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

 

Is the Shroud of Turin the authentic burial cloth of Christ?

By Josh McDowell

The Shroud of Turin, an ancient linen cloth 14 feet by 4 feet, has been hailed around the world as the genuine burial garment of Jesus. Scores of people have supported its authenticity. Pope Paul VI proclaimed the Shroud to be “the most important relic in the history of Christianity” (U. S. Catholic, May 1978, p. 48). The image on the cloth is purported to be the very image of Jesus Christ and demonstrates tangible proof of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Many have called it the world’s greatest mystery. The Shroud’s proponents claim that the image stands up to twentieth century analysis as being humanly impossible to “fake” or “duplicate.”

After quite extensive research, we have come to view the Shroud with great skepticism. It seems that much of the Shroud research has been accomplished in the light of preconceived convictions about the cloth’s authenticity. There are many accurate problems with holding that the Shroud is authentic.

Prior to 1350, there is no historical evidence to prove authenticity or even the existence of the Shroud. A. J. Otterbein in The New Catholic Encyclopedia observes: “The incomplete documentation on the Shroud makes some hesitant to accept its authenticity. Such hesitancy is justified if one considers only the historical evidence.”

Forgery

About 1900, a letter was found in a collection of documents owned by Ulysse Chevalier. The letter was written in 1389 by the Bishop of Troyes to the Anti-Pope of Avignon, Clement the VII. The letter explained that an investigation had exposed the artist who had painted the Shroud and he had confessed. Many were disturbed that the cloth was being used for financial gain. The letter further pointed out: “For many theologians and other wise persons declared that this could not be the real Shroud of our Lord, having the Savior’s likeness thus imprinted upon it, since the Holy Gospel made no mention of any such imprint; while, if it had been true, it was quite unlikely that the holy evangelist would have omitted to record it, or that the fact should have remained hidden until the present time.” The letter added that the forger had been exposed and referred to “the truth being attested by the artist who had painted it, to wit, that it was a work of human skill and not miraculously wrought or bestowed.”

Its History

Geoffrey de Charney acquired the Shroud sometime before 1357. It was displayed for veneration in 1357 at a collegiate church in Lirey, France, founded by Geoffrey. However, Geoffrey died in 1356 before he had revealed how he had obtained the cloth. The Shroud was put into storage when an investigation showed it to be a fake. Then, about 1449 Margaret de Charney, Geoffrey’s granddaughter, toured with the cloth and charged an admission fee. In 1452, she gave the Shroud to the Duke of Savoy in exchange for two castles. It was housed in the Sainte Chapelle of Chambery where a fire damaged it on December 3, 1532. Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy moved the Shroud from France to Turin, Italy in 1578.

A photographer by the name of Secondo Pia photographed the cloth’s image in 1898. To everyone’s surprise it was discovered that the imprint on the cloth was a negative.

Image Creation

The transference of the image to the cloth is an important step in explaining whether or not the cloth is a result of a miracle and is in fact the burial cloth of Jesus. If there was no doubt that the cloth was beyond natural means, we would have a miracle and therefore the cloth of Christ. It is admitted by both sides in this argument that the image is patterned after Christ’s crucifixion.

The methods proposed for the transfer of the image to the cloth are (1) vaporography; (2) scorching and radiation; and (3) thermography.

Vaporography is a process by which the mixture of spices, aloes, and oil reacts with the ammonia (urea) in a man’s sweat in the form of vapors to form an image on the cloth. The only requirement of physics is that the vapors must travel in straight lines to form the image. The problem with this theory is that not all chemists believe vapors will travel in exact linear relationships from their points of origin.

O’Gorman wrote in 1931 that a possible way for a vapograph to take place would be with the addition of a radioactive substance in the spices or the body of Christ Himself! But this must be recognized as speculation of the highest nature.

Another method that has gained popularity and is dealt with in the “Proceedings” is “scorching,” or the process of a body releasing radiation sufficient enough to burn the image onto the cloth. This theory was put to rest by the testimony of two scientists, Wade Patterson and Dave S. Myers of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. They said they didn’t see any way that the Shroud images could have been produced naturally by ionizing or high-energy radiation, nuclear or otherwise. X-rays and gamma rays are among the principal ionizing rays, and the images couldn’t have been produced by either of them because it takes high-voltage machines to generate X-rays and the only natural sources of gamma rays are radioactive substances like uranium; besides, X-rays and gamma rays don’t act on matter in the ways shown on the Shroud. X-rays and gamma rays, they continued, are among the most penetrating radiations; they would have gone right through the Shroud instead of marking it. A very intense source of ionizing radiation, they admitted, would have been able to affect the cloth, but, given the factors involved-a body, the passage of centuries, and so on-they didn’t see how that could have been possible.

