Shroud Of Turin Claims; Does It Bear Christ’s Image? New TV Doc Says ‘Yes’

By iScienceTimes Staff on March 29, 2013 10:37 AM EDT

Shroud of Turin claims
The Shroud of Turin reveals the image of Christ when a negative photograph, right, is taken of the Shroud, left. (Photo: Creative Commons)

New Shroud of Turin claims being presented in an Easter Sunday TV documentary argue that the controversial wrappings do, in fact, bear the image of Christ and were used to preserve his body after crucifixion. Previous Shroud of Turin claims dated the cloth to have come from the Middle Ages around 1300 A.D. However, that testing was done in 1988 and the new Shroud of Turin claims date the cloth between 280 B.C. and 220 A.D., putting it in a timeframe consistent with when scholars believe Jesus was alive. The new testing was done by Padua University and the lead researcher, Giulio Fanti, is publishing the results in a new book titled "The Mystery of the Shroud."

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The new Shroud of Turin claims are based on three new tests; two chemical and one mechanical. The chemical tests involved an infrared light analysis, the mechanical test used Raman spectroscopy to determine the age of the fibers. These tests are reported to be more accurate than the carbon dating performed in the 80s. Researchers working on the new Shroud of Turin claims argue that the cloth was contaminated over the centuries by fire and water damage, thereby rendering carbon dating results inconclusive.

Efforts to retest the shroud of Turin have been blocked by the Catholic Church, which has neither confirmed nor denied the veracity of the relic, so Fanti's team tested the same samples used by researchers in 1988. Pope Francis is scheduled to deliver an introduction on the Shroud of Turin before the presentation on Sunday, but it was Emeritus Benedict XVI who allowed the Shroud of Turin to be televised as a "last gift" to Catholics.

Researchers who have made Shroud of Turin claims over the last several decades are trying to explain the age of the linen, but the image of Christ on the Shroud remains a mystery to scientists. Conventional wisdom states that the image should not have transferred so perfectly, even though the stains are made with human blood. Believers in the Shroud of Turin claim Christ's image was transferred into the fabric when his earthly form ascended into heaven before returning on Easter Sunday.

Italian state TV will broadcast footage of the Shroud but it is not thought that general public access will be allowed until 2025, the date of the next scheduled display.

As part of the TV broadcast, a new app called Sindone 2.0 has been developed, showing a series of HD images of the shroud which highlight details of the cloth not visible to the naked eye.

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