If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone
New Testament refutes Turin Shroud
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.
Even if the cloth is strange and inexplicable and even if there is real blood on it, it still does not give us any reason to think these effects came from contact with a body. The image does not carry the huge and grotesque distortions that would be seen if a body had lain in it and imprinted the images. The image has nothing to do with proving the existence or resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Shroud believers are desperate to believe in it. They have an answer for all the problems of the shroud and the contradictions. Nothing else needs as many improbable "explanations" as the Shroud does. Believing in it is actually harder than believing it is just a clever though not watertight forgery. When something needs too many such explanations, plainly its authenticity is doubtful.
As we have learned, shroud believers have an excuse for each of the many many problems with the Shroud. They go as far as to argue unconvincingly that the New Testament saying Jesus had wounded hands fits the Shroud which has no hand wounds but one wrist wound. They stretch the meaning of hand to include wrist. Even if the Greek word for hand allows for stretching, we must remember that the gospels would have used hand in the popular sense to mean just the hand. Popular speech does not like stretching meanings. Shroud believers stretch and distort even the New Testament itself to get it to fit the notion that the Shroud of Turin is really Jesus' shroud.
Nothing can change the fact that the New Testament does not hint that Jesus was laid out in a one piece shroud like the Turin cloth. The New Testament never says Jesus was put in a sheet or an intact shroud. Whatever was used was cut up probably into bandages.
THE NT CLOTHS WOULD HAVE HAD CONTACT MARKS
The Turin image shows parts of Jesus' body that would not have touched the cloth. And there is a light yellow substance that sits on the fibres making the image on one side and it sometimes appears on the other as well without passing through the cloth. This happens mostly with the face image which is another indication that the cloth really just cares about Jesus' face the most as it would if it were a forgery. It is not a contact print for parts of the body that would have been inches away from the cloth and could not have touched it show up clearly. And there would be tell-tale creases. So the cloth has no hard or soft evidence that it involved a real body or depicts a real man, as opposed to a statue or something, never mind Jesus. The cloth is meant to appear as a contact print but it fails. It is meant to fool the untrained eye of pilgrims. The artist of the shroud perhaps made the image vague so help avoid detection or to prevent sceptics in the Church from ruling the day. A fraud has to be rigged up to survive being exposed. Many do. The cloth is really about appealing to ghouls who want an image of death and blood and gore. It gives no indication that Jesus miraculously rose from the dead.
The New Testament cloths would not necessarily have had an image of Jesus but you would expect them to be messy and having contact prints. The Turin Shroud is a forgery for it cannot be counted among those cloths.
THE NT AND THE SHROUD
If the Shroud of Turin existed in New Testament times it would have been mentioned in the New Testament. The writers had to contend with flesh-haters who insisted that Jesus was a spirit, an immaterial being and not a man. Yet the only weapon they employed against them was their testimony. If they had the Shroud they could have used that and written about it for hard evidence is better than testimony. Even later, St Ignatius of Antioch, trying to confute the Docetists who denied that Jesus was human, stated that if Jesus’ body was an illusion then so is the world instead of saying the Shroud proved he was real. If the Christians had to hide the Shroud they would and could have let a hundred or so witnesses see it to strengthen their own testimony. They certainly would have kept the real Shroud if it had been worth keeping and if they could keep it. (If there had been guards at the tomb of Jesus as the Matthew gospel says the shroud would have been kept by the guards who had allegedly maintained that a theft had occurred at the tomb.) Clearly it just had blood on it meaning that it was no use to prove anything about Jesus for it could have been just a burial cloth that some hoaxer wiped their wounds on. Or perhaps it disappeared from the tomb with the body – evidence that the body of Jesus was stolen for the risen Jesus would not go about dressed like a corpse. The Shroud would have been returned to the Jesus people if it were stolen by people who wanted to help the Christian faith.
