By: Warren Gray
Copyright © 2023
“This treasured strip of linen cloth, an object of veneration by millions,
is one of the most-perplexing enigmas of modern times.”
— National Geographic magazine, June 1980.
The world-famous Shroud of Turin is a hand-loomed, very high-quality, herringbone linen cloth, sepia-yellow in color, with a very distinctive, three-to-one, zigzag-weave pattern, measuring 14 feet, 5 inches long by 3 feet, 7 inches wide. It appears to be of first-century Syrian design, and bears the nude, full-body, front-and-rear subtle images of a beaten, bloody, and crucified man with long hair, a small ponytail, moustache, and beard.
He had a prominent nose, pronounced cheekbones, measured about six feet tall (well above average for that time, and two inches above average, even today), weighed approximately 175 pounds, and was 30 to 45 years old. The Shroud is believed by many to be the revered burial cloth of Jesus Christ.
It contains 135 visible scourge marks — dumbbell-shaped contusions from a triple-tipped Roman flagrum (a whip), mostly on the back, buttocks, and rear of the legs, from two different angles. Standard Roman practice was to whip a man bound for execution with 39 lashes, by two separate Romans, leaving 117 scourge marks, so the man on the Shroud was punished with six extra lashes beyond the ordinary level.
The legs on the man were not broken, contrary to normal crucifixion protocol, to expedite death, so once again, his suffering was intentionally prolonged unnecessarily. In the New Testament, Jesus’ legs were not broken at the time of his execution. The Shroud strongly resembles ancient textiles from 40 B.C. to 74 A.D., found at Masada, Israel. Under Roman law, criminals were whipped and crucified in the nude, and this practice is entirely consistent with the images on the Shroud of Turin.
John 19:38-42 in the Bible says that, “Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him leave. So he came and took away his body. Nicodemus also, who had at first come to him by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes…They took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden, a new tomb, where no one had ever been laid. So, because of the Jewish day of Preparation, as the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.”
John 19:17, 18 states that, “They took Jesus…bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha. There they crucified him.” The tomb still exists, only 150 yards from the crucifixion site at the base of a cliff, and the doorway was once covered by a 13-foot by 2-foot wheel-shaped stone. It had to be excavated from beneath 14 feet of dirt in the 1850s.
Tracing the history of the Shroud, we know that it was taken from Jerusalem to Edessa (now Urfa, Turkey) in approximately 30 to 50 A.D. for safekeeping. In 544 A.D., it was discovered behind stones above the city gate during a Persian invasion. A church was constructed for the Shroud, which became known as the “Edessa Cloth” for the next four centuries. Then, in 944 A.D., Emperor Romanus removed the Shroud to Constantinople (now Istanbul), where it was retained inside the sacred Saint Sophia Church (this author was there in 1995, while stationed in Turkey) from 944 to 1204 A.D.
Meanwhile, a drawing known as the “Pray Manuscript” was included in a Budapest, Hungary, religious text, or codex, in 1192 to 1195 A.D., clearly depicting the burial shroud of Jesus, including the correct herringbone weave, four burn holes from hot coals in an L-shaped pattern, and the “3”-shaped bloodstain on Jesus’ forehead, all of which are identical to the images on the actual Shroud, proving beyond all doubt that someone had seen it before 1195 A.D., so it could not be a medieval forgery created between 1260 and 1390 A.D., as was later suggested by the severely-flawed, 1988 carbon-dating process.
In 1204 A.D., the Shroud was seized and protected by the Knights Templar for the next 100 years, as documented by Italian scholar Doctor Barbara Frale at the Vatican Secret Archives. After the fall of Constantinople that year, the Shroud became the property of Othon de La Roche, the French Lord of Athens and Thebes, since Athens was then in French hands.
He sent it to his castle home in the town of Besançon, France, in 1207. Then, it was removed from the castle and displayed in the Besançon Cathedral. That ended when the cathedral was destroyed by fire in March 1349. In April of that same year, Geoffrey de Charny, a French knight, married Jeanne de Vergy, a grand-niece of Othon de La Roche, and delivered the Shroud to the canons of Lirey, France, creating the earliest existing record of the Shroud in Western Europe. In 1464, the Shroud became the property of Duke Louis I of the Duchy of Savoy, and in 1473, it was relocated for the first time to Turin, Savoy (now Italy), for safekeeping, finally becoming known as the “Shroud of Turin.”
In 1475, it was moved back to Sainte Chapelle in Chambéry, Savoy (now France.) Then, on December 4, 1532, the Shroud was damaged in a chapel fire, and was patched by nuns in 1534. The following year, Savoy was invaded by France, and the Shroud was relocated to Turin again, and then back to Chambéry, Savoy, in 1561. On September 14, 1578, it was moved to Turin, Savoy, for the very last time, and stored in a cathedral. On June 1, 1694, the Shroud was transferred to Guarini Chapel in Turin for the next 300 years.
It was first photographed by Secondo Pia during a public exhibition on May 28, 1898. From 1931 to 1937, French Doctor Pierre Barbet (1884 to 1961), a World War One surgeon and chief surgeon at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Paris, performed various crucifixion experiments with human cadavers, to determine that nails driven through the palm of the hand would not support a human body on a cross, and that the Shroud of Turin was therefore 100-percent authentic and “anatomically perfect” in depicting crucifixion nails through the wrists, instead. From September 1939 through October 1946, the Shroud was stored in Benedictine Abbey in Montevergine, north of Naples, for the duration of World War Two.
In April 1973, pollen testing upon the Shroud by Doctor Max Frei proved that the cloth contained at least 58 different plant pollens, 41 of which were found only in Jerusalem and Turkey. Furthermore, the calcium carbonate dust on the feet of the man on the Shroud was entirely consistent with the limestone content of Jerusalem soil and the ancient tombs nearby. On November 23, 1973, the Shroud was shown on television for the very first time.
From October 8 through 13, 1978, the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), consisting of 40 experts in various fields of science, performed 122 consecutive hours of methodical testing, took 30,000 photographs, and performed over 1,000 separate tests, including photos, X-rays, DNA testing, ultraviolet (UV) light, 12 blood tests, laser-microbe analysis, and very detailed, spectrographic analysis. They formally released their findings on March 24 and 25, 1979, discovering no evidence whatsoever of artistry or fakery, no paint, no pigment, no ink or dye, and no evidence of radiation or scorching.
STURP officially concluded that the Shroud of Turin is a one-of-a-kind phenomenon, overwhelmingly-realistic and anatomically-flawless to the most minor and tiny detail. It is the sharp, focused, distortion-free image of a real man who died a real and horrible death by crucifixion.
Biophysicist Doctor John H. Heller of STURP stated that, “The blood is, in fact, real blood,” having magnified the bloody areas 32 times for a closer analysis. The blood was present on the Shroud before the unexplained image, since there is no image beneath the bloody areas, and the blood was human male, in the very rare type AB, possessed by only one to three percent (depending upon the Rh factor) of the world population. It was unusually red for old blood, probably due to hemolytes in the cloth and bright-red, bilirubin stress pigment in the blood, indicative of a very stressful death, and there was a great deal of blood, particularly on the face.
In 1979, it was also discovered that tiny, iron-oxide particles covered most of the Shroud, but were not pigment, and did not form the image. They were likely the normal result of the fermentation process of the flax in outdoor (iron?) water vats. All colored fibers are uniformly colored; thus it’s an areal-density image, formed by the number of colored fibers in a given area, and it cannot be paint, pigment, or any other form of liquid medium. In 1983, the ownership of the Shroud passed from the Savoy bloodline (ex-king Umberto II died) to the Pope, under the condition that the Shroud stayed in Turin.
Doctor Sam Pellicori, a STURP team member, related in 1980 that, “The remarkably fine detailing of the scourge marks (on the Shroud) revealed by ultra-violet fluorescence would be impossible to obtain by any other means than direct contact between a body and the linen.” He was specifically addressing enhanced, blood images that proved to be genuine, human, male blood.
In fact, the Shroud images are incredibly detailed, and the Shroud itself appears to be a photographic negative, with light skin shown in dark tones, and shadows in light shading. It’s so amazingly and uniquely three-dimensional, almost like an X-ray, that it shows the internal bones in the hands, the roots of all 24 teeth, and even the faint image of the same Shroud face on the back side of the Shroud, discovered in April 2004 by Italian researchers in Padua. Yet no one has ever been able to explain how any of this is possible.
The man on the Shroud had large nails driven through his wrists, not his palms, confirming Doctor Barbet’s 1931 to 1937 experiments. This contradicts most accounts of crucifixion, but is far more likely and realistic. The structure of the hands will not support the body weight, so nails through the wrists hold the body much better. In addition, the man died with his left foot nailed over the right foot on the cross. Typical Roman nails used for crucifixion at the time were 6.6 inches long by .6-inch wide, the size of modern railroad spikes. Magnified imagery discovered in 2010 shows a triangular hole 22mm (.866-inch) wide, with 60-degree corners, so the nails were truly huge.
