Friday, November 20, 2009

Shroud of Turin - Fake or Real?

I don't have much of an opinion about the Shroud of Turin, and for that matter, the Catholic Church doesn't definitively say whether it is genuine or not.  But, there is some interesting research that just came out about it.

Barbara Frale, a researcher at the Vatican archives, says in a new book that she used computer-enhanced images of the shroud to decipher faintly written words in Greek, Latin and Aramaic scattered across the cloth.

She asserts that the words include the name "(J)esu(s) Nazarene" — or Jesus of Nazareth — in Greek. That, she said, proves the text could not be of medieval origin because no Christian at the time, even a forger, would have mentioned Jesus without referring to his divinity. Failing to do so would risk being branded a heretic.

"Even someone intent on forging a relic would have had all the reasons to place the signs of divinity on this object," Frale said Friday. "Had we found 'Christ' or the 'Son of God' we could have considered it a hoax, or a devotional inscription."

The shroud bears the figure of a crucified man, complete with blood seeping from his hands and feet, and believers say Christ's image was recorded on the linen's fibers at the time of his resurrection.

The fragile artifact, owned by the Vatican, is kept locked in a protective chamber in a Turin cathedral and is rarely shown. Measuring 13 feet (four meters) long and three feet (one meter) wide, the shroud has suffered severe damage through the centuries, including from fire.

The Catholic Church makes no claims about the cloth's authenticity, but says it is a powerful symbol of Christ's suffering.
Of course this doesn't stop those with an agenda from trying to debunk it, as I have written about before.

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