3. A Similar Shroud Dates to at Least the Fifth Century
The Sudarium of Oviedo is a piece of cloth kept at Cathedral of San Salvador, within the Camara Santa (holy chamber), in Oviedo, Spain. Many of the faithful believe that it was the cloth used to wrap the face of Christ when He was buried. It has reliably been dated to at least the fifth century, and its history for at least a century prior can be accurately traced. If the Shroud of Turin can be connected to the Sudarium of Oviedo, then it is likely much, much older than even the 12th century.
As it turns out, not only was the image on the Shroud of Turin made with human blood, but it was of the same blood type – AB – as the blood on the Sudarium of Oviedo. AB blood is the rarest type in the world, so the fact that it is found in both shrouds is not likely to be a coincidence. Additionally, the facial images on both of the coverings match up exactly, showing that they were probably both used on the same person. Not only is the bloodstain a match, but so is the pattern of pre-mortem and post-mortem blood. The forensic evidence gathered is strong enough to reasonably conclude that both clothes were used on the same body. The Shroud of Turin is probably the fifth century, if not earlier.
2. Forensic Evidence Suggests the Shroud of Turin May Date to the First Century
There are several remarkable details regarding the shroud that suggests that not only is it not a Medieval fake, but it can be reliably placed within what is known about first-century Palestine. For one, Jewish law required that a body had to be wrapped in linen cloth that had not been mixed with wool. The Shroud of Turin is made of linen, and though there are traces of cotton in it, there is no wool. It also corresponds precisely with the measuring unit that was used by first-century Jews, the cubit. It is exactly two cubits wide and eight cubits long.
Furthermore, the Shroud of Turin seems to perfectly match the burial cloth that is described in the book of John. The gospel says that many clothes were used – the Sudarium of Oviedo, the Shroud of Turin, and probably also strips of cloth to securely wrap the shroud around the body, evidence of which can also be seen on the Shroud of Turin. If it corresponds not only to the cover of Constantinople and the Sudarium of Oviedo but also to the shroud described in John, then it may be more than a first-century burial cloth. It may be the shroud that was used to wrap the body of Jesus after His death.
1. The Bloodstains are Consistent with Roman Crucifixion
To further reiterate the significance of the bloodstains on the cloth, researchers have pointed to the fact that they perfectly resemble what is now known about Roman crucifixions. In Christian art, particularly in the Middle Ages, Jesus is frequently depicted as having nails going through the palms of His hands and the fronts of His feet. However, what we now know about the Roman crucifixion, based on skeletons of crucifixion victims, is that nails went through the wrists and the heels.
If a Medieval forger were trying to make the shroud a hoax, he would have undoubtedly mimicked the bloodstains common in Christian iconography, as he or she would likely have not to know where the Romans placed the nails. The image on the shroud shows that the nails went through the wrists and the heels. If the cover indeed does predate the Middle Ages and if it is a forgery, it could only have been made by someone with firsthand knowledge of Roman crucifixion practices. Furthermore, the shroud shows bloodstains consistent with what the New Testament gospels describe as a crown of thorns being placed on Jesus’ head. Using a crown of thorns was not known to be a common practice, and it is unlikely that many other crucifixion victims were subjected to it.
All of the evidence suggests that the Shroud of Turin could actually be, in fact, the burial shroud of Jesus Christ. The mystery as to how the image came to appear is still a mystery, one that again convinces people that it is a fake. However, perhaps the fact that an image formed on the shroud is evidence of the resurrection.
Where did we find this stuff? Here are our sources: