Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Shroud of Turin

The "Shroud of Turin" has figured in the news of late. The Shroud of Turin of course is a piece of linen cloth approximately 14 feet long by 4 feet wide. Historically, it first appears about the year 1360 A.D.  Some Roman Catholic authorities contend that it is the burial cloth of Christ; they claim that it contains His very image and thus is proof of the Lord's death and resurrection.  Pope Paul VI declared the shroud to be "the most important relic in the history of Christianity." Pope Sixtus VI declared that in the shroud "men may look upon the true blood and the portrait of Jesus Christ Himself."

Now, after decades of speculation, new research suggests that the Shroud of Turin, one of the Catholic Church's holiest relics, may very well be much earlier that the 14th century.  The latest battery of experiments has led experts to conclude the cloth may have come from the first century A.D., making it old enough to have been used to bury Jesus Christ.

Giulio Fanti, a professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at the University of Padua, announced the findings in a book that hit shelves Wednesday in Italy, reports Vatican Insider. Fanti has written several papers about the shroud, including one in 2011 that hypothesized how radiation could have caused the image of a man's bloody face and body to appear on the cloth.
In his most recent effort, Fanti and a research team from the University of Padua conducted three tests on tiny fibers extracted from the shroud during earlier carbon-14 dating tests conducted in 1988, according to Vatican Insider. The first two tests used infrared light and Raman spectroscopy, respectively, while the third employed a test analyzing different mechanical parameters relating to voltage.  The results date the cloth to between 300 B.C. and 400 A.D., per The Telegraph.

I invite you to listen to a recent radio presentation with Gary Habermas, New Testament Scholar from Liberty University, about the evidence for the Shroud.  He is the leading scholar on the Resurrection of Jesus today:

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