The Shroud of Turin, a linen burial cloth which bears the image of a man
whom some believe to be Jesus Christ, is currently located in the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy. In 1988, three independent teams of scientists performed radiocarbon dating tests on the Turin Shroud
which indicated that the fabric was made during the Middle Ages; yet careful biblical study would have easily proven that the Shroud of Turin
is no more than a Catholic heresy and a hoax.
Why is the Shroud a Fake?
Three reasons why the Shroud of Turin is a fake and not an authentic biblical artifact:
The Turin Shroud is just one
piece of rectangular cloth.
The Bible tells us that after His crucifixion, Jesus' body was wrapped with strips of linen cloth
(not one big piece), and His head was covered in a separate cloth
. At the tomb following Christ's resurrection, Peter found that "the napkin, that was about his head, [was] not lying with the linen clothes, but [was] wrapped together in a place by itself"
(John 20:7). Clearly, the body linens (Greek: othonion
) and the napkin or head cloth (Greek: soudarion
) were separate linen pieces. The pile of linens was discovered by Peter at the tomb. "Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass"
The Shroud of Turin, on the other hand, is just one piece of rectangular cloth like a large curtain or bed sheet which would have completely covered a body in one piece from head to toe. Therefore, it is impossible for it to be the actual burial linen of Christ since there were at least several pieces of linen used in His burial. Note the similarities to the burial clothes of Lazarus: "And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, 'Loose him, and let him go'"
The Turin Shroud is not coated
with a mixture of myrrh and
In accordance with Jewish burial custom, Jesus' burial linens were coated with a mixture of myrrh and aloes. "And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury"
(John 19:39-40). This mixture of myrrh and aloes would dry rock-hard like shellac, producing a stiff, solid cocoon.
In contrast, the Shroud of Turin was never saturated with a mixture of myrrh and aloes. If it had been, it would be stiff and inflexible like a potato chip and not soft and foldable as it is today.
The Turin Shroud depicts a
man whose image is quite
The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ was brutally beaten to the point of being unrecognizable. In fact, "his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men"
On the contrary, the image on the Shroud of Turin is quite recognizable and does not look as though the man had endured severe beatings (see Isaiah 50:6, 53:5; Matthew 26:67, 27:29-30).
A Work by Leonardo da Vinci?
There have been a number of television documentaries on the Turin Shroud over the years. One BBC program in particular subjected the shroud to computer-generated image analysis and concluded that it indeed had been draped over a body. A later program speculated that the shroud might be the work of Leonardo da Vinci (since the shroud was dated approximately to his time) but puzzled over the presence of egg white in the dark areas of the image. This suggests that Leonardo da Vinci might actually have made the world's earliest photograph! Egg white is an important element of crude photographic emulsions, so it is not too far-fetched to imagine Leonardo creating this image by coating a piece of cloth and then draping it over a suitable volunteer (maybe even himself!), and then standing in the sunlight for a time until the image formed.
As you can see, the Shroud of Turin is easily revealed as a fraud and an imposter when the facts mentioned above are taken into consideration. Whether the Shroud of Turin is a true antique burial cloth or just an artistic forgery, rest assured that it is not
the burial clothing of Jesus Christ.
No one has conclusively determined whose image is on the cloth, yet the fraud persists. As long as people continue to venerate and chase after so-called relics such as this one, the Catholic church will be perfectly content to make a profit by hiding the truth. They would rather have people worship objects than the One Who continually said, "Have faith in Me." The Bible says that a disciple of Jesus is to "study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth"
(II Timothy 2:15). Those who know the Word of God will not be so easily taken by the emotional attraction of mere artifacts.