Monday, January 23, 2023

The Shroudman and Jesus died on a cross #40: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is Jesus' burial sheet!

Copyright © Stephen E. Jones[1]

This is part #40, "The Shroudman and Jesus died on a cross," of my series, "The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is Jesus'burial sheet!." For more information about this series, see the "Main index #1" and "Other marks and images #26." I will use in-line referencing to save time in renumbering out-of-order footnotes. Emphases are mine unless otherwise indicated.

[Main index #1] [Previous: The Shroud man and Jesus were crucified #39] [Next: The Shroud man and Jesus were wrapped in a linen shroud #41]

  1. The Bible and the Shroud #33
    1. The Shroudman and Jesus died on a cross #40

The Shroudman and Jesus died on a cross. Both the man on the Shroud and Jesus died on a cross[SH81, 45].

[Right (enlarge): Major bloodstains on the Shroud[LM10a]. As we shall see in more detail, the man has been nailed through his wrists and feet, and the bloodstains on his forearms show he was hanging from the nails in his wrist with both arms above and to the sides of his head, as on a cross. The large bloodstain in his right side (apparently left because of mirror-reversal[BR70; WI79, 30]), which pooled across the small of his back, was, as we shall see (below), from a Roman lance thrust upward into his heart, which if he hadn't been already dead (otherwise that blood would have spurted over his body), would have killed him[SH90, 112].]

Jesus died on a cross. The Gospels record that Jesus died on a cross[SH81, 45]:

Mt 27:50. "And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit."
Mk 15:37. "And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last."
Lk 23:46. "Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last."
Jn 19:30. "When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, `It is finished,' and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit."
• Jesus was nailed to a cross (Col 2:14)[AM00, 120], through his hands (Lk 24:39-40; Jn 20:25,27)[AM00, 22] and feet (Lk 24:39-40).

• Jesus legs were not broken because he had died on the cross (Jn 19:31-33)[WI79, 52; SH81, 45; WM86, 44; SH90, 87; BM95, 26; IJ98, 62; GV01, 86].

• Instead, Jesus was speared in his side to make sure he was dead and "at once there came out blood and water" (Jn 19:33-34)[MR80, 92; SH81, 45; SH90, 87; BM95, 26; RC99, 44; AM00, 120]. The Greek word translated "spear" is logche, "lance"[IJ98, 62].

The Shroudman died on a cross.
• The Shroudman was nailed to a cross[AM00, 33; WE54, 43], through

[Left (enlarge[LM10b]): The left arm of the Shroudman, flipped horizontally and rotated 90 degrees, showing how the blood from a nail through his wrist in a crucifixion position dripped off his arm vertically under gravity.]

his hands and feet[AM00, 120; GV01, 86]. He was nailed through each

[Above (enlarge[WI78, 50L]): The bloodstains on the man's left wrist and forearms show that he was nailed by his outstretched wrists to a cross. The bloodflows down each foream dripped off at 65 and 55 degrees to the vertical, as the man alternately raised himself to exhale and slumped down to inhale[WI79, 40; CJ84, 51; AM00, 31].]

wrist with his hands stretched out[BP53, 107; BM95, 25; RC99, 30; OM10, 122]. The man on the Shroud was nailed to a cross by a single

[Above: Upper: Feet dorsal (original[LM10c]). Lower: Feet frontal (original[LM10d]):

"When viewing the back of the man's legs and feet, we see that the left foot and leg images are less defined than the right ones. In addition, the left heel is elevated above the right. These facts indicate that the left knee was flexed to some degree. While this is most apparent on the dorsal view, the left leg visible on the frontal image also appears slightly raised. In light of these findings, most pathologists contend that the right foot was placed directly against a flat surface, while the left leg was bent at the knee and the left foot rotated to rest on top of the right foot. With a body in this position, a single nail driven between the metatarsal bones could affix both feet in a stationary position"[AM00, 22].]

nail through his left foot over his right[BA34, 64; BP53, 114; BR78, 46; MR80, 103; AM00, 22]. French surgeon Pierre Barbet (1884–1961) actually discovered the mark of the large, square in cross-section, Roman nail in the man's right foot[BP52, 35; BP53, 125; GV01, 84]!

