Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Shroud of Turin

Author: Rachel Proctor 


 Jesus of Nazareth was a man who some believed to be the son of God, and others believed to be a fraud. Because proclaiming to be the son of God was extremely unacceptable, he was crucified and buried in a tomb. Three days after his burial the body had vanished leaving only the linen cloth. Some believe that perhaps the body was stolen. Others who believe he was the Son of God hold to the belief of him being raised from the dead. No matter where someone stand on this argument one item seems to puzzles both sides and has for some time; the Shroud of Turin.
The Shroud of Turin

The Shroud is an ancient linen cloth that conveys the image of a crucified man. Many believe that the man pictured is Jesus of Nazareth, and that the cloth is actually the piece of linen that wrapped his body in his burial tomb. Many questions have come up concerning it through the years. Is it really the cloth that wrapped his crucified body, or is it simply a medieval forgery by some con artist? Modern science has completed many hours of detailed study and intense research on the Shroud. It is the most studied artifact in human history. And yet, the controversy of the story behind this centuries-old cloth still rages.

Some don’t believe that the Shroud was the actual burial cloth of Jesus because of its ornate material. Instead, they believe it was the table cloth used at the last supper. Some studies show that some of the stains on one side of the Shroud may be wine stains, which leads them to believe it wasn’t a burial cloth at all. Though this theory is possible, historians reveal that most food back in that time was eaten from a bare table with no table cloths even on special occasions.  
Another argument brought up by doubting specters is found in John 19:38-42 of the Bible. This verse explains that Jesus’ body was wrapped in linen cloths (plural). The Shroud is only one piece of cloth and no other cloths have been found that are like it. Researchers who truly believe in the authenticity of the Shroud argue that in the original Greek translations of this verse the plural isn’t necessarily stressed as much as it is in English. Some words in Greek are translated into English by making the words a different tense then they were in the original manuscripts.

One of the most commonly asked questions about the Shroud of Turin is if DNA testing has ever been done on the piece of cloth. Several years ago DNA testing was done on the cloth but no real answers have ever been officially recognized because of the questionable samples and methods that were used to carry out this process. Though the results are not official, the results showed that the blood came from an adult male body. DNA was hard to retrieve, however, because of the age and fragility of the cloth. Questions continue to be asked about this interesting artifact and have been for some time. With so much evidence for and against its authenticity, I’m sure many questions will always go unanswered.

Works Cited:
Carroll, Robert T. "shroud of Turin - Skepdic.com." The Skeptic's Dictionary. N.p., 26 May 2012. Web. 25 Oct. 2012. <http://skepdic.com/shroud.html>.

Links for Further Research:

“shroud of Turin – Skepdic.com” 
http://skepdic.com/shroud.html
This website provides detailed information about The Shroud of Turin starting from its history and ending with recent studies.

“jewishencyclepedia.com”
http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/8616-jesus-of-nazareth
This online encyclopedia gives in depth information on who Jesus and how he impacted history.

“theshroudofturin.com”
http://www.shroud.com/
This website is the official page for the Shroud of Turin and answers some of the questions many people ask about the artifact.