For years it has been said that the shroud of Turin is a fake, now scientists have found evidence that it could after all be authentic. And, let’s face the fact that we will always have the believers, the non-believers, those who want it to be a fake no matter what, and those who are afraid that it might be real…

Typically, some article headlines are designed to make a visual impact but are actually misleading, such as, “Italian study claims Turin Shroud is Christ’s Authentic Burial Robe” or “Turin Shroud ‘was created by flash of supernatural light': It couldn’t be a medieval forgery, say scientists”  The second part of the latter headline appears to be closer to what the scientists have found to be true—It’s not a forgery because there was no technology around in medieval times to plant such a hoax and it’s definitely not painted.

What the scientists have found is yet another piece of a puzzle that has kept humanity wondering for centuries.  The double image (which can be likened to the negative image of a photographs), has staining that is impossible to obtain in a laboratory. Scientists set out to “identify the physical and chemical processes capable of generating a colour similar to that of the image on the Shroud.” They concluded that the image on the cloth could only be produced by “some form of electromagnetic energy (such as a flash of light at short wavelength).” The scientists also said that their research had not ended and would continue to put pieces of a “fascinating and complex scientific puzzle” together.

The US team of experts comprises: nuclear physicists, thermal chemists, biophysicists and forensic pathologists—an impressive bunch. And, after testing for 120 hours with X-rays and ultraviolet light tests on the shroud came to the conclusion that the marks were not made by paints, pigments, or dyes, at the hands of an artist. At the same time, the shroud could not be explained by modern science, so it’s probably safe to say the shroud of Turin is still a mystery.

What can’t be denied is the shroud does manifest the image of a man’s body consistent with the biblical description of  the nail wounds to his wrists (not the palms) and feet, evidence of scourging, marks from thorns around his forehead, and a spear wound to his chest.

The History Channel has produced a video called The Real Face of Jesus, which demonstrates how a team of graphic experts used 3D technology to bring a holy relic known as “The Shroud of Turin” to what the person actually looked like. What they did was recreate the actual image from the negative on the shroud. I’ve viewed the video can tell you that I think the process is amazing.

What I also found amazing was the comments section at the end of the article in the British Telegraph online newspaper. With few exceptions the numerous opinions ranged from very nasty to ridiculous. A couple of people said that the image could not be Christ because the man in the shroud looks European.  I’ve seen the History Channel movie presentation The Real Face of Jesus? And, in my opinion, the image is not European.

Assuming the image is authentic, the ongoing question may forever be: Is it the image on the shroud that of Jesus, or a man who suffered a similar fate?

Click on the Telegraph to read the article and the comments.

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