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The Shroud of Turin known to many as the ‘Jesus Cloth’, is an ancient linen cloth preserved in the Royal Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist Church in Turin, Italy. On this cloth is a very faint outline of the full body image of a human being. The top picture above shows the facial image as it is on the linen cloth. On the bottom picture above is the photo negative which shows a clear photo of a noble looking man, many believe that this is an original photo of Jesus Christ. For centuries, the Jesus cloth, now more popularly known as the Shroud of Turin, was considered as a very holy relic and was claimed to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. Now a days many keep and venerate the Shroud face pictures considering it to be Jesus real photos.
There was nothing special about this image on the linen cloth until it was photographed in 1898. The photographic negative, as shown above, showed a very stunning clear picture of a noble looking man. Overnight this Jesus Cloth made world headlines and it became the most researched piece of cloth in the entire history of mankind. No one has yet been able to offer a plausible explanation of how such a perfect photographic image could be formed on an ancient linen cloth. Millions of devotees flowed into Turin to venerate the Jesus Cloth Shroud of Turin. The Shroud facial photographs were considered as Jesus real photos and millions pray in front of it.
Shroud of Turin facts
The Shroud of Turin is an ancient Jewish burial cloth believed by millions to be the burial cloth of Jesus with a real Jesus photo. This ancient Jesus cloth of Turin is yellowed with age and on it is a very faint image of the frontal and back view of a full human body.
Shown above is the original Shroud of Turin, in a protective framed cover, 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. A cubit was the unit of measurement used in ancient Israel and was based on the length of the forearm from the bottom of the elbow to the end of the middle finger tip. In the photo above you can see the present catholic Pope, Pope Francis who is an ardent devotee of the Shroud of Turin, venerating the Shroud of Turin by touching it and praying.
The Giulio Clovio painting above shows how the Jesus cloth of Turin was used for burial of Jesus 2000 years ago. 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.
DNA studies of dust vacuumed from the back of the Shroud during the 2002 restoration by 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 interesting fact which emerged from the DNA analysis of the Shroud dust is that the linen of the Shroud cloth was 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 fine 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 Jesus cloth is not clear when you look at it directly. But when the image on the cloth is turned into a negative image, you get a perfect photo, far superior to any photo taken with modern day cameras. As explained below, the Shroud picture produces 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 onward. 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’.
Shroud of Turin: History of this Jesus cloth
From 1578 till now, the Shroud has been kept in the Royal Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy. 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 an Apostle of Jesus – St. Thomas and a newly appointed apostle, Thaddeus (Addai). ….More from our Shroud History page
First photograph of the Jesus Cloth 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 image on which was a perfect positive image of a very noble looking man.
The photos above 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 of Turin looks like. The photo on the right is a negative of the negative image on the Shroud of Turin. A negative of a negative (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. 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 a convincing 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, but it 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.
Shroud of Turin VP8 image analyzer 3D 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 Shroud of Turin’s first photograph. With the advent of the Digital Age, the second revelation of the miraculous digital qualities of the Shroud occurred in 1976, when American Physicist John Jackson and colleague Bill Mottern scanned a Shroud photograph on a VP-8 digital image analyzer. The VP-8 image analyzer 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 a 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 Jesus Shroud photos. The results on the Shroud were so spectacular, that these hard core scientists are convinced that it is a miraculous image of Jesus Christ. One of the 3D image created on the VP-8 image analyzer is shown here.
Why Shroud of Turin gives 3D images on NASA VP-8
Why the Shroud of Turin is able to produce such a detailed 3D digital images 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
Shroud of Turin compared with Jesus face cloth, the Sudarium of Oviedo
In the bible mention is made of another Jesus 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 Jesus face cloth known as Sudarium of Oviedo. This face cloth of Jesus is venerated in the Cathedral of Oviedo in Spain since the 8th century. This is why the face cloth of Jesus is known as the Sudarium of Oviedo. Meaning of Sudarium as per Webster Dictionary is “a linen square carried by the upper classes in Roman times (as for wiping perspiration from the face).
This small 2 feet 9 inch by 1 feet 9 inch (83×53 centimeters), blood stained piece of linen cloth, is adored 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.
There is a lot of evidence about the existence of the Jesus face cloth in Spain from the seventh century onward. Before this, historical evidence trace the location of the Sudarium to Jerusalem since the first century 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
See this long video which explains in detail the relationship between the Face Cloth of Jesus called the Sudarium of Oviedo and the Shroud of Turin.
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 century onward, 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 century 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 Pantocrator 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. Photographs from the Shroud of Turin image are Jesus real photos.
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 originated from 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.
How to visit and see the Shroud of Turin
The Shroud of Turin is kept in the Turin Cathedral of St John the Baptist inside the Chapel of the Holy Shroud. The Cathedral of St John the Baptist address is Piazza San Giovanni, 10122 Torino, Italy.
The original Shroud of Jesus is now kept in Turin inside an inert Argon gas filled air-tight bulletproof glass container. The Original Shroud of Turin is kept hidden under high security, but an exact replica is prominently displayed in the Museum of the Shroud in the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin. The Museum of the Shroud of Jesus in Turin also has several historical objects of interest with regards to the Shroud of Turin. The first Camera used to take the first picture of the shroud of Turin and got the astonishing true photo of Jesus is there along with many other interesting artefacts. Please see this short video below about the Shroud of Turin Museum.
When will the Shroud of Turin be on display again?
Nobody knows when the next public display of the actual Shroud of Turin will take place. Only the Pope has the authority to authorise a public display of the original Shroud of Jesus in Turin. So far the Holy Shroud of Turin has been publicly displayed 19 times with the last Shroud of Turin Expo having taken place in June 2015. In the 2015 Shroud Exhibition, more than 2 million visitors from all over the world came to see and venerate the original Shroud of Turin.
Please visit the following good websites about Shroud of Turin
- Very informative Turin Shroud Site: www.shroud.com
- Shroud of Turin research site: www.shroudofturin.com
- Good site about the Turin Shroud: www.messengersaintanthony.com
- About Roman Coins on Turin Shroud: www.numismalink.com
- About NASA VP-8 3D Shroud image: www2.ljworld.com
- Turin Shroud Blog: www.shroudstory.com
- Shop for Turin Shroud picture cards, medals at www.holyface.org.uk