The Little Problem for the Shroud of Turin

John 20:4-8

So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, and the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.

Steve Ray is promoting yet another attempt to bolster the Shroud of Turin as well as a poem in its honor. I’m sure that the Shroud is good for Steve Ray’s pilgrimage business, but the inconvenient truth is that the shroud cannot possibly be real. Christ’s head was wrapped separately from the rest of his body.

It was a little disappointing to see that Greg Koukl and Gary Habermas were promoting the Shroud as well (link to mp3 courtesy of Jason Engwer). I note that Jason seems to think that Haberbmas addressed John 20, but if you listen to the podcast, I think you won’t find it addressed.

There are plenty of other objections. C-14 dating places the shroud in the middle ages. Jesus was wrapped with spices.

John 19:39-42

And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.

The shroud is about 14 ft long. The way it appears to have been arranged around a body is by being placed one full body length under and then over the feet and back up to the head. This is a very odd way of wrapping a body, particularly if the body is being bound together with a significant amount of spices. One would expect a wrapping more like that of a mummy, rather than a simple sandwich. Indeed, ὀθονίοις is plural, suggesting that multiple sheets of linen were used for wrapping the body, rather than a single sheet.

So, we can be sure that the shroud is a hoax, whether that hoax is a medieval forgery or something else.


27 Responses to “The Little Problem for the Shroud of Turin”

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