[Left (enlarge[LM10e]):

"Half-way along there is a rectangular stain, rather nearer to the inner than to the outer edge of the impression, and this is where the flows seem to have their centre ... This four-sided image is certainly the mark of the nail ..."[BP53, 125].

• The Shroudman's legs were not broken[BW57, 106; SH81, 45; BM95, 26]. As can be seen above his legs are straight. It was the Roman practice of crurifragium to break the lower legs of crucifixion victims, to hasten their death on the cross[BM95, 26]. A crucifixion victim had to push himself up on the cross to breathe and the inability to do that would lead to death by asphyxia within minutes[BM95, 26].

• The man on the Shroud was speared in his side[AM00, 33]. That he

[Above (enlarge): The wound on the right side of the man on the Shroud[LM10f] (on our left because the Shroud is, like a plaster cast, a mirror image[AM00, 33]). Note the wound (circled in red) which corresponds to the incision of a Roman lancea[WM86, 34; AM00, 120]. The Greek equivalent of the Latin lancea is logche, the very word which is used in Jn 19:34 for the spear that was thrust into Jesus' side to ensure that he was dead (see above )[WM86, 34]! The light and dark stains correspond to blood and lung cavity fluid (i.e. "blood and water" - Jn 19:34). The dark border to the right is the remains of a burn from a fire in 1532[CJ78, 59]. Agnostic art historian Thomas de Wesselow noted of this:

"There is nothing at all `artistic' about this bloodstain, which differs markedly from medieval depictions of Christ's side wound"[DT12, 144P].]

was already dead is evident from the lack of swelling, which occurs only in a live body[MR80, 92; SH90, 113]. Also, the bloodflow from the side wound is post-mortem, because if he man's heart had been still beating the blood would have spurted out onto the cloth, but instead it had oozed out[SH90, 113]. But if he hadn't been dead the spear thrust upward would have pierced his heart[OM10, 174], killing himm[SH90, 112].

• The man on the Shroud is in a state of rigor mortis[SH90, 112] (from Latin rigor "stiffness" and mortis "of death")[RMW]. His whole body is extremely rigid[HR51, 31]. The rigor of the arms had been forcibly broken

[Right (enlarge)[RG78, 61]: Depiction of the man on the Shroud's body, fixed by rigor mortis, in his final position, hanging dead on his cross.]

to cross them over his body[BR70]. His legs are fixed in the position they were when nailed to the cross, with his left foot (apparently right but actually left because the Shroud image is laterally inverted) crossed over the right , causing a bend in his left knee, which remained bent upward when his body was covered by the Shroud[WE54, 47].

Problems for the forgery theory
• Why would a medieval forger depict Jesus head-to-head on a double length Shroud (see above)? The Gospels only say that Joseph of Arimathea wrapped the body of Jesus in a "linen shroud" (Mt 27:59; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:53). A single length shroud covering the front of Jesus' body and tucked under it at the sides, and therefore only depicting Jesus' frontal image, would have sufficed. Oxford radiocarbon dating laboratory's Prof. Edward Hall (1924-2001) was right when he said, a forger would have "just got a bit of linen" to fake Jesus' shroud on[PH01].

• Why would a medieval forger depict Jesus' nailed hands and feet incomplete?

[Left (enlarge[LM10g]): Upper-the nail wounds in the hands are incomplete, as the left hand covers the nail wound in the right hand. Lower- The feet (frontal) are very incomplete.]

When "Christ's wounds were ... considered profoundly meaningful and were a focus of devotion":

"The lack of clarity regarding the stigmata in the feet is itself significant. If the Shroud were a medieval forgery, the wounds in the feet (along with every other wound) would surely have been clearly marked ... Christ's wounds were not just incidental traces of torture in the Middle Ages. As the source of the blood that bought salvation, they were considered profoundly meaningful and were a focus of devotion. Accordingly, when medieval artists depicted Christ's wounded feet, they were always careful to indicate the marks of the nails. Paul Vignon had it right over a century ago:
'Had a forger at that date desired to simulate the wounds made by the nails, he would, we think, have drawn them carefully, showing them in circular form; the essential thing in his eyes would have been that the wounds should have been easily recognized in the traditional positions[VP02, 33]'[DT12, 121-122]"
• Why would a medieval forger depict the mark of a square in cross-section Roman nail in Jesus' right foot (above)? When it can only be seen clearly in negative and photographic negativity was only discovered in the early 1800s?

• How did a medieval forger know that the Greek word logche in Jn 19:34 was the equivalent of the Latin lancea, to depict it accurately in profile (above)? When the first Greek New Testament, the Novum Instrumentum omne of Desiderius Erasmus (1466–1536), was published in 1516[NNW]?

• Why would, and how could, a medieval forger depict the spear in the side bloodstain, such that there is "nothing at all `artistic' about" it and it "differs markedly from medieval depictions of Christ's side wound" (see above)?

Vignon was right when he concluded his examination of the nail wounds on the Shroud:

"Here again we are forced to abandon the hypothesis of fraud, and to attribute the appearances on the Shroud to accidental and natural causes, in which the intention or imagination of an artist is nowhere discernible"[VP02, 34]

1. This post is copyright. I grant permission to extract or quote from any part of it (but not the whole post), provided the extract or quote includes a reference citing my name, its title, its date, and a hyperlink back to this page. [return]

AM00. Antonacci, M., 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY.
BA34. Barnes, A.S., 1934, "The Holy Shroud of Turin," Burns Oates & Washbourne: London.
BM95. Borkan, M., 1995, "Ecce Homo?: Science and the Authenticity of the Turin Shroud," Vertices, Duke University, Vol. X, No. 2, Winter, 18-51.
BP52. Barbet, P., 1952, "The Five Wounds of Christ," Apraxine, M., transl., Clonmore & Reynolds: Dublin.
BP53. Barbet, P., 1953, "A Doctor at Calvary," [1950], Earl of Wicklow, transl., Image Books: Garden City NY, Reprinted, 1963.
BW57. Bulst, W., 1957, "The Shroud of Turin," McKenna, S. & Galvin, J.J., transl., Bruce Publishing Co: Milwaukee WI.
BR70. Bucklin, R., 1970, "The Legal and Medical Aspects of the Trial and Death of Christ," Medicine, Science and the Law, January.
BR78. Brent, P. & Rolfe, D., 1978, "The Silent Witness: The Mysteries of the Turin Shroud Revealed," Futura Publications: London.
CJ78. Cameron, J. M., 1978, "The Pathologist and the Shroud," in Jennings, P., ed., 1978, "Face to Face with the Turin Shroud ," Mayhew-McCrimmon: Great Wakering UK.
CJ84. Cruz, J.C., 1984, "Relics: The Shroud of Turin, the True Cross, the Blood of Januarius. ..: History, Mysticism, and the Catholic Church," Our Sunday Visitor: Huntington IN
DT12. de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London.
GV01. Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL.
HR51. Hynek, R.W., 1951, "The True Likeness," Sheed & Ward: London.
IJ98. Iannone, J.C., 1998, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence," St Pauls: Staten Island NY.
LM10a. Latendresse, M., 2010, "Shroud Scope: Durante 2002: Horizontal: Major bloodstains overlay.,"
LM10b. Latendresse, M., 2010, "Shroud Scope: Durante 2002 Vertical,"
LM10c. Latendresse, M., 2010, "Shroud Scope: Durante 2002 Vertical,"
LM10d. Latendresse, M., 2010, "Shroud Scope: Durante 2002 Vertical,"
LM10e. Latendresse, M., 2010, Shroud Scope: Enrie Negative Vertical,
LM10f. Shroud Scope: Durante 2002 Vertical.
LM10g. Shroud Scope: Durante 2002 Vertical.
MR80. Morgan, R.H., 1980, "Perpetual Miracle: Secrets of the Holy Shroud of Turin by an Eye Witness," Runciman Press: Manly NSW, Australia.
NNW. "Novum Instrumentum omne," Wikipedia, 7 December 2022.
OM10. Oxley, M., 2010, "The Challenge of the Shroud: History, Science and the Shroud of Turin," AuthorHouse: Milton Keynes UK.
PH01. "Obituaries: Professor Edward Hall," Independent, 16 August 2001
RC99. Ruffin, C.B., 1999, "The Shroud of Turin: The Most Up-To-Date Analysis of All the Facts Regarding the Church's Controversial Relic," Our Sunday Visitor: Huntington IN.
RG78. Ricci, G., 1978, "The Way of the Cross in the Light of the Holy Shroud," Center for the Study of the Passion of Christ and the Holy Shroud: Milwaukee WI, Second edition, Reprinted, 1982.
RMW. "Rigor mortis," Wikipedia, 5 January 2023.
SH81. 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.
SH90. Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., 1990, "The Shroud and the Controversy," Thomas Nelson: Nashville TN.
VP02. Vignon, P., 1902, "The Shroud of Christ," University Books: New York NY, Reprinted, 1970.
WE54. Wuenschel, E.A., 1954, "Self-Portrait of Christ: The Holy Shroud of Turin," Holy Shroud Guild: Esopus NY, Third printing, 1961.
WI78. Wilson, I., 1978, "The Turin Shroud," Victor Gollancz: London.
WI79. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," [1978], Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition.
WM86. Wilson, I. & Miller, V., 1986, "The Evidence of the Shroud," Guild Publishing: London.

Posted 23 January 2023. Updated 31 May 2023.


Jeremy said...

Hi Mr. Jones, I have followed your blog for years and I am deeply thankful for the work you do. I have one question that has plagued me about the shroud and it's authenticity. Perhaps you can provide some illumination...
At what point in time in the process was the shroud actually wrapped around the body of Jesus? At the point when Jesus was brought down from the cross, he would have been an absolute bloody mess (pardon the graphic statement). A la Mel Gibsons "Passion of the Christ" and other data on crucifixion, the victim would be bleeding profusely from the scourging, the spear in his side and the nails in his extremities, with possible internal organs exposed, mass quantities of blood (and water) etc. If the shroud was placed on Jesus at this time (immediately after coming down from the cross) there ought to be much more blood on the cloth. One would think the blood would have saturated and nearly covered the shroud entirely in various places. Not simple trickles from the wounds. However, if he was washed, cleaned or prepared for burial in any meaningful capacity, there wouldn't be much blood at all. Or if there were, the blood flow patterns would not follow with what we seem to see as we see blood flow based on his vertical position on the cross (i.e. down his arms etc.). If he were laying flat on a rock in a tomb or something, and there was oozing of blood and fluids after a burial preparation, the blood stains would not coincide with the vertical flow patterns. Help me understand your thoughts on this. Thank you so much and God richly bless your work!

Stephen E. Jones said...


>At the point when Jesus was brought down from the cross, he would have been an absolute bloody mess

This is false!

It just so happens that for my book I am preparing a list of all the events in the gospels where Jesus would have bled.

And I will show why there would have been little liquid blood on Jesus' body when it first made contact with the Shroud.

It will be a Turin Shroud Encyclopedia article and when I post it I will provide a link to it from a comment under this post.

Stephen E. Jones
MY POLICIES. Comments are moderated. Those I consider off-topic, offensive or sub-standard will not appear. Except that comments under my current post can be on any one Shroud-related topic without being off-topic. To avoid time-wasting debate (2Tim 2:23; Titus 3:9), I normally allow only one comment per individual under each one of my posts. I reserve the right to respond to any comment as a separate blog post.