Shroud of Turin
A study by Timothy M. Youngblood
Copyright © The Master's Table

Many are stating that the "Shroud of Turin" is the cloth that had been used to wrap Jesus' crucified body in. Is this true or is it simply a forgery of the middle ages or just a innocent painting that has been misused? Modern science has completed hundreds of thousands of hours of detailed study and intence resurch on the shroud. It is in fact, the single most studied artifact in human history, and there's more known about it today then ever before. And yet the controversy continues. What is the truth? It shows clear markings on the wrist and feet that this man was crucified in the same manner as Jesus. Statements declare that it shows clear markings of blood dripping from the forehead where a crown of thorns had set as well as the side where someone thrust a spear. Could this be the outline of our Lord?

Complete Shroud

Close-up of face on Shroud

As any good researcher let's consider the facts before we come to any conclusions. First let's note that there were many prophecies in the Old Testament that foretold of the coming Messiah and if Jesus' birth, life, and death did not comply with all these prophecies He could not have been the Messiah. Let's go to one of those prophecies to see if this face above could be the face of Jesus. Isa 52:13-15 "Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; he shall be exalted and extolled and be very high. Just as many were astonished at you, so His visage was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men; So shall He sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; for what had not been told them they shall see, and what they had not heard they shall consider." (NKJ)

When Jesus was beaten by the roman soldiers with the cat-of-nine tails, His flesh was ripped away and as the prophesy states His visage (face) was marred more than any man as well as His form (body). This close-up of the face proves this is not of Jesus the Messiah. Notice we can clearly see the eyes and nose. Even his cheeks are very clear. Also if a cloth was used to wrap Jesus' beaten and bloody body in, it would surly be a bloody mess and an image of any face would be unclear.

Another point is that this figure has long hair. Did Jesus have long hair? Again let's let the word of God answer. 1 Cor 11:13-15 "Judge among yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him. But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering." (NKJ)

I would like to add some other very good points that have been made by brethren from various places. If you have anything to add let me know by e-mail and I will be happy to add it here also.

After Mary Magdalene told them of the event, John and Peter ran to see for themselves.
John 20:6 "Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen cloths lying there and the cloth, that was about his head, not lying with the linen cloths, but wrapped together in a place by itself." Q: Is the "face cloth" described here IN the Shroud of Turin image? No. The Shroud of Turin is one piece (not "cloths", plural, v.6), and the image of the head is clearly on part of the same shroud (not separate, "folded together in a place by itself", v. 7).

Also the shroud is a cloth that may have been "draped" over a body, and may even date from the first century C.E. But the body of Jesus was evidently wrapped in many linen strips - like wide gauze bandages; one was not long enough to completely wrap the whole body - with a separate covering "around" (wrapped around, not "on", or draped over) the head. This method of burial - wrapping by "winding strips of cloth around" is well-documented in hundreds if not thousands of excavated ancient burials (mummies, the catacombs, etc.)

Another point made by one of our readers was, "I would think there would be swelling of the face from the beating"

And another very good point made by one of our readers was, "Did anyone ever wonder how it could be that for a man lying dead on his back his shoulder-length hair would assume the same position relative to his face and neck as it would if he were standing? When someone with long hair lays down on their back the hair normally falls backward and rests upon the floor."

I would like to add just for the sake of logic let's think about the fact that if you wrapped anyone in a cloth for three days and three nights would you get such a perfect picture of them on the cloth? Think about it!

Given all these facts we can conclude that this image is not of our Lord Jesus!

Timothy M. Youngblood ~ Elder