So yesterday I watched the most intriguing and interesting history channel documentary called "The Real Face of Jesus?" on the Shroud of Turin. I had actually never known what it was supposed to be before, so I learned a lot of information about it. The Shroud of Turin is believe to be the burial cloth that wrapped Jesus Christ after he was crucified. It not only has blood on it but also a face imprinted on the cloth. There is some quite compelling SCIENTIFIC information out that that says otherwise. I just wanted to share a few things I learned and how incredible it is.
A. The Catholic church allowed some renowned scientists to study the cloth for 5 days (I think) around the clock in the 70s. They took tons of tests and samples. One of the things they discovered is that the face is not painted or drawn on or anything like that. There was no median found at all--and the imprint only goes microfibers deep in the cloth, which isn't really possible for an artist to do. The blood on the cloth is in fact human blood. The blood stains and wounds are consistent with those of a crucified man and one who also was scourged and beaten. Specific details match those details in the Bible in fact. They also found a unique pollen embedded deep in the fibers of the cloth. One that is unique to Israel and better yet, unique to Jerusalem. Those are the things I specifically remember but there was much more. Basically they couldn't scientifically prove it was a fake but most of the evidence proved otherwise.
B. In the 80s a carbon dating test was done. They took a corner of the cloth and tested it. It came back that it was made between about 1260-1390 or something like that. Ok, so a fake right? However, (and I quote an article) "In March 2010, researchers unveiled a revolutionary radiocarbon dating method that could allow scientists to safely establish accurate ages for precious artifacts like the Shroud of Turin. Unlike traditional carbon dating, the new process does not require samples; instead, the entire object is exposed to an electrically charged gas that gently oxidizes its surface without causing damage. This means that, someday soon, the world may have a more precise estimate of the Shroud of Turin’s real age." (http://www.history.com/shows/the-real-face-of-jesus/articles/about-the-shroud-of-turin)They are not sure the original test was accurate because the piece they used is a part of the cloth that has been handled many many times throughout the centuries and there are pictures and paintings to support that. So in fact the results could be incorrect because the piece may have been contaminated. So even that scientific has basically been proven wrong.
C. They can prove that it dates back to at least the medivel times with historical documentation. However, they have quite impressive evidence that suggests it dates back at least to 300ish AD. One of these being that there is some kind of religious document found that has an illustrated part about the burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ that has a picture after the resurrection that has a design on the cloth that is the exact, unique weave of the cloth and in fact there is are "L" shaped dots on it also...that match perfectly the "L" shaped burn marks on the Shroud. And dates back a few hundred years before it is historically and officially recorded. They also have a story of a king in Turkey I believe who was sick and was brought a cloth that bared the image of Christ on it and after ten days with it he was healed. That was only about 200-300 AD. Obviously this can't be proven, but it is all very intriguing.
D. In the late 1800s a man photographed the Shroud and found that the negative held even more detail than before because of the fact that the lights and darks on the cloth are opposites of what they should be...like a negative is. So a negative of the cloth showed that the face should truly look like! Crazy! Another way that it would be crazy that someone in the 1200s could have created it let alone decided to go opposite of what it should be.
E. They found in the 70s that ere was 3D information in the 2D cloth be using a machine that is used to take pictures of the moon and figures out elevations and craters etc. They took a picture of the face from the cloth and used it and found that there was in fact 3D info in the cloth! Seriously! How crazy is that???
F. One of the most crazy and compelling parts, I think, was that they have come to scientifically decide that the only way the image on the cloth could have been made is my radiation or bright light. And of the two ways light travels it is neither one. Light traveling in a straight line like a laser would have only made a silhouette. Light spreading out would have created a messy blur. After the expert scientists created a 3D face from the cloth they tested it to see if they could get the same face...the only way they could even create an imprint? A scanner. Seriously. Because it is "slices" of light moving across the object. And in fact they made the exact face. So it would have had to have been created by a sliver of light moving across the face and body. So even the scientists and religious alike were forced to consider the resurrection as the source of the light that embedded the face on the cloth! They were talking about how this is the one artifact that will probably bring both scientists and religious people alike the closest together they will ever be! I just thought that was amazing!
G. They took all that information and the man who created a 3D image of Abraham Lincoln from photos and death masks created an accurate face of the man behind the shroud. Whether that is Christ or not, we don't know obviously. Because it will never be proven if it is or isn't, but that is probably the closest we will ever be to seeing his true face. And it is the face behind the shroud...then did reverse tests to see if they could recreate shroud from the 3D sculptor of this face and they did! Amazing!
Here are two videos that I think you might enjoy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FeJW1eSUEc
All in all, I'm inclined to believe the Shroud is in fact the burial cloth of Christ and that is his face embedded in the cloth. Really. It totally makes sense. Everything matches including the fact that some sort of light embedded that image in the cloth--resurrection light makes total sense to me. I totally got chills and it really made me feel warm and fuzzy.
Whether or not it is, I love that it is one of the few things that science cannot prove is a fake. and that can lead people to renew their faith. I love to wonder about things and then I get excited for the next life when I get to know all the answers to all these questions. Hope you found this interesting too!