The 1988 carbon dating results of the Shroud of Turin showing a date range from AD 1260 to 1390 was a severe blow to the believers of the Shroud of Turin. Most of these believers continued their belief and ardent veneration of the Shroud of Turin. They would not give up their belief that the Shroud of Turin is genuine and assumed that the Carbon dating of the Jesus Cloth must be wrong. The skeptics of the Shroud of Turin had a field day by mocking the believers, especially since it exactly coincided with the first appearance of the Shroud in Lirey in 1357. Now though, the fact that the carbon dating was indeed wrong because they tested a contaminated sample of the Shroud, has come a blessing for the believers in the Shroud of Turin.
Why the Shroud of Turin Carbon Dating results are wrong
The simple explanation why the Carbon Dating was not accurate, was that the sample on which the carbon dating was done contained foreign threads and was not entirely from the original Shroud material. The Samples submitted for carbon dating were taken out of one of the corners of the Shroud of Turin. The Shroud was always held by its corners whenever the Shroud went on public display over the centuries and became worn out. To repair this damage darning was done using dyed threads. The existence of foreign threads in the corners of the Shroud of Turin has now been proven beyond doubt. The late Dr. Raymond (Ray) Rogers of the famous Los Alamos Laboratory in New Mexico, USA played a leading role in establishing this fact. So it was the corrupt samples from the Shroud of Turin that was Radio Carbon dated, thus giving a wrong Carbon dating to the Shroud of Turin.
Evidence of the existence of the Shroud prior to 1260, the earliest carbon dating date
There is solid proof that the Shroud of Turin is genuine and existed prior to the year 1260, the earliest year as per the 1988 Jesus cloth carbon dating result. The most impressive proof of the existence of the Shroud of Turin prior to 1260 are the paintings of Jesus or Icons of Jesus dating from the years 525 AD.
As explained in our History page, The Shroud of Turin Mandylion was hidden inside the city wall of Edessa in the year AD 57, when the new King of Edessa, King Ma’nu VI ascended to the throne in Edessa and started persecuting Christians and destroying all Christian artifacts. The Shroud stayed hidden there until its discovery almost 500 years later in 525 AD when repairs were being carried out to the flood damaged walls of Edessa City. Luckily during this time the rulers were devout Christians and the discovery of the shroud was celebrated. Before the Shroud was discovered in 525 almost all paintings and drawings of Jesus were shown as a beardless young man. But immediately after the discovery of the Shroud in the Edessa city walls, many paintings appeared showing Jesus with a beard. Some of these paintings had some very distinctive characteristics unique to the shroud of Turin, and there could be no mistake that the artists were trying to copy the Shroud image.
These distinctive features of the image on the Shroud of Turin are known as the ‘Vignon Markings’, named after the French Professor Paul Vignon. Some of the Vignon Markings on the Shroud of Turin image are: the eyes are not at the same level, the left eyebrow is curved higher than the right, large owlish eyes, two strands of hair falling on the forehead, etc.
The most famous of these icons base on the Shroud of Turin are described below:
The Sinai Christ Pantocrator Icon
The Sinai Christ Pantocrator Icon shown here is one of the oldest and most famous icon painting of Jesus made in the early 6th Centaury, in the year 531, 6 years after the discovery of the Shroud of Turin hidden in the walls of Edessa city. The Sinai Christ Pantocrator Icon is now in the St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai. The term ‘Christ Pantocrator’ is a conception of Jesus as the Almighty, the Ruler of the world, and was a common way to depict of Jesus in the Eastern Orthodox churches or Byzantine Churches.
The pictures below shows an overlay of the Shroud image over the Sinai Christ Pantocrator Icon and you can see immediately that this Sinai Icon is for sure based on the image on the Shroud of Turin. This Polarized Image Overlay Technique was developed by Dr. Alan Whanger and using this polarized overlay method he discovered 170 points of congruence between the Sinai icon and the Shroud of Turin image. It may be noted here that in a court of law, for matching fingerprints and images, the forensic standard for fingerprints is 14 points of congruence, for faces 45-60 points of congruence.
Christ Pantocrator mosaic in Sant’Apollinare Nuovo church, Ravenna
The picture here is that of the Christ Pantocrator mosaic in the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna which also dates to the early 6th centaury. Pictures made in Mosaic is an ancient form of art in which pictures are made using many thousands of small tiles made of colored glass or ceramics. In the 5th century AD, when the barbarian Huns were advancing towards Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire, the Roman Emperor Honorius moved his Capital from Rome to Ravenna. This is how Ravenna became a very important place in those days.
