Yesterday on Dec 19, an Italian scientific team published the results of a study that they believe demonstrates the authenticity of the Turin Shroud.The UK Telegraph reports that the team “conducted a series of advanced experiments which, they claim, show that the marks on the shroud – purportedly left by the imprint of Christ’s body – could not possibly have been faked with technology that was available in the medieval period.” Here’s a link to the article.
And wouldn’t you know it, today the UK Telegraph published this article (“The Turin Shroud is Fake, Get Over It“) disputing the one that appeared the day before.
One cannot help but notice the timing of both these pieces. The first for sure is not aimed at undermining faith in birth of Christ, celebrated of course at Christmas. But neither is the second. After chiding those who believe the shroud is an authentic burial relic of Christ, the author notes (correctly): “It’s a fascinating and mysterious object, but it says nothing about the questions of whether Christ was a historical figure, whether He was the Son of God, or whether He rose from the dead.”
Personally, I’m skeptical of the shroud, but would need one thing done to really kill it for good in my mind. I’d like to see a new series of dating tests. Specifically, I’d like to see tests performed that would lay to rest (or affirm) the suspicions concerning the C-14 testing voiced by physical chemist Raymond Rogers, and that would do the same in regard to the DNA research of Dr. Leoncio Garza-Valdes. Dr. Garza-Valdes is an expert in forensic DNA analysis who developed a method for detecting the presence of an organic bacterial coating that sometimes forms over time on ancient textiles, which could in turn have distorted the dating of the shroud. He detailed his discovery and his wish to have the shroud retested in his 2001 book, The DNA of God?
I’m not holding my breath on any new testing, nor can I say I care that much, as I don’t see the authenticity of the shroud as integral to whether a person ought to embrace or reject Christianity. It would just be nice to know with greater certainty, one way or the other.