Shroud of Turin on View for First Time in 2 Decades
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.





April 19, 1998


TURIN, Italy (CNN) -- More than 2 million people are expected to visit Turin's cathedral for a rare glimpse of the mysterious Shroud of Turin, which went on public display Sunday for the first time in 20 years.

Many believe the Shroud of Turin was Jesus Christ's burial cloth. Its haunting reverse image of a body, including hands, wrists, hollowed eyes, and traces of blood, will be enshrined in a new bulletproof glass case filled with inert gas.

Princess Maria Gabriella, daughter of Umberto II, Italy's last king, walked the path to the shroud that others will follow.

"To see the shroud had an enormous effect on me," said the princess. "I don't know how to describe it. That shroud is truly a presence."

Scientists are divided over how to explain the 14-foot-long, 3 1/2-foot-wide linen, which bears the image of a man with wounds consistent with Gospel accounts of Christ's crucifixion.

Carbon-dating tests carried out by experts in Oxford, Zurich and Tucson, Arizona, in 1988 ignited controversy by declaring that the shroud dated between 1260 and 1390 -- more than 700 years after Jesus' crucifixion in Jerusalem.

The city's archbishop, Cardinal Giovanni Saldarini, said the church hails the shroud for stimulating "the gift of faith and conversion."

But new research has given true believers cause for hope.

Two University of Texas microbiologists, Dr. Leoncio Garza-Valdes and Professor Stephen Mattingly, suggest bacteria embedded on the shroud over the centuries could have distorted the carbon-dating result because the micro-organisms may not have been removed by cleaning the cloth before the tests.

Franco Testore, the only university professor of textile technology in Italy and the man who selected the shroud samples used in the 1988 carbon-dating tests, said the research was highly interesting but not yet conclusive.

Theories aimed at refuting scientists' conclusions can be found among the rash of new books timed for the shroud's latest display -- one being that pollens found on the cloth bolster arguments the linen might indeed date back to Christ's days.

Cardinal Saldarini ruled out any further testing until at least 2000, when the shroud will be displayed again. The current display will continue through June 14

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