Palm Sunday

# It wouldn’t let me post this as a comment to the Shroud of Turin – I wrote this several years ago. Feel free to use it as needed. The Shroud of Turin
The Shroud of Turin is a fascinating piece regardless of what side of the fence you reside on. On one hand – if the Shroud is either a fake or an intentional piece of artwork, it would be extraordinary in its careful detail (especially medical and forensic), unbelievable in its prediction of modern technology as well as its impossible complexity of skill and resources to produce. With 21st century technology, we are incapable of duplicating the shroud image while maintaining all of its characteristics. On the other hand, if the Shroud is, in fact, the burial shroud of the historical Jesus of Nazareth; the ramifications are Earth shattering – it would be both an actual image of Jesus Christ as well as physical proof of the most important event in the history of mankind – the death (through which came atonement for the sins of all mankind) and the resurrection of the son of God.
Let us explore some of the facts of the Shroud.
We will start with the most obvious elephant in the room: Radio-carbon dating results would suggest the shroud is mediaeval in origins with dates ranging between 1260 and 1390 AD. There is reason to be concerned, however, with the reliability of the C-14 dating. The sample taken from the Shroud was from the worst possible location – the bottom left hand corner, which was not only significantly damaged, but later research would prove that the portion of the shroud tested was repaired by a ‘French re-weave’, where the individual threads of the fabric are separated and new threads are combined and re-woven to form single threads. The location was then dyed to match the rest of the cloth color so that the newer fabric looks older. Given that, there is no question that the C-14 dating would give significantly younger dates than the actual age of the cloth. This fact was confirmed by one of the Carbon-14 scientists, Ray Rogers – who was one of the most vocal critics of the Shroud’s authenticity, but was later just as vocal that the C-14 dating was botched and that the Shroud was most likely authentic, after discovering the French re-weave and that cotton was present in the samples tested – though cotton was not anywhere else in the Shroud. Additionally, two other separate objects have been shown to be connected to the Shroud of Turin, and have also been reliably dated to be much older than the Shroud itself. First would be the Sudarium of Oviedo – a smaller piece of cloth thought to be the cloth that wiped the blood off the face of Jesus after the crucifixion. The thought is that the cloth itself, was wrapped around Jesus’ face, but later removed before final burial. Without getting into too much forensic detail about the Sudarium, the blood stains on the cloth perfectly match the blood stains on the Shroud of Turin in both blood flow and blood type. The Sudarium is reliably dated to at least the year 570 AD – naturally, much older than the C-14 dating of the Shroud. The other piece of evidence is the Pray Codex – a series of Hungarian writings and drawings dating to the 1100’s. There is a drawing of Jesus being placed into a burial shroud. The shroud bears remarkably similar features to the shroud of Turin – most notably the hearing-bone weave pattern (an abnormal feature in cloth) as well as an ‘L’ shaped pattern of circular burn marks. It is very apparent that whoever drew the picture had seen the Shroud of Turin in the 1100’s, 1-200 years earlier than the C-14 dating. The evidence against the C-14 date would hold up in any court of law. Let’s discuss the actual image itself in some bullet points:
• There are no pigments, paints, dyes or stains that formed the image (based on X-ray, fluorescence, ultra violet, infrared and microchemistry studies)
• The image is superficial – existing on the very top of the fibers, penetrating to the thickness of less than a human hair.
• The image is a negative image – when a photograph is taken with film, the negative reveals a positive image.
• VP-8 image analyzer shows that this 2 dimensional image holds 3 dimensional information. THERE ARE NO OTHER 2 DIMENSIONAL IMAGES ON EARTH THAT HOLD THIS PROPERTY! It is a seemingly impossible trait to duplicate.
• The wounds present in the image are consistent with the Biblical account of Jesus’ “passion” – including the nail punctures in the feet and upper wrist, scourge marks – which have been forensically determined to be by a Roman flagrum, thorn marks on the top of the head, a spear mark on the side, a broken nose, horribly disfigured face from apparent beating as well as other contusions consistent with a man who was forced to carry his own cross.
• It is clear that the cloth made direct contact with a deceased body – explaining the scourge marks and blood flow as well as apparent rigamortis.
• The blood flow on the cloth existed before the image was formed – as the image does not exist under the blood stains.
• The blood stains indicate high levels of bilirubin, consistent with a violent death; the blood stains also are a mix of water and blood indicating the separation of serum.
• The blood has been verified to be human blood – type AB
• Although the image formed was of a deceased man, and despite rigamortis being apparent, there is no indication of impression of flesh against another surface – meaning the absence of gravity at the moment the image formed. The body had to be suspended at the moment the image was formed, despite no evidence of physical suspension.