If the apostles were afraid to use the Shroud as ammunition against heretics in case something would happen to it then that says a lot about their confidence in Jesus. It would be ascribing incompetence and stupidity to him – hardly consistent with their being the witnesses appointed by God to identify Jesus as being the saviour and Messiah. There are countless ways in which you can avoid harm coming to a relic and still let enough people know of its existence.
Jesus once said that the writings of Moses were proof enough that Jesus was the Son of God (John 5:46) which was a totally irrational thing to say and shows that the author of John who reports this did not know the Old Testament well and was not related to the apostles in any way at all. The same gospel however defends the Old Testament doctrine that at least two independent witnesses were needed for a valid testimony. Yet the gospel of John alone reports the stabbing of Jesus in the side so John is exposed as a fake. He may be telling the truth but we have no reason to believe him for he did not live up to his own standard and did tell lies. The Shroud then alone would stand as a testimony. Therefore the Shroud is the only testimony and is invalidated by the two reliable and independent witnesses at least rule. But the Christians would object that physical evidence is better than human testimony and the Shroud is physical evidence. But there are sound reasons for denying that the Shroud man is Jesus. The Shroud repudiates the prophecies in the Bible that are interpreted as predicting the death and resurrection of Jesus for it says another man fulfilled these prophecies. The Shroud refutes Christianity.
Jesus told Martha to have the tomb of Lazarus opened (John 11) Martha said that he was rotting now and that she wouldn’t because of that. It was not because of the smell for tombs smell bad anyway and besides she didn't have to go near the tomb herself. She didn’t want Jesus to see the face of the corpse because Jesus was saddened by Lazarus his friend’s death. Jesus' face must have been bare when he was entombed (The Turin Shroud is Genuine, page 88) proving the Turin Shroud to be a fake. The Gospel of Nicodemus in its first Greek form in the portion entitled The Acts of Pilate, chapter 15, states that Jesus himself stated after the resurrection that during his burial he was wrapped in clean linen and a napkin was put on his face after that (see page 144, Ante-Nicene Christian Library, Vol 16). This scripture was written in the fifth century and shows that no Shroud like the Turin Shroud was known then and no traditions existed about it.
In John 19:40 we read that Jesus was prepared for burial according to the Jewish custom. If the Jewish burial custom John refers to implies that Jesus' face was covered by a napkin in the tomb then the Shroud is a fake. John 20:7 seems to refer to the napkin.
It is held by some twisters that Jewish custom simply means that the body was washed (Acts 9:37). They can't admit that Jesus was laid out the same way as Lazarus was for that means they would have to confess the Turin Shroud to be a forgery. Now Jesus being said in John to have been prepared for burial means more than just a washing. John would have written that Jesus was washed. You don't say somebody being washed before burial is preparation for burial according to any custom. That would be too unclear. And besides the Shroud man was obviously not washed despite liars who say it was.
Besides John says that Jesus being wrapped up in cloths, strips and spices was according to the custom of the Jews.
Jesus did not like rigid customs (Mark 7) so it is argued that the people who buried him might not have been strictly traditional in the other things. But Jesus could not have had any objection to the burial customs – they were harmless and necessary. They were not like fussing over what was unclean and not clean like in the peccadilloes of Jewish tradition. So Jesus could have been washed, anointed and then bound in strips of linen like Jews were.
The John gospel was a gospel meant for non-Jews. Jews would find it too hostile to their leaders and religion to even want to read it. The author then by telling us about how Lazarus was clothed in the tomb and how Jesus was anointed and so on was explaining what he meant by the Jewish burial custom. Jesus' face was bare in the tomb. Therefore the Turin Shroud is a fake.
The Shroud man was not washed so he was not Jesus. Plus the anointings and spices would have mingled with his dried blood and sweat stains making excessively messy and greasy marks which is exactly what we do not have on the Shroud. There should have been a lot of smearing as Jesus was eased into the cloth. If he were plastered in spices as John says then he would have been sticky.
