In April 21, 1988, ten years later, carbon dating was done on the Shroud by Professor Robert Hedges of Oxford University. On October 13, 1988, the results stunned the world. In a press conference at the British Museum, where spokesman Teddy Hole proudly proclaimed that the Shroud was a fake, dated from the years 1260 to 1390 AD. The news spread like wildfire, dousing the fervor of millions of Christians worldwide, who regarded the Shroud as the relic of all relics, the most powerful symbol of Christ’s suffering. Photo 1 shows the original photograph of the Turin Shroud that awed the world.
STURP proved that the carbon dating was THE hoax, not the Shroud. First, it subjected the cloth to ultraviolet, infrared and x-ray imaging to disprove the claim of skeptics that the images were a ‘painting’. There were no lead or pigments present. It was not the work of an artist. In fact, forensic pathologist Fred Zugibe said the stains came from ‘real blood’ of a human. The images further revealed that blood had flowed from the forehead and scalp down the sides of the face, hinting that a crown of thorns was forced into the head.
The most damning evidence against carbon dating was the location of the sample. After a long debate, the carbon-dating team chose one ‘corner’ of the Shroud, the worst place to choose. The corners were the most handled part when the Shroud was strung up for display in 1578 in the public square at the Alpine town of Stenberry for many weeks. Bacteria-laden hands degraded the corners of the cloth. The ‘owner’ of the Shroud, Emmanuel Filberto, allowed the display for weeks for huge crowds, exposing it to sunlight and dust, nullifying further the carbon dating. Carbon dating is a sensitive process. The cloth, subjected to heat, nullifies carbon date.
In 6th century AD, precious relics in a silver ark under lock and key were moved from Jerusalem to a cathedral in Oviedo in Northern Spain, due to a Persian invasion. One item in the ark was a SUDERIUM, full of blood and bodily fluids. A ‘suderium’ was a poor-quality type of linen, which, according to Jewish tradition, was wrapped around the face of a dead man being prepared for burial to catch the blood and prevent dripping. A CHEMICAL ANALYSIS OF THE BLOOD ON THE SUDERIUM IN THE ARK MATCHED THE BLOOD ON THE SHROUD. The Shroud revealed marks from multiple lacerations numbering about 100, believed to be done by scourging with the use of a whip having leather strips with metal balls or bones at the end. Professor Steven Matingly said that blood stains indeed created the image on the cloth. He simulated an elaborate experiment to show that blood on the bacteria-laden face formed images on the cloth, especially on the protruding eyebrows. He said this is a ‘natural event’, not a miracle.
The complex controversies surrounding the Shroud among believers and skeptics are based on centuries of Church history, such as the rise if the Knights Templar during the days of the Crusades and the invasion by the Saracens of the Holy Land. The Shroud found its final resting place in Turin, Italy, four centuries ago. The triumph of the Shroud as an authentic relic of all relics over those who were looking for a hoax and inadvertently ‘created’ a hoax in the process, exemplifies how Christ prevails over the machinations of men.
It is the work of the devil, to discredit the greatest relic of all relics showing the intimate physical form of the Messiah. The Shroud is not just a relic. It is a profound message to Mankind from Christ that indeed He died for us and for our sins.
(Data and photo source courtesy of the PBS-funded documentary SECRETS OF THE SHROUD, 49 minutes, 2004, Pioneer Productions / WNET New York, script and direction by Alex Hearle.)
eastwind posters photo 1 shroud face of Jesus photo 2 water marks p241 john 3-16