What Jesus really looked like, the real face of Jesus
What Jesus really looked like may not be as in the portraits of Jesus we see everyday. The real Jesus face and the best picture of Jesus is the photo of Jesus we get from the miracle image on the burial clothes of Jesus known as the Shroud of Turin. This is what Jesus actually looked like and is an original photo of Jesus, the real face of Jesus. In modern language it will be a 'Jesus Selfie', the world's first selfie taken by Jesus himself
What is the Shroud of Turin
The Shroud of Turin is an ancient Jewish burial cloth believed by millions to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. There is a very faint image on the cloth which when photographed, gives the photo shown above. The Shroud of Turin is the most researched piece of cloth in the history of mankind, and yet, no one has been able to offer an explanation of how such a perfect photographic image could be formed on an ancient linen cloth.
Shown above is a picture of what the shroud of Turin looks like when it is completely stretched out to its full length of 14 feet 3 inches (4.4 Meter) and width of 3 feet 7 inches (1.1 Meter). These dimensions are exactly 8 cubits x 2 cubits, the unit of measurement used in ancient Israel, and is based on the length of the forearm from the bottom of the elbow to the end of the middle finger tip.
The ancient linen cloth of the Turin Shroud is yellowed with age and on it is a very faint image of the frontal and back view of a full human body. The Giulio Clovio painting below shows how a burial shroud was used for burial 2000 years ago, during the time of Jesus. The entombment or burial using a burial cloth, was the custom in those ancient days. This explains the formation of images with frontal and back views in the two halves of the cloth.
Recent DNA studies on dust vacuumed from the back of the shroud during the 2002 restoration and changing of the backing reinforcement cloth of the Shroud and during the 1978 Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), has revealed many interesting facts about the Shroud of Turin. One of these intersting facts from the DNA analysis of the Shroud dust is that the Shroud cloth could have been made in India. The fact that the Italian name for the Shroud is 'Sindone' reinforces this theory, because the word 'Sindone' so closely matches the Indian name 'Sindia' or 'Sindien' for such linen fabric. Also the 3-over-1 herringbone pattern of weaving of the Shroud of Turin was practiced in India during the time of Jesus and was the most expensive type of linen cloth of the time.
The image on the Turin Shroud is not clear when you look at it directly. But when the negative image on the cloth is turned into a positive image, you get a perfect photo, far superior to any photo taken with modern day cameras. As explained below, the Shroud picture produces a 3D image with a NASA instrument. Many photos taken with the best of modern day cameras could not get this 3D effect on this NASA instrument.
The very first photo of the Turin Shroud was taken in 1898, and the photographer could not believe his eyes when he saw the negative of the photograph. The news of this perfect positive photo from the image on the Shroud of Turin, hit world headlines and from then onwards the Shroud of Turin has been subject of many scientific tests as detailed below.
The Shroud of Turin is kept in the Royal Chapel of the ex-kings of Italy in the city of Turin from the year 1578 onwards. Since the holy Shroud is preserved and kept in Turin, in the Royal Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy, it is commonly called the 'Shroud of Turin' or the 'Turin Shroud'.
History of the Shroud of Turin
Before the year 1578 historical facts traces this cloth back to France, then to Constantinople (now renamed as ‘Istanbul’), then back to the city of Edessa (now ‘Urfa’ in Turkey) where the Shroud was found hidden in the city wall in the year 525 AD. Before this several historical documents point to The Holy Shroud being given to King Abgar of Edessa (an independent kingdom aligned with the Kingdom of Parthia during the time of Jesus) by the Apostles of Jesus - St. Thomas and a newly appointed appostle, Thaddaeus (Addai). ....More from our Shroud History page
First Photograph of the Shroud of Turin
More than one hundred years ago, on 28th May, 1898 an amateur Italian photographer, Mr. Secondo Pia, took the first photograph of the image on the Shroud of Turin. He was startled by the resulting negative on which was a perfect positive image of a very noble looking man.
The photos below show on the left: what the actual image on the cloth looks like and on the right: what the negative of the image on the Shroud fo Turin looks like. The photo on the right is a negative of the negative image on the shroud, thus a negative of a negative, that is 2 negatives, gives a positive.
Ever since Mr. Secondo Pia took the first photograph of the shroud in 1898, the Shroud of Turin has been the subject of intense scientific study. A negative image is what appeared on developed films (negatives) back in the days of 35mm photography. No one could understand how a perfect, full length negative image of a human body could be imprinted on an ancient piece of linen cloth. Scientists found it difficult to accept the fact that it was a miracle, but to date no one has been able to find an explanation. When the scientists did investigations with very modern sophisticated instruments, even more surprising facts emerged. They discovered that the image on this ancient cloth is more than just an ordinary photo negative, it also has digital information from which 3D images could be made. Many other surprising facts about the Shroud of Turin were also discovered, as detailed below.
Normally a photo captures the reflected light bouncing off the subject being photographed. This means that there will always be some areas with shadows on the photo, like on the eyes or behind the nose. The Shroud photo has absolutely no shadows; it is as if the light originated from the body of the subject, and radiated out of the body itself to form the image.
Digital 3D data on the Shroud of Turin image
A few years after the invention of photography, the first revelation of the miraculous photographic quality of the Holy Shroud occurred in 1898 when Mr. Secondo Pia took the first photograph of the Holy Shroud. With the advent of the Digital Age, the second revelation of the miraculous digital qualities of the Holy Shroud occurred in 1976, when American Physicist John Jackson and colleague Bill Mottern scanned a Shroud photograph on a VP-8 digital image analyser. The VP-8 image analyser is an instrument used by NASA (the American Government space agency which sends rockets into space and made men walk on the moon) to convert photos of the surfaces of Planets like the Moon and Mars into topographical maps – that is to make three dimensional - 3D maps showing mountains and valleys. The VP-8 image analyser produced a perfect 3D image of the shroud photo. These scientists had tried many other photos, before and after, on the VP-8 to get a 3D result, but they never got a 3D result with any photo except from the Holy Shroud Jesus photo. The results on the Shroud were so spectacular, that these hard core scientists are convinced that it is a miraculous image of Jesus Christ. Seen below is the 3D image created on the VP-8 image analyser.
Why Shroud of Turin gives 3D digital image on NASA VP-8
Why the Shroud of Turin is able to produce such a detailed 3D digital image is because the image was formed on the Shroud of Turin by light emitted from within the body of Jesus. Normally a photo captures the reflected light bouncing off the subject being photographed. This means that there will always be some areas with shadows on the photo, like on the eyes or behind the nose. The Shroud photo has absolutely no shadows; it is because the light originated from the body of the subject, and radiated out of the body itself to form the image. That is why normal photos, even the very best, even pin hole camera images cannot form images without shadows. This is an interesting article about the Shroud of Turin digital image on NASA VP-8 image analyser
Sudarium of Oviedo compared to Shroud of Turin
In the bible mention is made of another cloth used in the burial of Jesus. To quote from the Bible - John 20:5-7 New International Version (NIV):
"“He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen.”" (John 20:6-7)
The linen cloth refers to the Shroud of Turin, while the other cloth refers to the Sudarium of Oviedo.
The Sudarium of Oviedo has resided in the Cathedral of Oviedo in Spain since the 8th century. This small 2 feet 9 inch by 1 feet 9 inch (83x53 centimeters), blood stained piece of linen cloth, is revered as one of the burial cloths mentioned in the Gospel of St. John. The Sudarium of Oviedo is traditionally held to be the cloth that covered the head of Jesus.
The Sudarium's existence and presence in Spain is well documented since the seventh century. Before this, historical evidence trace the location of the Sudarium to Jerusalem since the first centaury AD.
Forensic analysis of the bloodstains on the Shroud and the Sudarium reveal that both cloths covered the same head at nearly the same time. Based on the bloodstain patterns, the Sudarium would have been placed on the man's head while he was in a vertical position, presumably while still hanging on the cross.
A 1999 study by the Spanish Center for Sindonology, investigated the relationship between the two cloths: The Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo. Based on history, forensic pathology, blood chemistry (both the Shroud and the Sudarium have type AB blood stains), and the blood stain patterns being exactly similar and congruent on both cloths, they concluded that the two cloths covered the same head at two distinct, but close moments of time.