The victim on the Shroud was also speared into the right side of his body, exactly as Jesus was speared by the Roman centurion Longinus, to ensure that he was dead. There is a large bloodstain over the puncture wound on the Shroud, containing blood and pleural fluids. The lance-blade hole measures 1.75 inches long by .43-inch wide, piercing the right chamber of the heart after death. Even then, however, the blood flow would have been substantial, dripping onto the ground in some volume.
Longinus’ failing eyesight was reportedly cured by the spray of Jesus’ blood onto his face. And he later converted to Christianity, was beheaded for his beliefs, and was made a saint in the Catholic church. His original spear staff is now in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and the spear point/blade is in the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria.
So, what caused the haunting image on the Shroud of Turin? No one has ever been able to explain how such a thing could have been faked, especially in the absence of any paint, pigment, particulates, acid, ink, dye, stains, scorching, or any other artistic evidence, and the presence of real, human blood (the rarest form, type AB) in wounds precisely described in the Bible for Jesus.
Strangely enough, the crystal structure of the flax fibers is fully intact, with no cellulose changes, so the Shroud was never subject to energetic radiation (no signs of thermal or radiation-induced dehydration) or extreme temperatures. Thus, there was no radiation “scorching” effect.
The image is present not in the fibers themselves (the fiber medullas are clear), but only on the topmost surface of the cloth, in a very thin layer (1/100th the diameter of a human hair), in the impurities (starches and carbohydrates) covering the surface. It was applied with 100-percent consistency and NO variations! The STURP team observed that, “The image is created by fine, yellow-red granules…defying identification.” At the microscopic level, the actual image color is straw yellow.
Then, in 1988, a highly-publicized, Oxford carbon-dating set the Shroud’s creation date as 1350 A.D., and it was loudly denounced as a fake. Other, similar, carbon-dating estimates ranged from 1260 to 1390 A.D. Many people still fervently wish to believe this testing result. However, this carbon-dating process was later proven to be totally invalid in 2005 and 2008 by leading U.S. scientists, because the test sample came from a repaired and rewoven section from the Middle Ages, not from the main Shroud linen itself, so it could not possibly be valid as a representation of the Shroud as a whole.
In 1990, the Pope granted ownership of the Shroud to the Archbishop of Turin. Also, that same year, author Steven D. Schafersman’s groundbreaking book, “The Shroud and the Controversy,” severely criticized the 1988 carbon-dating, noting that, “Stevenson and Habermas even calculate the odds as one in 83 million that the man of the Shroud is not Jesus Christ…a very conservative estimate. I agree with them on all of this. If the Shroud is authentic, the image is that of Jesus.”
Meanwhile, in 1998, Professor Avinoam Danin, a botanist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Uri Baruch, a pollen expert with the Israel Antiquities Authority, in collaboration with experts at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, identified hundreds of images of flowers and plants on the Shroud, including at least 28 different species that grow in Israel. Three of them are found ONLY in Jerusalem. “This combination of flowers can be found in only one region of the world…Jerusalem.” The combination is ONLY available in March and April of each year. According to most scientific calculations, Jesus was crucified on April 7, 30 A.D.
Later, in June and July 2002, a modern Shroud restoration project removed all 30 patches from the 1532 fire. And, a textile restorer, Mechthild Flury-Lemberg, announced the stitching found in the material had been seen in material from only one other source, the ruins of Masada, a Jewish settlement destroyed in 74 A.D. The herringbone weave was common in the first century, but very rare in the Middle Ages.
In 2004, two scientists from Enrico Fermi Institute in Chicago and Hercules Aerospace Center in Utah confirmed the presence of rare, travertine-aragonite calcite particles near the feet on the Shroud. Travertine-aragonite is a limestone dust found at hot springs and certain caves in the southwestern U.S., Mexico, Spain, Italy, Algeria, Turkey, and Israel. The specific, chemical signature of the particles on the Shroud is found only near the Damascus Gate and Golgotha in Jerusalem, where Jesus was crucified.
In January 2005, just two months before his untimely death, Doctor Raymond N. Rogers of Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico published a report that the 1988 Carbon-14 dating sample was invalid, and came from a rewoven part of Shroud in the Middle Ages (probably 1534), which contained cotton fibers, had a different chemical composition than the main part of Shroud, and was dyed to match it. The main part of the Shroud is linen cloth, made completely from flax fibers, and has only very minute traces of cotton fibers from a previous use of the same loom.
The cotton residue on the Shroud is Gossypium herbaceum, found only in the Middle East, not Europe. The errant, C-14 sample also contained aluminum oxide, vanillin, madder-root dye, Gum Arabic, and spliced fibers, none of which are present in main Shroud cloth. The aging process of vanillin proves that the main Shroud is at least 1,300 years old. This totally invalidates the flawed carbon-dating and any claims of a hoax. Rogers wrote that, “I am coming to the conclusion that it has a very good chance of being the piece of cloth that was used to bury the historic Jesus.”
Frank C. Tribbe, an author, editor, attorney, investigator, and lecturer, wrote in his 2006 Shroud book, “Portrait of Jesus,” “The scientific, historical, and other technical data…unequivocally support the probability of a first century or very early date for this Shroud and its enigmatic images, and as having originated in the Near East (likely Palestine)…research has established that the Shroud image cannot have been man-made by any technique of art or science recorded throughout history, nor by any natural process ever observed or deduced.
“We know this Shroud with its images is not a phony, a fake, a fraud, an imitation, a copy…it was not made in the past thousand years; a 14th-century origin is virtually impossible. Science still does not know how the images were ‘imprinted’ on the Shroud.”
Furthermore, in August 2008, Doctor Robert Villarreal and a team of nine more scientists at Los Alamos also determined that the 1988 carbon-dating of the Shroud was invalid: “The age-dating process failed to recognize one of the first rules of analytical chemistry, that any sample taken for characterization of an area or population must necessarily be representative of the whole…Our analyses of the three thread samples taken from the Raes and C-14 sampling corner showed that this was not the case.”
In 2009, Vatican Secret Archives researcher Doctor Barbara Frale wrote that the Shroud contains ancient text in Latin, Greek, and Aramaic (the language spoken by Jesus), found in computer-enhanced images by French scientist Thierry Castex. These words include: “Jesus Nazarene” and “removed at the ninth hour” in Greek, “found” and “lamb” in Aramaic/Hebrew, part of phrase “The King of the Jews” in Aramaic/Hebrew, and “iber” in Latin, for Emperor Tiberius. Experts and scholars date the writing to be at least 1,800 years old, in first-century Middle Eastern style. It may have been written by a clerk on a document or death certificate attached to the Shroud.
Typically, sunrise in Jerusalem on April 7th in most years occurs at 6:21 AM, with visible daylight shortly before 6:00 AM. Jesus was said to have been crucified from noon until 3:00 PM, so he was, in fact, dead and “removed at the ninth hour” of daylight, which is entirely consistent with the discovered text.
Piero Ugolotti and Father Aldo Marastoni, Professor of Ancient Literature at the Catholic University of Milan, had previously made this same discovery in 1980, and these very same 2009 findings were additionally confirmed by The International Center of Studies on the Shroud of Turin, in Paris, through advanced computer-image analysis at the Institut Optique d’Orsay.
In December 2009, Barrie M. Schwortz, the documenting photographer for the 1978 STURP team, appeared on the “Secrets of the Shroud” television show, and began as a “total skeptic,” in his own words. He told viewers (paraphrased here) that, “I’m Jewish…but within the first two minutes of viewing the Shroud close-up, it was immediately apparent that this was no man-made image…we were in the presence of something truly extraordinary…Seeing the Shroud in person is a life-changing event for most people.”
Schwortz is also the founder of the www.shroud.com website. He writes: “I am still Jewish, yet I believe the Shroud of Turin is the cloth that wrapped the man Jesus after he was crucified…based on…scientific data…knowing the unbiased facts continues to convince me of its authenticity…This website was built to give you…access to the same information that the researchers have used in their study of the Shroud…without anyone insisting that you accept their ‘theory’ about the image on the Shroud of Turin.
“Only one guy in history had these specific tortures applied…All of this is on the Shroud. Again, according to the evidence, there was no paint, no brush marks, no scorching used to make this image. The only way that image and those blood stains could get there was by some sort of interaction between cloth and body.”
During a telephone interview from his Colorado home with religious writer Myra Kahn Adams of Townhall on May 3, 2020, Schwortz noted that, “The only Jews I have met who have expressed a strong interest in the Shroud are Messianic Jews, such as you, Myra. These are Jews who have accepted Jesus as the Messiah, and consider themselves ‘completed Jews.’”