Even if by some unlikely chance the body had been made radioactive and was therefore emanating X-rays or gamma rays, the images on the Shroud were still not in accordance with the kinds of images that should have formed under these circumstances. X-rays and gamma rays are more strongly absorbed by the bones, said Patterson, and thus bones, and not skin, would have been the most distinguishable aspects of the images. Even if a radioactive substance such as uranium-which emits gamma rays and alpha and beta particles, all of which are ionizing radiations-had been smeared on the body, the scientists still didn’t think the Shroud images would have appeared; at best there would have been a silhouette. If a radioactive substance had been applied in such a way as to emphasize only highlights, they added, they still didn’t know of any technique for sensitizing cloth so that it would be able to register high-energy radiation. X-rays were an example of what they meant; film is needed to record the presence of X-rays. If an atomic blast had gone off over Jerusalem at the time of the burial, there would have been enough high-energy radiation to etch the images on the Shroud, but it would have destroyed the Shroud itself with its intensity. Even if it didn’t destroy the Shroud, it would have affected the linen of the Shroud in a quite different way (from The Shroud, by Wilcox, pp. 154, 155).

A third method that would allow for an image transfer is a lower form of radiation manifested in the mode of heat. This process is called thermography, and it is used in the detection of breast cancer. Drs. Jackson and Jumper favor this method as the most probable for the image transfer. “Using computers to analyze data from the photos, they had verified the idea that the image was uniformly lighter and darker in proportion to the distance between the body and the cloth. So uniform, in fact, was the variation… that there was no question in their minds that images had been produced by some ‘physical process’-apparently other than human artistry-and they tended to favor a ‘thermogram,’ an image formed by heat” (From The Shroud, by Wilcox, p. 175).

However, Dr. Wood of the Neurological Institute of New York relates this process to the Shroud and as a result exposes significant doubt on this process. Thermography, explained Dr. Ernest Wood, grew out of infrared photography which was developed in World War II; today it is used mainly in the detection of breast cancer. The principle behind it is a simple one: heat emanating from the body is used to make diagnostic pictures, and the pictures are negatives. But there were significant differences, Dr. Wood pointed out, between thermographic pictures and the “pictures” on the Shroud. For one thing, it took sophisticated machines to magnify body heat to the extent that a picture could be registered: the magnification was on the order of one million times. For another, the thermographic picture was registered on Polaroid film, not cloth (from The Shroud, by Wilcox, pp. 171, 172). The amount of radiated heat magnified on a scale of a million times or more would in all probability destroy the cloth with its intensity. Those who advocate that low radiation made the image must provide for a refraction of the visible light. They account for this by the supposed layer of morbid sweat on the body acting as a refraction lens to focus the radiation in the necessary linear columnated pattern to produce the image (hence a major reason why the body must be unwashed). If you remove the sweat, you remove the mechanism for focusing. Dr. Mueller called this whole theory ridiculous, as the body would require hundreds of lenses all over it resembling a fly’s eye to focus the radiation. Sweat would just not do it! It is also important that the visible low-level radiation being discussed form the image at less than two inches from the body. At greater distances, the radiation intensity drops to zero and would not leave an image. The average for the distance on the Shroud is three centimeters or one-and-a-half inches, which significantly weakens the image-forming properties of radiation, and there are much greater distances on the Shroud to be covered which should form no image if the cause was a radiation scorch. It is also important to remember that the proponents’ mechanism for radiation scorch is all pure speculation; there is no proof. It must be wild guessing at best.

Dr. Marvin Mueller has been with the Los Almos Scientific Laboratory in New Mexico for twenty years, and has done experimental and theoretical research in several different fields of physics. For the past eight years he has worked on the Laser Fusion Energy Project, and is internationally known in this field for his theoretical contributions and antagonistic efforts.

