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What is the Shroud of Turin?

January 17, 2013
Owensville High School

What is the Shroud of Turin?

Brittni Cebulak

The Shroud of Turin is a “centuries old linen cloth that bears the image of a crucified man,” which millions of people believe to be Jesus of Nazareth. Still, others believe that the image pressed on the linen was a misleading forgery or hoax of some kind. The shroud has been subjected to many tests over the years, and in 1988 it went through radiocarbon dating in order to confirm or refute its authenticity. Still, despite all of the scientific inquiry, the shroud remains a mystery.

The Shroud of Turin first surfaces in history in the 6th century, where there were reports of the image of Christ found in the city walls ofEdessa,Turkey. In 944, the shroud was transported to Constantinople, displayed in a church in France in 1357, damaged by fire in 1532, and was moved to the royal chapel at Turin, Italy, where it has remained ever since.

There are blood stains on the Shroud of Turin that are synonymous to the wounds from the brutal beating Jesus was said to have taken in the Bible prior to his crucifixion, and testing has revealed that the blood stains are real blood—not the iron-oxide paint skeptics believe had been used by some unnamed hoaxer.

When the Shroud of Turin was carbon dated, it was said to have been dated from 1260—1390 C.E., which would have been the 14th century—hundreds of years after the time of Jesus. This finding only seemed to reaffirm the skeptics that the shroud was indeed the work of a medieval hoax artist. Still, true believers believe that the sample of the shroud taken for dating had been contaminated in some way and that the results were not accurate. Indeed, organic material on the cloth from a volcanic eruption could have caused a “margin of error” of 1400 years; also, some believe that the 1532 fire, along with reparation attempts, could have compromised the accuracy of the shroud’s dating.

The image on the shroud is a shadowy profile of a man that appears to have long hair and a beard; believers of the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin claim that the image was formed during the Resurrection in which Jesus was said to raise from the dead three days after his crucifixion. Is it truly Jesus Christ? Perhaps the world will never know. Still, that will not stop those from believing full heartedly in the legend if they have already chosen to do so; likewise, others will not be restricted in their adamant disbelief of the shroud’s authenticity if their gut instinct tells them it is a hoax. Either way, there is no denying that the Shroud of Turin is a world-famous artifact that has been continually drawing attention to itself for hundreds of years.  


Sources: http://www.shroud.com/




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