Criminals were buried in their blood (page 218, The Divine Deception). If you believe the gospels then Jesus was washed and the Shroud is a hoax. If you believe the gospels were wrong then maybe the Shroud is authentic. Some who say that since they believe that the man on the Shroud was washed, that he could not have been a real Jew and so was not Jesus Christ (page 219, The Divine Deception).
Some believe that despite the bloodstains and bleeding of the Shroud man that he was washed. Because of the scourging the Shroud man has, he should be bathed in blood but there is blood only on several places on the Shroud image and not all over the image. The image is not made entirely of blood but consists of some blood marks and the rest is something that has been burned onto the cloth. This makes some think that the washing removed the clots and dried blood causing a little blood and serum to seep out (page 215, The Divine Deception). This would involve a violent scrubbing. The disciples of Christ would not have been so irreverent. And they would have found it hard to wash for once the scabs would come off and new blood would seem to be coming they would have had to wash until it stopped, which it soon would for dead men don’t bleed. The blood should be running into the water on the body and turning into light liquid. This would show on the cloth but it doesn’t. None of these things happened so the Shroud man was not washed. The only way they could avoid any smears of blood and water would be to wash the body entirely until all the exposed wounds were cleaned and had nothing left to issue. But the Shroud man is clean and has blood from various wounds - a contradiction. This shows that the Shroud’s blood did not come from a body but was put on it. Tests have been done by Professor Zugibe to try and show how a dead body with wounds could put marks on a cloth like the Shroud but these marks are nothing like the quality of the Turin Shroud marks (page 216, The Divine Deception). If there had been a body in the Shroud the blood should be distorted and way off the image due to the cloth being wrapped around. But on the Shroud there is no distortion of the blood and it appears on the image where you would expect to see it on a picture of the body.
Robin Lane Fox tells us that that the Shroud would refute the gospels which are the only evidence for Jesus’ death if it is real. He notes that the John gospel said Jesus was buried according to the Jewish custom which would mean he was washed and the spices rubbed into the body are mentioned. The spices would have distorted the bloodstains if there were any after the washing and there is no evidence of rubbing on the Shroud man (page 251, The Unauthorized Version). The Shroud man definitely was not dowsed in spices and oils. "Neither myrrh or aloes is found on the cloth" (Christianity in the Light of Science). The absence of these is fatal if you want to believe the shroud is real. Their absence is of extreme importance.
Matthew, Mark and Luke say Jesus was wrapped in linen courtesy of Joseph of Arimathea and friend. He was put in the linen when he was taken down from the cross. So he would have been carried to the tomb in it. Some say that the gospels had a big Shroud in mind. But think. Joseph of Arimathea and Co were not going to prepare Jesus for burial as soon as they took him down from the cross. That was not a job to be undertaken at the foot of the cross. They probably put him in a linen sheet for the purpose of carrying him or covering him as they transported him to the tomb. In the tomb, they may have cut up the sheet to make strips of linen. He was bandaged up and that was him ready for burial. It is not likely that they used strips of linen already prepared to get him ready for entombment. That was unnecessary. They cut up the cloth they transported him in.
If the Turin Shroud were real one might expect the marks of the transportation to show for then Jesus would have been moving in transit and was taken out of cloth and rearranged in it again.
Some such as Shea think that Jesus would have been buried in a ragged and worn and dirty shroud. If he is right, then the Turin cloth is not authentic. There is no evidence in the New Testament for a high quality shroud such as the Turin cloth would be. Joseph being rich might not have got an expensive shroud. A clean cheap one would do. The notion that Joseph went to great expense is just a notion. We must remember too that Jesus had died in disgrace so there was no pressure on anyone to go to great expense to bury him. He was lucky to have a cheap clean cloth to be laid to rest in. Even rags would have been a blessing under the circumstances.
In John we read nothing about this big sheet but of strips of linen. We know the cloths John mentions are the strips like Lazarus was buried in (John 11) for he says it was a traditional burial. It is said that the contradiction is solved only if Jesus was carried to the tomb in the burial cloth which was torn into strips to wrap him up like an Egyptian mummy.