In a letter, Dr. Mueller writes: “Some scientists who are members of the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) have claimed that the experimental results of their study show the Shroud did in fact wrap the crucified body of Jesus Christ. “Their main reason for asserting the authenticity of the Shroud is based on the claim that the Shroud image would only have been produced by a ‘short burst of radiation’ emanating from the body and then scorching the image of the body onto the cloth with which it was covered. “Such an event would of course be miraculous, but that is just what they need to establish authenticity; for no natural process of image formation could lead to the conclusion that the body which produced the image was that of Jesus Christ. “However, their assertions do not withstand close examination, and seem to be based in large measure on wishful thinking. For one thing, they have not demonstrated that the Shroud image is a scorch, although it does possess some scorch-like properties such as color and heat resistance. “Other substances, which could have been used to form the image of artistic means, also possess these properties and have in fact been found on the image. This fact alone makes any claim of authenticity seem rather foolish. “Moreover, the STURP has not demonstrated that the image was transferred through space from body to cloth by means of radiation or any other agent. While the details are too complicated to be explained here, it can be said that all STURP has done is to establish a correlation between Shroud image density (darkness) and cloth-to-body distances measured using a male volunteer overlaid with a cloth. “But correlation does not imply causality. For example, in principle at least, the procedure which STURP uses to construct a statue of the ‘Man of the Shroud’ could also be used to reconstruct a full relief (or statue) from a rubbing image produced by Joe Nickells’ method. “The fact that they have produced a statue from the Shroud image using the method outlined says nearly nothing about the method by which the image was produced. In particular, the rubbing method, being intrinsically variable and adaptable, can produce a wide range of tonal gradations for a given bas-relief; and can thereby vary the ‘threedimensional’ characteristics of the image almost at will. “Hence, the two assertions on which the ‘short burst of radiation’ hypothesis is based are not defensible. Any claim for authenticity of the Shroud of Turin is so premature as to be ludicrous.”

3-D Image

One claim of the Shroud proponents is that the image on the cloth can be reproduced into a 3-D image with an Interpretations Systems YP-8 Image Analyzer. This equipment is supposed to transfer tonal values into a three-dimensional relief or image with very little adjustment. Drs. Jackson and Jumper observe: “A well-known argument has been that an artist, who must have lived prior to the 14th century, could not have produced a consistent negative image without the capability of checking his work by photographic inversion. “Similarly, we submit that an artist or forger living then would not have been able to encode three-dimensional information by adjusting the intensity levels of this work to everywhere correspond to actual cloth-body separations. “To demonstrate this point, we performed an experiment. We obtained photographs of Shroud paintings by two competent artists who had been commissioned to copy the Shroud as exactly as possible. “Then, we transformed these pictures into relief images to see how well each artist had captured the three dimensionality of the Shroud onto his painting. At the time, both artists were not aware of the three-dimensional property. “Varying the degree of relief did not help the situation because the abnormalities of these pictures were only altered proportionally, but not eliminated. Since two competent artists who had the Shroud itself to copy were unable to flawlessly produce a threedimensional image from the Shroud, it would seem remote that some medieval artist could have achieved such an accomplishment with no Shroud available for reference. “In fact, we consider it a challenge for pre-twentieth century technology to have placed a clear three-dimensional image of a human body onto a cloth either by artistry or any other means available” (from The 1977 Research Proceedings on the Shroud of Turin, p. 85). John German, a colleague of Drs. Jackson and Jumper, points out that the quality of the image is dependent upon how equipment is focused: “The nature of this relationship revealed an important source of error inherent in the construction of the three-dimensional image of the Shroud. The image on the cloth was formed by a process that resulted in a non-linear relationship between the image intensity and the cloth-body distance. “The image analyzer system, however, creates a three-dimensional image for which the relief (analogous to cloth-body distance) varies linearly with the intensity. The practical result of this linear relationship is that the image is distorted. If the gain (amount of relief) is reduced to produce an image with a realistic nose and forehead, the fainter portions of the image corresponding to large cloth-body distances have little or no relief. “On the other hand, if the gain is increased to bring out these fainter portions of the image, the nose and forehead grow way out of proportion” (from Proceedings, p. 235). The question here is with the lenses that are used to correct tonal distortions and a machine that relies heavily on simulation: Is the 3-D image of the Shroud so perfect as to be considered miraculous? It must also be considered that in order to get the necessary image, a human model approximating the Shroud’s image is needed to correlate the distance of cloth to body interfaces. After that, the cloth on the model must be smoothed (resulting in distortion) and then camera images imposed upon the cloth distance correlations. The question here is: how can you know you have reproduced a 3-D image of the Shroud or just the Shroud’s image on an actual man?

