The question of whether the Shroud of Turin is the actual linen which covered Jesus’ body at His resurrection has been debated for years and will likely continue to be debated until He returns. As I wrote in my book The Sindon, belief Jesus was resurrected is essential for Christian salvation, but the Shroud of Turin does not necessarily provide such proof. It does, however, do a very noble thing … it confronts today’s society with an image of a man who actually was crucified and that man COULD be Jesus. Since it is not theoretical, but truly physical, modern mankind must decide to: judge it as not relevant, file it away as an artist’s creation, or accept it as the image of Jesus. People are reluctant to acknowledge the image is of Jesus because accepting He is alive requires them to decide how they will allow this fact to impact their lives.
Having said all that, I do believe The Shroud of Turin is the actual burial cloth Jesus was wrapped in when He was resurrected. There are a large number of small facts that led me to this conclusion, but I want to provide the big items I think are very telling. Remember, the youngest dating of the cloth is in the mid-1500s AD and most methods have it much, much older than that.
- The blood on the linen (proven to be of a human male) was present before the image was made. What artist would ever try that trick.
- The image was not painted on. It was formed from a “fading” process similar to how the sun formerly turned drapes yellow hanging in windows before UV protective glass was invented. The process used on the image resulted in different “shades” of yellow fading, generating contrasts that resulted in the complete image of a man. What artist would/could use this technique?
- The image on half the linen is of the front part of the man; the other half is the back of the man. When folded, they form a perfect alignment of the two halves to form a single person. Even the most precise artist would have difficulty in accomplishing this.
- The image has been subjected to several computer analyses which all agree, it is three-dimensional. This would be hugely difficult for any skilled artist.
- To me, however, the most powerful oddity about the image is that it is a “negative.”
Let me explain to those who only take pictures with “point and click” cameras or cell phones. Your pictures are digital; which means they are numeric representations (in a computer) of a two-dimensional image.
Non-digital cameras use a film that is very sensitive to light. So when a picture is taken, a shutter opens for a brief period of time. The most light entering from the image makes the film the darkest; the least light entering does not expose the film as much, so it is much lighter. The result is called a negative. In order to see the picture as it originally was, a photographic process (called developing the film) is used. This process changed the dark parts back to lighter ones and the lighter parts to darker, completing the original view of the picture.
As I earlier stated, the image on the Shroud is a negative just like the films in non-digital cameras. What artist would know how to do that back then and even if they did, why would they use that technique to generate the image on the linen?