[Right (click to enlarge). Full Shroud of Turin showing head to head images of the front and back of the man on the Shroud: Wikipedia. This is how the Shroud actually is: a photographic negative, yet photographic negatives were not known until 1840, i.e. nearly 500 years after the Shroud first appeared in the undisputed historical record at Lirey, France, in the 1350s!]
bearing the image of His crucified and resurrected body!
This is a work-in-progress - I will keep adding to it over time. Topics that become too long I will split off to their own separate pages and link them back to this page. References are linked to quotes at the foot of each page and/or to web pages.
© Stephen E. Jones
The Shroud bears the front and back images, head to head (see above right), of a man who matches the Bible's description of the suffering, death and burial of Jesus.
On either side of the image are large triangular patches sewn on to repair damage caused by a fire in 1532 when molten silver burned through the folded cloth.
[Left (click to enlarge): Shroud reliquary in the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Turin, Italy: WhyGo Italy.]
The Bible and the Shroud. The image on the Shroud matches the Bible's description of Jesus: 1. a Jew (Mt 1:1,16; Jn 4:9; Heb 7:14); 2. in Jerusalem (Mt 20:18-19; Lk 24:18-20; Jn 19:20); 3. flogged (Mt 27:26; Mk 15:15; Jn 19:1); 4. crowned with thorns (Mt 27:29; Mk 15:17-18; Jn 19:2); 5. beaten (Mt 27:30; Mk 15:19; Lk 22:63-64; Jn 19:3); 6. carried His cross (Jn 19:17; Mt 27:32; Mk 15:21; Lk 23:26); 7. crucified (Mt 27:35; Mk 15:24; Lk 23:33; Jn 19:18); 8. by nails through His hands and feet (Lk 24:39; Jn 20:20,25-27; Acts 2:23; Col 2:14); 9. His legs not broken (Jn 19:31-33); 10. speared through His side (Jn 19:34; 20:25,27); 11. causing a flow of blood and water (Jn 19:34); 12. died (Mt 27:50; Mk 15:37,39; Lk 23:46; Jn 19:30,33); 13. buried in linen graveclothes (Mt 27:59-60; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:52-53; Jn 19:40); 14. in a rock tomb (Mt 27:60; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:52-53; Jn 19:41-42); 15. His body not decomposed (Acts 2:22-27,31; 13:34-37); and 16. resurrected (Mt 28:5-6; Mk 16:6; Lk 24:1-6; Jn 20:1-9).
Atheist and Shroud critic Steven Schafersman agrees that because of these many specific matches between the Gospels' account of Jesus' passion and the image on the Shroud, "the odds [are] 1 in 83 million that the man on the shroud is not Jesus" and therefore "If the shroud is authentic" (i.e. not a forgery), "the image is that of Jesus" (my emphasis):
"Either the shroud is authentic ... or it is a product of human artifice ... Is there a possible third hypothesis? No, and here's why. Both Wilson and Stevenson and Habermas go to great lengths to demonstrate that the man imaged on the shroud must be Jesus Christ and not someone else. After all, the man on this shroud was flogged, crucified, wore a crown of thorns, did not have his legs broken, was nailed to the cross, had his side pierced, and so on. Stevenson and Habermas even calculate the odds as 1 in 83 million that the man on the shroud is not Jesus Christ ... I agree with them on all of this. If the shroud is authentic, the image is that of Jesus." (Schafersman, 1982, p.42).
Art and the Shroud. The Hungarian Pray codex of 1192-95 is clearly based on the Shroud, with the
latter's nude Jesus (otherwise unknown in the Middle Ages), hands crossed in front, thumbs not shown, shroud with a herringbone weave pattern and even four L-shaped burn holes. This proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the Shroud was in existence at least 65 years before the earliest radiocarbon date of 1260 (see below), and at least 130 years before the middle date of 1325, claimed by Shroud critics as the date of the Shroud. And then the Shroud would have had to have existed long before 1192 to have become an object of religious veneration in Hungary. Which in turn renders the forgery hypothesis even more untenable because the unknown forger would have had to have lived in or before the 12th century (in fact in or before the 7th century-see below)!