Adams then asked him, “Do you believe that the full-bodied, front-to-back, linear image of the crucified man as seen on the Shroud of Turin is Jesus Christ?” Schwortz replied, “Yes, but it took me 17 years after we completed our work on the STURP team to reach that conclusion in 1995. Honestly, in the beginning, I was skeptical. Now I love to quote my Polish-born, Jewish mother who said, ‘Barrie, of course, the Shroud is authentic. They wouldn’t have kept it for 2,000 years if it had belonged to anyone else. It wouldn’t have mattered.’ Always listen to your Mama!”
Adams next inquired, “Since you are Jewish…how has the Shroud impacted your faith?” To which Schwortz responded, “When I finally confronted my own faith and beliefs, I realized that God had been there all along, just waiting for me to acknowledge Him. So how many Jews can say it was the Shroud of Turin that brought them to faith in God?”
Interestingly enough, Myra Adams was the very same person who had noted on April 16, 2016, that, “Ample research has yielded staggering evidence. Jesus was the only person in recorded history to have been crowned with thorns before crucifixion.” And, of course, the man on the Shroud shows clear evidence of bloodstains from a thorny crown upon his head.
In 2010, Doctor John Jackson, Ph.D. in Physics, and lead scientist of the 1978 STURP team, was running the Turin Shroud Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at www.shroudofturin.com. He wrote that his center, “among the world’s foremost, scientific, Shroud research centers, has been led by the weight of empirical, historic, and forensic evidence to the critical judgment that the Shroud of Turin is an authentic, first-century archeological witness directly related to the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.” He believes the image was formed by very intense, light radiation at the time of Jesus’ resurrection. This cannot currently be duplicated by any known method of either radial (bulb) or directional (laser) light emission.
The Shroud of Turin went on public display from April 10 to May 23, 2010, and was viewed by over two million visitors, including Pope Benedict XVI on May 2, 2010, who venerated the Shroud: “It matches what the Gospels say about Jesus…The Shroud of Turin offers us the picture of his body…an icon written in blood…let us behold in our eyes the image of the Shroud, let us bear this word of love in our heart, and let us praise the Lord through a life full of faith, hope, and charity.”
In December 21, 2011, Italian researchers from the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA), led by Professor/Doctor Paolo Di Lazzaro, concluded that the Shroud of Turin was created by “a sort of electromagnetic source of energy,” similar to ultraviolet lasers, but impossible with just a single laser, in a “burst of photons.” It could not possibly be a medieval fake. “When one talks about a flash of light being able to color a piece of linen in the same way as the Shroud, discussion inevitably touches on things such as miracles.”
On March 29, 2013, Professor Giulio Fanti, of the University of Padua, released a new book, “Il Mistero della Sindone,” or “The Mystery of the Shroud,” establishing new, scientific techniques for dating the Shroud. Using separate tests, including Fourier Transform Infrared and Raman laser spectroscopy, he measured the degradation of cellulose in linen fibers from the Shroud, based upon cross-polarized light used in a petrographic microscope. The results placed the primary date of the woven material as 33 B.C., plus or minus 250 years, with a 95-percent confidence level, making it 2,000 years old!
The Shroud was again on public display from April 19 to June 24, 2015, at the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy. The Shroud Reliquary (storage vessel) is now to the left of the altar, with the Shroud wrapped in red silk and stored in a silver chest inside a climate-controlled box, which is filled with inert, nitrogen gas.
On April 11, 2016, Doctor Juan Manuel Miñarro, a sculpture professor at University of Seville, Spain, performed a scientific, research study for the Spanish Center of Sindonology in Valencia, comparing the Shroud and the Sudarium of Oviedo using forensics and geometry. The study was able to “indisputably demonstrate that the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium were wrapped around the head of the same cadaver…all of the wounds, lesions, and swelling coincides on both cloths…we are speaking of the same person…(The correlation) far exceeds the minimum number of proofs or significant points required by most judicial systems (such as the FBI and courts) around the world to identify a person, which is between eight and 12, while our study has demonstrated more than 20.”
The Sudarium of Oviedo is a 33-inch by 21-inch, taffeta-linen cloth currently located in a cathedral in Oviedo, northern Spain. It is dirty, creased, torn, burned, stained, and contaminated, but shows absolutely no signs of fraudulent manipulation or hoax.
John 20:7 in the Bible describes “the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself.”
Unlike the Shroud of Turin, the Sudarium is recognized by both traditional and scientific studies as the authentic head cloth of Jesus upon his death. There are no disputes upon this claim.