There are many more icons of Christ which are in existence today which are for sure based on the Shroud of Turin image and which predates the earliest date predicted by the 1988 carbon 14 dating of the Shroud of Turin.
According to art experts who have compared the Shroud image with the Ravenna Mosaic Christ Pantocrator there are at least thirteen Vignon markings on the Shroud. We can see with our bare eyes the most noticeable of these vignon markings, which are the three-sided `square’ between brows, V shape at bridge of nose, raised right eyebrow, enlarged left nostril, large owlish eyes and two strands of hair on the forehead.
Early Coins based on the Shroud of Jesus
The first gold coins ever issued with the figure of Jesus Christ imposed on the coins was in 692, when the Byzantine emperor Justinian II (685-695 issued the Gold solidus coins in 692. There can be no mistake that the figure of Jesus imposed on the Justinian Gold Solidus coins was based on the Shroud image of Jesus. Dr. Alan Whanger discovered 145 points of congruence between the Jesus image on Justinian solidus gold coin and the Shroud image of Jesus.
From the picture of the Justinian Gold Solidus coin shown here, we can easily recognize the prominent Vignon Markings of the Gold Solidus coin: The two strands of hair in the center of the forehead, the uneven length of hair on each side of the face and the large owlish eyes.
The Hungarian Prayer Manuscript shows the existence of the Shroud prior to 1260 earliest carbon dating date.
The Hungarian Pray Manuscript or The Hungarian Pray Codex is a collection of medieval manuscripts and is the earliest surviving text in Hungarian dated from the year 1192. This Codex Pray Manuscript is kept in the National Széchényi Library of Budapest.
There are 5 drawings in this Codex and one of them shows the burial of Jesus. The picture shows a burial cloth with the same exact herringbone weave pattern as in the Shroud of Turin and also shows the 4 burn holes.
The burn holes are placed in a “L” formation, exactly as it appears on the Shroud of Turin today. This cannot be just mere coincidence, but the fact that this drawing on the Hungarian Prayer Manuscript from 1192 is based on the Shroud of Turin and proves the existence of the Shroud of Turin well before the earliest predicted date of 1260 from the 1988 radio-carbon 14 date testing of the Shroud of Turin.
The Video Below shows the world renowned textile historian, Madam Dr. Mechthild Flury-Lemburg, explaining about not only the burn holes in the Hungarian Pray Manuscript, but also about some other unique features on the shroud of Turin which is copied on the Hungarian Pray Codex.
Stitching on Shroud of Turin from time of Jesus
When the Shroud was being restored in 2002, by removing the shroud old backing cloth and replacing it with a new one, a Swiss textile specialist and textile historian, Madam Dr. Mechthild Flury-Lemburg, former curator of the Abegg Foundation textile museum in Berne, Switzerland, and a world authority on ancient textiles, studied in detail both the front and, for the first time the back side of the original linen cloth of the Shroud of Turin, which so far, had been hidden due to the backing cloth of the Shroud.
Madam Flury confirmed that the style of weave and the materials used were almost identical to burial linen cloth found in Jewish fortress of Masada. Madam Flury also found attached by stitching to the sides of the original Shroud linen cloth, 3 inch strips of material similar to the original fabric. The stitching style used was very peculiar and Madam Flury immediately recognized this unique pattern of stitching, which she had seen earlier seen in burial cloths found in the ancient tombs of the Jewish fortress of Masada. The Masada burial cloths were dated to between 40 BC and 73 AD.
The 3 inch strips of cloth which Madam Flury found attached to the sides of the original main Shroud could be explained from what is written in the bible.
In the bible to quote 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.”
This indicates that there was at least three pieces of fabric that Jesus was wrapped in. The explanation for this bible quote is that the cloth “which had been around Jesus’ head” was the Sudarium of Oviedo, which was used to cover the face of Jesus while he was being taken down from the cross. In all probability, it would have been removed prior to the use of the shroud for burial and carefully folded and kept at a side in the tomb. The strips of cloth mentioned in John’s Gospel may have been the cloth strips used to keep the jaws closed and used to bind the hands and feet and to wrap the shroud around the body of Jesus.
After the resurrection of Jesus, the followers of Jesus must have kept these burial clothes of Jesus as the most sacred relics of Jesus. The strips attached to the sides of the Shroud of Turin with the unique stitching, discovered by Madam Flury, are the strips mentioned in the bible.
Sudarium of Oviedo
The bible words “the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus head” from John 20:5-7, refers to the Sudarium of Oviedo. The Sudarium of Oviedo has resided in the Cathedral of Oviedo in Spain since the 8th century. The Sudarium’s existence and presence in Spain is well documented since the seventh century. Before this, historical evidence traces 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. 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