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New Study Negates Shroud of Turin’s Age

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A new scientific study places the burial linen cloth of Jesus of Nazareth, the Shroud of Turin, eight hundred years later and well into the Middle Ages. The 14th century revered relic is a keystone within Catholic history not without controversial skepticism.

John Jackson, a physics lecturer at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, has convinced scientists who performed the age tests on the cloth housed in Turin, Italy, since in the 1500s to consider his suggestion that those tests may have been faulty, according to a report in the Denver Post.

The cloth long has posed mysteries because of its age and its negative image of a bloodstained and battered man who had been crucified. Believers claim it to be the miraculous image of Jesus, formed as he rose from the dead.

That theory, however, took a serious blow in the late 1980s when scientists including those at an Oxford University laboratory performed the age-dating process on a fragment of the material and came up with the results that it was no older than the 13th or 14th century, more than a millennium after New Testament times.

The Catholic Encyclopedia notes:

An animated controversy followed and it must be admitted that though the immense preponderance of opinion among learned Catholics (see the statement by P.M. Baumgarten in the “Historiches Jahrbuch”, 1903, pp. 319-43) was adverse to the authenticity of the relic, still the violence of many of its assailants prejudiced their own cause. In particular the suggestion made of blundering or bad faith on the part of those who photographed were quite without excuse. From the scientific point of view, however, the difficulty of the “negative” impression on the cloth is not so serious as it seems. This Shroud like the others was probably painted without fraudulent intent to aid the dramatic setting of the Easter sequence:

Dic nobis Maria, quid vidisti in via
Angelicos testes, sudarium et vestes.

As the word sudarium suggested, it was painted to represent the impression made by the sweat of Christ, i.e. probably in a yellowish tint upon unbrilliant red. This yellow stain would turn brown in the course of centuries, the darkening process being aided by the effects of fire and sun. Thus, the lights of the original picture would become the shadow of Paleotto’s reproduction of the images on the shroud is printed in two colours, pale yellow and red. As for the good proportions and √¶sthetic effect, two things may be noted. First, that it is highly probable that the artist used a model to determine the length and position of the limbs, etc.; the representation no doubt was made exactly life size. Secondly, the impressions are only known to us in photographs so reduced, as compared with the original, that the crudenesses, aided by the softening effects of time, entirely disappear.

Lastly, the difficulty must be noticed that while the witnesses of the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries speak of the image as being then so vivid that the blood seemed freshly shed, it is now darkened and hardly recognizable without minute attention. On the supposition that this is an authentic relic dating from the year A.D. 30, why should it have retained its brilliance through countless journeys and changes of climate for fifteen centuries, and then in four centuries more have become almost invisible? On the other hand if it be a fabrication of the fifteenth century this is exactly what we should expect.

The Catholic Church does not require Catholics to believe in relics.

First Class Relics On Sale At Ebay.

Ebay’s Policy On Selling Relics


2 Responses

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  1. There is some historic evidence that the Shroud of Turin is actually a shroud used to cover the tortured body of Jacques de Molay, the last Grandmaster of the Knights Templar who was tortured to confess to supposed heretical actions of the Knights. This would put the Shroud’s dating where it should be as tested and de Molay was wrapped in a shroud and told to “resurrect yourself”. The shroud was then washed and kept by the family of one of the Knights who nursed de Molay back to health. Both de Molay and the other Knight recanted their confessions 8 years later and were executed. The figure on the shroud has the same injuries detailed by the Inquisitors and also has the same forked beard that de Molay had as well as other facial similarities. I don’t know if this is for sure the answer to the shroud, but the Church’s reluctance regarding the shroud makes me think that they may have an idea that this is where the shroud came from. Anyway, I thought you might find this of interest


    May 22, 2008 at 12:14 pm

  2. To read more about Jacques de Molay and the Shroud of Turin legend, go to:


    May 22, 2008 at 12:17 pm

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