Skip to comments.Unveiling the Mystery (Historical and Scientific Evidence for Shroud of Turin)
Posted on 04/05/2010 4:14:00 PM PDT by NYer
SACRAMENTO, Calif. For some, the Shroud of Turin represents a mysterious relic. For others, its evidence for the Resurrection.
Whether you believe or not, everyone who views the image on the shroud has to ask himself the question: Who is the man of the shroud?
A new exhibit in Sacramento, Calif., is asking viewers that very question and providing the historical and scientific evidence to help viewers come to their own conclusion.
On March 1, the exhibit Who Is the Man of the Shroud? opened to the public at the National Shrine Our Lady of Guadalupe here. The exhibit, which features the most recent life-size photograph of the shroud, is a replica of an exhibit that is also on display in Jerusalem and Rome.
The original exhibit opened at Notre Dame Pontifical Institute of Jerusalem in 2006. A second exhibit opened at Regina Apostolorum University in Rome.
Planning and preparations for the Sacramento permanent exhibit began more than 18 months ago. The concept was originally conceived by Legionary Father Hector Guerra, who wanted to display holographic images and a sculpture of the man of the shroud so that visitors could meditate on the Crucifixion.
The 14-foot-long Shroud of Turin bears the image of the front and back of a man who was scourged, wore a crown of thorns, and was crucified. It resides in the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy.
The Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine was selected for its accessibility and as a location where administration of the museum could take place. Legionaries of Christ staff both the shrine and the exhibit.
The exhibits inauguration, blessing and ribbon-cutting took place Feb. 27. Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto blessed the exhibit, which is housed in a brick building behind Our Lady of Guadalupe parish.
Highlights of the exhibit include the photographic replica of the shroud, which was taken July 23, 2002; replicas of the nails; whip and crown of thorns used on the victims body; a sculpture of the Holy Sepulcher; holographic images of the shroud; a life-size bronze sculpture based on the man of the shroud by Italian sculptor Luigi Mattei, and 22 panels that feature information on the history and scientific studies performed on the shroud over the years.
The $100,000 exhibit was paid for with private donations. The Legionaries worked with shroud experts, such as Israeli botanist Avinoam Danin, photographer Barrie Schwortz and museum expert Martine Ferre to design the exhibit.
God Was There
To say interest in the Shroud of Turin is high would be an understatement. While the actual cloth usually goes on display only every 25 years, Pope Benedict XVI directed that it be displayed this spring. It was last on display 10 years ago. More than 1.2 million people have already requested tickets to see the shroud during its public display April 10 - May 23.
Organizers expect that 2 million people will come to see the relic. Pope Benedict XVI himself will visit Turin on May 2.
In addition, the History Channel aired the documentary The Real Face of Jesus March 30. In it, Ray Downing of Studio Macbeth uses computer technology and works with the John Jackson Turin Shroud Center in Colorado to create a 3-D model from the image on the shroud.
Legionary Brother Andres Emmanuelli, in Sacramento, said that future exhibits are being considered in Mexico and possibly an African country.
In addition, Father Guerra is working to create a foundation that would gather all of the various experts on the shroud to work together.
Barrie Schwortz is one of the few individuals who have been able to study the actual shroud. Schwortz was the official documenting photographer of the 33-member international Shroud of Turin Research (Sturp) scientific team that investigated the shroud in October 1978. The Sturp team spent 120 consecutive hours examining multiple parts of the relic simultaneously with a battery of different scientific tests. Their work remains the most in-depth series of tests ever performed on the shroud.
It concluded that the shroud image is that of a real human form of a scourged, crucified man and is not the product of an artist. According to their summary, no pigments, paints, dyes or stains have been found on the fibrils.
According to Schwortz, the work of the Sturp team has dominated shroud science.
The efforts of our team contributed directly to our knowledge of the shroud, said Schwortz.
That investigation also led Schwortz, who is Jewish, to the conclusion that the shroud is indeed the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.
Thats a Jewish man on that cloth. Its an authentic Jewish burial cloth. I, a Jew, believe its an authentic relic of Jesus, said Schwortz. Because of the shroud, I was forced to confront my own beliefs and found out that God was there all along.
Schwortz consulted with the Legionaries on the exhibit. He sees it as positive to have exhibits around the world.
Its good to have a shroud exhibit just footsteps away from where the actual events took place, said Schwortz. The shroud can cross boundaries that a church cannot.
The exhibit is designed with the purpose of bringing faith and science together, said Father Lino Otero, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe parish. Its designed for the critic. Never does the exhibit say that this is Jesus. Its up to the visitor to reach a conclusion.
Since its opening, the exhibit has drawn thousands of visitors.
The majority of visitors have come away fascinated and find the evidence very convincing, said Father Otero. While there are other shroud centers in the U.S., ours is the most thorough.
Schwortz believes that the shroud has value not only for Christians, but to people of all faiths.
The underlying value [of an exhibit] is that it makes you think about the shroud, said Schwortz. Anything that makes us think about God is a good thing, no matter what our conclusions might be.
bumpus ad summum
The 2 hour special on the shroud on the history channel was excellent....
I saw it too. I agree!
Good fit for the location..Another unexplainable image.
The best yet! Did you see the expression on the man’s face when the final face was revealed? Amazing.
I agree, quite well done. One of the more interesting elements to me was the mapping of all the wounds. I tend to believe the shroud is authentic, primarily because it matches the gospels so well with regard to his wounds.
I saw this on the History Channel and watched closely at the methodology of the different scientists involved. As for me, I am convinced that The Shroud of Turin is the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. Glory to God.
I didn’t care much for that special. Lots of “fluff”, etc.....but it did one thing: supported the idea that the Shroud isn’t a fraud or fake. For that, it had value.
Two things are still puzzling to me:
(1) I read that the Face on the Shroud shows that the eyes were covered with Roman coins in order to keep them closed.
(2) And that the Face was wrapped with a separate cloth in order to keep the mouth closed.
One can study the Face closely and observe that the Lips pout slightly and that the beard is tucked on either side of the Face because of the pressure exerted by the cloth. Close-up photographs of the Face show the imprints of the Roman coins where the eyes are.
Apparently, the computer artist did not take this information into consideration. All in all, the program was absolutely fascinating.
Yeah - with every commercial break, they had to come back to review everything countless times - probably would take 15 minutes instead of an hour without the repetitions. I didn’t care for that aspect.
Oh, it was far more than that. Years of published, peer reviewed research that was totally ignored, etc.. However, those on that that show that know better are to blame....I’ll leave it at that.
Barrie Schwortz was great; he usually is. He has a terrific Web site called www.shroud.com. He has spent 14 years archiving valuable information. I highly recommend it.
Another good one on History channel was on Exodus, fact or myth....most informative...
I saw the program, as well. Most intriguing. When the artist produced the digital image of the head of Jesus, I wqas moved to tears.
I saw the program, as well. Most intriguing. When the artist produced the digital image of the head of Jesus, I was moved to tears.
Some things to ponder:
An actual crucified human body had to be used to make the shroud.
The image is a monochromatic pixel type with a DPI 4 times greater than a very good laser printer. Not only that, but it is a 2-D image with 3-D information.
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