Friday, December 23, 2011


Marion Pellicano Ambrose

The Shroud of Turin, the alleged burial cloth of Jesus Christ, has been at the center of controversy since it was first mentioned in historical records from 1353. Experts have studied and tested the shroud and none have provided definite proof of its authenticity or proven that it is a fraud. A piece of the cloth was carbon dated and found to be from the Middle Ages, but scientists have found that the piece was part of the shroud that was repaired and not part of the original shroud.

Today, scientists in Italy believe they have finally found the answer. They are 95% sure of the shroud’s authenticity. Researchers from Italy's National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development believe their findings undermine previous theories that the shroud was faked in the medieval period.

The markings on the shroud are as follows:

·  one wrist bears a large, round wound, claimed to be from piercing (the second wrist is hidden by the folding of the hands)

·   upward gouge in the side penetrating into the thoracic cavity. Proponents claim this was a post-mortem event and there are separate components of red blood cells and serum draining from the lesion

·  small punctures around the forehead and scalp

·  scores of linear wounds on the torso and legs. Proponents claim that the wounds are consistent with the distinctive dumbbell wounds of a Roman flagrum.

·   swelling of the face from severe beatings

·   streams of blood down both arms. Proponents claim that the blood drippings from the main flow occurred in response to gravity at an angle that would occur during crucifixion

·   no evidence of either leg being fractured

·   large puncture wounds in the feet as if pierced by a single spike

These markings are consistent with the reports of Christ’s experience during crucifixion.  The new reports have once again stirred up the controversy among believers and non believers.

My opinion?  I have to agree with Tom Chivers, assistant comment editor for “The Telegraph,”  The "authenticity" or otherwise of the Shroud of Turin does not have any implications for whether or not Christ was real, or whether He was divine. If it was a medieval forgery, it doesn't mean the stories aren't true; if it really was made in the first century AD, it doesn't mean they were.

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