Researchers Strapped People To A Cross To Authenticate The Turin Shroud

The authenticity of the shroud many believe wrapped Jesus' body after his Crucifixion comes into question yet again.

The last time the Shroud was displayed publicly was during the Jubilee Year of 2000.
Sindone Press Office - Pool / Getty Images

The authenticity of the shroud many believe wrapped Jesus' body after his Crucifixion comes into question yet again.

The research team from the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado (TSC) in Colorado Springs, recreated a crucifixion using the Shroud of Turin as a guide to scientifically prove its authenticity, Science Magazine reported.

The Shroud of Turin is a long piece of cloth with the image of Jesus imprinted on it. It was first discovered in the 14th Century and believers claim it’s the shroud that wrapped Jesus’ body after his death.

The scientific consensus on the Shroud of Turin is that it is one of the hundreds of fake Christian relics created in the Middle Ages, but many Christians around the world still believe in its authenticity.

The TSC will present the paper next week to the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) in Baltimore, Maryland. They haven’t published the study yet, but have released an abstract.

“The presentation, using the perspectives from the above disciplines, will discuss how conclusions were obtained that appear to support the hypothesis of Shroud authenticity in some new and unexpected ways.”

They chose male volunteers who correspond as closely as possible to the physiology of Jesus Christ as the figure imprinted on the shroud represents him.

Following the cloth’s example, they hung their volunteers on a cross, placing them in the same position the imprinted Jesus figure would have been. They stopped themselves from actually nailing any volunteer to the cross, however, opting for straps instead.

A crucifix stands on the grounds of a Catholic church on September 21, 2018 in Wallerdorf, Germany.
  Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Despite carbon dating showing that the Shroud was created in the Middle Ages, its very existence is an unexplained mystery.

A 1981 study by John Jackson, a physicist and a founding member of the TSC, concluded that the image imprinted on the shroud is a photo negative of a “real human form of a scourged, crucified man,” technology way too advanced for the middle ages.

There have been hundreds of chemical and physical studies on the cloth, and after all that time, we can only know two things with reasonable certainty:

  1. The cloth does not predate the 14th Century.
  2. Someone imprinted the image on the cloth using methods seemingly unavailable at the time.
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Some argue that Leonardo da Vinci built a medieval photographic camera, took a picture of himself, and then told no one about it because he did it as a prank.

Others take a more outlandish route and claim this is evidence of time travelers.

Jackson’s theory is that the body wrapped in the cloth was somehow becoming increasingly radioactive, until it dematerialized in a flash of light, leaving a negative image imprinted on the cloth.

Whether you believe this is the image of Jesus or not, the question of how something that’s essentially a photograph appeared three centuries before the invention of photography is one that deserves an answer.