The Shroud of Turin is more than just a piece of cloth
A couple of weeks ago the History Channel carried a documentary on the Shroud of Turin, called “The Real Face of Jesus.”
This was the completion of a project that was started long ago. It was delayed a few years back when carbon dating tests indicated that it had actually been created around 1200 AD at the earliest and was, therefore, obviously a fraud.
Recently, documentation was found in Europe that proved the existence of the material as early as 700 AD. Pictures showed that the sample taken for the testing was cut from the right corner of the material, which was one of the areas handled each time the shroud had been put on display over the centuries. This evidence seemed to satisfy everyone since it indicated that the real reason for the large inaccuracy in the carbon test results could be attributed to sampling error rather than a fault in the carbon dating process.
The actual list of details is far to large to cover here. However, world-class experts from all interested fields, science (geologists to nuclear), artists (studiers of ancient masterpieces to modern photographers), topographers (from re-creating surfaces of past wildernesses to space-age techniques for 3-D depictions of extraterrestrial photos) and people of religion (both pro and con) all got a shot to be involved in the attempt to leave no stone unturned.
Among my favorites was the fact that the whole image is in the form of a (photo) negative (everything reversed). How anyone could, or why they would, attempt such a thing back then practically precludes any forgeries. It also gives the appearance of an old man. When things got reversed and the image brought to life, the strong face of a man in his early 30 with a black beard comes clear. The severity of the injuries from the flogging, the thorns and the nails is unmistakably matched to the biblical event.
Another was the fact that my vision of a rising Jesus just getting up and walking away was so erroneous. His body was transformed to energy in a flash and reassembled in the form that it will retain forever in heaven (as he appeared in the transfiguration). The blast of energy, as it passed through the shroud, could have been what caused the imprint to appear as a negative. It also would explain why no one was able determine what was used to create the image.
As a wrap-up, the moderator asked the main scientist, “What exactly do you think we can realistically take away from all this?” His reply was: “Without the actual DNA from Jesus, we can never be absolutely sure. But, I do believe that if you could select a jury of 12 totally unbiased people and ask them to review all of our evidence and interview all of our experts, for the express purpose of determining the authenticity of the shroud, their verdict would almost certainly be that it is the real thing.”
For all those who have any interest — scientific, religious or plain curiosity — or just feel a real need to see what may be the closest portrayal of what Jesus actually looked like, you really must see this film.