A note — probably not my last — about the “Shroud of Turin”

A note — probably not my last — about the “Shroud of Turin” July 30, 2019


Georgoudis, Man of the Shroud
An artistic impression of the face on the Shroud, done by Dianelos Georgoudis
(Wikimedia Commons public domain image)


I have never firmly made up my mind what to think about the famous “Shroud of Turin.”  Nothing in my faith really hangs upon its authenticity or lack of authenticity.  But if it really is the burial shroud of Christ — and, even more importantly, a kind of “photographic” evidence of his resurrection, as some believe it to be — then it is profoundly significant.


With a major exhibit on the Shroud evidently coming to the Museum of the Bible in Washington DC by somewhere around January 2021, I expect that we’re going to be seeing and hearing a great deal more about the subject over the next two years.  If I’m right, these two articles by Myra Kahn Adams are harbingers of many things to come:


“Shroud of Turin: New Test Concludes 1988 ‘Medieval Hoax’ Dating Was a Fraud”


Ms. Adams’s question is a vital one:  “For those who insist that the burial Shroud of Jesus is fake, then we must counter with the question, ‘What if it is real?’


“Why Does The Shroud of Turin Still Exist?”


On a subsidiary note, Ms. Adams mentions a response that she and other advocates of the Shroud’s authenticity often receive, running along the lines of “People who require evidence to support their faith doesn’t understand the concept of faith.”


I don’t agree with the sentiment.  We all seek or believe that we’ve received evidence to support our faith, even if it’s “only” the whisperings of the Spirit or apparent answers to prayer.  Our missionaries present evidence (e.g., in the form of scriptural passages) to investigators in hopes of awakening testimonies.


But it’s true that different people require different kinds of “witness.”  Some can do just fine without apologetics, but others flourish best when they have and can cite reasons to support their convictions.  And, says 1 Peter 3:15, each believer should “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you.”


So I guess that my reply to someone who says that he or she doesn’t need apologetic answers in order to have faith would be analogous to the answer that Ms. Kahn cites from a friend:  “When someone says, ‘I don’t need the Shroud for my faith,’ I usually say, ‘That is fantastic!  But that doesn’t mean the Shroud was not meant for someone else.’”


Posted from Calgary, Alberta, Canada



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