Since it first popped up on history’s radar hundreds of years ago, the Shroud of Turin has captivated scientists, the public, and people of God worldwide. The linen is viewed by some as the burial Shroud of Jesus Christ and others as a medieval forgery.
The story of the piece of cloth is an age-old tale that threads together a centuries-old debate about a religious artifact that has survived fires and a series of perils across a journey through history.
The first gaze upon the mysterious relic resembles a Rorschach’s test of damage dating back hundreds if not thousands of years.
Zoom in a little closer, though, and the faint image of a tortured and crucified man comes into focus. Look longer, and the serene face of that man becomes clear.
“It seems so peaceful in comparison to the violence that you see all over the rest of the body,” said Brian Hyland, an exhibit curator at the Museum of the Bible.
In an interview with CBN News, Hyland said that “there have been questions about the veracity of this image ever since its first documented appearance in the late 14th century.”
In 1988, carbon testing dated the Shroud back to medieval times. That test has repeatedly been called into question by various experts.
“The only single sample they took did not represent anywhere else on the cloth because it had been manipulated,” said Barrie Schwortz, a Jewish photographer based in Colorado who was called upon to photograph the Shroud in the 1970s.
Now, a new scientific procedure dates fabric from the Shroud to roughly 2,000 years ago. That Italian study is just the latest in a long series of scientific testing, including studies of pollen plucked from the Shroud with a scientific tape dispenser.
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