Dr. Marvin Mueller, Ph.D. in physics of the Los Alamos Lab, states: “The relative image darkness is determined by optically scanning a photograph of the Shroud image. Next, a correlation plot of image darkness vs. cloth-body distance is made. To maximize the correlation numerous adjustments are made in the detailed drape shape of the cloth. “The final adjusted correlation is fairly good, and a smoothly declining function approximating an exponential is extracted. However, except for measurement errors and except for the smoothing involved in extracting the function from scattered data, one winds up with just a 3-D relief of the human model chosen for the experiment! “The irony is that the smoothing process itself produces distortion of the relief, but it also affords the possibility that some of the characteristics of the Shroud image can now be superimposed on the relief of the human model chosen for the experiment! “Thus, the resultant ‘statue’ is some blend of the characteristics of the human model and the Shroud image-not, as has been asserted, a statue of the Man of the Shroud. “What STURP has done is to demonstrate it can obtain a fairly good correlation between the image darkness on the Shroud and the corresponding cloth-body distance obtained when a particular male body of the proper size is overlaid with a particular cloth draped in a certain way. But, because correlation is not causality, that is all STURP has done” (from The Los Alamos Monitor, December 16, 1979, p. B–6).

Blood Stains

Alleged blood stains on two small particles and twelve threads of the Shroud were analyzed for authenticity. Prior to recent testing done on the Shroud, it was determined by the scientists that no conclusive evidence existed for the stains on the cloth being human blood (Thomas Humber, The Sacred Shroud, p. 178). Recent tests conducted in 1978 have led protagonists to believe that “the blood stained areas had spectral-characteristics of human hemoglobin” (S. F. Pellicori, “Spectral Properties of the Shroud of Turin,” Applied Optics, 15 June 1980, Vol. 19, No. 12, pp. 1913–1920). However, the issue still remains that a forger with a proper method would logically use human blood to create the most realistic image possible. The presence of blood or hemoglobin on the Shroud is not valid evidence to warrant claims of authenticity.

Duplication

The Shroud proponents set forth various pieces of evidence to support their claims of authenticity. Such pieces of evidence were (1) no brush mark; (2) no image penetration of the fibers (it is purely a surface phenomenon); (3) presence of a powder alleged to be aloes; (4) the “pollen fossils” found on the cloth alleged to be from the time of Christ.

Most of the above is answered by a bas-relief image created by Joe Nickell. A picture of the image is found in the November–December 1978 issue of The Humanist and in the November 1979 issue of Popular Photography. Nickell employed a technique using only fourteenth century material and methods to recreate or duplicate a negative imagery as found on the Shroud. This technique produces a negative. He did not paint his image, but used a bas-relief and applied a wet cloth to it, and when it had dried he used a dauber to rub on powdered “pigment.” Nickell used a mixture of myrrh and aloes. It did not leave brush marks.  Nickell writes: “My rubbings, even on close inspection, appear to have been created without ‘pigment.’ I used a mixture of the burial spices-myrrh and aloes-which duplicates the ‘scorch-like’ color and numerous characteristics. “It is interesting to note that (according to Encyclopedia Americana, 1978) aloes actually have ‘served as a dye or pigment.’ “A major point is that this ‘pigment’ does not penetrate the fibers, remaining (as is said of the coloration on the Shroud) a purely ‘surface phenomenon’-shown by crosssectioning and microscopic examination… “Two members of the secret (and later exposed) official Shroud commission, appointed in 1969 to examine the cloth, suggested the imagery was the result of some artistic printing technique employing a model or molds. That is a pretty accurate description of the technique I found to be successful. “Shroud enthusiasts maintain they have found ‘no evidence of pigment’ on the cloth, although there is reportedly evidence of a ‘powder’ said to be aloes. They point out that there are no brush strokes; that, around the burn holes (from a chapel fire in 1532), there is no darkening of imprinted areas; and that the imagery has ‘no directionality’ (as from brush or finger application). These, however, are all characteristics of my technique! “The report did mention the discovery of various yellow-red to orange ‘crystals’ (or ‘granules’) and certain ‘globules’ which tally with the appearance of myrrh and aloes. These spices (available to the forger at the twice-a-year Champagne Fair or at his local apothecary’s) probably contained the ‘pollen fossils’ from the Middle East that are alleged to be on the cloth” (“The Shroud,” Christian Life, February 1980, vol. 4, no. 10). A photographer’s negative showed a positive image of “lifelike” quality. Dr. Mueller says of Nickells’ image: “Joe Nickell describes his rubbing method of producing Shroud-like negative images from bas-reliefs. Qualitatively, at least, the resemblance is striking and extends even to the microscopic depth of color penetration of the threads. “The rubbing technique, even with a given bas-relief, can be varied easily by changing dauber size, pressure and the way the cloth is wet-moulded to produce images of greatly diverse character. Thus, the 3-D characteristics of rubbings can be varied almost at will” (“Shroud: Real McCoy or Hoax?” Los Alamos Monitor, December 16, 1979).