Jesus was not wrapped both in a Shroud and then in strips with the strips over the Shroud for he was buried like Lazarus who was able to walk out of the tomb because each of his legs was individually wrapped and like the youth of Naim who was able to sit up in the bier meaning his arms must have been individually wrapped.
In John 20:6,7 we read that Jesus was covered in three cloths which were left behind after his disappearance from the tomb one of which was tied around his head. Some say the shroud was not mentioned for the word for shroud sindon was not in the text. But the word othonia (The Turin Shroud is Genuine, page 126) means grave clothes. The fact that one word was used in preference to another stands for nothing. So grave clothes could include the Shroud which was the item that was really the grave clothing for the rest were only bits and pieces.
Some think that Jesus was put in the Turin Shroud and then bands of cloth were put over the Shroud to bind everything together. There is no evidence that strips were used to keep the Shroud on the man. We would see the pressure marks made by them on the flesh image of the Shroud man. The fact that strips were not used to bind the Shroud and that the Turin Shroud looks like it was just laid flat over the body indicates that the Shroud is a forgery. If a body was put in it in such a way as to make an image then the Shroud must be some kind of fake.
The Jesus Conspiracy pages 234 and 235 says that John says the body of Jesus was taken and wound edesan in linen cloths with the spices according to the burial methods of the Jews. Edesan means to bind. The book denies that Jesus was bound for it says that normally things were bound by thongs or a band of cloth but not by a big cloth like the Shroud. They have deliberately refused to notice that John said Jesus was wrapped up in linen cloths, so bands of cloth would be the most natural interpretation. Jesus was wrapped up like a mummy.
The book also says that Mark 15:46 uses a word eneileo to show that Jesus was not only covered up in cloth but was wrapped up closely like in a tight packet. The book denies that Jesus was wrapped up like a mummy for the word kateilisso was the word for that.
Now the problem is the Shroud doesn’t look like Jesus was wrapped tight in it. The neck and the sides don’t show up. Also, the “blood” just sits on the fibres lightly. If the Shroud were real, the blood would be hardened into a thick paste which would have transferred into the cloth leaving thick scabs not a light cover. And Mark not using kateilisso doesn’t prove that eneileo was the right or best word. Why would Mark want to say Jesus was bound tight? That seems an unnecessary detail. You don’t say a chicken was wrapped up tightly if you just put it in a plastic bag. You do say it if the chicken is wrapped up tightly in clingfilm. Do you see the point? Mark meant kateilisso. The Turin Shroud image is not that of Jesus Christ.
If the Turin Shroud is genuine then the New Testament is wrong for it says the guards said that Jesus was stolen from the tomb and John says that the cloths were not removed before they were seen by visitors to the tomb. They would have been removed by the soldiers who allegedly told the lie about the corpse being snatched to back up their lie for thieves are unlikely to run away with a naked body and to take the time to strip it before going away with it. Nobody would have seen the cloths for as soon as the guards left they would have been replaced to prevent anybody starting rumours. The cloths would have been destroyed once convictions had been made for the theft of the body or if the case had been closed.
Some people would say that I am expecting us to take the word of one man, the Matthew gospeller, and a word that is lacking in believability, that there were soldiers. They object to taking seriously a man who we cannot even name for we don’t know if this gospel was really written by Matthew and it has indications that it was not. And an honest man would name those he accuses of lying about the body being stolen so that the facts can be checked and that we might be able to hear their side. He would mention trained or reliable witnesses and that he couldn’t indicates that his own were bad news and liars. Whatever happened to assuming the best about accused people in such situations? Why listen to one man against many men? Even the Law condemns “Matthew’s” accusations for it says you have to have at least two reliable and well-known witnesses to every report before it can be accepted.
The Romans would have confiscated the contents of the tomb in case there was a clue. They would not have handed them over to Jesus’ friends who were accused of having stolen the body.
The hands are crossed over the genitals. The man’s hands would have been tied together to keep them from falling away. But we know from the blood stains that no band was used. The man is holding the wrist with one hand so he was no corpse. Many believe that hands over the genitals was not a burial layout in the first century (page 184, The Divine Deception). Some believe it was rarely used then. But it was common in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries pointing to it being likely that the Turin Shroud was made then (page 184, ibid).
A band was used to keep the mouth closed on all corpses. But there is no evidence of one being used on the man in the Shroud (page 165, Jesus Lived in India). For example, if there had been one we would see a big blank space between the beard and the neck circling the head preventing an imprint and there would be an indent on the hair. This cloth would have been attached to the Shroud to prevent it being lost so its absence indicates forgery.
The uncleanness laws were never abolished by Jesus and were kept by the early Church which remained Jewish for a long time after Jesus’ supposed demise. If Jesus made food clean as the gospels tell us, then he was not necessarily abolishing the law but making food clean so that the law didn’t have any reason to be kept any more. The Jewish Law said that anything that touched a corpse was unclean or unhygienic and therefore a cause of sin. The Shroud would have been considered unclean by his followers and burned. The early Church was the Church of the resurrection more than the Church of the execution.
Jesus was repeatedly hit in the face according to the gospels. The man on the Shroud had no swelling which he would have had had he been Jesus. Far from being swollen, his face was unnaturally thin.
Some authorities state that Jesus appears to have swelling on the left side especially below the eye which are the marks of violence to the face and the nose may be swollen on one side (page 56, The Turin Shroud is Genuine). If you look at a picture you see a depression like a bag under the eye that drooped down too far. But there are similar hollows for instance on the forehead though it is too hard to have such hollows. It is just in the cloth. It has to do with the image being projected and not with the structure of the face. The swelling of the nose has to do with the image coming out better on that side than on the other for there are bits that have not come out. It might depend on where the cloth is touching. If Jesus had been beaten on the nose why is there no nosebleed? Please don’t start bellowing that Veronica wiped the face of Jesus for that is only a Catholic devotional tradition with no historical foundation. At the same time, the legend of Veronica would not have emerged in the early Church had the Shroud being known of for the face part of it shows the most blood. According to the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church the legend got to its present form in the thirteenth century, the 1200’s. Another clue is the Church Father, Tertullian, who may have died in the first quarter of the third century, asserted that the smaller the body and the less fat it had the better for it makes resurrection easier and quicker and entry into Heaven is speeded up (page 15, From Fasting Saints to Anorexic Girls). That hardly fits a Church that had the Shroud for the Shroud man is muscular and tall and if what Tertullian said was believed by the Church which it probably was for it was never amended by Church copyists it tells us the Shroud was a later forgery.
The Bible says that the resurrection is the most important thing Jesus did. If God were giving us a miraculous image of Jesus it would be a miraculous picture of Jesus’ corpse transforming into the glorious and perfected Christ and something that was a complete mystery to science. The Turin Shroud is Genuine states that there is nothing miraculous about the Shroud though certain things can’t be worked out about it (page 130). Inexplicable is not miraculous. There are billions of odd things we cannot explain and that does not entitle us to hail them as miracles.
Jesus was allegedly wrapped in the Shroud of Turin. Despite all the strange things that seem to be in the Shroud’s favour, the supporters choose to ignore proof on the cloth itself that nobody was ever wrapped up in it. THE TOP OF THE HEAD ITSELF IS NOT SEEN! If the image had been wrapped around a head you would not see this effect. The cloth should show blood marks and images as if it were wrapped around a head. Instead, it looks as if the back and front were put on separately with no connection in between. There should be a connection if the cloth covered a body. It is like somebody taking a photo of you from the front and then one from the back and putting them together with the head on each photo touching. It is not a natural effect when you have a cloth that a man was supposedly wrapped up in and which went over the top of his head.
