The Shroud of Turin…The greatest impediment to learning the truth about anything is thinking you already know it!

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.” It’s almost as if the movie Jurassic Park is now becoming a reality! Incredible! Among other things the science of cloning suggests that all living creatures possess within them a “blueprint” for recreating their individual life forms. Can you believe it? Scientists today are actually working on this. Although cloning is not exactly the science of “resurrecting” living beings, it’s certainly similar to resurrection. Just imagine – a once extinct species may be brought back in our lifetimes. Isn’t that awesome?

One of many good reviews of the Shroud by LA Marzulli.

Shroud of Turin: Holographic X ray?

Once in awhile it’s fun to read about space age scientific endeavors that support biblical concepts. New analytical Tech is used for altering DNA to achieve new species (like Genesis 6). In a similar manner, new technologies today are being used to analyze the famous Shroud of Turin located in northern Italy. The shroud is an ancient 14’ by 3’ cloth held in a Catholic church in Turin, Italy. It is a long, faded burial cloth that was purportedly used to wrap the Lord Jesus while He lay in the tomb. 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 where it has remained to this day. Thus, its origins are not solely that of a Catholic “holy relic” as many think. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1980’s that it was willed to a Turin Cardinal from the Vatican.

Biblical Reference Found in the Bible? 2 Tim. 4:13 Paul states “Bring the Cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas.” Click on the video link below for a compelling approach that may link the Shroud of Turin to the Biblical Account of Paul on his trip to Rome.

Radiocarbon Dating #1 & #2

Standard tests have been applied to the shroud. In 1988 radiocarbon test results seemed to prove that the burial cloth could be dated somewhere between 1260 and 1390 during the Middle Ages. Certainly there was nothing flawed about radiocarbon dating methods. However, the sample was later shown to be from an outside corner of the cloth that had been expertly repaired with a cotton weave whereas the remainder of the cloth was made of 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 in 2013 of the same samples by Padua University confirmed that the shroud was made between 280 B.C. and 220 A.D.

Other 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 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. Imagine that!

Resurrection Most Attested-to-Fact in History

Just to set the record straight, we certainly don’t need proof that the 14’ by 3’ shroud 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. Scholarly volumes 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 the reality of modern physics and standard science. Truly, it is neither here nor there whether someone chooses to believe it or not. It’s simply another set of facts that may help us to think through our assumptions about the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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. Dr. Habermas points out that to the naked eye the image on the shroud is faint and nondescript, (note this on the left side image above).

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 that happens to resemble early ancient and medieval paintings of the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, the cloth itself appears to be something like a “negative” film of a man that becomes the positive photo once a camera is used and the negative is developed. We couldn’t even know about negative and positive film until the late 1890’s when cameras began to be commonly used. At any rate, the shroud photograph becomes the positive image taken from the negative on the shroud. Strange? Hmmm…it really is.

X rays of Teeth & 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 bas relief information about the moon and Mars terrain was used on the cloth. Sure enough, a 3D holographic image formed of a face and a man’s 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 (or you can purchase your own 3D glasses).

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” ( 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).

Event Horizons

Particle physicist Dame Piczek suggests that the resurrection caused two scientific “event horizons” with the body hovering parallel to both – without gravity – explaining why the image is a negative film of a dead man on the front and back sides of the cloth (2009. Missler). These had to be mild event horizons unlike the force of an event horizon from a black hole. Indeed, as it stands today the 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. 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).

I’m not sure that I can understand everything that the physicists, scientists and historians say about the Shroud of Turin. But, in response to everything I have heard, seen and read, I can say,

“He is risen indeed. Hallelujah!”

References: Protestant, Catholic and secular.

BBC News Magazine. 2015. How did the Turin Shroud get its image? (June). Available from: – 33164668.

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

… 2014. Lecture, Beeson Divinity School. Samford University. Miracles Symposium. “Naturalism.” Available from: You Tube.

Missler, Chuck. 2009. A quantum hologram of Christ’s resurrection. Available from:

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

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

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

Catholic Information Center –