When I was about 6 years old in a Scottish Sunday School class one of the teachers was showing our little group a picture of Jesus riding on a donkey into Jerusalem. She then pointed to the golden haired image in the picture and told us that this was Jesus. And in an “out of the mouth of babes” moment, I piped up with the comment, “That’s not Jesus.” The teacher looked astonished and I’m told she was probably amazed because I finally opened my mouth and said something. The 6 year old was probably confused by seeing so many different artistic impressions of Jesus.

When the two-hour History Channel video became available, showing how up-to-date technology was used to uncover what could be the real face of Jesus on the Shroud of Turin, many people appeared to doubt not so much that the images pulled out by modern science could be the face of Jesus they didn’t want to see it because it wouldn’t be the right thing to do.

Father Jonathan Morris, catholic priest and author said clearly in the video, “There’s a long tradition in Christian theology and Christian history of seeking the face of Christ—of wanting to know what he was like as a man,” and in an interview said, “God becoming man is the great story of Christianity, we don’t believe in an idea, we believe in a man.” So why not see the real image or the possibility of what Christ actually looked like. “Possibility” being the operative word here and it is certainly within the realms of possibility.

The Shroud of Turin has a very controversial past and was declared false in the 1988. Since then  articles have been published claiming that the samples used for the dating test may not have been representative of the entire shroud.

The video itself is a compelling production and clearly explains the process used by the team of computer artists lead by Ray Downing from Studio MacBeth.  With the use of the latest technology (a miracle in itself) MacBeth and his team uncovered what might be the real true face of Jesus. It’s a truly remarkable effort.

For me there was great significance in Secondo Pia’s discovery (mentioned in the video) in May 1898 that the shroud was actually a negative image. Of course, he was accused manipulating the photograph but was received validation in 1931 when another photographer Guiseppe Enrie was permitted to photograph the shroud with the same result.

I think from the video production you learn, if the image in the shroud wasn’t Jesus of Nazareth, then that the man imprinted on the shroud did, according to the gospels, suffer crucifixion in exactly the same way as Jesus including the scourging and the crown of thorns.

In 1997, a botanist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem identified a species of Chrysanthemum whose image was pressed on the shroud and first reported in 1985 fromm the photographs taken of the shroud in 1931. It was reported that the outlines of the flowers would point to the March or April environs of Jerusalem. A Swiss criminologist who first obtained the pollen from the shroud during the Shroud of Turin Research Project investigation (STURP) reported that of the 58 different types of pollens found, 45were from the Jerusalem area the rest came from the Middle East, Constantinople and Edessa. As you might know, there was posturing among the ranks with a professional proclaiming that the Swiss gentleman was an amateur and, therefore, not qualified. This observation, however, only applies to the pollen and not to the floral images.

In spite of all that has been revealed through modern technology the origins of the shroud and its image will continue to be the subject of intense debate among experts in science, theology, history and other types of research.

If the Shroud of Turin is a “Middle Ages” fake, then those folks must have been technologically savvy to produce a negative image on a piece of cloth.

What is real is the fact that cutting-edge technology has uncovered the image on the Shroud of Turin.

Is it the real face of Jesus? That’s up to you to decide.

I’ve added the following link for further exploration there are many more:


Enjoy the You Tube video:

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2 Comments on The real face of Jesus—Yes or No?

  1. M. Brewster says:

    I saw the DVD version and it’s really amazing how they managed to pull the information from the shroud. You actually pointed out something I didn’t notice and that’s the question of how the negative image appeared on the cloth. I’m going to watch the video again.

  2. J. Bell says:

    This is an great post. I saw all the TV advertising a few months ago and never followed up. You brought out some great points.

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