Christ’s Graveclothes

Probably the most damaging evidence against the authenticity of the Shroud is the disharmony of the Shroud burial procedure with the New Testament accounts of Christ’s burial. “In ancient times the hair was cut (T. B., Moed. Kat., 8b), but it is now only washed, and nine measures of cold water are subsequently poured over the corpse (during which, in some places, the dead is settled in an upright position), and this constitutes the actual religious purification… “The corpse is, of course, thoroughly dried, care being taken not to leave it uncovered the while. Women have to undergo the same process of purification at the hands of their own sex. In Acts 9:37 we have an instance of a woman being washed before burial in New Testament times. “It was formerly the custom also the anoint the corpse, after cleansing, with various kinds of aromatic spices… . It will be remembered that when Mary was reproached with an unnecessary waste of ointment, Jesus exclaimed, ‘Suffer her to keep it against the day of my burial’ (John 12:7). And we find it recorded that a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about 100 lbs. weight, was subsequently brought for the body of Jesus (Ibid 9:39). “After the rite of purification has been carried out in the customary manner, the corpse is clothed in grave-vestments (Mish. Sanhed. 6.5)… They are identical with the sindon of the New Testament (cf. Matthew 27:59, etc.) being made of white linen without the slightest ornament, and must be stainless. “They are usually the work of women, and are simply pieced together, no knots being permitted, according to some, in token that the mind of the dead is disentangled of the cares of this life, but in the opinion of others, as representing the expression of a wish that the bones of the dead may be speedily dissolved into their primitive dust (Rokeach, 316). No corpse, male or female, must be clothed in less than three garments” (from The Jewish Quarterly Review, vol. 7, 1895, pp. 260, 261).

There are several problems that arise when Shroud proponents study the New Testament. The first is that there is a conflict with the burial cloth. It is clear in the Jewish burial customs and in the New Testament that there were several pieces of cloth involved in Christ’s burial, not one 14-feet-by-4-feet piece of material such as the Shroud. John 20:5–7 clearly indicates there was a separate piece wrapped about Christ’s head. It was found by itself apart from the body wrappings. However, the cloth of Turin depicts a fact on the sheet as well as the rest of the body. Not only does the text indicate several pieces of cloth used for Christ’s body, but also that they were “strips,” “wrappings,” or “linen bandages” such as used with mummies. Even more significant than the words used to describe Christ’s burial with strips of linen are Kalutto (I Kings 19:13) and Periballo (Genesis 38:14) which are words used in the Septuagint specifically for garments such as the Shroud but not found in the New Testament texts. Their absence is quite significant. Second, the burial account in the Gospel of John (19:40) uses a plural form: wrappings. In fact, all of the Gospel accounts are in agreement that the body of Christ was “wrapped” or “folded. “And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth” (Matthew 27:59, NASB). “And Joseph bought a linen sheet, took Him down, wrapped Him in the linen cloth” (Mark 15:46, NASB). “And he took it down and wrapped it in a linen cloth” (Luke 23:53, NASB). “And so they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews” (John 19:40, NASB). The verb Entulisso, used by Matthew and Luke, means to wrap (up), to fold. Mark uses Eneileo, which connotes to wrap up, to confine. John, who was an eyewitness, is very clear that the body of Christ was wrapped. The verb Deo means “to bind” or “tie” with the result of imprisonment. So in light of the textual evidence, the conclusion is well founded by word choice and placement that, as John most explicitly described, Jesus was bound with linen strips and not wrapped in a cloth. The words regarding the cloth clearly indicate it. The verbs used warrant it, and the specific choice of words makes it inescapable.

