Skip to comments.Original research team member says science still can't explain Shroud (with video)
Posted on 04/28/2013 12:51:20 PM PDT by NYer
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Even with modern scientific technology, the Shroud of Turin continues to baffle researchers.
Barrie Schwortz was the documenting photographer for the Shroud of Turin research project in 1978, an in-depth examination of what many people believe to be the burial cloth of Jesus.
Raised in an Orthodox Jewish home, "it took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I'm a Jew and involved with probably the most important relic of Christianity," Schwortz told Catholic News Service.
"Isn't it funny how God always picks a Jew to be the messenger," he said.
Schwortz said that he, along with the other members of the research team who came from various faith backgrounds, had to set aside personal beliefs and focus on the shroud itself rather than any religious implication it might carry.
"We were there to gather information ... to do empirical science and do it to the best of our abilities," Schwortz said. "It doesn't have anything to do with my personal religious beliefs. It has to do with the truth."
The Shroud of Turin is a 14-foot linen that has a full-length photonegative image of a wounded man on the front and back of the cloth. The scientific team spent five days analyzing the chemical and physical properties of the shroud, paying special attention to the topographical information showing depth that was encoded in the light and dark shading of the cloth.
"Our team went to Turin to answer one simple question: How was the image formed?" Schwortz said. "Ultimately, we failed.
"We could tell you what it's not -- not a painting, not a photograph, not a scorch, not a rubbing -- but we know of no mechanism to this day that can make an image with the same chemical and physical properties as the image on the shroud."
Testing has been performed on the shroud since the initial analyses, and the results continue to be contested. In 1988 carbon testing dated the cloth to the 12th century, leading many to conclude that the shroud is a medieval forgery.
In a paper published in 2005, chemist Raymond Rogers, member of the 1978 research team, challenged the claim that the shroud is a fake. He said the sample used in the 1988 carbon testing was a piece used to mend the cloth in the Middle Ages and that the methodology of the testing was erroneous.
Even though the controversy over the origin of the cloth does not seem like it will be determined any time soon, Schwortz said the shroud can still be regarded as a bridge between science and faith.
"I think the implication of the shroud, for those particularly of the Christian faith, is that this is a document that precisely coincides with the Gospel account of what was done to the man Jesus," he said.
Schwortz said the public online technical database -- www.shroud.com -- that the team created should be used as a tool to learn more about the physical attributes of the shroud, but that individuals should draw their own conclusions about what it means for their faith.
"People often ask me, 'Does this prove the resurrection?'" Schwortz said. "The shroud did not come with a book of instructions. So the answer to faith isn't going to be on that piece of cloth, but more likely in the eyes and the hearts of those who look upon it."
For your list.
I have a shroud question if anyone knows. Are the wounds in the hand or in the wrist?
In the wrist.
Before he died, Raymond Rogers withdrew his belief that the Shroud was from the Middle Ages. As a result of questions raised by research provided by Sue Benford, he went back and did more testing. He confirmed that the carbon dating was performed on a portion of the Shroud that was repaired.
Response: Ergo it is divine Q.E.D.
According to the experts who examined the shroud, the wounds are in the wrist ref
I know that Barry believes that the Shroud is authentic, but he has never converted. An unusual case!
In the wrist. Nobody nails in the hands, they can’t support the weight of a person, it’d tear through them. They already were looking for this long ago, they know how the Romans crucified and know anatomy. You can see it in the image.
Science still can’t fully explain things like the ancient Wootz steel.
Therefore, Wootz steel must be holy.
“Russian metallurgist Pavel Petrovich Anosov, Dr. Oleg Sherby and Dr. Jeff Wadsworth and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have all done research, attempting to create steels with similar characteristics to Wootz. However none have had any success so far and the original techniques used to produce Wootz steel in India have been lost for centuries.”
And the repair had to date from the Middle Ages where a report arises about the shroud being repaired. In short, the shroud is easily older than the material introduced in the repaired part!
The answer to that question is simple ~ if God selected a Jew to bring the message, then he’s a Jew ~
Show me an ancient stainless steel sword with a photo of Jesus on it and we’ll talk. Otherwise, no go ~ the formula and process seem to have been lost as recently as the 18th century anyway.
