If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone

 

Is there blood on the Shroud of Turin?
 
The Turin Shroud is the most famous relic in the world. Millions believe that it is the burial cloth of Jesus Christ bearing his crucified and bloodied image. The cloth is kept at Turin in Italy. The cloth is an enigma. Many say it is a miracle. But in fact the greatest mystery is who the cloth depicts for the man whose face is on the Shroud is not Jesus Christ.
 
It is claimed that there is blood on the Turin Shroud and that it is the blood of Jesus Christ.
 
Quick Facts
 
#The blood is picture-like. It does not matter if it is blood or not, what matters is that it should be smeared and messy and not like a picture.
#The blood should not be bright red - the excuse that it stays red if a person undergoes a traumatic death though possible is still too far fetched and overlooks the fact that all the blood is red and that some of the wounds were inflicted before the crucifixion. We should see at best red blood and dark blood. The shade is too uniform.
#The shroudman's head was supposedly wrapped in the Sudarium of Oveido prior to burial in the Shroud. But the Sudarium does not have reddish blood!
#The research proving that the same person was wrapped in both is based on fantasy. The Sudarium should have smeared the blood a lot but there is no smearing on the face of the Shroud man.
#There is a lot of sodium, chlorine and potassium in real blood. There is none of them in the shroud blood.
#Jesus could not have bled after death. Some of the marks could be explained without it being bleeding- eg seeping out of wounds from previous bleeding - but others can't.
#The blood contains paint ingredients. The claim that these ingredients do not come from the blood but from paintings being touched to the cloth is far-fetched.
#The dried blood on the arms is displayed as been wet when it transferred to the cloth.
#The blood should not be so well organised on the cloth. Where are the smears?
#Forensic tests have failed to show that it is real blood.
#The DNA from the blood area can be explained by people touching the cloth through the years.
#If it is real blood, it is still not Jesus' for it would be one messy image if it were after all he allegedly went through.
#There is no image behind the blood so the blood went on first.
#The strangeness of the shroud is unsurprising considering we have nothing similar to compare it to. Believers like to talk about the strangeness and argue it shows Jesus probably lay in the cloth. But that is illogical. Nothing is normal about the shroud and we are to believe a normal man was laid in it? It is too odd to say it was a real shroud.
 
The research of Walter McCrone has shown that the cloth is a painting and that the blood is really just paint but it seems that McCrone MAY have been too keen to refute the authenticity of the Shroud. His tests showed the presence of a lot of paint on the cloth. He found the blood to have the pigment red ochre and could not find it outside the image proving that the claim of believers that this pigment came of pictures and paintings placed on the Shroud to make them relics is nonsense (page 27, Looking for a Miracle). The poker holes on the cloth proved that it was not immune to damage. There was no way then that people would have been allowed to put damp pictures on the cloth and the practice of the Church usually was to create relics just by touching a cloth or item to a holy object. Relics of St Padre Pio are just touched to his tomb.
 
There was no need for laying out the Shroud on an altar and putting something all over it. Painted copies of the shroud that were touched to it didn’t have enough paint on them to come off to leave a significant reading of the presence of paints on the Shroud. You can see snaps of them in Ian Wilson’s The Blood and the Shroud.
 
McCrone also found evidence that people had been working on the image to preserve it and make it seem more miraculous during the previous two hundred years (page 48, The Turin Shroud is Genuine). He found that iron particles were being added to make the blood. We will see that this idea of interference with the Shroud is backed up by other pieces of evidence. It may be possible that the Shroud was originally a faint painting but was turned into a kind of photograph in the nineteenth century. We must remember that it was never photographed until 1898 when its properties as a negative were first discovered.
  
BLOOD OR NOT?

Is the red stuff on the Shroud really blood? It isn’t easy to think that it is for it has remained red. The blood on Jesus would have dried fast in the warm climate and little of it would have transferred to the cloth but the shroud man has plenty of fresh blood!
 
The pro-authenticity shroud site http://www.skepticalspectacle.com explains that the linen was starched on the loom and then washed in suds of a plant called Soapwort. This soap contains haemolytic chemicals which keep blood red. The blood on the shroud it says contains loads of bilirubin which is a bile pigment produced by a body that had undergone a severe physical trauma. This pigment is red and doesn’t lose its redness. So the believers have two explanations for the blood being red. The site, thank goodness, says that the Shroud is natural and denies that radiation from the resurrection put the image on for radiation can’t do that. At least it disposes a lot of the nonsense spouted by scientists who are more concerned with promoting fake incentives to Christian belief than the truth. It says the shroud is a photograph but rejects this on the basis that nobody could have made one like it long ago and because a second face has been found on the cloth – the latter is inconclusive. We can take this admission to be very significant and we will see why later.
 
We must remember that whoever made the Shroud did a lot of experimenting and probably tried to make a shroud image from a pierced body. He would have known about the bilirubin thing and may have used real blood with some additives in it. If the Shroud was starched then how did it fit into the contours of the body so well to pick up images and blood?
 
It is said that the blood of a person who dies in great trauma can stay red. But that only happens extremely rarely among people who suffer bloodshed. And even then most of the blood goes brown or red in time. It is too hard to believe that Jesus would be "lucky" enough to produce blood that stays red for two millenia! There is no example old enough to verify that it is possible.
 
Also, considering how hot it was in Palestine the time Jesus supposedly died the blood would have rotted fast. It would not have stayed red.
 
The shroud examiner, Alan Adler, the Jewish blood chemistry expert, was only giving his opinion that if a person suffers great illness or dies in huge trauma that the blood could be gorged with biliruben and keep red looking forever.
 
Alan Adler alleged that the shroud man's blood was tested and it did show incredibly high amounts.
 
A test was administered by Adler who tested the “blood” on a fibril of the linen in a protease to see if the protein would dissolve to see if it really was blood. It did but other organic substances can do the same so it proves nothing (page 193, Turin Shroud).
 
Also, no image was found underneath when the blood was scraped off. This test also fails to prove that there really is no image underneath the blood. The scraping was too small and the image is hardly distinguishable from the cloth around it in most places anyway.
 
Since many fibres of the cloth don’t have the image though surrounded by ones that have, nobody knows for sure if the image exists under the blood marks. The iron and the DNA on the Shroud can be accounted for without it necessarily being blood. It is safe to assert that the presence of blood has not been proven and is very unlikely. It is possible and feasible that the pious rich people who had the Shroud in the past might have put some of their own blood on it thinking that part of them would be close to and mingle with the blood of Jesus.

If the Shroud image is a scorch or photograph the blood could have been painted or printed or both on first and the light reflected on it to make an image to fit the wounds. Those who say it is not a scorch or a painting or a rubbing compare it to images made by these methods. Then they find some differences and deny that any of these explains it. But it will not be the same - the image is hundreds of years old! If you went in a time machine and compared the shroud as it is now to what it used to be you will find differences too!
 
The Shroud is most probably down to scorch marks. A forger was using a heated bas relief statue to make the image.
 
Some think it is a photo of a statue.
 
But whatever. Maybe the blood could have helped position where the image was going to be projected on to so that both picture and blood would be positioned right. The image was then projected over the blood to match their position. This would leave no image underneath the blood which is what we find on the Shroud – a real miracle would be able to project the image behind the blood marks. They say that if this happened we would be saying the image was painted first so that the painter would know exactly where to put the blood. But then God could always find something in the complicated world of chemistry to puzzle us.

All tests showed that it was not blood (page 49, Free Inquiry, Vol 18:2). Two scientists tested the “blood” and found that it was blood but their conclusion was invalidated by the fact that tempera paint could still explain the characteristics they associated with real blood (ibid, page 49). These guys were not qualified for making this analysis (page 27, Looking for a Miracle). At least the Shroudie, Ian Wilson, tells us that there is no proof for blood on the cloth (page 109, The Blood and the Shroud). There is DNA on the cloth but it was touched a lot over the years and cells are always being left behind on the touched item. And if I were going to forge a Turin Shroud I would use some blood in the pain to give it greater authenticity. I think there is blood on the cloth but then our modern science would be able to prove it if there were. Perhaps the amount of blood is so small that tempera paint is the main body of the blood marks.
 
WHY THE BLOOD WAS PRINTED/PAINTED ON

The prints of blood on the Turin Shroud were made on the cloth before the image of the body appeared (page 153, Biblical Exegesis and Church Doctrine). The blood did not come from a body in the Shroud. The reason is, it is on all the points that you would expect to see it if the image were a painting. If the image of the man is not a painting the blood certainly could be.
 
If some force shot straight up out of the body onto the cloth to make a mirror-image of the man that has no distortion then the blood images should come from the contact between body and cloth resulting in the blood being positioned away from the cuts on the body they allegedly emerged from. For example, the bleeding from the crown of thorns should be across and off the image of the head going too far on each side. Brown believes that the blood was painted on the image of the Shroud man (page 153, Biblical Exegesis and Church Doctrine,). If a Shroud image were made by pure luck a forger would have bought it to create the greatest relic of all time.

If you smear paint all over a statue and then wrap it in a cloth the image will be distorted as in being wider than the statue. This is the kind of image the Shroud would bear if it were genuine. God had no need to miraculously make the image undistorted. That would have been an absurd miracle and giving a reason for scepticism. If God does such miracles then we can trust nothing.

The wounds on the head and arms shed the blood down the body indicating that the Shroud print was not made when the man was lying down but when he was held up straight (page 152, Biblical Exegesis and Church Doctrine). The feet and the side contradict this for they make the blood flow as if the body were lying down. Somebody had been painting and/or printing blood on the Shroud with blood. And had been printing it on as well from a body or something. The positions tell us it was made deliberately.

There are long trickles of unsmudged blood that flowed about the lumber arch in the back. These rivers are inexplicable or the blood should have made a pool and then short trickles when the pool is too full and there is no pool. And the trickles would not be so clear and stringy – most of them are like lines – for blood soaks into cloth leaving wide stains. The blood was painted or printed on.

Some think the blood should have ran along the linen fibres if it were liquid and soaked into the cloth. But that could indicate that it was mixed with something – paint or a chemical? That would alter its molecular structure and behaviour.

The blood should be smudged on the back but it is not. It would have been if there had been a bleeding man lying on top of it. The blood was liquid enough to make an image according to the Shroud and there is just no way smearing and smudging could have been avoided. The body was not carried from the cross to the tomb in the Turin Shroud for the movement of the people carrying it would have caused the corpse to rub a lot inside the cloth and cause lots of smears. The blood contradicts the gospel account that Jesus was borne to the tomb in his winding-sheet or whatever. The gospels, terrible and all as they are, have more weight than a piece of cloth that cannot be conclusively traced back to Jesus’ demise.

Now, the Shroud tells us that the man it depicts was never carried in it for there is no smearing. But he had to have been laid in the cloth and being a big man and heavy he had to be positioned on the cloth so that there would be enough to fold over the top of him. The shroud is fake for there is no evidence of this positioning.
 
Brown cannot believe that the Shroud could be real when there is no smudging (Biblical Exegesis and Church Doctrine, page 152). Some say that there was no smudging because Jesus was taken to the tomb without being removed from the patibilum, the part of the cross that the arms are nailed to. This is extremely unlikely. It is gruesome and frivolous and unnecessary and besides the Romans needed the patibilum to nail others to. It would be easier to get Jesus to the tomb without it and the longer his arms were kept outstretched the more likely they could have stiffened into that position. The Shroud must be a forgery when it requires such a daft explanation for the absence of smudging.

Blood that should have been dried like the scourge wounds and many others should not be on the cloth and certainly not on it so clearly.

If the blood did come from a body then the Shroud man was nailed up and crowned with thorns and scourged about one time and then fired into the cloth. Brown sees that there is nothing to show that the blood came out at different times but the wounds seemed to have been inflicted at the one time (page 152). Thus, he could not have been Christ. He would only have been treated that way to get the blood on the cloth in a convincing way. He would only have been treated that way if the cloth were a fake.

Wilson admits that the blood of the crown of thorns should have dried up before the other wounds but this is not what the Shroud says (page 36, The Blood and the Shroud). Perhaps the crown was taken off causing more blood to flow? But dead men don’t bleed and there is too much blood for it to have been gravity. Either the man was crowned with thorns just seconds before contradicting the gospels or he was alive or that blood must have been painted/printed on with blood and perhaps paint. Somebody could have discovered that a crucified man’s image had transferred to the Shroud and decided to make it seem that the man was Jesus by painting on the marks of a crown of thorns. This is possible because Wilson says the blood and the image of the man were created differently. The blood simply rubbed off on the cloth (page 46, The Blood and the Shroud) so it could have been rubbed on with a touch of paint to keep it red looking. The scourging wounds were made long before the crucifixion and should have been dried so they could not have transferred to the cloth (page 59, Turin Shroud). Yet they are there. These cuts should overlap but they do not (page 136, The Sacred Virgin and the Holy Whore) suggesting that they are artificial.

The Holy Shroud and Four Visions maintains that dried blood can transfer if there is plenty of sweat or the relevant chemicals that compose sweat in the blood. But that transference takes time but waiting too long is as bad as not waiting long enough. But when the image is ready the cloth has to be removed slowly and with extra-caution from the blood and no folding must take place for a long time so that the image is not damaged (page 13). This would suggest that somebody had been experimenting years ago to learn this in order to make the Turin Shroud. Some would say it means that Jesus’ body just gently dematerialised inside the cloth resulting in an undamaged image. Experts deny that Jesus would have produced enough sweat. He wouldn’t even take a drink so he had no liquid in him.

The Jesus Conspiracy says that there are three lines of blood relating to the wrist wound and tries to argue that two of them dried up and were made liquid again by the oils in the cloth because the outline is not as sharp as that of the third. But if you look at photograph no 57 some parts of the two traces in question have just as much lack of outline as the third.

The blood on the Shroud did not behave like ordinary blood so it tells us that the cloth is a fake.

God forbade all kinds of religious fraud in Deuteronomy 18. He said that it was not to be tolerated and that occult items and pagan idols were to be destroyed. In the past before science got to the level of seeing that the Shroud was very strange indeed, Catholics on seeing the red blood on the Shroud would have perceived that it had to be a painting for blood that old should not be that colour. They might have put this out of their minds but their duty was to destroy it. The Shroud opposes God’s law and so it is not the winding sheet of Jesus at all.
 
I believe the image is a scorch or something because the forger knew the Church might test the shroud by laundering it to see if the image would remain fixed. If the blood was washed off, the current blood may have been painted on.

The first cause for suspicion regarding the cloths authenticity is how it has never been proven that the bloodstains on it are really blood. Whatever the stains are, there is reason to believe that they got a touch up in recent centuries. It is foolish to take the Shroud seriously when the main thing, the blood, cannot be proven to be blood. That matters more than any strangeness of the image on the cloth.
 
We conclude that there is no evidence that the red marks on the shroud are blood and there is even less evidence that it is the blood of Jesus!
 
Note:
 
Diane Soran tested the notion that the reason the blood stayed red was because the cloth was given a good wash in a hemolytic called saponaria - soapwort. She made linen samples and the blood on them stayed red after more than two decades.
 
Sam Pellicori said that the blood on the top of the image is red because of that substance on top of the fibres stayed red due to evaporation but inside the fibre it went brown.

These tests are unscientific and dubious. And since when does 25 years of red blood on a cloth prove that a cloth could have red blood for two thousand years?

BOOKS CONSULTED

Ante-Nicene Christian Library, Roberts and Donaldson, T&T Clark, Edinburgh, 1870
Biblical Exegesis and Church Doctrine, Raymond E Brown, Paulist Press, New York, 1985
Free Inquiry, Spring 1998, Vol 18, No 2, Article by Joe Nickell, Council for Secular Humanism, Amherst New York
From Fasting Saints to Anorexic Girls, Walter Vandereycken and Ron van Deth, Athlone Press, London, 1996
Holy Faces, Secret Places, Ian Wilson, Corgi, London, 1992
Inquest on the Shroud of Turin, Joe Nickell, Prometheus Books, Buffalo, NY, 1987
Jesus Lived in India, Holger Kersten, Element, Dorset, 1994
Looking for a Miracle, Joe Nickell, Prometheus Books, New York, 1993
Miracles, Ronald A Knox, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1937
Sceptical Inquirer 9/10 2001 Vol 25, No 5, Article by Joe Nickell, CSIOCP, Amherst New York
Relics, The Society for Irish Church Missions, Bachelor’s Walk, Dublin
The Blood and The Shroud, Ian Wilson, Orion, London, 1999
The Book of Miracles, Stuart Gordon, Headline, London, 1996
The Divine Deception, Keith Laidler, Headline, London, 2000
The DNA of God?, Leoncio A Garza-Valdes, Doubleday, 1999
The Holy Shroud and Four Visions, Rev Patrick O Connell and Rev Charles Carty, TAN, Illinois, 1974
The Holy Shroud and the Visions of Maria Valtorta, Msgr Vincenzo Celli, Kolbe Publications Inc., Sheerbrooke, California, 1994
The Image on the Shroud, Nello Ballosino, St Paul’s, London, 1998
The Jesus Conspiracy, Holger Kersten and Elmar R Gruber, Element, Dorset, 1995
The Jesus Relics, From the Holy Grail to the Turin Shroud, Joe Nickell, The History Press, Gloucestershire, 2008
The Second Messiah, Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas, Arrow, London, 1998
The Skeptic’s Guide to the Paranormal, Lynne Kelly, Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2004
The Turin Shroud is Genuine, Rodney Hoare, Souvenir Press, London, 1998
The Turin Shroud, Ian Wilson, Penguin Books, Middlesex, 1979
The Unauthorized Version, Robin Lane Fox, Penguin, Middlesex, 1992
Turin Shroud, Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince, BCA, London, 1994
Verdict on the Shroud, Kenneth E Stevenson and Gary R Habermas, Servant Publications, Ann Arbour, Michigan, 1981