UPDATED (Feb 24, 2014): I have followed the Shroud of Turin controversy with interest. But recently came across a scripture that reveals the Shroud is in fact a forgery.
In fact, it was reformer John Calvin (1509 – 1564) who first pointed out the problem. While the Shroud of Turin involves one piece of cloth, John Calvin says Christ’s burial cloth was made up of multiple pieces of linen.
The Gospel of John reads:
And so Simon Peter also *came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he *saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. (John 20: 6-7 NASV)
So Jesus’ head was wrapped in a separate piece of linen. It was not one piece like the Shroud of Turin.
Calvin said so “either St. John is a liar” or those promoting the shroud as the burial cloth of Christ are.
Back to the original story
Though claims the Shroud of Turin is the burial cloth of Jesus are far from conclusive, it continues to mystify.
On the 3.5′ x 14′ cloth is an image of a person lying down with his hands folded in front of him in a typical burial position.
Many in the Catholic church believes the image of Jesus was burned — if you can call it that — into the cloth at the moment of His resurrection.
The latest mystery was unveiled by Gary Habermas at an apologetics conference sponsored by the Southern Evangelical Seminary.
Stoyan Zaimov wrote on Habermas’ findings in an article on Christian Post.
Using enhanced photography, Habermas and his team noticed — though the individual’s mouth is closed — his teeth are visible through the skin and beard.
“His skin is intact, his beard is intact, but you are able to see what’s inside coming out, just like you are able to see what’s on the back of a hand,” said Habermas.
This left Habermas wondering if it was the result of a radiation burst, as it mimicked what happens during an x-ray. It would suggest there was a burst of radiation or something similar occurring inside Jesus’ body at the moment He resurrected.
Curiously, the Apostle Paul refers to the “power” of Jesus’ resurrection adding that same power is available to believers today (Phil 3:10). The Holy Spirit who created the explosion of life in Jesus is available to us all.
Though this does not prove it was Jesus’ burial cloth, it is just one more in a list of curious facts discovered about the Shroud:
- In early 2013, Padua University conducted a radio carbon test of the Shroud giving it a date of between 280 BC and 220 AD — well within Jesus’ time frame. An earlier carbon test produced a later date.
- The lack of pigments shows it is not a painting.
- The blood stains are definitely blood. Blood stains are located on the wrists and feet which showed marks of impalement similar to crucifixion. There is also blood in the beard and on the head — perhaps remnants of Jesus crown of thorns and the fact the soldiers hit Jesus on the head (Mathew 27, 29-30). There was also blood on the back which may reflect a scourging (Mathew 27:26).
- Another odd thing researchers discovered was in the dirt embedded in the feet area of the cloth. A chemical analysis found remnants of a particular form of limestone unique to Jerusalem. If this was a fake, Habermas said would people even bother to make sure the feet area contained soil from Jerusalem.