CSST: Council for Study of the Shroud of Turin Current Findings
Last Updated By Bill's Bible Basics :
February 16, 2017

In addition to reading and studying all of the information which is available in this section of the Bill's Bible Basics website regarding the Shroud of Turin, and the Sudarium of Oviedo, please also consider reading my article entitled "Faith and the Shroud of Turin" in order to gain a full perspective regarding this issue.

The Shroud of Turin, the purported burial cloth of Jesus Christ, is a piece of fine linen 3 feet 7 inches wide by 14 feet 3 inches long (exactly 2 by 8 cubits, the ancient measurement in Israel). It bears the detailed front and back images of a man who has been crucified in a manner identical to that of Jesus of Nazareth as described in the Scriptures. The Shroud has been in Turin, Italy since 1578. It is brought out for public viewing about once a generation. The last such exhibition was in 1978, and in five weeks, about 31/2 million pilgrims passed by to view this delicate cloth.

Also, during this time, the Shroud was intensively studied by a large group of highly skilled scientists, whose main objective was to determine the properties of the image and how it originated. Over 1000 special tests were conducted and over 32,000 photographs were taken. These studies, along with various others, combine to make the Shroud of Turin the most intensively studied single object in history. The tests show clearly that the Shroud images are not any kind of artistic production but are the result of physical/chemical changes in the linen fibers themselves. However, they fail to explain how this occurred.

Research by Dr. and Mrs. Whanger

Studies on the Shroud of Turin by Dr. Alan and Mrs. Mary Whanger have been underway in Durham, North Carolina since 1979. Dr. Whanger is Professor Emeritus at Duke University Medical Center and is skilled in photography and video. The Whangers were challenged to find a method of performing "exacting comparisons" between the face of the Man of the Shroud and the faces of early icons and other images. In 1981, they developed a polarized image overlay technique in which two images are projected one on top of the other and exactly aligned onto the same screen through polarizing filters at right angles one to the other. When viewed through a third rotating polarized filter, the two images fade one into the other allowing detailed observation and analysis of the congruencies, similarities, and dissimilarities of the two images. This method reveals that the Shroud face image was used extensively and accurately as the basis of artistic depictions of Jesus as early as the 3rd Century and consistently from the 6th Century onward.

Since 1981, the Whangers have conducted extensive examinations of a number of life size, very high grade photographs from those taken in 1931 by Enrie. At first look, the obvious features of the Shroud are the front and back body images; several blood stains; and a series of patches, scorches, and water stains resulting from a fire in 1532.

On closer examination, the Whangers have found that there are images of many objects in addition to those of the body, and that these images show evidence of electron coronal discharge radiation. These additional objects include a crucifixion nail, a Roman spear, a sponge on a stick, a crown of thorns, two scourges, a large hammer, a pair of pliers, and two desecrated Jewish phylacteries or prayer boxes. All are consistent with 1st Century objects, with Roman crucifixions of Jews, with Jewish burial practices, and/or with Biblical accounts of the Crucifixion of Jesus.

Several findings of the Whangers show the origin of the Shroud images to be from Israel in the spring of AD 30. Evidence for this includes the images of large numbers of flowers banked around the body. The Whangers have identified 28 species, 20 of which grow in Jerusalem and the other 8 within 12 miles of Jerusalem, with a common blooming time of March and April. The pollens of 25 of these have been independently identified by Dr. Max Frei, a Swiss criminalist and botanist, as being present on the Shroud from sticky tape samples that he took in 1973 and 1978. Visible over each eye are detailed images of two different lepton coins (widows mites) of Pontius Pilate, each dated AD 29. Some statues in the Middle East are based on the Shroud face image, the earliest dated AD 31.

Examination of a three dimensional enhancement of the face reveals the underlying skeletal structures, including the eye sockets, nasal bones, sinuses, and about 20 teeth, showing that the Shroud image is in part an autoradiograph.

There are many intriguing faint images on the Shroud; which, through additional investigation, could further establish the Shroud as the most amazing archaeological artifact in existence. This could also greatly facilitate adequate, but much needed, conservation measures.

The 1988 Carbon-14 Dating

In 1988, the single sample removed from the Shroud for Carbon-14 dating indicated 13th or 14th century origin, and it was widely reported that the Shroud is a medieval artistic fake. Although subsequent extensive examinations have shown clearly that the Carbon-14 dating results were in serious error for several reasons, most people are still unaware of these findings because of severely restricted coverage by the media. In 1990, the Vatican repudiated the 1988 Carbon-14 dating conclusions, citing them as "strange" and called or further testing. This, too, was met with restricted media coverage.

The Sudarium of Oviedo

There are other objects in existence which by tradition are connected with the crucifixion and burial of Jesus of Nazareth and which warrant full and careful examination. One of these is the Sudarium of Oviedo, the traditional face cloth (John 20:7), which has been in Oviedo, Spain, since the 8th century. In 1984, the Whangers reported about 130 congruent blood stains between the Sudarium and the Shroud, indicating that both had been in touch with the same individual. More recently, they have been actively cooperating with a Spanish Shroud group in direct examinations on the Sudarium.

Source: Information taken from CSST web sit

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