The Shroud of Turin is a fascinating subject, one which the more I read about or watch lectures on, the more interesting it becomes. As to whether it is evidence for the resurrection, I’ll let you be the judge. But I have to confess that for me, the more I learn about it, the more I think it is both genuine and could very well be evidence. One video that really stood out to me is one by Dr. Wayne Phillips, though there are numerous on YouTube. I’ll be using that video (posted below) as the basis of my notes for the next 4 blog posts, which will cover:

  1. The Facts and History of the Shroud
  2. The Physical Science Study
  3. Biblical Accounts Corroborated by the Shroud.
  4. The Carbon Dating

In the lecture, he covers the following information in support of it being authentic.

  • He first heard of the Shroud of Turin from a TV special in 1976.
  • When he first heard of it, he decided to confront it head-on to try and determine if it was really authentic.
  • He approached this from his specialty, which is allergy. Pollen and allergy.
  • He examined the Shroud studies, which were well done and documented.
  • Then as a doctor, he looked at the blood and the flow of blood.

Mark 15:46
Joseph bought a linen cloth, took Him down, wrapped Him in the linen cloth and laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out in the rock

  • One of the things he points out is that the man in the Shroud of Turin is nude. Some skeptics say that the Shroud was man-made in the Middle Ages, yet for an artist to depict Christ as nude in the Middle Ages would have gotten the artist “damned to you know where.”

There are 3 basic facts about the Shroud:

  1. Linen Cloth
  2. Has blood on it
  3. Has an image!

Other notable facts:

  • There are thousands of clothes that are 2,000 years old, and there are another 500 or so from Egypt that are 3,000 or 4,000 years old. And none of them have an image.
  • The Shroud is made out of line. It is not made out of cotton. High quality, herringbone weave, like a jacket.
  •  It is 14′ long and 3′ wide.
  • There is a front image and a back image.
  • There are burn marks on it where drips of molten silver dropped on it. (There was a fire in the 15th century in the chapel where it was being stored at the time.)
  • The man in the image has a beard and long hair, and blood on the scalp.
  • There’s a big water stain where they put out the fire.
  • The arms have blood trickling down.
  • A big clot of blood on his wrist.
  • On the back of the image, he has long fluffy hair. It appears to be hair blown hair.
  • There are over 120 scourge marks on his back.
  • He’s nude and his legs are in a semi-bent position. When Jesus died, he sat for 2 hours on the cross. In that time, rigor mortis would have set in.
  • The body of the Shroud was already in a state of rigor mortis.
  • There are blood marks on his feet.


The location of the Shroud: Where it’s been and why we know it.

  • There are 2 types of evidence:
    • Circumstantial: 30 AD to 1357 AD
      • There is no “proof” that the Shroud existed except for a few statements in literature, many pictures, and many traditions.
    • Documented: 1357 AD to 2014 AD
      • During this time, it is actually written down and there are many witnesses.
  • Circumstantial History: 30 AD to 1357 AD
    • During the persecution of the Jews and the Roman assault on Jerusalem, it is thought that the Shroud was taken around 67 AD to Odessa, Turkey. And it remained there under the control of the first Christian city king, King Abgar. As legend has it, he was cured of leprosy by the touching of the Shroud. At that point and time is when he became a Christian.
    • 2 or 3 generations later, his sons or grandsons took over and reverted to paganism. So at that point, the mentioning of the Shroud disappears. The theory then is that the believers hid it.
    • It disappears until 525 AD.
      • Why do they think they know that date? 2 things happen in 525 AD:
        • There’s an archaeological flood in Odessa, Turkey. The walls were beat up and falling apart. The way the story goes, they were trying to fix the walls, and inside one of the walls was a box which had the Shroud in it. So it was rediscovered.
        • The other thing that helps to pin the date to 525 is the artist drawings of Jesus before and after this date. Before 525, he was drawn as a clean-shaven young guy with short hair. After 525, every single drawing or painting of Jesus changed to him having long hair, a beard, and looking older. What made them do that? They were looking at the face of the Shroud of Turin.
          • Interestingly, when you compare a digital overlay of the face of the Shroud with a painting from the Sinai Peninsula that is carbon dated to 550 AD, both a side by side comparison and a top half and bottom half comparison, there are 180 points of congruence. These include the distance of the middle of his eye, the distance between the tip of his nose and his eye.the wideness of his mouth, the distance from his eye to his mouth, and the distance of his beard. The features of the man in the painting match the man in the Shroud in 180 points. You only need about 37 points of congruence to prove someone is guilty in a court of law.
    • 944 AD – 1204 AD Constantinople.
      • This is the Byzantine era. Constantinople was a very rich city with a strong army, and they were gathering all of the crucifixion relics. They didn’t have the Shroud but they knew it was in Odesssa, Turkey. They sent an army to retrieve the Shroud from Odessa. So it ended up in Constantinople in 944 AD.
      • When it was in Odessa, it was folded up in a frame to where all you saw was the face. In Constantinople, they opened it up to view its full length.
      • A Hungarian Bible that is carbon dated to 1196 has an artist depiction of the burial preparation as well as the Resurrection scene. The image of Jesus in the burial scene is pretty close to the image of the man in the Shroud. The Resurrection scene has the women finding an empty burial cloth that has a herringbone weave just like the Shroud, as well as the burn holes that are in the Shroud in the shape that they are in the Shroud.
    • 1204 AD to 1357 AD Constantinople gets run over by the Roman Catholicism fighting the Greek Catholicism during the 4th Crusade. They destroy the city. It is thought that the Knights Templar now has possession of the Shroud. Because in 2009, a Vatican archivist found a quote that the Knights Templar worshiped a bearded man.
  • Documented History: 1357 AD to 2014 AD
    • 1357 AD: The Shroud appears in Lirey, France with the 1st documented appearance.
    • In 1452 AD, it is moved to Chambery, France.
    • In 1878, it is moved to Turin, Italy, where it is now.
    • Why is it in Lirey, France? Because the 1st owner to ever show the Shroud in public was the son of a Knight Templar who was at the right age to be there for the taking over of Constantinople. The theory goes that Geoffrey de Charny is part of the receiver of the Shroud when they took all the good relics out of Constantinople. And his son was the first to have public showings. It eventually got back to the Pope, who felt it was authentic, and felt it was good for people to visit it. The visitors used to come from all over Europe to visit it.
    • The Lirey Medallion is a souvenir from one of those visits. It is a piece of metal about 5″ x 6″, and it contains the front and back image of a head to head nude man, which is the Shroud. It also has the family coats of arms of Charny and de Vergy. The medallion is dated to 1357 AD, and it is solid proof that the Shroud exists.
    • 1502 AD – 1578 AD: Chambery, France. Margaret of Austria is the granddaughter of the 1st owner, de Charny. She died and had built the church in Chambery. She wills to have a piece cut out of the Shroud and given to that church. Paintings of that era show the corner missing out of the Shroud. The theory then is that the painter of the day was looking at the Shroud in that condition, with her corner missing.
    • 1578 AD: Turin, Italy, where the Shroud presently is. It was not under the ownership of the Vatican or the Pope until 1985. It is currently being kept in a glass case that is filled with Argon gas to prevent degradation.

You can read Part 2: The Physical Science Study here. Or if you so desire, you can watch the whole lecture below: