For centuries, Christians had believed the Shroud of Turin was used to wrap Jesus Christ’s deceased body after he had died. Many even thought the imprint of his face and body was still visible on the cloth. However, debates have raged since its discovery over the authenticity, with forensic evidence suggesting that it only emerged in the Middle Ages.
But now a group of Christians believe the ancient cloth was sent by God, even if it was not draped over Christ, as the item itself is Biblical in itself and drew more believers towards Christianity.
Pam Moon, a believer of the Shroud from the UK, told CNN: “I think that’s what converted me.
“For me, the Shroud is the most extraordinary illustration of the suffering of Christ.
“It’s overwhelming when you see the number of welts down the back, yet the face is serene. For me it’s a glimpse of the resurrection.
“If it was fake, it illuminates what the [Bible] says in such a profound way that it would still be valuable to me.
“It’s not essential to anyone’s faith. But I believe in its authenticity because today we can’t even begin to copy it, let alone create one.
“I personally believe that this is the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, and the cloth from which he rose from the dead.”
Previous research has suggested the Turin Shroud is a fake.
If it were the real burial cloth of Jesus, it would date back to around 2,000 years ago.
However, carbon dating shows the Turin Shroud only goes back to the Middle Ages.
Experts have also shown the blood stains on the cloth came from a vertical position as if someone were standing over it.
This would mean the stains are not consistent with someone who had just been crucified.
John Moores University, Liverpool, forensic expert Matteo Borrini and his team had been hoping to see if the blood stains were consistent with someone who had been executed on a T-shaped or Y-shaped cross.
Instead, the research found the blood splatter came from neither.
The team said the blood splatter would look very different if they had been soaked in from someone who had just been crucified, but rather they look as if they had fallen vertically.
The study said: “The two short rivulets on the back of the left hand of the Shroud are only consistent with a standing subject with arms at a ca 45 degree angle.
“This angle is different from that necessary for the forearm stains, which require nearly vertical arms for a standing subject.
“The BPA of blood visible on the frontal side of the chest (the lance wound) shows that the Shroud represents the bleeding in a realistic manner for a standing position while the stains at the back — of a supposed post-mortem bleeding from the same wound for a supine corpse — are totally unrealistic.”
Main image copyright: Getty Images
Written by: Sean Martin