Thursday, January 27, 2005


Long held by experts to be a medieval fake, a new study argues the famed The New York Times > Science > Shroud of Turin is old enough to be genuine:
he Shroud of Turin is much older than the medieval date that modern science has affixed to it and could be old enough to have been the burial wrapping of Jesus, a new analysis concludes.

Since 1988, most scientists have confidently concluded that it was the work of a medieval artist, because carbon dating had placed the production of the fabric between 1260 and 1390.

In an article this month in the journal Thermochimica Acta, Dr. Raymond N. Rogers, a chemist retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory, said the carbon dating test was valid but that the piece tested was about the size of a postage stamp and came from a portion that had been patched.

"We're darned sure that part of the cloth was not original Shroud of Turin cloth," he said, adding that threads from the main part of the shroud were pure linen, which is spun from flax.

The threads in the patched portion contained cotton as well and had been dyed to match.

From other tests, he estimated that the shroud was between 1,300 and 3,000 years old.

Regardless of age, the shroud is a fraud simply based on a reading of the pertinent Biblical passages. Still, the dating is passingly interesting.


Hatless in Hattiesburg said...

The passage that referred to 'the head cloth being separate from the rest' was what clinched it for me. Are there other references?

Kentucky Packrat said...

If the head cloth is the Sudarium of Oviedo (and the blood stains on the Sudarium match exactly the Shroud of Turin), then the head cloth being seperate from the entire shroud still is consistent with Shroud being Jesus' burial cloth.

I stand in the Protestant tradition of being really uncomfortable with any recognition of relics, since it often gets too close to iconology. That said, the Shroud seems not only to be authentic, but not humanly producable, so I find myself drawn to wanting it to be authentic.

Could you carry out the discussion of why the Biblical evidence excludes the Shroud of Turin? A teaser like that is almost cruel....

Alan said...

I'll have to investigate the Sudarium.

And yes, I do base my rejection of the Shroud on the reference to a separate face cloth in Scripture (John 20:6-7).

"And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there,and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself."

I also concede a similar skepticism toward relics in general as opposed to legitimate archaeological discoveries. I am open to evidence confirming it, which is why I posted the new findings.

Hatless in Hattiesburg said...

Google had 2520 links to "Sudarium of Oviedo". The first two are here:

and here: