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What is the Shroud of Turin?
The Shroud residing in Turin, Italy is a piece of linen cloth measuring 14’3” by 3’7” (or 2 cubits x 8 cubits) consistent with measurement systems at the time of Jesus. It is a finer linen with a 3-over-1 weave consistent with the statement that it was Joseph of Arimathea that gave his cloth for Jesus’ burial and that Joseph was a wealthy man.

Tomb of Jerusalem

The cloth is a sepia or straw yellow in color and bares on it the actual bloodstains and frontal and dorsal images of a man laid out in an attitude of death according to Jewish burial customs (with hands folded over the loins) and markings of a classic Roman crucifixion. The cloth is kept in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy (about 400 miles north of Rome at the foot of the Italian/Swiss Alps where it resided since 1578.

The Images:
The man was laid on the long cloth with head toward the center. He was prepared with burial spices and ointments and the cloth drawn over Him in a Cave Tomb carved into the limestone hills outside the city of Jerusalem. Whatever mechanism created the image left a frontal and dorsal image of the man, estimated to be about 5’10-11 inches tall. The image is limited to the very top fibrils of the fibers of the Shroud. It shows no marks of paint, ink, dye, chalk or other substance. There are no brush strokes, cohesion of fibers from binders, outline or any signs of an artist. We will discuss the theory of what created the image toward the end. Photo by Barrie Schwortz, Official Shroud Photograher -

What constitutes the Image (and what it is NOT):
Under high-power magnification, the image on the Shroud is monochromatic - that is - all imaged fibrils are the same color. It is the density of the fibrils (proximity to each other) that creates the image. It is like the dots in your newspaper that are the same color but their density creates the shading.

It is not the work of an artist, or man-made:

  1. The blood is on the Shroud before the image. No artist would put blood (in the perfectly correct
    anatomical positions) on a clean white 14' linen and then create an image around it.
  2. No colorant/pigment: there is no pigment (paint, ink, dye, chalk, etc.) constituting the image.
    Note: it is not iron-oxide pigment as once stated by Dr. Walter McCrone. Shroud scientists
    indicated that iron-oxide is found all over the Shroud from its retting in water during the soaking
    of the flax plant in water in the process of extracting the linen from the plant. Further, medieval
    paint did use iron-oxide along with nickel and cadmium (which are not found).
  3. No outline is found (the hallmark of an artist).
  4. No directionality of brush strokes.
  5. No binders that hold pigment to the linen.
  6. No cohesion of cementing of fibrils to each other.
  7. Not created by vapors (i.e. ammonia from sweat) as the vaporgraph theory was analyzed
    and indicated that vapors diffuse and penetrate and there is no diffusion or penetration of
  8. Forensic pathologists and hematologists clearly state this is real blood showing hemoglobin
    and porphryns of human blood.
  9. Artists of the period did not work on linen. It would be extremely rare.
  10. The image has 3-dimensional information encoded in its light/shadows (see below) the info
    of the NASA VP-8 information of 3-dimensionality.

First Photos:
In 1898, an amateur photographer, Secondo Pia, took the first photos of the Shroud on glass plates. To his shock and amazement, the images that came out on his negative plates were a positive image, indication that the image on the cloth is a perfect photographic negative (light and dark, left and right reversed) attracting the attention of the scientific community

In 1931, professional photographer Giuseppe Enrie took a much more comprehensive set of photos confirming Secondo’s finds.

Scientific STURP Team:
In 1978, the Vatican allowed a team of 24 scientists to do 5 days (120 hours) of round-the-clock non-destructive testing. The Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) was a non-denominational team representing several branches of science using sophisticated instrumentation. Many other scientists got involved in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Photo by Barrie Schwortz - Official Shroud Photographer.

Evidence Emerges:
…Physicist Sam Pellicori found dirt (later identified in US Labs) at travertine aragonite, a soil consistent with the cave-tombs of Jerusalem.

…Calcified pollen was noted on the back of the Shroud which would have been consistent with the limestone ledges of the cave tomb.

…Pollen from four areas known to have been consistent with the historical movement of the Shroud was found by Pollen expert Dr. Max Frei. Dr. Frei found 28 species from Jerusalem; additional pollen from Edessa in Eastern Turkey (home of the Shroud from approx. 40 A.D. to 944 A.D. A third grouping came from Constantinople (home from 944 to 1204. A fourth grouping was from France and Italy (home of the Shroud from 1204-1578 (France) and 1578 to present (Turin, Italy). Photo by Barrie Schwortz

Floral Images on the Shroud:
In 1982 physicist Otto Scheuerman noted a floral image near the head. Dr. Alan Whanger (Duke University) agreed and involved Prof. Avinoam Danin (Hebrew University in Jerusalem) and a colleague from the Israel Antiquities Authority. The confirmed that the Man of the Shroud was entombed with bunches and bouquets of flowers. They made the statement that the floral images represented the geographic and calendar indicators of the provenance of the Shroud as being from Jerusalem and represented flowers available in the markets of Jerusalem during March and April of the year consistent with the time of the Passion. Among these were the Crown Chrysanthemum; Thorn Thistle pollen and images of Gundelia tournefortii; Cistus creticus (Rock Rose) and the Zygoplyllum dumosum (bean caper plant) – all indigenous to Jerusalem confirming the provenance of the cloth from Jerusalem. Photo by Prof. Avinoam Danin - Hebrew University

Blood on The Shroud:
Contrary to theories of artistic origins of the “bloodstains”, Hematologist Dr. John Heller (New England Institute of Medicine) and the late blood chemist Dr. Alan Adler (Western Connecticut University) identified hemoglobin and porphryns indicating real human blood. The blood soaked through the Shroud in areas (as opposed to the surface fibrils of the image) and noted that the blood was on the Shroud before the image (an unlikely way for an artist to work). Photo below by Barrie Schwortz - Official Shroud Photographer.

AB Blood:
The blood type was identified as AB blood, which Dr. Garza Valdes noted was a “bio-type of the Middle East with only 3-5% of the world population having AB blood.

Male DNA:
Dr. Victor Tryon (DNA expert from U. of Texas Health and Science Center noted that occipital blood (back of head) was examined that indicated the presence of Amelogenin X and Y chromosomes (male blood) and a betaglobin gene from chromosome 11 indicating real male blood. He noted also the DNA was a highly degraded DNA consistent with the supposition of ancient blood.

High levels of the red bile pigment bilirubin were noted, making the blood redder than ancient blood would normally look and indicating a man who died under conditions of severe trauma and stress. The red bile would be secreted to attach to red blood cells to help carry additional oxygen to compensate for blood loss. NY Pathologist Dr. Frederick Zugibe indicated that if he had to write the death certificate of Jesus he would say Jesus died of cardiac arrest brought on by hypovolemic shock and trauma. Hypovolemic means too little volume of blood.

Blood Signature:
The signature indicated a real male human blood, consistent with ancient blood, of type AB (likely from Middle East) containing high levels of bilirubin from trauma/stress on a cloth always historically associated with the historical Jesus.

AB Blood Type in The Miracle of Lanciano:
This miracle is officially recognized by the Catholic Church as a Eucharistic miracle. In the city of Lanciano, Italy, around 700, a Basilian priest was celebrating Mass in the small church of St. Longinus. Celebrating in the Latin Rite and using unleavened bread, the monk had doubts about the Real Presence of Jesus in the Host. During the Mass, when he said the words of consecration (This is my body. This is my blood), the priest saw the bread change into living flesh and the wine change into live blood which coagulated into five globules, irregular and differing in shape and size. In 1970-'71 and again in 1981 tests were done by scientist Prof. Odoardo Linoli, eminent Professor in Anatomy and Pathological Histology and in Chemistry and Clinical Microscopy assisted by Prof. Ruggero Bertelli of the University of Siena. The found that:

...The Flesh is real human Flesh of the muscular tissue of the heart. The Blood is real human Blood. In the flesh they saw the myocardium, the endocardium, the vagus nerve and also the left ventricle of the heart

...The Flesh and the Blood have the same blood-type: AB (Blood-type identical to that which Prof. Baima Bollone uncovered in the Holy Shroud of Turin) and which is considered a Bio-Type of the Middle East. Only 3-5% of the world population has AB blood lending support to the blood representing the blood of Jesus on the Shroud - also AB.

For further info, see: Click Here

AB Blood Type in The Eucharistic Miracle of Buenos Aires:
In 1996, Fr. Alejandro Pezet was saying Mass at a Church in Buenos Aires. A woman discovered a discarded Host in the rear of the Church. Fr. Pezet placed it in a container of water in the tabernacle. Shortly thereafter he found that the Host turned into a bloody substance. He informed Cardinal Jorge Bergolio (now Pope Francis I) who had it photographed professionally

Dr. Castanon sent it to New York to the late Dr. Frederick Zugibe (forensic pathologist/cardiologist) without disclosing what it was. Dr. Zugibe determined it was real flesh and blood of a Type AB and containing human DNA. Dr. Zugibe testified that:
the analyzed material is a fragment of the heart muscle found in the wall of the left ventricle close to the valves. The muscle is responsible for the contraction of the heart, pumping blood to all parts of the body. The heart muscle is in an inflammatory condition and contains a large number of while blood cells. This indicates that the heart was alive at the time the sample was taken.
...The Flesh and the Blood have the same blood-type: AB (Blood-type identical to that which Prof. Baima Bollone uncovered in the Holy Shroud of Turin) and which is considered a Bio-Type of the Middle East. Only 3-5% of the world population has AB blood lending support to the blood representing the blood of Jesus on the Shroud - also AB.

The Words, Weapons and Wounds provide a signature of Roman Crucifixion as it applies to the historical Jesus:

The question arises: How do we know this Man of the Shroud is the historical Jesus and not someone else crucified at the time?

Pathologists provide a signature from the words, weapons and wounds on the Shroud consistent with the historical Jesus.

Jesus has double marks on His back from the back of the neck to lower calves indicating that the weapon uses was the Roman flagrum with three thongs and each having two pieces of bone or lead leaving double marks.

