Skip to comments.Scientific, Scriptural evidence points to authenticity of image of Jesus on Shroud of Turin
Posted on 03/25/2012 5:04:13 PM PDT by Coleus
For nearly two decades, a stubborn Barrie Schwortz remained skeptical about the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, even after having seen most of the overwhelming evidence in favor up close with his own eyes. Still this lifelong Jew and official photographer for the scientific study team that investigated the shroud in 1978 kept wondering does this centuries-old burial cloth bear the actual image of the crucified Jesus, as millions believe, or does this widely venerated relic represent little more than a great medieval forgery, perpetuated by a clever artist?
I was skeptical [about the shrouds authenticity] for 18 years, the Coloradobased Schwortz told an enthusiastic audience of 300 people March 16 at St. Paul Inside the Walls: the Catholic Center for Evangelization at Bayley-Ellard here during his PowerPoint slide presentation, The Shroud of Turin: Myth or Miracle? Today, based on all the evidence, I believe that the image on the shroud is that of the historical Jesus.
In an enlightening and often funny presentation, Schwortz presented compelling evidence from decades of rigorous and peer-reviewed scientific, Scrip tural and historical research much of which he has seen with his own eyes. He also chronicled his own amazing journey from skeptic to believer in the shrouds authenticity.
It all started in 1978 after Schwortz accepted what he called the assignment of a lifetime as the official documenting photographer in Italy of the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) Inc., which has its own story filled with international intrigue.
I am not an scientist. Im an ex-hippie photographer, said Schwortz, sporting a gray pony tail and laying out data that points to the shrouds authenticity, including a piece of smoking gun evidence he learned about in 1995 that blew away his skepticism. Im not trying to convince anyone of anything. Thats between you and God. You come to your own conclusion, he told the audience.
Slowly, Schwortz started coming to his own conclusions, when STURP Scientific, Scriptural evidence points to authenticity of image of Jesus on Shroud of Turin See Shroud on Page 4 beach to serve diocesan poor consisting of some of the worlds greatest scientific minds started to examine the 14½-foot long, 3½-foot wide linen cloth. The shroud which has been damaged by fire and repaired several times in its history bears the frontal and rear images of a scourged, crucified man. The team examined at the shroud under the approval of his owners at the time, the Dukes of Savoy, the former ruling family of Italy.
From Oct. 8 and Oct. 14, 1978, STURP spent 120 hours with the shroud not in a sterile laboratory but in the royal palace adjoining the Shrine of Turin, which houses the relic. Researches carefully planned out most of the examination, even designing a special steel table for the shroud that rotated. They also anticipated the ad-hoc conditions of the palace, designating a bathroom as the darkroom, which required a water source. They also ran up against interest groups that lobbied to prevent research on the shroud, now the property of the Catholic Church, said Schwortz, founder of the Shroud of Turin Education and Research Association, who lectures widely on this controversial subject.
One day, I went to see the long line of people [at the Shrine of Turin]. I was baffled. Why would they stand for hours to see this piece of cloth? Schwortz said. But then I looked into the peoples faces and saw how meaningful it was. It was then that I took my work [photographing STURPs work] more seriously, he said.
Actually, Schwortzs skepticism started to soften within minutes of casting his eyes on the shroud for the first time. Through a magnifying glass, he noticed that the marks on the cloth were not pigment. Later research showed that the blood remained red and had not turned brown with age. UV fluorescent photos showed a halo at the edge of a wound and the pattern of blood flow on the cloth, he said. This could not have been the work of an artist, said Schwortz, whose photographs over the years have been used by shroud researchers and have appeared in many books, magazines, scientific journals, films and television documentaries.
The level and quality of the science was incredible. In Turin, STURP also conducted infrared imaging and chemical analysis on the shroud. The evidence points to the Scriptural and historical accuracy of the crucifixion marks on the cloth from the bloodstains at the hands and feet to the crown of thorns smashed on his head to the scourge marks, Schwortz said.
About 18 years after STURP concluded its research, Schwortz remained troubled that the blood on the cloth stayed red. Then in 1995, a Jewish chemist explained that Jesus suffered unimaginable trauma from the beating and whippings to the crucifixion that left him in shock and dehydrated. This caused the body to produce a substance called bilirubin, which stays red forever.
Later data also debunked a major piece of evidence that pointed against the shrouds authenticity, which caused further international intrigue. In 1988, three labs claimed that radio carbon dating tests placed the age of the cloth at between 1260 and 1390. But in 2000, researchers discovered that cloth that had been tested came from a corner that had been rewoven. They found two pieces of thread spliced together with cotton not linen which violated Jewish law at the time of Jesus death, Schwortz said.