From 30 A.D. to 614 A.D., the Sudarium was allegedly kept in a cave on the Jordan River in Jerusalem. In 614 A.D., it was removed from Palestine under the name “Sudarium Domini” (the cloth of our Lord), when Jerusalem was conquered by King Chosroes II of Persia, then taken to Alexandria, Egypt, by sea. In 616 A.D., it was removed from Alexandria before Chosroes II conquered the city, and taken across part of North Africa, then the Mediterranean Sea. The Sudarium entered Spain at Cartagena, with people fleeing the Persians. It was taken in its chest/box to Seville for many years, then to Toledo.
In 711 A.D. (possibly 718 A.D.), the Sudarium was relocated to the north when Moors invaded Spain, to avoid Muslim conquerors. In 756 A.D., it was placed in “Monsacro” (Holy Mountain) cave near Oviedo. Then, in 761 A.D., the Sudarium moved to new “Cámara Santa” Chapel, the town of Oviedo was founded around the church, and the Cathedral of San Salvador was later built around the chapel. The Sudarium is still there!
Detailed, scientific analysis of the Sudarium reveals that it was definitely used to cover a dead man’s face, folded over itself. The man died of pulmonary oedema in an upright position, with his arms outstretched 60 to 65 degrees above his head, and the head hanging 70 degrees forward and 20 degrees to right, indicating clear signs of postural asphyxia due to crucifixion. The stains on the cloth are 15-percent blood and 85-percent pleural oedema fluid. Small blood stains on neck and head are from pointed objects (thorns). The man had long hair, a small ponytail, moustache, and beard.
He bled for at least an hour before the Sudarium covered his head, with very rare, type AB blood on his head, neck, face, shoulders, and upper back. The cloth was put in place immediately after death, while he was still on the cross, to cover his bloody and disfigured face, per ancient, Jewish custom. The body was taken down one hour later, laid on the ground on its right side for about another 45 minutes to one hour, then moved, laid on its back, and the Sudarium cloth was finally removed.
The cloth contains residue of myrrh and aloe (see John 19:39), as well as Quercus calliprinos pollen found only in Palestine. Other pollens on the cloth are related to North Africa and the Mediterranean, but none from Turkey, Italy, or France, the known route of the Shroud. The two separate cloths thus took different routes around the Mediterranean Sea. In addition, Gundelia tournefortii pollen grains found on the Sudarium exactly match those on the Shroud, native only to Israel, and dating back much further than the 7th century. This proves that the Sudarium and the Shroud both came from Israel!
Comparing the blood stains, blood type, and body fluids on the Shroud and the Sudarium in 2001 resulted in a perfect match, with over 120 points of congruency. The two cloths had to have been on the same man at about the same time, per historian Ian Wilson, and the Sudarium has been the undisputed head cloth of Jesus Christ throughout recorded history.
In the final analysis, there is no facial image on the Sudarium, because it was removed prior to burial. Whatever created the Shroud image occurred later. The Sudarium has no artistic or monetary value in itself; it’s just a bloody cloth. But Polarized Image Overlay Technique analysis reveals at least 70 points in common with the Shroud of Turin on the front side, and 50 points on the back side.
Both the Shroud and the Sudarium contain very rare, type AB blood. The blood stains on the beard and neck precisely match the Shroud, also, the head stains from thorns, and the left forehead gouge match. Based upon 120 common points, the Sudarium and the Shroud of Turin were both used on the same man.
This is still an incredibly controversial topic, however, with non-believers stubbornly ignoring or discounting the vast array of modern scientific evidence. Perhaps the greatest, most reliable, and compelling evidence comes from those science experts who have actually touched, examined, and thoroughly tested the Shroud firsthand — the STURP team members.
In 1981, they jointly declared that, “We can conclude…that the Shroud image is that of a real human form of a scourged, crucified man. It is not the product of an artist…There are no chemical or physical methods known which can account for the totality of the image, nor can any combination of physical, chemical, biological, and medical circumstances explain the image adequately…The image is an ongoing mystery.”
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Warren Gray is a retired, U.S. Air Force intelligence officer with experience in joint special operations and counterterrorism. He served in Europe (including northern Italy) and the Middle East, earned Air Force and Navy parachutist wings, four college degrees, and was a distinguished graduate of the Air Force Intelligence Operations Specialist Course, and the USAF Combat Targeting School. He is currently a published author and historian (also investigating historical mysteries). You may visit his website at: warrengray54.vistaprintdigital.com.