The cloth is known as the 'Turin Shroud' or the ‘Shroud of Turin'. The Turin Shroud is a long piece of linen cloth measuring 1.1 Meter wide and 4.4 Meters long (3.6 x 14.4 feet). The image on the Turin Shroud is not clear when you look at it. But when it is photographed with the old film type cameras, lights are reversed on the film negative. This means that dark areas of the Shroud image become lighter on the film negative, and lighter areas become darker on the negative. The photo you see above is the negative of the image on the Turin Shroud. So the Turin Shroud image on a very old cloth is like the images which appeared on the negative films of olden day cameras. The very first photo of the Turin shroud was taken in 1898 and that was when the Turin Shroud hit world headlines. A picture of the Shroud of Turin is seen below stretched out to its full length.
Many scientists thought that the Turin Shroud is a medieval forgery, and many of them tried their very best to make negative images on pieces of cloth like that on the shroud. They used techniques like pin hole camera, chemical process, heating statues and putting cloth on it, etc. But to date no one has even come close to the perfect photographic image as that on the Turin Shroud. In fact the image on the Turin Shroud has digital 3D qualities (explained further down) which the best of film cameras cannot make. There are many other striking features on the Shroud of Turin which were discovered when scientific tests were done on the Shroud (explained below) using latest modern scanners including UV, laser, X-ray, etc. Most of the scientists who carried out these tests started out thinking that the Shroud was a forgery and wanted to prove that. But now most of those scientists are firm believers that the Turin Shroud is a miracle.
This ancient linen cloth of the Turin Shroud is yellowed with age and on it is a very faint image of the frontal and back view of a human body. The painting below depicts how long pieces of cloth were used for burial 2000years ago during the time of Jesus. The entombment or burial using a burial cloth, was the custom in those ancient days. This explains the formation of images with frontal and back views in the two halves of the cloth.
The Shroud of Turin has been preserved with utmost care in the Royal Chapel of the ex-kings of Italy in the city of Turin in Italy from the year 1578 onwards. Since the holy Shroud is preserved and kept in the Royal Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy, it is commonly referred to as the 'Shroud of Turin' or the 'Turin Shroud'.
Before the year 1578 historical facts traces this cloth back to France, then to Constantinople (now renamed as ‘Istanbul’), then back to the city of Edessa (now ‘Urfa’ in Turkey) where the Shroud was found hidden in a wall in about the year 525 AD, before this several historical documents point to The Holy Shroud being given to King Abgar of Edessa (an independent kingdom aligned with the Kingdom of Parthia during the time of Jesus) by the Apostles of Jesus - St. Thomas and a newly appointed appostle, Thaddaeus (Addai)
More than one hundred years ago, on 28th May, 1898 an amateur Italian photographer, Mr. Secondo Pia, took the first photograph of the image on the Shroud of Turin. He was startled by the resulting negative which seemed to give the appearance of a positive image.
See the 2 photos below, the photo on the left is what the actual image on the cloth looks like and the photo on the right is what the negative of the image on the shroud looks like. In the photos below you see that the photo on the right, which is a negative of the negative image on the shroud, becomes a positive. We know that two negatives make a positive, so the photo on the right is the positive photograph, as would appear when we take prints from negatives in the old days of film photography. So the image on the cloth of the Turin Shroud is like the unclear images which appeared on the negatives of film cameras before we had digital cameras.
Ever since Mr. Secondo Pia took the first photograph of the shroud in 1898, the Shroud of Turin has been the subject of intense scientific study. A negative image is what appeared on developed films (negatives) back in the days of 35mm photography. No one could understand how a perfect, full length negative image of a human body could be formed on an ancient piece of linen cloth. Scientists found it difficult to accept the fact that it was a miracle, but to date no one has been able to find an explanation. When the scientists did investigations with very modern sophisticated instruments, even more surprising facts emerged. They discovered that the image on this ancient cloth is more than just an ordinary photo negative, it also has digital information from which 3D images could be made. Many other surprising findings were also made, as detailed below.
Normally a photo captures the reflected light bouncing off the subject being photographed. This means that there will always be some areas with shadows on the photo, like on the eyes or behind the nose. The Shroud photo has absolutely no shadows; it is as if the light originated from the body of the subject, and radiated out of the body itself to form the image.
A few years after the invention of photography, the first revelation of the miraculous photographic quality of the Holy Shroud occurred in 1898 when Mr. Secondo Pia took the first photograph of the Holy Shroud. With the advent of the Digital Age, the second revelation of the miraculous digital qualities of the Holy Shroud occurred in 1976, when American Physicist John Jackson and colleague Bill Mottern scanned a Shroud photograph on a VP-8 digital image analyser. The VP-8 image analyser is an instrument used by NASA (the American Government space agency which sends rockets into space and made men walk on the moon) to convert photos of the surfaces of Planets like the Moon and Mars into topographical maps – that is to make three dimensional - 3D maps showing mountains and valleys. The VP-8 image analyser produced a perfect 3D image of the shroud photo. These scientists had tried many other photos, before and after, on the VP-8 to get a 3D result, but they never got a 3D result with any photo except from the Holy Shroud Jesus photo. The results on the Shroud were so spectacular, that these hard core scientists are convinced that it is a miraculous image of Jesus Christ. Seen below is the 3D image created on the VP-8 image analyser.
In the bible mention is made of another cloth used in the burial of Jesus
"Simon Peter, following him, also came up, went into the tomb, saw the linen cloth lying on the ground, and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloth but rolled up in a place by itself." (John 20:6-7).
Shroud believers hold that the linen cloth refers to the Shroud of Turin, while the other cloth refers to the Sudarium of Oviedo.
