Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Shroud of Turin: 3.2. The man on the Shroud

Here is "3.2. The man on the Shroud" which is part 20 of my series, "The Shroud of Turin." The previous post in this series was part 19, "3. The Bible and the Shroud: Introduction." For more information about this series, see part 1, Contents.

© Stephen E. Jones

The Shroud image is of a man The image on the Shroud is of a man[1]. He is powerfully built[2], has a beard[3] and is about 181 cms (5 ft 11 in) tall[4].

Jesus was a man (Mt 26:72; Mk 15:12; Jn 19:5; Acts 2:22; Rom 5:15; 1Tim 2:5). He was a carpenter (Mk 6:3) which is consistent with His muscular physique[5].

[Above: Professor Lorenzo Ferri (1902-1975) of the School of Painting and Sculpture, Rome, making a life-sized statue of the man of the Shroud, based on information contained on the Shroud[6].]

A Jew The man on the Shroud was a Jew, according to the late Harvard physical anthropologist Carleton S. Coon[7]. The man on the Shroud has shoulder length hair which is parted in the middle, but of the numerous Greek and Roman portraits we have, there is not one of a man with middle-parted hair falling to the shoulders[8]. Similarly a full beard like that on the Shroud is rarely found in a Greek or Roman portrait, but Jews regarded a full beard as a mark of manhood[9]. Also the manner of burial was first-century Jewish, with the deceased lying on his back, his hands crossed in front covering his pelvic region and his body covered with a single linen sheet[10].

Jesus was a Jew (Mt 1:1,24-25; Lk 2:4-7; Jn 4:9; 18:35; Rom 1:1-3; Heb 7:14). His body was wrapped in a clean linen shroud (Mt 27:59; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:53) according to the burial custom of the Jews (Jn 19:40).

Age The Shroud man was aged between thirty and forty-five, according to his hair, beard and physique[11].

Jesus was in His mid-thirties when He died (Lk 3:23; Jn 2:2; 8:57; Mt 2:19,22).

Conclusion That the man on the Shroud is Jewish, with a muscular physique, and aged between thirty and forty-five, is consistent with what the Bible states or implies about Jesus[12].

1. Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., 1981, "Verdict on the Shroud: Evidence for the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ," Servant Books: Ann Arbor MI, pp.124-125. [return]
2. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, p.21. [return]
3. Ibid. [return]
4. Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, p.25. [return]
5. Wilson, 1979, p.21. [return]
6. Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, p.47. [return]
7. Wilcox, R.K., 1977, "Shroud," Macmillan: New York NY, p.136. [return]
8. Bulst, W., 1957, "The Shroud of Turin," Bruce Publishing Co: Milwaukee WI, p.104. [return]
9. Bulst, 1957, p.104. [return]
10. Stevenson & Habermas, 1981, p.46. [return]
11. Wilson, 1979, p.22. [return]
12. Stevenson & Habermas, 1981, p.54. [return]

Continued in part 21, "3.3. The man on the Shroud was scourged."

Last updated: 15 July, 2013.

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