A new book on a scientific analysis of the Shroud of Turin confirms what WND reported more than a year ago – the relic is not a medieval forgery. The latest tests date the shroud to between 300 BC and 400 AD.
The results of the tests are documented in the book “Il Mistero della Sindone” or The Mystery of the Shroud, written by Giulio Fanti, a professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at Italy’s Padua University, and Saverio Gaeta, a journalist.
Scientists measured radiation intensity using infra-red light and spectroscopy to analyze the shroud, which is kept in a climate-controlled case in Turin, Italy.
Fanti said the imprint was caused by a blast of “exceptional radiation.”
That is essentially what WND reported in December 2011, that the imprint on the shroud was likely caused by a burst of ultraviolet light that was beyond the technical capabilities of medieval forgers.
That finding is also remarkably similar to the fictional explanation WND staff reporter Jerome R. Corsi provided in his 2010 novel on the Shroud of Turin, “The Shroud Codex.”
In 2011, Corsi told WND, “What the Italian scientists are saying is that the image was created on the shroud in a burst of energy that Christian believers would understand as physical proof of the Resurrection.”
And, in 2010, Corsi had reported in WND that scientists were building the case that the Turin image was created by radiation that emanated from the body itself, a theory remarkably supportive of the traditional resurrection account that is central to Christian theology.
A scientific paper co-authored by attorney and historian Mark Antonacci and physicist Arthur Lind argued that the shroud image might constitute what amounts to a photograph taken at the instant Jesus’ body transformed as he rose from the dead.
Scientists had been unable to explain the image of a bearded man’s body with wounds in the wrist, feet and chest on a 14-foot linen cloth. Many Christians believe it the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.
WND reported in 2011 that experts from Italy’s National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Development found, “The double image (front and back) of a scourged and crucified man, barely visible on the linen cloth of the Shroud of Turin, has many physical and chemical characteristics that are so particular that the staining … is impossible to obtain in a laboratory.”
Experiments in 1988 by laboratories in Oxford, Zurich and Arizona indicated the shroud dated back to only 1260 to 1390, suggesting it was a fake.
But, as WND reported, those findings were suspect.
In 2005, a scientific paper by chemist Ray Rogers of the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, a member of the 1978 Shroud of Turin Research Project, argued the samples taken from the shroud in 1988 for the radiocarbon dating were contaminated by medieval reweaving.
He argued that after a fire in 1532 nearly destroyed the shroud, French Poor Clare nuns repaired the shroud by adding 16 burn patches and stitching to the back of the shroud a reinforcing cloth that is known as the Holland cloth.
The nuns were able to repair the edges of the shroud by expertly reweaving with cotton much of the damage the fire did to the shroud’s original linen cloth.
Rogers was able to detect under a microscope the reweaving because the cotton had been dyed to match the linen, and the fibers could be distinguished in the reweaving at the edges of the shroud because linen is resistant to dye, while cotton is not.
Rogers’ change of heart made an impact on the Shroud of Turin research community worldwide, largely because immediately after the results of the 1988 radiocarbon dating were made public, he was an outspoken leading voice among critics charging the shroud was a medieval forgery.
The shroud will be on display on Italian television Saturday, the day before Easter. Pope Francis has recorded a voice-over introduction.
The designated “pontifical custodian of the shroud”, Archbishop of Turin Cesare Nosiglia, said, “It will be a message of intense spiritual scope, charged with positivity, which will help (people) never to lose hope,” and, “The display of the shroud on a day as special as Holy Saturday means that it represents a very important testimony to the Passion and the resurrection of the Lord.”
An app sanctioned by the Catholic Church called “Shroud 2.0″ will let users see details in the shroud invisible to the naked eye.
“For the first time in history the most detailed image of the shroud ever achieved becomes available to the whole world, thanks to a streaming system which allows a close-up view of the cloth. Each detail of the cloth can be magnified and visualized in a way which would otherwise not be possible,” said Nosiglia.
You can also examine the shroud in close detail at shroud.com.