The Sudarium of Oviedo has resided in the Cathedral of Oviedo in Spain since the 8th century. This small 83x53 centimeters (2.75 x 1.75 feet approx.), blood stained piece of linen cloth, is revered as one of the burial cloths mentioned in the Gospel of St. John. The Sudarium of Oviedo is traditionally held to be the cloth that covered the head of Jesus.
The Sudarium's existence and presence in Spain is well documented since the seventh century. Before this, historical evidence trace the location of the Sudarium to Jerusalem since the first centaury AD.
Forensic analysis of the bloodstains on the Shroud and the Sudarium reveal that both cloths covered the same head at nearly the same time. Based on the bloodstain patterns, the Sudarium would have been placed on the man's head while he was in a vertical position, presumably while still hanging on the cross.
A 1999 study by the Spanish Center for Sindonology, investigated the relationship between the two cloths. Based on history, forensic pathology, blood chemistry (both the Shroud and the Sudarium have type AB blood stains), and the blood stain patterns being exactly similar and congruent on both cloths, they concluded that the two cloths covered the same head at two distinct, but close moments of time.
To quote from the Wikipedia article "Using infrared and ultraviolet photography and electron microscopy, researches of the University of Valencia for the Spanish Centre for Sindonology showed that that the Sudarium of Oviedo has touched the same face as the Shroud of Turin, but at different stages after the death of the person. The Oviedo Cloth covered the face from the moment of death until replaced by the Turin Shroud. The bloodstains on both cloths are of the blood type AB. The length of the nose is the same (8 centimeters or 3 inches). Pollen samples from the both cloths match each other – one example is samples from the thorn bush Gundelia tournefortii, which is indigenous to the Holy Land".....Read More
In 1988, a small piece of cloth was cut from one of the corners of the Shroud and divided into postage stamp size pieces and given to 3 reputed International labs to do a Carbon Dating Test to determine the age of the Shroud. The results from all 3 labs said that the cloth was dated between the years 1260 and 1390. Later on it was proved that the samples taken by the labs were not the same as the main body of the Shroud cloth. This was because during the centuries that the shroud was venerated and held by the corners of the shroud, the corners became damaged and it was repaired in the middle ages using a process called invisible weaving or darning using dyed threads available then.
This is what Wikipedia says " Although the quality of the radiocarbon testing itself is unquestioned, criticisms have been raised regarding the choice of the sample taken for testing, with suggestions that the sample may represent a medieval repair fragment rather than the image-bearing cloth. It is hypothesised that the sampled area was a medieval repair which was conducted by "invisible reweaving". Since the C14 dating at least four articles have been published in scholarly sources contending that the samples used for the dating test may not have been representative of the whole shroud."...........Read More
Many amazing facts which have emerged on detailed scanning of the Shroud of Turin with modern technologies like UV scanning, etc. include. Most of the eminent scientists, who conducted these experiments, actually started out believing that the Shroud of Turin was a fake. But, on seeing the unexplainable phenomena of the Shroud of Turin image, many of them are now the most vociferous supporters of the Shroud being the genuine burial cloth of Jesus, and that the image thereon, is a miraculous picture of Jesus Christ.
Even though many modern scientists, photographers and painters have tried to make a similar image on cloth, no one has succeeded. If the holy Shroud were a fake, then a forger, sometime before the year 1578 (the year the holy shroud came to be kept with utmost care in Turin), produced a masterpiece that not a single modern man has been able to duplicate.
Just imagine the supposed forger doing the following
Considering all this, it is impossible for a forger, even the most cleverest, to have made such a Shroud. Modern scientists, even the cleverest scientists of today, from the leading research institutions of the world, are unable to understand or explain how the image on the Shroud was formed.
Some people claim that the great medieval artist and scientist, Leonardo Da Vinci, of having made the shroud. They even called it the 'Da Vinci Shroud' and aired programmes on Discovery Channel. They base their argument on the similarity of his paintings with the image on the holy Shroud.
The claim of Leonardo Da Vinci making the Shroud of Turin is based on the fact that many of his paintings can be overlaid on the Shroud image to give exact matches. But it is quite possible that Leonardo Da Vinci must have seen the image on the holy Shroud and, being impressed with the noble image on the holy Shroud, made his paintings using the Shroud image as the model. Da Vinci was not the first one to make paintings using the holy Shroud image as the model.
In 525 AD, the holy Shroud was discovered hidden above a gate in Edessa's city walls. Six years later, an icon (a religious work of art / painting) was produced at St. Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai. This icon, the Sinai Christ Pantocrator Icon, is for sure based on the image on the Shroud as can be seen in the following photographs
Similar matching overlay of the Shroud image on Leonardo Da Vinci paintings was the basis of the claim that Da Vinci made the Shroud. The Christ Pantocrator icon, painted in the year 550, also has perfect overlay as shown above. So the argument about the Da Vinci Shroud is not correct. Leonardo Da Vinci must have seen and used the Shroud image as his model.
The story of Veronica is celebrated by Catholics in the sixth Station of the Way of the Cross, even though The Holy Bible does not say anything about a person 'Veronica' or about the 'Veil of Veronica'.
Scholars believe that there was actually no person called Veronica, and that the popular belief of 'The Veil of Veronica' actually refers to the miraculous image of Jesus on the Holy Shroud of Turin. The name "Veronica" is believed to have originated from the Greek words 'Vera Icona' with the meaning 'true image' in English. The Bible was originally written in Greek, the popular scholarly language during those times. Because of the similarity of the Greek words 'Vera Icona' and 'Veronica', many scholars believe that with the passage of time, the story of a veil of Veronica emerged instead of the original 'Vera Icona' or the true image of Jesus on the Shroud.