Those who try to show that the New Testament accounts and the authenticity of the Shroud are compatible, only leave it open for Christians to believe in the Shroud. The accounts are said not to support the authenticity or inauthenticity of the shroud. In fact, they undermine authenticity.
The Gospel of John, chapter 20 says
24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27 Then saith He to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God.
29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
The gospel of John says Thomas could put his hand into Jesus' side. Shroud man has a small tight wound. The gospel says Thomas could put a finger in Jesus' hand wounds but you could not do that with Shroud man. It is safe to assume the wound was too small for though we do not see the entrance wound we see the back one and no finger can fit in it. The gospel of John does not say which side Jesus was wounded in or even if the wound was visible from the front. The shroud man follows artistic convention of the Middle Ages which had Jesus wounded in the right side rather high up.
Thomas would not believe that Jesus really rose from the dead until Jesus would appear to him and let him touch his wounds. Jesus appeared and asked Thomas to put his finger in the wounds. It is said that God wants people to believe on account of stories they have heard and to have no interest in solid evidence. Thomas is called doubting Thomas. In fact he was a disbelieving Thomas. He heard Jesus rose and denied it. Jesus speaks as though people are believing only because of the stories even then. The gospel talks as if there is no evidence except testimony. Thus it eliminates the possibility of a miracle shroud.
Why does the author take care to avoid saying Thomas actually put his finger in the hand wounds? Possibly because it was believed the wounds would not have been big enough to allow that? But then why mention wanting to probe the wounds at all? The story cheats us. It wants us to think Jesus was a physical person and then gives us no evidence that he was.
The shroud man supposedly has been nailed through the wrists. This is only a guess because the hands are unnaturally long so the wound might not have been positioned correctly. The author is clear that none of Jesus' bones were broken and they would have been had he been nailed through the wrists. "A bone of him shall not be broken." The wrist has eight bones.
We must remember that Jesus asked Thomas to use his finger for the hand wounds and to use his hand to put it into the side. These imply bigger marks than those on the shroud. The gospel would remark if Jesus expected Thomas to put his finger in his wrists. That would be too bizarre to omit. The author knew we would see it as Thomas touching the Lord's palms. That was what he meant.
Believers in the Shroud point out that hands in Greek meant the wrists and palms and fingers etc. They say that the shroud only shows the exit wound on a wrist but that Jesus might have been nailed through the hard part of the hand. The nail went in an angle. Again this would break bones. And there is no evidence that the shroud man really had an exit wound. All you see at the spot is the blood. And there is no proof that it is blood. Many experts say it is not. How a cloth that may contain what is not blood can be taken as proof or evidence that Jesus was nailed through the wrists makes one despair.
Believers argue that Jesus or the shroud man was nailed through a space in the wrist but that is pure guess work. The space of Destot is the space in question. So we are to believe that the Romans carefully located it to make sure that the nail would not break any bones! And it must have been a tiny nail to get through that space. All of that talk of the nail going in through that space and avoiding bones is nonsense and it is just a refusal to admit that the shroud cannot be real.
Believers say that using the space cuts nerve that causes the thumb to retract and go out of place so that it cannot be seen if you look at the back of the hand. It is tucked into the palm. So they say that is why you should see a thumb on the shroud man and you do not. What we are not told is that that effect can happen but it happens rarely. Also, we are talking about one thumb. The other hand is covered so we don't know if there is a thumb there or not. The thumb might be tucked behind the hand below which is why it cannot be seen.
The thumb could have been left out by mistake as there is an anatomically impossible flat footprint on the shroud.
The shroud man has no rope cuts at the wrist and no smearing. He is not Jesus Christ who would have been tied on to the cross and then nailed if he was nailed at all. The ropes would have cut in if he were suspended on the cross.
Believers say if he was nailed in the wrists he didn't need ropes. They think the ropes were used if a person was nailed through the palms to help stop their body weight from making them fall off the cross by making their hands tear.
The Shroud man is not Jesus Christ.
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