A third problem with the cloth of Turin is that the Shroud proponents admit that its authenticity is dependent upon the body not being washed. This is important for several reasons: (1) the alleged appearance of dried blood on the body that was not washed, and (2) the need for morbid sweat to act as a refraction lens to focus the radiation to record the image. Ian Wilson expresses the view that Christ’s body was not washed. He writes: “Some have argued that washing was a prescribed ritual that would have been permissible to carry out irrespective of the sabbath. Some eminent New Testament scholars do not share such a view. Even among the best exegetes there seems little major objection to the concept that there simply was on time for Jesus’ body to be washed before the sabbath, particularly in view of the various Jewish requirements relating to this rite. “When, as events proved, it was also impossible to carry out this rite after the sabbath, one can understand a certain reluctance on the part of the Gospel writers to admit this directly. Only on the view that Jesus was not washed can the authenticity of the Turin Shroud be upheld” (from The Shroud of Turin, by Ian Wilson, p. 56). The above conclusions are erroneous at best. The idea of there not being time to wash the body clean with water because of the approaching sabbath is equally weak because the Scripture says they still had time to anoint the body with over a hundred pounds of spices. This is also made clear in the fact that a body could indeed be washed and anointed on the sabbath: “The corpse may, however, be washed and anointed on the sabbath, provided the limbs be not strained out of joint; the pillow may be moved from under the head, and the body may be laid on sand that it keep the longer from putrefaction; the jaws may also be tied, not to force them closer, but to prevent them dropping lower (Mish. Shabb. 33:5, from The Jewish Quarterly Review, 1895, vol. 7, p. 118). John would not and could not have said that the Jewish method of burial had been followed if it hadn’t been washed.

The Spices

A fourth problem with harmonizing the Shroud with the New Testament burial accounts is the spices. The body would have had to have been washed. Ian Wilson observes: “St. John tells us that Nicodemus, assisting Joseph of Arimathea, brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about a hundred pounds. He also tells us that these were wrapped with the body in the burial linen (John 19:39, 40). “Had such spices been used for anointing, it would have been requisite in Jewish ritual and indeed in that of any other culture to wash the body first. “As it is quite evident from the Shroud that the body was not washed, and as the weight of spices described would be vastly excessive even for the most lavish anointing, the most likely explanation would seem to be that they were dry blocks of aromatics packed around the body as antiputrefacients” (from The Shroud of Turin, by Wilson, pp. 56, 57). Also, if spices were applied to the body, as emphatically stated in the Gospels, the image could not have been transferred to the cloth by radiation as Shroud proponents advocate.

 Other Shrouds

Many people are not cognizant of the fact that after the Crusades many different Shrouds circulated throughout medieval Europe at the same time as the cloth of Turin. It is estimated there are more than forty “true Shrouds” that were circulated. Many are still being displayed today.

Coins

Reports are being circulated of a coin over the right eye that dates back to the years of A.D. 29–32. The Reverend Francis L. Philas, Professor of Theology at Loyola University in Chicago, reports that four Greek letters, UCAI, on the coin are part of the inscription “of Tiberius Caesar.” It is the authors’ understanding that the quite unintelligible letters read, UKAI, and that the coin striker would have had to be either drunk or ignorant to strike it that way. The coin theory raises a lot of questions concerning the Shroud. The theory to explain the image transfer to the cloth required that the body had not been washed because the dried sweat was necessary to magnify the rays. Also, the various image transfer theories indicate that the body had not been prepared for burial and thus not washed. It is hard to imagine that a body that had not been washed or prepared for burial would have coins put over the eyes (in this case, over the right eye).

No New Testament Witnesses

 It is totally unthinkable that the apostles and Christians of the first years of Christianity would not mention a cloth that had an image scorched on it of the crucified and resurrected Christ. In the face of death they proclaimed Jesus Christ alive. They constantly gave personal testimony of Christ’s resurrection appearances in the most adverse situations. Is it conceivable that no one, especially the New Testament writers and church fathers, would ever mention the Shroud in relationship to Christ and His resurrection? Conclusion The evidence so far in no way supports the Shroud’s authenticity as the burial cloth of Christ.