Is the Shroud Authentic?
"The Riddle of the Ages"
"One of the Most Perplexing Enigmas of All Time"
Elsewhere on this website the reader will learn of amazing discoveries regarding the Turin Shroud that have surfaced in recent years from the lens of forensic science (click on the "Apologetic" tab above). Those discoveries are discussed in more detail in the paper on authenticity found below. The significant contribution this website makes to research on the authenticity of the Shroud is in regard to in-depth analyses of the Biblical text.
The Shroud of Turin in the New Testament?
The Shroud of Turin in the New Testament?
Although both forensic science and historical research has brought to light a plethora of evidence in support of the Turin Shroud being the actual burial cloth of Jesus, , skeptics and critics make a strong argument against the shroud’s authenticity with this simple observation: The Biblical writers failed to mention such a marvelous treasure with its remarkable image! However, that being said, a plausible inference can be made that, due to persecution and the real threat of confiscation and harm to the Shroud from enemies, early Church leaders would have wanted to keep the Shroud’s existence a secret from outsiders. On that basis, it is reasonable to consider that that any reference concerning the Shroud in the circulating writings of the Apostles would have been veiled or camouflaged. Several statements in the New Testament make excellent candidates in that regard. Exegetical papers on those texts can be found below. These papers serve as a watershed, challenging traditional understandings.
The strong possibility that the Shroud is indeed authentic makes for a fascinating study! Evidence suggests the Shroud was treasured in the early Church. It was likely used in evangelistic efforts as proof to the truthfulness of the Gospel story. Imagine having possession of the Shroud and being able to use it when teaching others about the death, burial, and Resurrection of the Christ:
"He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities....
He was cut off from the land of the living,
For the transgression of my people he was punished....
After he has suffered, he will see the light of life...." (Isaiah 53:5a, 8, 11a)
τρεῖς εἰσιν οἱ μαρτυροῦντες, τὸ πνεῦμα καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ καὶ τὸ αἷμα, καὶ οἱ τρεῖς εἰς τὸ ἕν εἰσιν.
εἰ τὴν μαρτυρίαν τῶν ἀνθρώπων λαμβάνομεν, ἡ μαρτυρία τοῦ θεοῦ μείζων ἐστίν,
ὅτι αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ μαρτυρία τοῦ θεοῦ ὅτι μεμαρτύρηκεν περὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ.
1 John 5:7-9
In the author’s opinion, the academic papers below make an excellent case for there being hidden references to the Shroud (with its miraculous image) within the Biblical canon. If not the Shroud, what is the correct answer to each of the following four questions?
- How exactly did the Galatians (approximately twenty years after the crucifixion and hundreds of miles away from Jerusalem) see (“before your eyes”) “Jesus Christ publicly exhibited as crucified” ? (Galatians 3:1)
- What specifically was "the sign of Jonah" — (1) a typological metaphor (2) for one, special, "attesting miracle" (3) "from heaven" (i.e., the hand of God) (4) that Jesus promised would be forthcoming (5) to that "wicked generation" (6) as a "sign" or warning of impending "judgment," (7) be a particular miracle His opponents would be able to "see", (8) show a temporal affinity between Jesus' death narrative and the story of "Jonah," (9) serve as heaven's testimony of Jesus being Daniel's "Son of Man" (i.e., the Messiah or Christ), and (10) could be described as "something" instead of someone? (Matthew 12:38-42; 16:1-4)
- What exactly was the writer of Hebrews referring to when he wrote of “the greater and more perfect sacred tent” (i.e., tabernacle) when Christ ministered as the superior “High Priest” — a sacred tent that was “not made with human hands … not of this creation,” yet was associated with His actual “blood” and assisted with His entry into the heavenly “Sanctuary” ? (Hebrews 9:11-12)
- The funeral linens played a crucial role for the Apostle John when coming to faith in the Resurrected Christ. Upon entering the tomb, we are told "He saw and believed!" (John 20:8). In the final chapter of his First Epistle, when (Birth? Baptism? The Cross? The Resurrection?), how, and why did John perceive the Christ has having “passed through water and blood” … and what specifically (past and present) was John writing about when he then spoke of “the testimony (or witness) of God that He has testified (Greek verb in the perfect tense) concerning His Son” — a testimony regarding Jesus that is “greater than the testimony of men” (i.e., a stronger or more persuasive apologetic than the testimony of John himself and the other Apostles), a testimony providing assurance regarding “eternal life,” a testimony when rejected equates to calling God a "liar," and a testimony buttressed in the present time by “the three that are bearing witness: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three are in reference to the one thing”? (1 John 5:5-13; cf. John 19:34-35)