This is the first of a series about the Shroud of Turin being the burial sheet of Jesus Christ. In this series
"This of course is the image on the famous Shroud of Turin, perhaps at this juncture the most famous Christian relic of all. But is it Jesus? Medical experts have examined the Shroud in detail and shown how the wounds, the trajectory of blood flow and the like are anatomically correct and reflect a person badly abused and crucified. There are many particulars about this Shroud which make unlikely the claim that it is a mere clever forgery ... What is most interesting about the image of the Shroud is that it is a photographic negative, and in itself appears to be the result of a scorch on the cloth from some high intensity light and heat. That it was a negative was only discovered at the beginning of the age of photography by an Italian camera man [Secondo Pia] allowed to shoot old style pictures the Shroud. Imagine his surprise when he saw the negatives in the dark room, and they were positives. We can say with some confidence now that the image on the Shroud is not painted nor stained on the Shroud (the depth of the image is so shallow that these suggestions do not work). In other words, the suggestion of mere human artifice does not seem to work in this case. The Shroud of Turin is not like so many of these Christian relics which can be shown to be phony with very little scholarly effort at all. But the image on the Shroud is a mystery. How did it get on the cloth, and where did the Shroud originally come from, and for that matter what is its relationship to the bloody facial cloth housed in a church in Spain [Sudarium of Oviedo], that seems to have the very same image on it, when the two images are electronically super-imposed, only the facial cloth has much more blood on it."]
I will systematically cover all the major lines of evidence for and against the Shroud of Turin being the burial sheet of Jesus, bearing the impression of His crucified and resurrected body as depicted in the Gospels. I will provide at the foot of each page a list of online references, making this series also an index to other sites on each topic.
[Index: #2 Cloth; #3 Image; #4 Bible; #5 History; #6 Art; #7 Science; #8 Alternatives; #9 Objections; #10 Conclusion]
1. INTRODUCTION: WHAT IS THE SHROUD OF TURIN?
The Shroud of Turin is a linen sheet, measuring 437 x 111 centimetres (~14.3 x 3.6 feet), which bears the faint, front and back, bloodstained image of a man who has been beaten, flogged, crowned with thorns and crucified, consistent with the Gospels' depiction of the suffering, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
For over 400 years the Shroud has been kept in the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy.
No plausible naturalistic explanation of how the image on the Shroud was formed has yet been provided, despite the Shroud having been subjected to intensive scientific study since the 1970s.
As we shall see, the balance of the evidence, for and against, is overwhelming that the Shroud of Turin is the burial sheet of Jesus Christ, bearing the impression of His crucified and resurrected body!
"Shroud of Turin," Wikipedia, 24 September 2010.
"Shroud Of Turin - Authentic?" AllAboutArchaeology.org, 28 September 2010.
"The Shroud of Turin," Shroud.com, 7 September 2010.
"The Turin Shroud - past, present and future," British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 50, June 2000.
"What is the Shroud of Turin?" wiseGEEK, 4 August 2010.
Updated: 2 August 2015