This is the third part four-part part series on the Shroud of Turin. You can read the first part, The Facts and History of the Shroud, here. The second part, The Physical Science study, can be read here. I am using a video by Dr. Wayne Phillips (posted below) as the basis of my notes.
Biblical Accounts Corroborated by the Shroud
- Swollen Cheek/Nose: The swollen cheek and broken nose of the image gives evidence that he was beat up.
- Crown of Thorn. The image shows a cap of thorns, not a crown of thorns. There was no way a Roman soldier with all of his masculinity got a big hunk of thorns and did a little basket weaving of a crown. That’s an artist depiction and what we’re used to. They got a big hunk of Gundelia Tourneforti (the pollen of the thorn plant that grows in the desert areas near Palestine that is found on the Shroud), slapped it on his head, and hit it with a piece of wood. There are over 18 puncture holes all over the top of his head, front and back.
- Scourging. They can look at the Shroud and picture almost exactly what happened, with a tall man standing to one side and a shorter man standing to the other, taking turns scourging him with a Roman flagrum (which is leather with lead barbells on each side). They can even show how he was positioned in receiving the blows. The Passion of the Christ got it pretty darn close, to the point that they must have consulted some experts on the Shroud of Turin. The barbells of the flagrum fit perfectly into the scourge marks that are in the image.
- Carrying the Cross: There are areas to prove where he carried the cross. No human being could ever carry a full cross after being beaten to within an inch of their lives and losing a significant amount of blood. The cross beam alone weighed over 100 pounds. It would be tied to his arms by ropes for him to carry. (The nailing would come at the site of the crucifixion.) Looking at the image of the Shroud, there are scratch marks (or friction abrasions) across the upper part of his back that run sideways, showing that the man in the image carried a crossbeam. The scourge marks go all kinds of ways.
- “Nails in hands”: The typical images of the crucifixion that are seen show the nails being nailed directly into the hands of the victim. However, having the nails in the hands makes it physically impossible to hold up a man of 170-180 lbs because there is nothing there between that nail and just flesh. There is no bone, there is no support structure. The man in the Shroud has the nails through his wrists, not his hands. In the place where the nail has gone through the hand, it cut the median nerve, which controls the motor muscles of the thumb. When the median nerve is bisected, it goes into a spasm and hides the thumb behind the hand. The man in the image of the Shroud has his thumbs hidden behind his hands. The nails have gone through the destot’s space of the wrist.
- Single Nail Feet. One interesting thing historically about the nails is that they had a cap that was easily knocked off by a sideways glancing blow so that the body could be pulled off of the cross to prepare it for the next crucifixion. The nail goes through the foot where there is no broken bone. All over the bottom of the foot is travertine aragonite, which is the dirt of the crucifixion area and the entombing area. If you go get a sample of that dirt, it matches up electronically with the dirt around the foot on the Shroud. This is found all over the Shroud. Not with the visible eye, but with a microscope. If the Shroud was a fake, the faker was sprinkling travertine aragonite to confuse us in the 20th century with microscopes.
- Lance in Side: Between the 5th and 6th rib of the already dead man in the Shroud. When you draw blood and put it in a test tube, and then let it sit for 2 hours or so, the red blood cells will sink to the bottom, and plasma will rise to the top. When someone is tortured and beaten like the man in the Shroud was, blood leaks into the pleural space of the lungs. And then it sits there for a few hours. So when the Roman soldier puts his spear into the body, you get blood and then water coming out, because the blood has sit long enough to separate into red blood cells and plasma. This is what you find in the Shroud: watered down blood leaking into the right side of the image of the body of the man of the Shroud. It gets even more interesting. You can only see the serum line on the blood the dried in the Shroud with UV fluorescent light. When the watered down blood that leaked into Shroud dried, it formed a clot, and it left a serum line around the edges of that clot. This is not perceivable to the human eye.
An Autopsy of the Man in the Shroud: “Autopsy in a Crucifixion”
- 5 feet 11 inches tall. 170 pounds.
- About 30-35 years old
- Major abrasion back right shoulder
- Severely scourged. Beaten right cheek.
- Scalp blood greater than 18 bleeding sources
- Nailed through wrists, not palms
- Thumbs missing
- Feet nailed together
- Pierced through
This series will conclude in my next blog post, The Carbon Dating. Or if you so desire, you can watch the whole lecture below: