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Shroud of Turin Photo of Jesus
First Photo of Shroud of Turin from 1898

Shroud of Turin photo of Jesus

The image above is the original photo of the Shroud of Turin taken in 1898 by the Italian photographer Mr. Secondo Pia. This was the first time a photograph was ever taken of the Shroud of Turin. Photography was at its infancy in those days and the cameras were very large and instead of films to record the image, they used glass plates coated with photosensitive chemicals. There were no established Photographic Companies providing Cameras or films or plates then and hardly anyone knew what a photograph is. So the photo you see above created world headlines.

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 photo of a human face 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 scientists did investigations with most 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.

What is the Shroud of Turin?

This website aims to answer this question and try to unravel some of the mystery of the Shroud of Turin.

The Shroud of Turin, known in Italy as 'La Santa Sindone di Torino', is an ancient long linen cloth believed to be the cloth that wrapped Jesus body when he was buried. It got its name because the Shroud of Turin location is in Turin, where it is kept in the Royal Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist Church in Turin, Italy. On this cloth is a very faint outline image of the front and back of a full human body. From time immemorial the image on the Shroud of Turin is believed to be a miracle image left by Jesus on his burial cloth. The Shroud of Turin is the holiest of holy relics with the Catholic Church.

How the Shroud of Turin became world famous

The Shroud of Turin was an unknown relic before the year 1898. But in 1898 it became world famous when it was photographed for the first time. The 1898 first photo of the Shroud of Turin showed a clear photo of a noble looking man and it made World headlines. All over the world, people heard of the burial cloth of Jesus with a Miracle photo of Jesus on it. Skeptics refused to believe in such miracles but to millions of Christians, especially Catholics, this was proof of the divinity of Jesus. The Shroud of Turin now became the holiest relic of Christianity and made the Shroud of Turin one of the top unsolved mysteries in the world. The Shroud of Turin is now the subject of many international research, which even has a name 'Sindonology' meaning the scientific study of the Shroud of Turin. The Shroud of Turin is the most researched piece of cloth in the entire history of mankind. No one has yet been able to offer a plausible explanation as to how such a perfect photographic image could be formed on an ancient linen cloth. Why the Shroud of Turin is important to many skeptics is because they need to debunk Shroud of Turin believing it is a forgery.

Shroud of Turin VP8 3D image

NASA's VP8 Turin Shroud 3D image

In 1976, American Physicist John Jackson with colleagues Eric Jumper and Bill Mottern, who were researchers with the famous Los Alamos National Laboratory in USA (America's leading laboratory credited with doing research, design and building the first Nuclear bomb) 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 were convinced that it is a miracle image of Jesus Christ. One of the 3D image created on the VP-8 image analyzer is shown above. This incident of the scanning of the Shroud of Turin image on the VP-8 analyzer is fully described in this article titled 'Shrouded in mystery' by the Lawrence Journal-World - LJWorld.com


How the Shroud of Turin VP8 3D image is formed

Why Shroud of Turin gives 3D images on NASA VP-8 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.

The light and dark areas of the Shroud photo of Jesus is proportional to the distance of the body from the cloth. The closest part of the body formed dark areas and the lightest part of the image is parts of the body furthest away from the cloth. So this information about the light or dark areas are converted into digital info and output on the screen as a 3D image by the VP8 image analyzer. Unlike normal photos, where dark areas are caused by shadows and distorting the digital info, the Shroud picture is perfect without any shadows, and hence giving a perfect 3D image on the VP8.

What does the Shroud of Turin looks like now

In the photo here you can see what the Shroud of Turin looks like now. The picture below shows the Shroud of Turin linen cloth fully stretched out inside a bullet proof glass protective case filled with inert Argon gas. You can see the present Catholic Pope Francis touching and praying to the Shroud of Turin.

Pope Francis touching and praying to the Shroud of Turin

How Jesus was buried in a burial cloth

The Giulio Clovio painting below shows how Jesus was buried in a burial cloth 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.

Giulio Clovio painting: How Jesus buried in a burial cloth

Sudarium of Oviedo and Shroud of Turin blood marks and blood type match

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. The approximate meaning of 'Sudarium' is a piece of cloth used as a sweat cloth or handkerchief to wipe sweat from the face during the days of the Roman Empire in first century AD.

The Sudarium of Oviedo is a small 2 feet 9 inch by 1 feet 9 inch (83×53 centimeters) blood stained piece of linen cloth believed to have covered the head of Jesus as soon as he died on the cross. It got its name 'Sudarium of Oviedo' because the cloth is kept and revered in the Cathedral of San Salvador in Oviedo, Spain. The Sudarium of Oviedo is venerated as one of the burial cloths mentioned in the Gospel of St. John

There is a lot of evidence about the existence of the Sudarium of Oviedo 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 Sudarium of Oviedo and Shroud of Turin indicates that both cloths covered the same head and that the Sudarium of Oviedo was wrapped around Jesus head while he was still hanging on the cross.

A 1999 study by the Spanish Center for Sindonology, investigated the relationship between the two cloths: The Sudarium of Oviedo and Shroud of Turin. This study concluded that both cloths have type AB blood and that the blood stain patterns are exactly the same and congruent over each other

To quote from the Wikipedia article:

“Using infrared and ultraviolet photography and electron microscopy, researchers 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

Amazing facts about Shroud of Turin, the cloth used for Jesus burial.

Here is a summary of some truly amazing and interesting Shroud of Turin facts. These facts alone are more than enough to prove that the Shroud of Turin is the genuine burial cloth of Jesus in any court of law in the world, but to convince a Shroud naysayers this may not be enough.

  1. The Shroud of Turin cloth measures 14 feet 3 inches (4.4 Meter) long and 3 feet 7 inches (1.1 Meter) wide, which is exactly 8 cubits x 2 cubits, a unit of measurement used in ancient Israel. One Cubit is the length of the forearm from the bottom of the elbow to the end of the middle finger tip. This way of measuring by the length of hand is an ancient practice and is still used today by street traders in some countries in Africa and Asia, especially for measuring cloth.
  2. Photography was invented in 1826 by a Mr. Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. In 1898, Photography and Cameras were still a novelty, when the Italian photographer Mr. Secondo Pia took the very first photograph of the Shroud of Turin with one of the earliest model cameras in the world. The resulting negative image was so shocking to the photographer, that he nearly dropped the chemical coated glass plate used in those days as the photo media for the camera. The photo image from the Shroud of Turin cloth gave a stunningly clear photograph of a noble looking man. Can you imagine how a negative image of the front and back of a whole human body could be formed on an piece of piece of linen cloth? Even the best scientists of today have no answer. Shroud haters, to debunk the Shroud of Turin as a forgery, only have wild theories. Here is a picture of the actual image on the Shroud and a photo of it
    Top: actual image on Shroud of Turin cloth | Below: Photo of Shroud cloth face
  3. The image on the Shroud of Turin gives a 3D image with a NASA instrument called the VP8 used by NASA to study the topography of planets. Many photos taken with the best of modern day cameras could not get this 3D effect on the VP8 NASA instrument. This is because there is 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.
  4. The blood marks on the Shroud of Turin having an exact match with the blood stains on the Sudarium of Oviedo, the face cloth of Jesus. The Sudarium of Oviedo is the face cloth of Jesus which was wrapped around his head as soon as he died on the cross. It is a Jewish tradition to cover the face of a person as soon as he dies a violent death. The Sudarium of Oviedo was not known outside of Spain during the middle ages, when the Shroud of Turin appeared in Lirey, France in the late 1300s.
  5. DNA testing on dust vacuumed from the back of the Shroud during the 2002 restoration and also taken during the 1978 Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), has revealed many interesting facts. One such, not so well known fact, is that the linen Shroud cloth was made in India. It is not a mere coincidence that the Italian name for the Shroud is ‘Sindone’. The word ‘Sindone’ so closely matches the Indian name ‘Sindia’ or ‘Sindein’ for such fine linen fabric made in India for thousands of years. 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. Archeological digs in Masada Israel, the site of a mass suicide of about 1000 Jewish rebels, who were defending Masada during a siege by Roman troops in the year 73AD, have found similar burial shrouds as the Shroud of Turin.
  6. The same dust obtained from vacuuming the Shroud of Turin as explained above, under high magnification electron microscope revealed the presence of flower pollen from a thorn bush named 'Gundelia Tournefortii', which is indigenous to Jerusalem desert like area and not found anywhere else in the world
  7. Gold coins and paintings of Jesus from as early as the first century AD perfectly matching the Shroud of Turin cloth image proves that the Carbon dating results of the Shroud of Turin carried out in 1988 was wrong.
  8. Scourging or whip lash marks on the body clearly showing the outline of being hit with a Roman flagrum, a short whip of leather with the ends tipped with bits of lead or other metal shaped like a dumbbell.
  9. Piercing marks of a crown of thorns on the head as described in the bible.
  10. Presence of Roman coin from the time of Jesus, placed over his eyes – this was a custom at the time of Jesus.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. The rare hand weaving of the Shroud cloth traced to be of first century. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.

