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Shroud of Turin - Quantum Hologram
Resurrection Photo in 3D?   

Once in awhile it's fun to read about space-age scientific endeavors that support biblical concepts. One example is the new science of cloning prehistoric animals and other beings. You haven't heard about this? Then be sure to look up the April 2013 issue of National Geographic Magazine and read Carl Zimmer's "Bringing them back to life". Just imagine, a once extinct species like the wooly mammoth or the dodo bird may be brought back in our lifetimes. Isn't that amazing?

In a similar manner, new technologies today are being used to analyze the famous Shroud of Turin located in northern Italy. It has many unique, seemingly supernatural properties that defy explanation. No, it isn't just an old Catholic relic. The Catholic Church didn't even inherit it until 1983. Meanwhile, scores of Protestant and agnostic scientists from many disciplines are in the process of analyzing the mysterious Shroud. Historian Gary Habermas speculates that if authentic, the Shroud of Turin could be a first-century "photograph" of the resurrection event itself! Wait and see for yourself. It may deserve your attention.

Brief History

The shroud is an ancient cloth 14'3" by 3'7" or a biblical 8 cubits X 2 cubits (the unit of measurement in ancient Israel based on the length of the forearm from the bottom of the elbow to the end of the middle finger tip). It is a long, faded burial cloth with a faint image of a crucified man on it that was purportedly used to wrap the Lord Jesus while He lay in the tomb (Mt 27:59-60; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:53; Jn 19:38-40). While we don't know the exact history of the shroud, it is thought to have been brought from first-century Jerusalem into Turkey, then to Greece, then to a wealthy noble family in medieval France and finally to a Catholic church in Turin, Italy, where it has remained to this day.

Radiocarbon Dating #1 and #2

#1 It's a Fake!
In 1988 radiocarbon test results seemed to prove that the burial cloth could be dated somewhere between 1260 and 1390 during the Middle Ages, thus qualifying it as a fake. Certainly, there was nothing flawed about radiocarbon dating methods. However, the sample may have been flawed.

#2 It's Authentic!
In 2013 the 1988 test came under dispute. The sample was from an outside corner of the cloth that had been expertly repaired with a cotton/flax weave, whereas the remainder of the cloth was fine linen made predominantly from flax. The test results were contaminated from fibers used to repair the outer corners of the cloth when it was damaged by fire in the Middle Ages. Therefore, the test was inaccurate. As a result of these findings further radiocarbon dating tests at Padua University in 2013 confirmed that the shroud was made between 280 B.C. and 220 A.D. That places it at the time of Christ.

Tests have been performed by scientists from the Jet Propulsion Lab, Sandia Labs, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, Air Force Academy and other top-notch facilities. Tests on the shroud show no evidence of paint dyes nor is it a painting of any kind. There are no traces of dyes or pigments on the cloth and the garment's blood stains are typed AB negative, a blood-type frequently found in Arabic cultures. Its limestone dust and fiber type is unique to first-century Palestine and it contains wound marks consistent with crucifixion. Coins on the eyes date back to around 29 A.D. and pollen dust is exclusive to Jerusalem, Israel, Turkey and Italy.

Resurrection Most Attested-to-Fact in History

Just to set the record straight, we certainly don't need proof that the Shroud of Turin is the cloth that was wrapped around our Lord, in order to have faith in the resurrection of Jesus. There is a wealth of historical evidences that help to substantiate the resurrection of Jesus. Volumes of historical data have been written on this subject. In fact, the resurrection is thought by many ancient historians to be one of the most attested-to-facts in history. Nevertheless, some of the recent scientific findings about the shroud may enhance our conviction that the resurrection is a true event, something rooted in modern physics and standard science.

Negative Photographic Image Becomes Positive

Gary Habermas, professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy and Theology at Liberty University, suggests that several properties of the Shroud of Turin demand our attention. As a co-author of a book written by a member of the original scientific team who investigated the shroud in 1978, Dr. Habermas points out that to the naked eye the image on the shroud is faint and nondescript. It appears to be a yellowed, shaded cloth with dark water marks on each side. He notes that because it was subjected to a fire in the Middle Ages, one can see scorched spots, water marks and holes on each side of the cloth.

However, in 1898 Secondo Pia photographed the Shroud for the first time. The image he saw in his dark room stunned him and the world. He discovered that the Shroud itself is like a photo negative and the dark room image is the photo positive (2012 CBS news). Certainly, the faint image of a crucified man on the cloth is difficult to see. Yet, when a photo is taken of the cloth the photographed image shows a distinct man who happens to resemble early ancient and medieval paintings of the Lord Jesus Christ. To be sure, no ancient or medieval artist could create a fake photo-negative of the Shroud! Strange? Hmmm…it really is.

X-Rays of Teeth and Fingers

Another strange phenomena is that the photographed shroud shows some evidence of being an X-Ray photo. One can actually see the teeth and roots of the teeth behind the lips in the filmed image. Furthermore, the long fingers reveal the bone structure of the fingers and wrists underneath just as it would if an X-Ray were taken of the hands and teeth. How is that possible? Who could do that in the first-century? For that matter, who could even fake it?

Shroud's 3D Dimensionality

Perhaps the strangest quality of the shroud is a recent finding about its 3D dimensionality. Yes, you heard that right. The cloth is in 3D! It's a holographic image. It appears that the shroud is encoded with 3D information that is found from the spaces between the highest and lowest points of the body and its distance from the cloth. Recently, a VP-8 analyzer that gives topographical information about the moon and Mars terrain, was used on the cloth. Sure enough, a 3D holographic image formed of a man's face and body.

