London - The image on the Turin Shroud could not be the work of medieval forgers but was instead caused by a supernatural “flash of light”, according to scientists.
Italian scientists have found evidence that casts doubt on claims that the relic - said to be the burial cloth of Jesus - is a fake and they suggest that it could, after all, be authentic.
Sceptics have long argued that the shroud, a rectangular sheet measuring about 14ft by 3ft, is a forgery dating to medieval times.
Researchers from Italy’s National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development spent years trying to replicate the shroud’s markings.
They have concluded only something akin to ultraviolet lasers - far beyond the capability of medieval forgers - could have created them.
This has led to fresh suggestions that the imprint was indeed created by a huge burst of energy accompanying the Resurrection of Christ.
“The results show a short and intense burst of UV directional radiation can colour a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin,” the scientists said.
The image of the bearded man on the shroud must therefore have been created by “some form electromagnetic energy (such as a flash of light at short wavelength)”, their report concludes. But it stops short of offering a non-scientific explanation. Professor Paolo Di Lazzaro, who led the study, said: “When one talks about a flash of light being able to colour a piece of linen in the same way as the shroud, discussion inevitably touches on things such as miracles.
“But as scientists, we were concerned only with verifiable scientific processes. We hope our results can open up a philosophical and theological debate.”
For centuries, people have argued about the authenticity of the shroud, which is kept in a climate-controlled case in Turin cathedral. One of the most controversial relics in the Christian world, it bears the faint image of a man whose body appears to have nail wounds to the wrists and feet.
Some believe it to be a physical link to Jesus of Nazareth. For others, however, it is nothing more than an elaborate forgery.
In 1988, radiocarbon tests on samples of the shroud at the University of Oxford, the University of Arizona, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology dated the cloth to the Middle Ages, between 1260 and 1390.
Those tests have been disputed on the basis that they were contaminated by fibres from cloth used to repair the shroud when it was damaged by fire in the Middle Ages.
More recently, further doubt was cast on its authenticity when Israeli archaeologists uncovered the first known burial shroud in Jerusalem from the time of the Crucifixion.
Its weave and design are completely different from the Turin Shroud, they said. The Jerusalem shroud has a simple two-way weave Ð but the twill weave used on the Turin Shroud was introduced more than 1,000 years after Christ lived. - Daily Mail
Peter B, wrote
@ Meme-Man: Jesus tastes like fish paste ... you crack me up!
Mrs. Petey - "I'll bet it (toast with jesus face) tastes same wither(sic) way": I once had jesus on my toast and it tasted like fishpaste - so I think it was really him. That's probably why people put the fish on their car, because they've had the same thing.
Flash of light? Seems like someone has been dipping into the altar wine too much and suffering from a hangover. I know the feeling, it can blow your mind the next morning
Mrs. Petey, wrote
I don't know if that's Jesus's image or not or even what difference it makes. If that's Jesus, cool, if not, oh well. It doesn't change what I believe or don't believe one little bit. A lot of people see Jesus on their toasted bread too, I've seen pictures, they are neat looking, but I have nothing more to say about them, I'll bet it tastes the same wither way. :P
Peter B, wrote
If you guys believe so strongly, why do you give a damn about this piece of cloth? Give it a break already, there's a real world out there.
Load of garbage?...check. Dirty old face cloth?....check. People with nothing better to do than play with a towel...check.
People need to do their homework - The Lord Jesus Christ face was so marred during his crucifixion you couldn't even tell he had a face - "His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men" (Isa 52:13-14). Please do not waste your time on this obvious lie.
@Meme-Man Must be National Geographic's Darwin month that gave you all this wisdom....awesome dude. Surely your decoder must be on then. Hope they have Santa-Saurus on for you over Xmas time otherwise the religious mumbo jumbo must make you sick. New years resolution for me is to believe that the earth will be a couple of billion years older next year, another bone fragment be found and we can see it ate bambi, it will be warmer in Summer than in Winter and the russians might get to Mars. Actually all banter aside, I wish you all Season Greetings
The burial cloth of the Shroud was a 3 over 1 herringbone twill weave, which was an expensive 1st century Syrian design as stated, "The weaving pattern, 3:1 twill, is consistent with first-century Syrian design, according to the appraisal of Gilbert Raes of the Ghent Institute of Textile Technology in Belgium." Something only a wealthy 1st century man would procure. And this is exactly how the four gospel accounts describe the man that buried Christ, Joseph of Arymithea. Someone who would have expensive burial linens. It's possible he gave his own linens for Christ to be buried. Concerning the linen, this article is not accurate.
Sorry Anonymous - perhaps it's not whacky-tabaccy and you're just talking in tongues... or my decoder is just not turned on - hang on, I'll go check.
@Meme-Man funny since I got you on your way out, after all those brandied christmas cake. Watch out you might evolve into intelligent design a creation of you own intellect. Happy Hollandaise made from primal soup
Hey Anonymous; I see you've been at the Xmas trifle early this year. Remember - don't drink and drive. Merry Xmas.
@Meme-Man And believing that a millions of years of reality created on one piece of bone is not a religion. So the Israeli archeologist who is probably Jewish used what to know that the shroud he uncovered, is authentic or is this again a case of if I want to prove the popular science fad of the day I will go to extreme lengths to prove it and only those scientist that agrees are REAL scientist. Boe hoe hoe, dont cry for my you oozy space rockey you. But at least we will know for a fact that next year the earth would have aged by another billion years or so
The carbon dating from 1978 has been disproven as it was taken from a patch used to repair the shroud. Scientists have proven the image is not a painting and could not come from body contact, but from a flash of UV radioactive light. Interesting.
Sorry - but i'm rather astounded that creationists are trumpeting 'success' when 'scientists' apparently affirm what they believe. Last week the same creationists were saying that scientific evidence doesn't count - so I'm confused!? Now - what I'm reading here is not the language of science - and for that reason I don't buy that these are bona fide scientists but rather researchers working on behalf of the Templeton foundation. The report claims "supernatural bursts of light" - no scientist in his or her right mind would use that gibberish' that statement is the language of defeat. "Supernatural" means "beyond nature", and since science is the study of nature, they will either give a known phenomenon or say that they don't have the answer but are working on it. "Occams razor" applies - mountains of data say it's from medieval times, and one confusing statement to the contrary does not swing the argument.
so If the cloth was 13th century , how do you explain how the image came to be on it?
let keep it right
My towel looked like that once when I wiped my dirt ridden face.
Ugh...It's a fake. There is no doubt about it at all. Carbon 14 dating confirms that it's from the 14th century. The first historic mention of it dates from the same period and calls it a forgery. The "blood" is red tempera paint. The herringbone weave of the cloth was not in use in Palestine during the time that Jesus lived. There is nothing even slightly authentic about this cloth, but of course the church wants to keep the racket going. Since the C14 dating they've been very careful to only allow crackpot religiously motivated "scientists" anywhere near it.
Everyone can believe what they like. It does not matter if the shroud is real or fake. I know my Saviour died for me on the cross and is now sitting next to God in heaven preparing a place for me when my spirit leave my earthly body.