• The body was wrapped in the cloth with many flowers – the images of which also appear on the shroud. Those plants and flowers are native only to Jerusalem or within a 12 mile radius of Jerusalem.
• Pollen samples taken and tested show that the shroud – at some point in its history, was in Jerusalem, Constantinople (modern day Istanbul) as well as Edessa, Turkey – all of which supports the historical record of how the shroud would have traveled from Jerusalem to Edessa to France and now Italy – but forensically disproves the notion of a medieval forgery.
• Soil samples found on the cloth in the area of the foot image were tested and shown to exist only in the area of the Damascus gate in Jerusalem.
• Coins found in the image over the eyes have been studied and have 24 coincidences that match it up with a lepton minted during the time of Pontius Pilate.
• The thumbs of the man are hidden from view, an odd feature. When the median nerve is punctured, as is the case during crucifixion, the thumbs naturally bend over behind the palm.
• As mentioned above, the scourge marks match identically the marks that would be left by a Roman flagrum. There are 120 scourge marks on the body (40 lashes x 3 prongs at the end of the flagrum).
One of the critical aspects of the Shroud image is the fact that the face in the image is “too much like modern artistic interpretations of Jesus” and therefore must be a fake. However, there is reason to believe that modern interpretations of what Jesus looked like may be a result of the image in the Shroud – and the fact that artists were convinced that the image was the actual image of Jesus – and thus used that image as inspiration in art. Let’s explore the history of the Shroud. In the interest of objective fairness, it’s important to note that the timeline before the 1300’s is based on circumstantial evidence – although the forensic studies of the pollen samples taken from the Shroud supports the timeline prior to the 1300’s. I personally feel that the evidence, though circumstantial, is strong enough to explain where the shroud was between the time of Jesus’ resurrection and its first verifiably recorded existence in the 1300’s in Lirey, France.
• There is reason to believe that the Shroud was in the possession of St. Jude Thaddeus after the resurrection event.
• 70 A.D. – Jerusalem is destroyed by the Roman Empire. Legend suggests that St. Jude Thaddeus takes the shroud to Edessa (modern day Urfa, Turkey). Persecutions within the city later caused the shroud to be hidden within a wall surrounding the city.
• 525 A.D. Edessa is destroyed by a flood. The Shroud was rediscovered while rebuilding the walls. It became known as the “image of Edessa” and later called the “Mandylion”
• 944 A.D. Edessa is under the control of Muslims and is invaded by the Byzantine Empire for the sole purpose of securing the cloth. The cloth is taken to Constantinople (modern day Istanbul, Turkey).
• 1204 A.D. Constantinople is sacked by the Ottoman Empire. The Mandylion disappears (having watched a documentary on the Ottoman Empire, it’s clear that the Byzantine Empire knew months in advance of the impending attack by the Ottoman Empire and understood that it was likely they would lose the city during the attack – making it logical to assume they would have removed all important artifacts prior to the attack). Legend suggests that it was placed under the care of the Knights Templar – most notably Geoffroi de Charny – a known leader within the Knights Templar. Beyond this point, all information is historically verifiable and well documented.
• 1353 Geoffrey de Charney is the first to display the Shroud of Turin in Lirey, France. Geoffrey de Charney is a descendent of Geoffroi de Charny – the Knights Templar leader. It is important to note that it was common to change the spelling of ones surname in medieval France.
• 1452 the granddaughter of de Charney sold the Shroud to the Duke of Savoy for two castles.
• 1532 the Shroud is badly damaged during a fire in Chambery, France.
• 1578 the Shroud is moved to Turin, Italy where it has remained since.
The only question in the historical travels of the Shroud of Turin is whether or not the Shroud of Turin and the Mandylion from Edessa are the same. The Mandylion was believed to hold the face of the risen Christ – and artists from all over the world flocked to see it and used it as inspiration in their artwork of Jesus. Prior to its being displayed, there was a wide variety of interpretations of what Jesus looked like – none of which were similar. After the Mandylion became public, all of the artwork around the world that depicted Jesus suddenly became extremely similar in appearance and became the accepted visual interpretation that is still true with artwork of today.
The Shroud of Turin has gone under the scrutiny of scientific study and through modern technological advances has revealed an amazing story. Under no circumstance should ones faith rely solely upon this as physical evidence, but the Earth shattering truths that exist if this piece of cloth is, in fact, the burial shroud of a man named Jesus who died and resurrected from the dead cannot be overstated. God’s love letter to the future world. Full of hidden secrets for 2000 years until mankind advances enough to discover them. A reminder of the most important event in the history of mankind.

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