According to the latest reports, there’s a recently published book giving evidence that the Shroud of Turin is not, after all, a medieval forgery. It could, in fact, date from the time of Christ’s death.
Scientists at the University of Padua in northern Italy have dated the shroud a few centuries before and after the life of Christ (300 BC and 400 AD). The tests have no doubt revived the debate about the true origins of one of Christianity’s most prized relics. I can hear the skeptics getting started already.
Many people believe that the 14ft-long linen cloth, which carries the imprint of the face and body of a bearded man was used as was the custom at the time, to bury Christ’s body when he was lifted down from the cross.
The Vatican has never said whether it believes the shroud to be authentic or not, although Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI did say that the enigmatic image in the cloth “reminds us always” of Christ’s suffering.
The most recent analysis is published in a new book, “Il Mistero della Sindone” (The Mystery of the Shroud), authored by Giulio Fanti, a professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at Padua University, and also by journalist Saverio Gaeta.
The scientists used infra-red light and spectroscopy (the measurement of radiation intensity through wavelengths) to analyze fibers from the shroud, which is kept in a special climate-controlled case in Turin.
Mr Fanti said that his results were the result of 15 years of research.
A previous study in 1988, conducted by laboratories in Oxford, Zurich and Arizona, declared the shroud to be a clever medieval fake dating it from 1260 to 1390. However, those results were, in turn, disputed on the basis that they had been skewed by contamination from fibers of cloth used to repair the relic when it was damaged by fire in the Middle Ages.
A viewing of the The Shroud of Turin, thought by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, is reported to be televised today, Holy Saturday on Italian State TV, It is said to be former Pope Benedict XVI’s parting gift to the Catholic Church.
Click on the video below to learn more about the telecast. Also click on Il Mistero della Sindone to learn more about the book.