The Shroud of Turin,
Scientific Evidence That Jesus Christ Raised From The Dead
by Wayne Wright
Several years ago, someone asked me about the shroud of Turin, the supposed burial cloth that wrapped the body of Jesus, mentioned in Matt. 27: 59. I had heard about the shroud, but didn't know enough to answer the person's question. I basically thought it was an item of Roman Catholic superstition. I decided to spend a little time looking into the matter, so I could give an intelligent answer to the question before me.
I began this enquiry assuming that my conclusion would be that it is nothing more than a superstitious hoax. My inquiry turned into a serious study that took more than two years. Most of my study centered around the findings of a group of 26 American scientists who were engaged in 1978 to determine if the shroud was authentic or not. The team of scientists consisted of men who ranged from atheists to agnostics, to Christians. Every member of the team expressed that they were very skeptical at the outset, and thought they would take a couple of days to look at the piece of linen cloth and declare it to be a hoax. The team of scientists was known as STURP - Shourd of Turin Research Project. ( The word "shroud" means "burial cloth." Turin is the name of the city in Italy where the shroud has ben kept since the year 1578).
This team of scientists invested more that 150,000 hours of intense scientific testing, greater than that applied to any other ancient artifact in history. Among the conclusions they came to were:
1.The image is not a fraud.
2.The image is not a painting
3.The image was not made by a person
4.How the image was made is a mystery
The Bible says in Romans 10: 9, 10 "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
Believing that God raised Jesus from the dead is a basic requirement for a person to have his sins forgiven and be given eternal life. However, many people have sincere "intellectual" problems believing that someone could actually have risen from the dead. They find it difficult to believe that Jesus was the Son of God and that He arose from the dead. Modern science has, in many cases, encouraged this agnostic or atheisitc attitude. Many have been so influenced by science , they have had difficulty embracing anything "by faith."
It is ironic that it is science that now gives the strongest evidence that the miracle of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead actually happended. If you are a person who has seen science as being "opposed" to religion, you will now find yourself in an unusual dilemma: it is the advanced technologies of modern science that now presents insurmountable evidence that Jesus Christ was crucified in the first century, and that He came back to life on the third day after His death, just as it is recorded in those first century documents known as "The New Testament."
There are literally thousands of linen burial cloths in museums across Europe that date back as far as the year 1,000 BC. And many of those burial cloths were woven in the first century. However, out of the thousands of ancient burial cloths still in existence today, only one has an image on it. And this one has an image of the person who was buried in the cloth. That one is "the shroud of Turin." And, as you will see, the evidence is overwhelming that the image is that of Jesus Christ.
The purpose of this small booklet is to make availble to the general public the scientfic findings of "the Shroud of Turin" that give strong evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to provide a platform for presenting the gospel of salvation through faith in Him.
In addition to the scientific evidence, there is also ample historical evidence that the shroud existed in the first century.
Dr. Kenneth E. Stevenson, a member of the STURP team of scientists has written several books about the Shroud of Turin. I would like to quote from his book, Image of the Risen Christ: page 142:
That my conclusions are stated in terms of probability indicates that absolute proof is not available here. As in all scientific arguments, results can change with different data. Nothing in the Bible, church history, science, or medicine demand that the shroud be genuine. And Christianity itself would suffer not one iota even if the Shroud's authenticity were totally disproven. Neither Jesus nor Paul made any comments about this cloth, so their views are not in question here. Granting this, however, the Shroud still possibly provides evidence for the validity of Christianity. But, even if it did not, studying it appears to involve few negatives: If the Shroud is not the burial garment of Jesus, comparatively little is lost. Beyond the accurace of the researcher's own views on this subject, the unfortunate possibility of someone worshipping the Shroud or misusing it in other ways is about the only other drawback. At any rate, one should not reject the Shroud as a fake before a thorough investigation is completed. I have written this book to help meet this need.
I state emphatically in the book, next to the photos of the Shroud: "There is no supernatural power in the Shroud. It is not to be worshipped. That would be idolatry. The burial closth provides both scientific and historical evidence that Jesus Christ raised from the dead."
Please understand that the conclusions arrived at by the author of this book (Wayne Wright) and by the authors of the books that I have mentioned in the Introduction, have been conclusions reached after careful consideration of the scientific and historical facts.
Every person that I know of, approached this topic initially as a skeptic, including myself. It was only after an honest evaluation of the facts that we eventually had to be honest with ourselves and admit that the scientific and historical facts allow no other conclusion than this: The burial cloth known as the "Shroud of Turin" is indeed the burial cloth that was wrapped around the body of Jesus after His crucifixion. And, the mysterious image on the cloth is actually a "photographic negative" of the body of Jesus Christ.
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