In fact, readers can view some of the 3D images for themselves by watching a DVD, The Fabric of Time, produced by Vance Syphers and Paul Schubert, Grizzly Adams Productions. An inexpensive cardboard pair of 3D glasses is enclosed with each DVD. These are definitely worth seeing. The picture to the right is a computer generated image from the 3D images also shown in History Channel's DVD, The Real Face of Jesus.

3D Images from Older Photograph

Notably, the digitized Shroud photographs used in the 3D imaging were taken by Giuseppe Enrie in 1931. Those images were enhanced to improve details, translating the gray scale data into depth data, generating a sequence of up to 625 images of each of these, and combining these images with a Holoprinter to produce holograms (shroud3d.com). Later dated photographs do not provide the numerous details complementary to the development of holographic images.

Radiation from Resurrection Event

What in the world could possibly cause a 3D image of a man to form on a two dimensional flat piece of cloth? The consensus of the science team is that most likely radiation coming from within the crucified body caused this 3D effect to occur on the shroud itself! Thus, perhaps it may come as no surprise to many that the resurrection was most likely a nuclear event!

Giulio Fanti, an Italian chemist from Padua University, proposes that a burst of radiant energy caused the image on the cloth. It might have come from bright light, ultraviolet light, X-rays or fundamental particles emanating from within the body itself. One need only to re- read the account of Christ's Transfiguration from Luke 9:29 in order to surmise that such an event took place (BBC News):

As he was praying the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning" (NIV).

In 1996 Dr. August Accetta "injected radioactive technetium into his bloodstream and aimed a gamma camera at his body, capturing photos in much the same way doctors use the common procedure to make an image of a patient's internal organs. What he found were striking similarities between his radioactive body image and the image on the shroud" (2003 Orange County Register). In a paper called "Nuclear Medicine and Its Relevance to the Shroud of Turin", Dr. Accetta "hypothecized that if a corpse created the Shroud image, then the source of energy received by the cloth might be from the molecular bond energy and/or nuclear forces within the body in some way interacting with the cloth."

"Accetta says only a miraculous event fully explains the image's sophistication. He thinks that when Jesus' body turned to light, the shroud that had been covering the body began falling through the body by gravity. As the cloth dropped, Accetta theorizes it picked up corresponding energy - and corresponding 3-D information" (Orange County Register). This is similar to what particle physicist Isabel Piczek says.

Event Horizon

Particle physicist Isabel Piczek suggests that the resurrection may have been caused by an event horizon, accompanied by forces above and below the body causing the shroud to become taut, where quantum time collapses to absolute zero, with the body hovering parallel to both with gravity suspended - explaining why the cloth's image is a negative film of a dead man on the front and back sides of the cloth (2009. Missler). This had to be a mild or very weak event horizon unlike the force of an event horizon from a black hole or the Big Bang.

Indeed, as it stands today the bible's written accounts of the death, burial and resurrection occurrences describe earthquakes, a darkening of the sky at mid-day, and appearances and disappearances of the risen Lord in the weeks following. Someday these events may be fully explained by physics as well as by the miraculous such as that proposed by Dr. Piczek. In fact, Gary Habermas notes that one of the original physicists analyzing the shroud declared, "The image on the shroud appears to have been caused by something like millions of micro lasers shooting out of every pore in his body, scorching the cloth simultaneously" (2014).

In 2011 a team of researchers from the National Agency for New Technologies (ENEA) replicated something similar to the Turin cloth's image on linen. They utilized excimer laser irradiation in 40 nanosecond bursts, thus somewhat creating an image matching the coloration and depth of the Shroud's image (2011 NBC News). This reminds Christians of a passage in 1 Corinthians 15:52 that tells us we will be changed in the "twinkling of an eye" when we are resurrected, something akin to a 40 nanosecond burst of light.

I'm not sure that any scientific tests can "prove" the legitimacy of the Turin cloth to those biased against the supernatural. Nor can I fully understand everything that the physicists say about the Shroud of Turin. But, in response to everything I have heard, seen and read, I can say that it seems God may have left us a calling card - forensic evidence for today's generation. We may soon hear, "You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy" (Isa 26:19):

He is risen indeed. Hallelujah!



Antonacci, M. 2012. Particle radiation from the body could explain the Shroud's images and its carbon dating. (PDF on-line).

Antonacci, Mark and Arthur C. Lind. 2014. Hypothesis that explains the Shroud's unique blood marks and several critical events in the Gospels. (PDF on-line).

BBC News Magazine. 2015. How did the Turin Shroud get its image? (June). Available from: bbc.com/news/magazine 33164668.

Habermas, Gary. The Shroud of Turin: Could it Be Real? (DVD). Coeur d'Alene, ID: Compass International.

Martindale, Scott. 2007. H.B. doctor submits Shroud of Turin to scientific method. 19 October. Orange County Register. Available from: ocregister.com.

Missler, Chuck. 2009. A quantum hologram of Christ's resurrection. Available from: Khouse.org

NBC News. 2011. Was Holy Shroud created in a flash? Italian researchers resurrect claim. 22 Dec. Available from: cosmiclog.nbcnews.com.

Stanglin, Doug. 2013. New test dates Shroud of Turin to era of Christ. USA Today. Available from: usatoday.com.

Syphers, Vance and Paul Schubert. The fabric of time. (DVD). USA: Grizzly Adams Productions.

Teichner, Martha. 2012. Controversial new theories on the Shroud of Turin. 20 April. CBS News. Available from: CBSnews.com

The real face of Jesus? 2010. (DVD). A&E Television Networks. Produced by LEFT/RIGHT ENTERTAINMENT for History.

Author Valorie Emilio holds an MA in history from UCLA specializing in Christian origins. She works with and teaches women at the Gospel Rescue Mission in Grants Pass, Oregon, where her husband, Ken, serves as Director.

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