Short history of the Shroud of Turin

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 was the Shroud of Turin found in the year 525 hidden in the city wall. 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


What is the age of the Shroud of Turin

To find out the age of the Shroud of Turin, a Carbon dating test was done on 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. The carbon dating 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 been reworked in the medieval period and had repair threads in it which is not 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 age of the Shroud of Turin is much older than what the Carbon dating dates of between 1260 and 1390. 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.

Is the Shroud of Turin authentic?

There are so many facts which proves beyond doubt that the Shroud of Turin authentic. Many amazing facts have emerged after detailed scanning of the Shroud of Turin with modern technologies like UV scanning, etc. which prove that the Shroud of Turin is authentic 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.

Veil of Veronica and Shroud of Turin

The Holy Bible does not say anything about a person named ‘Veronica’ or about the ‘Veil of Veronica’. The story of Veronica is celebrated by Catholics in the sixth Station of the Way of the Cross which was introduced by the Franciscan priest Leonard of Porto Maurizio (Italy) in the early 1700s. Scholars believe that there was actually no person called Veronica, and the name “Veronica” is believed to have originated from the Greek words 'Vera Eicona' which means 'True Image'. The Bible was originally written in Greek, the popular scholarly language during those times. Because of the similarity of the Greek words ‘Vera Eicona’ and ‘Veronica’, many scholars believe that with the passage of time, the story of a veil of Veronica emerged instead of the original ‘Vera Eicona’ or the true image of Jesus on the Shroud.

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Did Leonardo Da Vinci made the Shroud of Turin? No he did not!!

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.

Sinai Patocrator Icon and Shroud image with grid lines to compare exact match
Shroud picture overlaid on Sinai Patocrator Icon shows exact match

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.

Will the Shroud of Turin be on display in 2020?

Yes, it has just been announced that there will be a Shroud of Turin display, or 'Ostensioni' as they say in Italy, in 2020 December during the Taizé Community’s annual meeting of Europe’s youth 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. During the 2015 Shroud Exhibition, more than 2 million visitors from all over the world came to see and venerate the original Shroud of Turin cloth.


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. It is a walking distance from the Railway Station in Turin Italy. Many trains connect Turin to all parts of Italy and Europe.

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.

Video: Museum of the Shroud of Turin

What did Jesus look like in real life?

Unfortunately the Bible does not give a physical description of Jesus. The only real photo of Jesus in existence today is the Shroud of Turin negative image. An Emmy winner and 3D computer graphics artist, Ray Downing, has created some stunning work which can give us an idea as to how Jesus looked in real life. The picture below is an example of Mr. Ray Downings work.

Computer created Jesus face from the Shroud of Turin © Ray Downing

Mr. Ray Downing's work was published as a documentary in the History channel entitled The Real Face of Jesus? and available as a DVD on Amazon website. Below is a video on YouTube summarising what this DVD is about.

Computer recreation of Jesus face

Please visit the following good websites about Shroud of Turin

  1. Very informative Turin Shroud Site: www.shroud.com
  2. Shroud of Turin research Project (STURP) leader's website: www.shroudofturin.com
  3. Good article about Turin Shroud: St. Antony's Padua website
  4. About Roman Coins on Turin Shroud: www.numismalink.com
  5. About NASA VP-8 3D Shroud image: www2.ljworld.com
  6. Turin Shroud Blog: www.shroudstory.com

Good online shopping sites for Shroud of Turin pictures, medals, etc.

Please, you should not feel that the people involved with the following websites are not being ethical by doing commercial operations using the Shroud of Turin. They are all very dedicated people, very devoted to the Shroud of Turin, but they are not rich enough and cannot afford to give away free Shroud of Turin materials. They also need to make a living, especially since they devote almost their entire time doing service promoting the Shroud of Turin.

  1. Official photographer to STURP, good Shroud pictures Shroud.com
  2. Shop for Turin Shroud pictures from Emmy winner, 3D computer graphics artist, Ray Downing RayDowning.com
  3. Shop for Turin Shroud memorabilia and souvenirs like picture cards, medals, etc. HolyFace.org.uk