I think that the shroud bears the image of the historical Jesus, but Im not convinced that Jesus is the Messiah, said Schwortz, adding that his skepticism about Christs divinity gives him further credibility, when laying out the Scriptural, historical and scientific evidence for the shrouds historical authenticity. But I can elect [to accept Christ as Savior] at any time. Right now, I am serving God dong this, because I am a Jew, he said.
After a question-and-answer session, Father Geno Sylva, St. Pauls director and diocesan vicar for evangelization, thanked Schwortz for teaching and inspiring us. This has been a night of devotion delving into the love of the Savior and evangelization, Father Sylva told the audience. Mr. Schwortz had challenged us to share the information we learned tonight about the shroud and share it with others. We are all called to be evangelists, he said.
Afterward, Betsy Sullivan of Christ the King Parish, New Vernon, called Schwortzs presentation enriching. It [the presentation] helps us embrace Lent, said Sullivan, who came to St. Pauls with her nephew. I feel empowered in giving up something for Lent, because I saw Jesus wounds [on the cloth] and realized what he did for us.
Thank you for the post. More proof of the Shroud’s authencity
Thank you for the ping. I became convinced that the Shroud is genuine when I learned that the Carbon-14 test was done on a rewoven patch and not the original material.
I think I’ve always thought it is authentic. Or decided it was so long ago, I don’t remember having doubted its authencity. And Veronica’s veil has no unknown period of existence to cast doubt on it.
Why is it a "pipedream" and how is it supposed to convince anyone? People saw Jesus perform miracles right in front of them and didn't believe.
Sounds like this guy believes that the image on the shroud could be a miracle. I wonder why he thinks that being Jewish means he can’t believe that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. Does he think the miracle of the image’s creation was done by either nature or by the devil?
I’m with you and do not believe and have never believed that the Shroud of Turin is the shroud of Jesus.
I do not need physical proof to know that God and his Son exist, are real, and are our salvation.
Brent, I believe you are confusing that believing an artifact is real IS the reason for my and other’s belief in Jesus, rather than it is our belief in Jesus and His gift of our salvation from Him. Metaforically, you are putting the cart in front of the horse that is pulling the wagon and the cart attached to the wagon.
Non-believers will never believe that the shroud is authentic, because they have no belief in Jesus and His message, and some don’t even believe He existed.
The Shroud’s authenticity does not cause my belief in Jesus, it is my belief in him and of His ressurrection, that allows me to believe in the Shroud being His burial cloth.
I do not need physical proof to know that God and his Son exist, are real, and are our salvation. >>
nor do most Christians, it’s called faith...
It’s simply a validation of the faith, nothing more. A physical, forensically verifiable item that comes as close to definitive proof as you can get without HD video of the event.
Anyone who worships the Shroud is a fool who needs to go back to the Bible. The Shroud could be burned tomorrow, and it would be a significant historical loss, but it wouldn’t affect Christianity in any way. Not like the effect that destroying Mecca and Medina would have on Islam.
Why use the term "G-d"? Is there something wrong with the word "God"? Yes - believers don't need a shroud or physical evidence to sustain their beliefs. But the shroud is quite a mystery and the fact scientists still can't quite figure it out makes the continued study quite logical and ... fascinating. Even Spock would approve.
True. The object itself is just the stuff of earth but the miracle itself is the stuff of Heaven. The real treasure is the One who did it.
But doesn’t it seem weird that the Lord would do a miracle to preserve the historical record of a blasphemer?
Brent will probably respond, but Jews don’t spell out the word for the Lord’s name out of respect for the 1st commandment to not take the name of the Lord in vain. It is a way of honoring the name of the Lord.
And Brent, I’m using Lord because I’ve been told that it is not offensive to Jews. Let me know if that’s not the case. I’m constantly disappointed with the way the word “G-d” is thrown about as if it meant nothing.
Ok. Hmmm. I honestly did not know the word "God" was offensive to Jews. Thanks.
I saw the shroud in 1978 myself. I went with my more religous boss and stood with him in a line that was a street wide and miles long. It took 2 hours at least to get in.
I have to say I went in a skeptic and came out saying it could be true. Details of the crucufixion, that none of the later counterfeiters could have known, were shown in a display after the viewing.
It was a truly gruesome way to die. And no it doesn’t have to be real to give you faith, but it was very moving, including the thousands who stood next to us for so long.