with a certain amount of pre-existing deteriorated carbon molecules.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    The shroud, I don’t know Veith, I think we can look elsewhere for evidence of Christ’s resurrection. I don’t get the mania that surrounds this bit of cloth. The relic trade of the middle ages was so corrupt that I don’t know you can trust any of it. Its provenance is almost completely destroyed by just being a part of that trade. To me the mania surrounding this is of the same level as the people who try to spy UFO’s at Area 51, or stay up late at night listening about UFO’s spotted by the Mexican Air Force.
    That I know of such thins is merely testimony to the fact that I was married once before.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    The shroud, I don’t know Veith, I think we can look elsewhere for evidence of Christ’s resurrection. I don’t get the mania that surrounds this bit of cloth. The relic trade of the middle ages was so corrupt that I don’t know you can trust any of it. Its provenance is almost completely destroyed by just being a part of that trade. To me the mania surrounding this is of the same level as the people who try to spy UFO’s at Area 51, or stay up late at night listening about UFO’s spotted by the Mexican Air Force.
    That I know of such thins is merely testimony to the fact that I was married once before.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/ Steve Martin

    I used to work at the Shroud Center of Southern California.(the lone Lutheran there)

    There is a lot of evidence pointing to the authenticity of the Shroud.

    But don’t you think that the devil could produce such a cloth, also?

    I used to tell people at the Shroud Center, that I didn’t know if the Shroud was real…or not…but that I did know that the death on the cross, for them, was real.

    Whatever your take, it is an interesting phenomenon.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/ Steve Martin

    I used to work at the Shroud Center of Southern California.(the lone Lutheran there)

    There is a lot of evidence pointing to the authenticity of the Shroud.

    But don’t you think that the devil could produce such a cloth, also?

    I used to tell people at the Shroud Center, that I didn’t know if the Shroud was real…or not…but that I did know that the death on the cross, for them, was real.

    Whatever your take, it is an interesting phenomenon.

  • http://barrybishop.blogspot.com/ Barry D. Bishop

    The shroud is a fake. How do I know? John 20:6-7 (ESV)”Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself.”

    The Bible says that there were separate cloths for the body and head of Jesus. So where does this leave the possibility for something like the shroud of Turin? Read the passage in John again.

  • http://barrybishop.blogspot.com/ Barry D. Bishop

    The shroud is a fake. How do I know? John 20:6-7 (ESV)”Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself.”

    The Bible says that there were separate cloths for the body and head of Jesus. So where does this leave the possibility for something like the shroud of Turin? Read the passage in John again.

  • Joe

    Interesting. But does the fact that there was a separate cloth for the face necessarily mean that there was not also a cloth that covered the whole body? Since the assumption is that the image was created as a side effect of the resurrection, I don’t think direct contact has to be necessary. Can anyone speak the burial practices of the day? I can’t. Steve Martin?

    It obviously doesn’t matter if it is real or not, but it is interesting.

  • Joe

    Interesting. But does the fact that there was a separate cloth for the face necessarily mean that there was not also a cloth that covered the whole body? Since the assumption is that the image was created as a side effect of the resurrection, I don’t think direct contact has to be necessary. Can anyone speak the burial practices of the day? I can’t. Steve Martin?

    It obviously doesn’t matter if it is real or not, but it is interesting.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/ Steve Martin

    Joe,

    Supposedly there was a head covering and then the entire body was completely wrapped in the cloth (which some say could have been the tablecloth that was used at the last supper ) supplied by Joseph of Arimathea.

    As for what was the normal burial practice of the day for crucified “criminals”, or for people of some stature…I do not know.

    Here is a link to the Shroud Center:

    http://www.shroudcentersocal.com/mapnewshours.html

    Feel free to call them and ask for Brian Woods to return your call. I think he is probably the best one to answer your question.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/ Steve Martin

    Joe,

    Supposedly there was a head covering and then the entire body was completely wrapped in the cloth (which some say could have been the tablecloth that was used at the last supper ) supplied by Joseph of Arimathea.

    As for what was the normal burial practice of the day for crucified “criminals”, or for people of some stature…I do not know.

    Here is a link to the Shroud Center:

    http://www.shroudcentersocal.com/mapnewshours.html

    Feel free to call them and ask for Brian Woods to return your call. I think he is probably the best one to answer your question.

  • Tim Webb

    A year ago on Coast to Coast AM (the guys who talk about UFOs, Bigfoot, etc., so take with grain of salt) interviewed a lead investigator on the Shroud, who is an agnostic Jew, and he was convinced that something amazing, beyond his understanding, and possibly supernatural, had produced the Shroud.

    As a Christian, we have the Scriptures, the Sacraments, the Confessions, etc., and the Shroud doesn’t factor in regardless of its origin. I don’t have an opinion, and don’t honestly care, but I found that interview interesting.

  • Tim Webb

    A year ago on Coast to Coast AM (the guys who talk about UFOs, Bigfoot, etc., so take with grain of salt) interviewed a lead investigator on the Shroud, who is an agnostic Jew, and he was convinced that something amazing, beyond his understanding, and possibly supernatural, had produced the Shroud.

    As a Christian, we have the Scriptures, the Sacraments, the Confessions, etc., and the Shroud doesn’t factor in regardless of its origin. I don’t have an opinion, and don’t honestly care, but I found that interview interesting.

  • Carl Vehse
  • Carl Vehse
  • Carl Vehse
  • Carl Vehse
  • Carl Vehse
  • Carl Vehse
  • Carl Vehse
  • Carl Vehse
  • Carl Vehse
  • Carl Vehse

CLOSE | X

HIDE | X