The point was something that was made by people in the past is not replicable by modern technology today. Wootz steel is one of those.
For a jewish, largely secular scientist averse to Jesus being the messiah, it’s not really that unusual. Many jews can’t believe a god exists for allowing the holocaust to occur.
And of course just because you can’t explain something it doesn’t mean what we believe what happened is true. Just that science hasn’t figured it out yet. This reasoning somehow satisfies them with not having to decide one way or the other. The only faith they have is that someday, somehow, some way, “science will explain it”. Science doesn’t give the “why” to it, though, just the “what”.
Are you thinking that modern technology can create effects that are not inherent in the original object?
Example; the 3D effects digitalized from the shroud?
Wouldn’t this be a set back to the study of archeology ? how can we trust evidence if the methods of modern technology create phantoms or simulacra or reality?
And if not the evidence, are we not sliding into postulating an absurdity?
oops meant “of” reality.
This is a common and needless impasse. There’s nothing about the faith of Jesus Christ that requires any assertion to be made about an item that is popularly claimed to be a relic. One can be a fervent, Spirit filled believer without making any assertion at all about what we are calling the Shroud.
The dialogue, however, is illustrative of a tension between naturalism and spiritualism (the latter not in the sense of sorcery but in the sense of acceptance that spirit is a fundamental characteristic of existence as it is known to us)
One of the most interesting aspects to me of the Holy Shroud is that the image is a combination of both the surface features of the soft tissue and the underlying skeletal and dental structure. So it has tomographic properties that are not just an approximation, but accurate.
It’s possible we could modernly reverse engineer such a thing, but it leaves the puzzle of how it could ever be done without the computer, the laser, the hologram, in a way that wouldn’t even be evident until the modern tools appeared to make it possible to analyze the image.
The image looks vaguely drawing-like to me, but there are reasonable explanations. I’m willing to chalk it up to spirit work.
[I’m willing to chalk it up to spirit work.]
but again I wouldn’t reverence the Shroud on account of it either. I would give glory to God who performed such a work as one of the relatively minor evidences of the work of Christ.
The shroud fascinates me. An amazing find for sure.
I have read things that convince me it is real and some that convince me it is not. In the end it really doesn't have much impact on me one way or the other.
I know he was raised from the dead and it doesn't matter if someone found his burial clothes or not.
As the blind man in John chapter 9 said. "One thing I do know I was blind and now I see" Praise the Lord
The Word of God is enough evidence and bears the Gospel. It prophesies future events before they happen (Isaiah 44 and 46).
The burial cloths were also found neatly laid aside. This wasn’t some grab-and-run by a grave robber. God does not leave things a mess....
And the Holy Spirit confirms. Without the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon the faith and giving it energy and fulfilling the promises, it might as well be some children’s make believe story about the tooth fairy. The Shroud is a nice decorative detail, but it isn’t even needed for the work of redemption to happen.
I generally agree
You might enjoy this book.
This effort represents the culmination of almost twenty years of research by the author that summarizes an estimated 250 thousand man-hours of study of the Shroud over the past twenty-five years by many individuals. This linen is absolutely unique. There is no other naturally occurring linen like it nor does anyone know how to fabricate it. While you may or may not agree with the author's theory of how the image was formed, after finishing this book, you most certainly will known why this cloth holds such fascination for so many.
The WP article provides an abundance of referenced research from both sides. Quite interesting. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shroud_of_Turin
Kind of like a veiled women, i see God basically veiling Himself while giving enough revelation for those who honestly want what Christ represents to seek to know Him, and to take a step of faiths that results in a real revelation of Him and of His promises, in heart and life and according to obedience, while allowing the results of the Fall to be used by those who do “will not have this Man to reign over them.” (Lk. 19:14)
Liberals demand all the same benefits as those who earned the right to them, and some skeptics demand God do this or that as a condition of believing on Him while being opposed to His authority, and doing which miracles will not result in real faith. Israel under Moses proves that.
