*Closeup of the Facial Image as it appears to the eye (right) and on a photographic negative (left)

Controversy has raged for centuries over the validity of the Shroud of Turin. In a short post, I can only touch on the trove of information surrounding this sacred Christian relic, but I encourage you to learn more on your own.

Some of you may ask, ‘what is the shroud of Turin?’

It’s a 14 ft. long burial cloth with the image of a man on the linen who suffered a violent death by crucifixion. Many believe the image is that of Jesus Christ embedded on the cloth by the vast energy released at the moment of his resurrection. Others regard it as an elaborate forgery.

I recently rented the documentary from Netflix on Jesus And The Shroud of Turin; I’d become acquainted with the shroud years ago through the avid interest of a friend, but like many, I thought it was a hoax. However, after watching this film and reviving my curiosity, I'm rethinking my position. Whether or nor the film and new evidence that has come to light makes a believer of you, the history of the shroud is fascinating.

For instance, The Knights Templar, the religious order that existed for two centuries during the Crusades in the Middle Ages, took care of the cloth for more than a hundred years and kept it from falling into the hands of heretical groups that might have destroyed it. Anything having to do with these Knights interests me.

There are many online sites devoted to the history and ongoing research of the Shroud. The main one seems to be: http://www.shroud.com/
To quote from The Shroud Website: ‘Modern science has completed hundreds of thousands of hours of detailed study and intense research on the Shroud. It is, in fact, the single most studied artifact in human history, and we know more about it today than we ever have before. And yet, the controversy still rages…we believe that if you have access to the facts, you can make up your own mind about the Shroud.’

From Wikipedia: The image on the shroud is much clearer in a black-and-white negative than in its natural sepia color. The striking negative image was first observed on the evening of May 28, 1898, on the reverse photographic plate of amateur photographer Secondo Pia, who was allowed to photograph it while it was being exhibited in the Turin Cathedral. According to Pia, he almost dropped and broke the photographic plate from the shock of seeing an image of a person on it.’

I thought this negative image that showed up in the photograph is one of the most remarkable aspects of the shroud.

This shroud site says, ‘New Information: A team of nine scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory has confirmed that the carbon dating of the Shroud of Turin is wrong. See the Fact Check and Carbon Dating Tabs at Shroud of Turin Blog.


That the original carbon dating may be wrong is an extremely important development because it had placed the shroud in the Middle Ages. Now, it seems the cloth may actually date back to the time of Christ.

To quote the Shroud of Turin Blog:
'Is it real?
Scientifically, we don't know the age of the Shroud of Turin. However, we do know it is at least twice as old as the now discredited carbon 14 date. As for the images, we have no idea how they are formed. But they were not made by any known artistic method.

The Atheist, the skeptic, the rationalist must accept the scientific facts just as any Christian should. To deny that the shroud is authentic requires a leap of faith. So does affirmation. But the evidence suggests that it is a late-Second Temple era burial shroud of a crucifixion victim. From that, much can be inferred.
Mita Jain is quoted on the blog as saying, “There has been a lot of debate about whether this was actually the cloth, in which Jesus was buried, or if it was someone else or perhaps if it’s just a hoax. Carbon 14 dating was done to verify the time of the linen cloth, and it was found that the cloth was from Middle Ages, ie about 1300 years after Jesus’s death. This dampened the believers’ spirit. But a follow up research, proved that the sample cloth chosen initially was a bad one because the cloth had been repaired in Middle Ages. The cloth also survived fire, and hence could have radiocarbon content indicating towards wrong age.
Some people still believe that Turin’s shroud is a proof of Jesus’s sacrifice for the mankind. The others do not.

I believe that it doesn’t matter whether the shroud is actual or not. Even if it’s not real, if it can bring some kindness and peace to today’s human race, then there is no harm believing in it. If it can bring out goodness in today’s world, then there is no harm worshipping it. The power of belief and faith can do wonders. After all, isn’t this what religion is all about?”

In conclusion, all I can say is that the shroud is amazing. I got goosebumps looking at that picture. I believe it may be real, but my faith is not dependent on the shroud being genuine.

This link takes you to a page where you can click on any part of the image of the shroud and it will allow you a closer examination. http://www.shroud.com/examine.htm

Posted by Beth Trissel


  1. Scarlet Pumpernickel // August 14, 2009 at 12:14 AM  

    Beth! Great topic. I love history and a mystery to boot! Interesting indeed. You have given us much food for thought.

  2. Mary Marvella // August 14, 2009 at 12:30 AM  

    I remember studying about the shroud. It is interesting whether you believe the whole story or not. Something old has survived and the stain could be real. Believing in it won't cause anything bad but could make folks feel good.

    Good post!

  3. Beth Trissel // August 14, 2009 at 1:03 AM  

    Thanks ladies. This kind of stuff fascinates me.

  4. Judy // August 14, 2009 at 7:41 AM  

    It's always fascinating to read about things like this. There is such a desire to know the truth. Thanks for posting this, Beth.

  5. Barbara Monajem // August 14, 2009 at 7:57 AM  

    What an interesting post, Beth. Thank you! The pictures of the shroud itself were amazing.

  6. Nightingale // August 14, 2009 at 12:13 PM  

    We can always trust Beth for a fascinating historical post. There's just enough here to make one want to investigate further!

  7. Helen Hardt // August 14, 2009 at 1:17 PM  

    Beth, I'm always fascinated by stuff like this. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Mary Ricksen // August 14, 2009 at 1:48 PM  

    In man's constant search for meaning in life. There is never anything definitive. It's all about faith.
    Don't worship it, respect it and hope it means there is a higher being.
    Great post Beth!

  9. Beth Trissel // August 14, 2009 at 2:26 PM  

    Thanks all. Mary, I agree with you.
    There can never be a definitive answer no matter how much research is done. It comes down to faith, but it's fascinating all the same.
    Ah, the wealth of history.

  10. Autumn Jordon // August 14, 2009 at 2:39 PM  

    Beth, Great post! I love reading about this subject and you bring up many questions. One day we might know the truth.


  11. Pamela Varnado // August 14, 2009 at 3:17 PM  

    Wow Beth,
    This is fascinating. I've always been interested in Christian history and will be sure to check out the websites you listed.

  12. Beth Trissel // August 14, 2009 at 5:17 PM  

    Good. Do check out these sites.

  13. Dayana // August 16, 2009 at 12:35 AM  

    Great post, Beth.

    A very controversial topic yet it keeps coming back into the limelight. It is an amazing artifact and yes, it does give goosebumps if only for its age and what it appears to try to prove to us.

    Thank you for posting this. As Scarlet said it is food for thought. We may never learn the truth of its origin.


  14. Joanne // August 20, 2009 at 4:51 PM  

    What an interesting topic. The Shroud of Turin has always been fascinating for me. Thanks for a well-researched blog.