“Simon Peter, following him, also came up, went into the tomb, saw the linen cloths lying on the ground and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in; he saw and he believed.” (John 20:6-9)
Why did the beloved disciple ‘believe’ upon seeing the inside of the tomb? Was it an experience of infused knowledge or was it the way the shroud that once enveloped the Master’s body was found?
The Shroud of Turin, (which bears the name ‘of Turin’ for it has been located in Turin, Italy since 1578), is by far the most studied, contested object in all of human history. For that reason alone, it ought to make us ask some questions. Add to the equation the latest scientific data with a dash of Faith and what you possibly have on your hands is the authentic burial shroud supplied by Joseph of Arimathaea that once enveloped the dead corpse of a man known as Jesus of Nazareth following his scourging, crowning with thorns, and crucifixion at the hands of Roman soldiers by order of Pontius Pilate.
Barrie Schwortz, the Official Documenting Photographer for the Shroud of Turin Research Project, (a team of scientists that performed a set of experiments and analyses on the Shroud during the late 1970’s), has this to say about the mysterious shroud.
“The Shroud of Turin is a centuries old linen cloth that bears the image of a crucified man. A man that millions believe to be Jesus of Nazareth. Is it really the cloth that wrapped his crucified body, or is it simply a medieval forgery, a hoax perpetrated by some clever artist? Modern science has completed hundreds of thousands of hours of detailed study and intense research on the Shroud. It is, in fact, the single most studied artifact in human history, and we know more about it today than we ever have before. And yet, the controversy still rages.”
While the Catholic Church has never definitively claimed that the Shroud of Turin is the actual burial cloth of Jesus, all evidence does give one pause for thought. If the Shroud is the burial cloth of Jesus, what is its purpose? How has it survived fires, floods and the passing of thousands of years? What are we to take from it? In the end, Jesus never even so much as left us a written word penned by his own hand. Was his burial shroud left behind in order to witness for us love’s fathomless depths? A written love letter of suffering penned by the ink of the Son of Man’s blood on a burial shroud at the moment of his resurrection?
Come and find out for yourself! Click HERE and go directly to St. Peter’s website where Academic Study and up to date Scientific Presentations on the Shroud are posted as recorded last week. Please view the 1st, 2nd and 3rd MOS Presentations for the latest data available from Shroud Scholars.. Click here for biographies of the speakers.
Also, check out the article published by the Calgary Herald on Saturday March 29th.
In the end, encountering the Man of the Shroud is a personal invitation that we can either RSVP to or ignore. I leave you with a quote taken from STURP’s (Shroud of Turin Research Project) final report submitted in 1981:
“We can conclude for now that the Shroud image is that of a real human form of a scourged, crucified man. It is not the product of an artist. The blood stains are composed of hemoglobin and also give a positive test for serum albumin. The image is an ongoing mystery and until further chemical studies are made, perhaps by this group of scientists, or perhaps by some scientists in the future, the problem remains unsolved.”
Click here to access the Shroud of Turin Website,