Nails in Wrists:
Surgeon Pierre Barbet (1960’s) said he thought Jesus could not have been nailed through the palms as nothing in the hand could hold a body on the cross. In the 1980’s-90’s, Dr. Zugibe indicated Jesus was nailed in high hand exiting the wrist as noted by bifurcated blood flow around the ulna bone. Pathologist Dr. Robert Bucklin confirmed that the left thumb is not visible on the Shroud as the thumb was drawn into the palm from damage to the Median nerve of the hand. The significance of this is that we have no paintings from the medieval or renaissance period showing Jesus nailed through the wrists. It was inconsistent with the mindset of the artists of this period.

Cap of Thorns:
Jesus was capped with thorns by soldiers because He was accused of treason by claiming to be a king who’s kingdom was not of this world. The soldiers capped Him with thorns. In the writings of ancient historians of the time of Jesus (Romans Tacitus, Suetonius, and Pliny) and (Jewish historians Josephus and Philo) no mention is ever made of anyone capped with thorns. This is mentioned only in the Gospels and only about Jesus.

Lancing in Side:
The common practice of the Romans was to break the legs of the victim (crucifragium) to ensure death before removing from the cross. Jesus did not have His legs broken but was lanced in the side with blood and water (blood and serum separated at death).

Carbon-14 Test:
In 1988 the Vatican permitted clippings of the Shroud to be used in a Carbon-14 test by three labs: Oxford, Zurich and Arizona. Several postage size samples were taken from the lower left corner of the Shroud. Protocol of chemists said the samples should be representative of the whole 14' Shroud (this was not followed). The test said the Shroud was dated 1260-1390. Photos (below) by Barrie Schwortz and Vernon Miller - Shroud Photographers.

However, in 2002 Shroud experts Susan Benford and Joseph Morino noted from a magnified photo that the samples contained two different size threads which turned out to be cotton mixed with the ancient linen. The samples were found by Dr. Ray Rogers (Shroud chemist). to be contaminated.

It was finally determined that the 3 1/2 by 5 inch patch put on in the Renaissance period was made of cotton dyed with a yellow Madder Root dye, bound to the cloth with aluminum oxide (which was then found in the lower left corner by Dr. Alan Adler) and woven into the main cloth (French invisible weaving common in tapestry repair). Medieval cotton was mixed with ancient linen, invalidating the test. Note: the different color (chemistry) of the Quad Mosaic Photo of Vernon Miller (Shroud Photographer along with Barrie Schwortz) of the lower right corner intruding into the test area.

What Created The Image?
Modern physicists say the image appears to be created by a form of light not understood. Physicist Drs. John Jackson and Eric Jumper indicate a milliburst of radiant energy at the moment of resurrection.

Dr. Alan Whanger calls is a form of radiant energy emanating from the body. Dr. Giles Carter (radiologist) calls is a form of x-radiation.

Particle Physicist Isabel Piczek says it was a form of particle radiation, a physiological manifestation of a deeply spiritual event occurring at the moment of the Resurrection.

The theory of radiant energy is consistent with the story of the Transfiguration wherein Jesus turned to light before His apostles Peter, James and John on the mountain.

In 1978, Dr. John Jackson with Dr. Eric Jumper and William Motern used a NASA VP-8 image analyzer and noted that the Holy Shroud has 3-dimensional information representing a cloth-to-body distance in the form of light/shadow.

Coins Over the Eyes:
In 1978, Dr. John Jackson and Eric Jumper, using the NASA VP-8 Image Analyzer noted dense button-like objects over the eyes about the size of the U.S. Dime. Fr. Francis Filas at Loyola University in Chicago noted the same thing from macro-photos. These button-like objects were identified as the Lepton, a small coin minted during Pilate's governorship often thought of as the widow's mite of the New Testament noted for their shape (a clipped are from the 1:00 to 3:00 position).

Dr. Robert Haralick of the Virginia Space Technology Labs digitalized the images and noted four letters UCAI which matched the end of Tiberiou and the beginning of Caiseros for Tiberius Caesar (Emperor). Dr. Greenhut of Israel's Antiquities Authority noted that the custom of coins over the eyes was, in fact, sometimes found in Jewish burials.

L-Shaped Burn Holes on Shroud:
Approximately half way down the image are a series of four burn holes in an L-shaped pattern. Originally thought to be from the fire of 1532 in the Chapel in Lirey, France, they were found to be much older. A text called The Hungarian Pray Manuscript in Budapest in 1192 shows the four burn holes in a depiction of The Three Marys at the Tomb. This manuscript pre-dates any Carbon-14 dating (dated 1260-1390) by many years. The holes were likely from incense falling on the Shroud at a much earlier date.

Note also the herringbone weave of the Shroud reflected on the Manuscript.
Photo Left:   Shroud as seen with naked eye.
Photo Right: Shroud when photographed. A positive image on a negative plate.
                     The actual Shroud is a perfect photograph negative (left and right/dark and light are reversed)
                     (Photo by Barrie Schwortz - Official Shroud Photographer STURP).
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