In this article we will be taking a look at the length of linen that for centuries was purported to be the burial garment of Jesus Christ – What is The Shroud of Turin, and was it really used to wrap the body of Jesus?
Let’s take a closer look…
The Holy Shroud
The Holy Shroud (or Santa Sindone as it’s known in Italy) has been held since 1578 in Turin’s royal chapel of the cathedral of San Giovanni Battista. It is 4.3 metres long and 1.1 metres wide.
The strange, haunting cloth seems to show a pair of faint images of the back and front of a man. This man has a very gaunt look to his facial appearance and is thought to have been about 5 foot 7 inches tall.
The material and these images give the appearance that a body had been laid lengthwise along one half of it, then the other half had been folded over so that it covered the front of the man’s body.
What’s really fascinating about the images is that they seem to show the same injuries that Christ would have had, when you consider the crucifixion – thorn marks on the head, lacerations (as if from flogging) on the back, and blood stains all over the shroud.
Geoffroi de Charnay
The Holy Shroud first popped up in historic records when the famous knight, Geoffroi de Charnay, was spotted with it in his possession. From here it is then recorded as going on exhibition in 1389…but the local bishop of Troyes branded it a joke and a fake.
However, popes from Julius II onward have all taken it’s authenticity for granted.
In 1453 Geoffroi de Charnay’s granddaughter, Marguerite, handed the Holy relic over to the house of Savoy at Chambéry. It stayed here until it was unfortunately damaged by fire, then water in 1532.
The shroud was then taken to the new Savoyard capital of Turin in 1578, where it has been exhibited on rare occasions since. A replica usually takes it place for public viewing.
So, is it authentic or not?
Was this the cloth that Jesus’s body was wrapped in?
Very hard question to answer…
In the 1970’s, tests began to find out whether or not the images were the result of paints or other pigments, even fire or scorch marks. All the results came back inconclusive.
In 1988 the Vatican provided three laboratories in different countries with tiny samples of the shroud, so that they could carry out carbon-14 dating. All three labs concluded that the shroud was dated from between 1260 and 1390. Certain experts now believe that these tests were false, and their methods used were wrong.
The Vatican still recommends that Christians continue to worship the shroud as a holy relic.
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the subject we have covered here, please leave them in the comment section below.