There is other very strong art evidence, including the Vignon markings, that the
[Left (click to enlarge): Vignon markings on the Shroud and found, to varying degrees, in Christian art since the 6th century: Ian Wilson, 1978, "The Turin Shroud," Book Club Associates: London, p.82d]
Shroud has been copied by Christian artists from at least the 6th century.
[Right: Tenth century depiction of King Abgar V of Edessa (4 BC-50 AD) receiving an image of Jesus: Wikipedia. Note Jesus' head is in highly unusual landscape view.]
[Above: Triumphant announcement by Prof. Edward Hall, Dr. Michael Tite and Prof. Robert Hedges, on 13 October 1988, that the Shroud was radio- carbon dated to "1260-1390!": Ian Wilson, 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud," pl.3b]
sole exception of the 1988 radiocarbon dating to 1260-1390 of a tiny sample from the edge of the Shroud, points to the Shroud being the burial sheet of Jesus. But that radiocarbon dating was seriously flawed on a number of counts, including the sample tested was part of a medieval patch, not the Shroud itself (Benford & Marino, 2008 & Benford & Marino, 2002), and should be set aside.
[Above: Perfect match of bloodstains on the Sudarium of Oviedo and the Shroud, proving they once covered the head of the same crucifixion victim: Bennett, J., 2001, "Sacred Blood, Sacred Image" Ignatius Press: San Francisco CA, p.122]
Sudarium has been in Spain since 631 and has a historical record before that back to Palestine in at least 570. So the unknown forger would have had to create both the Shroud and the Sudarium in or before the 7th century!
Image formation theories. All major image formation theories outlined and critiqued. All naturalistic image formation theories fail to account for the major features of the Shroud's image. Only supernaturalistic image formation theories based on the resurrection of Jesus can explain the image on the Shroud.
"The Shroud is in the form of a cloth strip, yellowish-white in colour, 4.37 metres long, 1.11 metres wide and 1.450 kg in weight." (Cassanelli, A. , 2002, "The Holy Shroud," Williams, B., transl., Gracewing: Leominster UK, p.15).
"Either the shroud is authentic (naturally or supernaturally produced by the body of Jesus) or it is a product of human artifice. Asks Steven Schafersman: `Is there a possible third hypothesis? No, and here's why. Both Wilson [Wilson, I., "The Shroud of Turin," 1979, pp.51-53] and Stevenson and Habermas [Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., "Verdict on the Shroud," 1981, pp.121-129] go to great lengths to demonstrate that the man imaged on the shroud must be Jesus Christ and not someone else. After all, the man on this shroud was flogged, crucified, wore a crown of thorns, did not have his legs broken, was nailed to the cross, had his side pierced, and so on. Stevenson and Habermas [Ibid., p.128] even calculate the odds as 1 in 83 million that the man on the shroud is not Jesus Christ (and they consider this a very conservative estimate). I agree with them on all of this. If the shroud is authentic, the image is that of Jesus.' [Schafersman, S.D., "Science, the public, and the Shroud of Turin," The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 6, No. 3, Spring 1982, pp.37-56, p.42]" (Nickell, J., 1987, "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," , Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, Revised, Reprinted, 2000, p.141. Emphasis original).
"The occasion of the Shroud being housed in this new case, immediately prior to the expositions of 1998, also saw the removal by Swiss textile conservator Dr Mechthild Flury-Lemberg, assisted by Sister Maria Clara Antonini, of a blue satin frame-type surround that had been sewn onto the Shroud in the nineteenth century, and its replacement by a new white cloth. This removal enabled the original cloth's dimensions to be measured rather more precisely than had been possible before, at 437 cm long by 111 cm wide." (Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, pp.18-19).
Updated: 24 July 2015