The Shroud of Turin, housed in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy, is the traditional burial cloth of Jesus Christ and the most studied object in history. This 4.3 by 1.1 meter (14.3 by 3.7 feet) linen cloth contains unexplained highly detailed x-ray-like and complex radiation images 2-3 fibers deep and bloodstains from a man who suffered physical trauma consistent with the crucifixion of Christ. For background, read John chapters 19 and 20 in the Bible.
Controversy remains about the Shroud's validity and age. Incorrect carbon dating placed its origin in the Medieval period, but the preponderance of evidence indicates that the Shroud is authentic and about 2,000 years old. Its age can be determined by matching Shroud images to other historical objects where the dating is already known, such as coins, paintings, and another cloth (the Sudarium of Oviedo).
Examine some of the evidence for yourself:
Byzantine Tremissis coin depicting Christ, A.D. 692. Blue circles over eyes denote Jewish coins.
Sudarium of Oviedo (traditional face cloth of Christ), in Spain since A.D. 631.
Christ Pantocrator encaustic painting, A.D. 550.
Pontius Pilate Lituus lepton coin, self-dated to A.D. 29. Image over right eye on Shroud.
In a court of law, 14 points of congruence are sufficient to determine the same source for simple images such as fingerprints, while 45-60 points of congruence are sufficient for more complicated images such as faces.
Byzantine Tremissis coin depicting Christ, A.D. 692. Full frontal portrait and the earliest known image of Christ on a coin. 188 points of congruence.
Shroud of Turin face: Note facial features, neckline, and dark bloodstains in hair and on forehead. Blue circles over eyes denote where Jewish coins were used to keep eyelids closed after death.
Sudarium of Oviedo (traditional face cloth of Christ, 84 by 53 centimeters [33 by 21 inches]), close-up of back of head area, in Spain since A.D. 631. Blood type AB. 120 points of congruence.
Shroud of Turin back of head area: Note bloodstains from crown of thorns. Blood type AB. Bloodstains on the two cloths are strikingly similar and appear to have been formed by contact with the same body.
Christ Pantocrator encaustic icon, A.D. 550. Full-frontal portrait at St. Catherine’s Monastery, Sinai Peninsula. Made by applying hot colored wax to a board. 170 points of congruence.
Shroud of Turin face: Note alignment of facial features including large eyes, raised eyebrow, elongated nose, lips, mustache, long hair, beard, and earlobes.
Pontius Pilate Lituus lepton coin, self-dated to A.D. 29. Jewish coin struck in a Roman province, 14 milli-meters in diameter. Part of Tiberius Caesar is spelled “TIOUCAI”. 211 points of congruence. The coin is badly worn but is an exact die-mate of the one on the Shroud. The further away from A.D. 29, the less likely someone would have used a coin from that year. Note astrologer’s staff and letters “UCAI”. The “C” on the coin was a previously unknown misspelling that has now been found on several lepton coins.
Shroud of Turin image on right eye, enlarged: Note the Lituus coin outline and exacting congruencies with the details on the coin. Weave pattern reduced. Image pattern characteristic of electrostatic radiation.