Scientists once used the Shroud of Turin, the supposed burial cloth of Jesus Christ, to create an image of what Jesus Christ actually looked like at the time of his death. Now, to celebrate the fact that the Shroud is going back on display this month, Italian police have used it to create an image of what a young Jesus may have looked like.
The police used software that was once reserved for showing how mobsters might age, being able to add wrinkles and other signs of aging. The police used it this time, though, in reverse, taking years off the portrait of Jesus obtained from the Shroud in order to create an image of a 12-year-old Jesus Christ.
According to Christian Times, the Italian police specifically “subtracted years from the man’s face imprinted on the Shroud of Turin and removed his beard.” They also changed Jesus’ hair by coloring it blonde and even lightened his complexion. The result has been “angelic” as said by many.
The New York Times likened the computer image of a 12-year-old Jesus to more familiar images saying, “The angelic face is reminiscent of the prayer cards sold in Vatican souvenir shops and of the New Age portraits displayed at Venice Beach.”
Many were also quick to point out that this image of a young Jesus shows a boy with “fair, smooth skin, glassy blue eyes, fleshy lips and waves of dirty blond hair streaked with just enough purple and pink to suggest a sprinkling of cosmic dust.”
And it is that description that has quite a few people upset.
Paul Damon, who worked with a group of scientists on carbon-dating the Shroud in 1998, has pointed out some issues with this image of Jesus Christ.
Damon says, “The boy would not be blonde,” adding that the whole thing is “malarkey.”
So, why exactly would the police even think of using mafia boss catching software to create an image of a younger Jesus just in time for the Shroud of Turin’s exhibition? The police were given the suggestion by a local news station who was creating a program on Jesus.
Elena Guarnieri, the host of the said program on Jesus said that the idea came to her out of nowhere, saying it might just have been an “illumination, maybe it was inspiration.”
Guarnieri, as opposed to Damon, believes that the image could very well be exactly what Jesus looked like as a boy.
Guarnieri stated, “If that is the face on the shroud, then this is the face of Jesus as a child.”
Over the years, there has been much debate as to whether or not the Shroud is the actual burial cloth of Jesus Christ, but it is expected that millions of followers will flock to Turin, Italy to see the Shroud before the exhibition ends on June 24.
[Photo Courtesy of Christian Times]