However, honest seeking prepares the heart for proper receiving, and “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear [reverence] him; and he will shew them his covenant.” (Psalms 25:14)
I don’t think evangelicals and Roman Catholics are going to see eye to eye on everything anytime soon, and it’s interesting that it’s more the Roman Catholic predilection to reverence the Shroud than it is the evangelical one. The typical evangelical response, if believing it genuine, is “Look what the Lord hath done here too. Praise Him!” Not, “I must fall on my knees before this wondrous Shroud.”
What I am trying to say is that the wounds observed in the shroud match both the description given in Ps 22:16 and the anatomical fact that nails through the "hand" (i.e. metacarpals) would not be able to support the weigh of a person.
The Hebrew term for hand also doesn’t make a clear distinction of the forearm from the hand. The Greek may be more specific, but it typically is a translation of an Aramaic account which shares many of the broader meanings of terms that Hebrew does. This might or might not reflect a precise account of the crucifixion details. The cross isn’t even clearly documented to be the Roman cross we know of today. Perhaps this vagueness is purposeful, to head off an over-reverence of minor detail.
Da Vinci was born in the 15th century!
I'm with you. Though it would be amazing to actually have THE burial cloth through which Jesus' body escaped - without tearing or even disturbing the fabric wrapped around him, it should serve as further evidence of the miracle of his resurrection and not just one more "relic" that gets venerated, worshiped, prayed to or fought over.
One of the few explicit clues left by the Lord surviving to the modern day that He really is king even over the laws of physics. And it is nice to see and probably a “praise the Lord” moment. But you could tell that already if you believed the bible.
Yep that’s the idea. The Shroud is a sign. When you travel to Chicago and you come across a sign saying it’s 100 miles to Chicago you don’t get out of your car and kiss the sign. You proceed to Chicago encouraged that you are drawing near.
Actually, from the description it kind of looks like Jesus stopped and folded the face cloth before leaving the tomb. After all, it would honor his Mom who doubtless told Him to fold His clothes neatly :-)
(And no I don’t mean a microgram of sarcasm or irreverence there. It would be so Jesus to do it.)
Good discussion, but Dr. Zugibe who has done the most crucifixion pathology of anyone, determined in the 90s that the palms will support the body in this instance because the feet are supported by a crossbar. Dr. Zugibe describes the nail going through the crease of the thumb (in the palm) and then downward to an exit through the top of the wrist. This actually did support the victim a little better, yet confirms the many early images, paintings, and stigmata showing the wrist wound. This nailing method also breaks no bones. Zugibe’s volunteers further reported they could breathe quite normally in a sagging position. Christ died from severe trauma, of many different kinds, and not from asphyxiation. The Two Criminals had their legs broken as a “coup de grace” inflicting unacceptable trauma, and not because they would have asphyxiated. It was also thought that, if the Romans somehow were wrong about the person being dead, that it would keep the victim from crawling away. Google “Zugibe” and “Shroud”.
“Reverence the Shroud”? Before being so quick to condemn this, consider that if the Shroud were acknowledged by all to be the Shroud of Christ (and so proven), that it is not just an image — it also contains the Blood of Christ.
I’m not saying that it has healing power, I’m just saying that, considering the Roman Catholic and most of the Protestant World reverence the Body and Blood of Christ in Holy Communion, the Blood of Christ is extremely significant in itself.
Sounds rather bizarre that volunteers would agree to get literally nailed to crosses in the name of science. I guess they drew the line at getting their legs broken eh. Anyhow this truly was a Miracle Man who if He had wanted to keep from shedding blood at all, He easily could have willed it. And so any suffering He suffered, was suffered by His humble choice.
“This actually did support the victim a little better, yet confirms the many early images, paintings, and stigmata showing the wrist wound.”
Sorry, I meant “showing the palm wound”.
In line with your thoughts, consider the many experts who have described the face of Christ on the Shroud, as “peaceful”.
Well, the body and blood is considered by evangelicals to be consumed in a spiritual sense, with eating and drinking being metaphors for spiritual receiving. Even if bits of the body and blood were believed to be present there in the cloth with all their spiritual power, it wouldn’t be the shroud itself that was received, but the power of the blood and body as applicable.
Well it all concluded with an “it is finished.” Seems fitting enough for Christ, having concluded His suffering, to be at blissful peace again, this time augmented with the joy of all the lost that He just saved.