To quote from the Wikipedia article "Using infrared and ultraviolet photography and electron microscopy, researches of the University of Valencia for the Spanish Centre for Sindonology showed that that the Sudarium of Oviedo has touched the same face as the Shroud of Turin, but at different stages after the death of the person. The Oviedo Cloth covered the face from the moment of death until replaced by the Turin Shroud. The bloodstains on both cloths are of the blood type AB. The length of the nose is the same (8 centimeters or 3 inches). Pollen samples from the both cloths match each other – one example is samples from the thorn bush Gundelia tournefortii, which is indigenous to the Holy Land". ....Read More
Carbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin
In 1988, a small piece of cloth was cut from one of the corners of the Shroud and divided into postage stamp size pieces and given to 3 reputed International labs to do a Carbon Dating Test to determine the age of the Shroud. The results from all 3 labs said that the cloth was dated between the years 1260 and 1390. Later on it was proved that there was an error in the carbon dating dates due to the samples being taken from the corners of the Shroud which had repair threads in it and not being of the same composition as the main body of the Shroud cloth. ......More from our page on Shroud Carbon dating
The existence of many paintings and gold coins, from first centaury onwards, with the unmistakable image of the Shroud of Turin, proves beyond doubt that the Carbon dating dates between 1260 and 1390, is wrong. For details of the old Turin Shroud paintings and Gold coins in existence from the first centaury AD see our page Evidence and Proof Shroud of Turin is genuine and authentic.
The blaring irregularities in how the Carbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin was conducted, leads us to believe that it was a deliberate attempt to discredit the holiest of holy Christian relic, the Shroud of Turin.
Proof Shroud of Turin is genuine and not a fake
Many amazing facts have emerged on detailed scanning of the Shroud of Turin with modern technologies like UV scanning, etc. which prove that the Shroud of Turin is genuine and not a fake.Most of the eminent scientists, who conducted these experiments, actually started out believing that the Shroud of Turin is a fake. But, on seeing the unexplainable phenomena of the Shroud of Turin image, many of them are now the most vociferous supporters of the Shroud being the genuine burial cloth of Jesus, and that the image thereon, is a miraculous picture of Jesus Christ. Here is a list of the most outstanding features of the Shroud of Turin which proove that it is the genuine burial cloth of Jesus:
List of the most outstanding features of the Shroud of Turin
- Scourging or whip lash marks on the body consistent with a flogging with a Roman flagrum, a short whip of leather with the ends tipped with bits of lead or other metal or bone pieces, which tore into flesh and muscle.
- Piercing marks of a crown of thorns on the head as described in the bible.
- Presence of Roman coin from the time of Jesus, placed over his eyes – this was a custom at the time of Jesus.
- Pollen found on the Shroud from flowers of variety of plants growing only in the Jerusalem Area. Other pollen confirms a historical trail from Jerusalem to Turin.
- Soil particles similar to soil in Jerusalem, below the foot imprint on the Shroud and Travertine limestone particles from the cave tombs in Jerusalem all over the shroud.
- The rare hand weaving of the Shroud cloth traced to be of first century Middle East origin. Similar burial shrouds from 1st century AD have been found in Masada, an ancient Jewish fortress, which confirms it to be a genuine Jewish burial cloth.
- The nails are driven through the wrists rather than the palm of the hand. The general belief now and in the Middle Ages was that the nails were driven through the palm of the hand. Skeletons from first centaury AD of crucified victims, discovered in the Jerusalem area have the nails through the wrist. Also modern Science supports the fact that the weight of the body could not be held upright on the cross if the nails were driven through the palm of the hand.
- Digital info on the Shroud of Turin in the form of Dark and light areas being proportional to distance and able to produce perfect 3D images on NASA VP8 instrument.
- The style of weave and materials used in the linen cloth of the Shroud of Turin is an exact match of Shroud materials found in the Jewish Masada fort and dated from 40 BC to 73 AD.
Can the Shroud of Turin be duplicated
Even though many modern scientists, photographers and painters have tried to make duplicate Shroud of Turin, no one has succeeded nor has come anywhere close to the perfect negative image on the Shroud of Turin. Remember that the Shroud of Turin is an ancient linen cloth, and even today the best scientists have no idea as to how the image was formed on the Shroud, nor able to duplicate it. If the holy Shroud were a fake, then a forger, sometime before the year 1578 (the year the holy shroud came to be kept with utmost care in Turin), produced a masterpiece that not a single modern man has been able to duplicate.
Just imagine the supposed forger doing the following
- He gets a large piece of cloth with the exact same weaving which was prevalent in the Middle East during the First Century AD. Such a piece of cloth would not have been available in Europe more than 1000 years after such weaving disappeared in Asia. Also the forger did not have to go to the trouble of getting a genuine first century Jewish burial cloth, since at that time no one in Europe would have known what a Jewish burial cloth would look like.
- He then somehow manages to put on the cloth, perfect full size human negative photographic image with digital information on it. He manages to imprint this photographic image without any shadows and with digital information to give 3D images on a NASA instrument used to make 3D maps of the planets.
- He includes details not visible to human eyes, like the scourge marks of a first century Roman whip known as a flagrum, the crown of thorns on the head and puts Roman Coins from the time of Jesus over the eyes. These facts only came to be seen recently with modern UV scanners and other sophisticated instruments.
- He also decided to put on the Shroud, flower pollen found only in Jerusalem and from Constantinople and other areas (the routes which the Shroud took on its journey from Jerusalem to reach Turin). The presence of these pollens was only found recently by modern criminologists using very high magnification electron microscopes.
- He added human blood stains to the fake shroud to be exactly similar in shape, size and in congruence with the blood stains on the Sudarium of Oviedo. In those days no one in Europe, except in the region surrounding Oviedo in Spain, knew about the existence of the Sudarium of Oviedo. He even used the rare type AB human blood group, the same as that on the Sudarium of Oviedo, for the stains on this fake shroud. Remember, in those days no one knew about blood groups and had no means of knowing whether dried blood was human or from animals.
- Also, for good measure, he puts on the Shroud some soil particles from the Jerusalem area.
Considering all this, it is impossible for a forger, even the most cleverest, to have made such a Shroud. Modern scientists, even the cleverest scientists of today, from the leading research institutions of the world, are unable to understand or explain how the image on the Shroud was formed.
Claims that Leonardo Da Vinci made the Shroud of Turin
Some people claim that the great medieval artist and scientist, Leonardo Da Vinci, of having made the shroud. They even called it the 'Da Vinci Shroud' and aired programmes on Discovery Channel. Their argument were based on the similarity of his paintings with the image on the holy Shroud.
The claim that Leonardo Da Vinci made the Shroud of Turin is based on the fact that many of his paintings could be overlaid on the Shroud image to give exact matches. But it is quite possible that Leonardo Da Vinci must have seen the image on the holy Shroud and, being impressed with the noble image on the holy Shroud, made his paintings using the Shroud image as the model. Da Vinci was not the first one to make paintings using the holy Shroud image as the model.
In 525 AD, the holy Shroud was discovered hidden above a gate in Edessa's city walls. Six years later, an icon (a religious work of art / painting) was produced at St. Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai. This icon, the Sinai Christ Pantocrator Icon, is for sure based on the image on the Shroud as can be seen in the following photographs
Similar matching overlay of the Shroud image on Leonardo Da Vinci paintings was the basis of the claim that Da Vinci made the Shroud. The Christ Pantocrator icon, painted in the year 531, also has perfect overlay as shown above. So the argument about the Da Vinci Shroud is not correct. Leonardo Da Vinci must have seen and used the Shroud image as his model.
How do we know what Jesus looked like
What does the bible say about how Jesus looked?
Unfortunately the Bible does not give a physical description of Jesus. The Sinai Patocrator Icon is one of the first depiction of Jesus with a beard and this icon painting is for sure based on the Shroud of Turin image. So the only authentic image of Jesus from which we know what Jesus really looked like is the image of Jesus on his burial cloth, the Shroud of Turin
Veronica's Veil and Jesus face on Veronica's Veil
The story of Veronica is celebrated by Catholics in the sixth Station of the Way of the Cross. The Holy Bible does not say anything about a person named 'Veronica' or about the 'Veil of Veronica'. Scholars believe that there was actually no person called Veronica, but that the popular belief in Jesus image on Veronica's Veil actually refers to the miraculous image of Jesus on the Holy Shroud of Turin. The name "Veronica" is believed to have originatedfrom the Greek words 'Vera Icona' with the meaning 'true image' in English. The Bible was originally written in Greek, the popular scholarly language during those times. Because of the similarity of the Greek words 'Vera Icona' and 'Veronica',many scholars believe that with the passage of time, the story of a veil of Veronica emerged instead of the original 'Vera Icona' or the true image of Jesus on the Shroud.
Please visit the following good websites about Shroud of Turin
- Best Turin Shroud Blog: www.shroudstory.com
- Very informative Turin Shroud Site: www.shroud.com
- Official Turin Shroud website: www.sindone.org
- Shroud of Turin research site: www.shroudofturin.com
- Good site about the Turin Shroud: www.saintanthonyofpadua.net
- About Roman Coins on Turin Shroud: www.numismalink.com
- About NASA VP-8 3D Shroud image: www2.ljworld.com
- Shop for Turin Shroud picture cards, medals at www.holyface.org.uk