Forensic investigation: Turin Shroud did not belong to Jesus
The Shroud of Turin is still revered today as the mortuary cloth of Jesus. Now, an examination of blood stains confirms again a long-held suspicion.
The cloth is 4.36 meters long and 1.10 meters wide and consists of linen. Actually nothing special, if it were not his pattern. On display is the portrait of a man who has wounds from a crucifixion. Therefore, the cloth is still worshiped today by some people as a mortuary cloth of Jesus. But now it turns out: The cloth probably has nothing to do with Jesus.
The cloth was first mentioned in the 14th century, today it is stored in the Turin Cathedral and is rarely shown publicly. Critics consider it a clever, medieval forgery. The Catholic Church has not yet taken official position on the play.
The cloth shows the front and back of a bearded man, arms crossed over his chest. It also has drawings that look like blood spots from wounds in the wrists, feet and side. The injuries are in line with those Jesus allegedly suffered at the crucifixion, according to the Bible. Researchers have now taken a closer look at these blood spots, as they report in the journal "Journal of Forensic Sciences".
Pope Francis before the Shroud (2015)
Spear stab in doll
With the help of a puppet and a volunteer, they tracked the blood flow from Jesus' wounds. They concentrated on the currents from the left hand, the forearms, near the hips, and a wound in the side, which according to the Bible was caused by a lance-engraving.
The volunteer had to lie in different positions - so that all possible flow patterns could be mapped. Then the researchers ran human blood from his body using tiny tubes - in the very places where Jesus was hurt. They then compared the pattern on the body with photographs of the Turin Shroud.
To simulate the spear wound in the side, the scientists also put a soaked with fake blood sponge, which was the same size as Jesus wound, in a narrow wooden board. This they rammed - in replacement of the Holy Lance - in a doll. So they could watch the fake blood spread out of the sponge over the body.
Context "completely unrealistic"
The analysis showed that the blood pattern that results from an upright body on the cross by a lance engraving, while the pattern on the death cloth fits. If one assumes, however, that Jesus continued to bleed after lying in a lying position, a connection with the Shroud of Turin was "completely unrealistic," the researchers write.
Appraisal of the cloth during a fair in 2015
The drawings on the cloth are not consistent with possible blood patterns on Jesus body, the researchers continue. In other words, Jesus was most likely never in the Turin Shroud.
This is not the first time scientists have questioned the authenticity of the Turin Shroud. For example, dating back to 1988 with the carbon-carbon method revealed that the cloth dates back to the period between 1260 and 1390 - and thus can not belong to Jesus. However, some considered the investigation inaccurate and therefore did not accept it as counter-evidence. The investigated material was contaminated, they argued.