The Shroud, Part 2: Scriptural Evidence

Disclaimer: Though I believe the Shroud to be the authentic burial cloth of Christ (as you shall see), I do not believe it to be an object of worship; only Jesus Himself and God the Father are to be worshipped. However, I do believe that the Shroud provides sufficient evidence of the Resurrection. It is for this reason that I present this material. For more information, visit, hosted by Barrie Schwortz; he presents all views on the Shroud, as well as the latest information. To see my complete investigation, click here.
Scriptural Evidence
One of the most common “proofs” for the inauthenticity of the Shroud, according to skeptics, is that the Bible, particularly, the four gospels, fails to mention anything about it. Are the critics right? Well, let’s look at the evidence. Luke 24:12 says, “Then arose Peter, and ran unto the tomb; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.”[1] What was it that caused Peter to “wonder in himself”? John 20:8 says, “Then went in also that other disciple [John], which came first to the tomb, and he saw, and believed.”[2] What was it that caused John to “see and believe”? Besides the fact that all the disciples wondered what on earth had happened, it is highly possible that these two disciples saw the Image on the Shroud. If this is so, why wouldn’t they go proclaiming it on the housetops? This question can be answered by the following explanation: “Jewish law forbade any contact with items that had come into contact with a corpse – items such as a shroud. It would not be surprising, then, that the gospel writers might have seen and believed because of the image on the shroud yet kept their...mouths shut about the miraculous image.”[3] This makes perfect sense, since Peter had run right in to an unclean tomb and touched the grave clothes! In addition, the disciples didn’t understand what was going on; they did not yet believe that Jesus had risen from the dead – it took them having to hear it from numerous witnesses and then from Jesus Himself before they actually believed. 

Everything from the trial to the resurrection that is mentioned in the Bible is evidenced on the cloth. Below is a list of eight points about the Shroud along with the Bible references to support them; notice that they are all in the four Gospels: “1. Jesus was scourged. (Matt. 27:26 …Mk. & Jn) Body covered with severe scourge wounds, as many as 120 on the back (including the legs). Whipping was done probably a Roman flagrum. Evidence for two men whipping from two angles. 2. Jesus was struck a blow to the face. (Mt. 27:30…Mk, Lk, Jn) Severe swelling below the right eye; nose is swollen or broken. 3. Jesus was 'crowned' with thorns. (Matt. 27:29…Mk, Jn) Bleeding from the scalp; thorn fragments. 4. Jesus had to carry a heavy Cross. (Jn 19:17) Shoulder wounds [For new research verifying this and the next point, see this link] 5. Jesus' Cross had to be carried for him after a while. (Mt.27:32…Mk, Lk) Knees appear to be severely damaged as if from repeated falls. 6. Jesus was crucified by nailing hand and feet. (Jn 20:25) Clear blood flows from nail wounds in the wrists and feet. 7. Jesus' legs were not broken, but a spear was thrust into his side. (Jn 19:31-37) The legs are not broken; there is an elliptical would on the right between the 5th and the 6th side rib and appears to have been inflicted by a Roman lance. 8. Jesus had a Jewish lineage. (Matt. 1:16) Shroud face resembles that of a Sephardic Jew.”[4] 

The four gospels are not the only passages of Scripture that mention the Shroud. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the LORD, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the LORD.”[5] “The Greek word for ‘image’ here is ‘eikon’ (icon) meaning ‘likeness, resemblance, representation’...which is taken from the prime root word ‘eiko’ which translates: ‘to be weak...through the idea of faintness as a copy’. Interestingly, the actual Image on the Shroud IS weak and faint,” and it is believed to be the image of Christ![6] What’s more, Isaiah 42:3 says, when describing Jesus and His sufferings, “A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.”[7] The word “flax” in this passage comes from a root word that means “linen.”[8] “Quench” means to “extinguish or put out,”[9] and “smoking” means “to make a smoke… to slowly consume without flame… scorch.”[10] Therefore, it can be translated “scorched linen.”[11] This is significant, because the Shroud was burned in 1532 and again, as we shall see, in 1997. Neither time was the Shroud damaged beyond repair. The word “smoking” can also be translated “dim, dull…faint.”[12] Interestingly, the image on the Shroud is faint! As you can see, the Bible has a lot to say about the Shroud, even when it is not particularly referring to it. The skeptics better check their Bibles again!

Wayne Blank, a professing Christian, but a Shroud skeptic, said the following: “The image in the Shroud of Turin does not show a ‘visage was so marred more than any man.’”[13] However, Robert Bucklin, a member of The Shroud of Turin Research Team thinks otherwise, “There is no problem in diagnosing what happened to this individual. The pathology and physiology are unquestionable and represent medical knowledge unknown 150 years ago. This is a 5-foot-11-inch male Caucasian weighing about 178 pounds. The lesions are as follows: Beginning at the head, there are blood flows from numerous puncture wounds on the top and back of the scalp and forehead. The man has been beaten about the face. There is a swelling over one cheek, and he undoubtedly has a black eye. His nose tip is abraded, as would occur from a fall, and it appears that the nasal cartilage may have separated from the bone. There is a wound in the left wrist, the right one being covered by the left hand. This is the typical lesion of a crucifixion. There is a stream of blood down both arms. Here and there, there are blood drips at an angle from the main blood flow in response to gravity. These angles represent the only ones that can occur from the only two positions, which can be taken by a body during crucifixion. On the back and front there are lesions, which appear to be scourge marks. The victim was whipped from both sides by two men, one of whom was taller than the other, as demonstrated by the angle of the thongs. There is a rough swelling of both shoulders, with abrasions indicating that something heavy and rough had been carried across the man's shoulders within hours of death. On the right flank, a long, narrow blade of some type entered in an upward direction, pierced the diaphragm, penetrated the thoracic cavity through the lung into the heart. This was a post-mortem event (it happened after the man was already dead), because separate components of red blood cells and clear serum drained from the lesion. Later, after the corpse was laid out horizontally and face up on the cloth, blood dribbled out of the side wound and puddled along the small of the back. There is an abrasion of one knee, commensurate with a fall; and finally, a spike had been driven through both feet, and blood had leaked from both wounds onto the cloth. The evidence of a scourged man who was crucified and died from cardiopulmonary failure typical of crucifixion is clear-cut.”[14] 

The image on the Shroud does depict a Man who went through horrendous treatment. Furthermore, it demonstrates to the very last detail everything the Bible says that Jesus went through.
[1] Online Bible 8.11 (Jan. 20, 2000) AV (italics replace AV word for clarity)
[2] ibid
[5] Online Bible 8.11 (Jan. 20, 2000) AV
[6], Online Bible 8.11 (Jan. 20, 2000) AV, Strong's #1503
[7] Online Bible 8.11 (Jan. 20, 2000) AV
[8] Online Bible 8.11 (Jan. 20, 2000) AV, Strong’s # 06593
[9] ibid, Strong’s # 03518
[10] ibid, Strong’s # 03544
[12] Online Bible 8.11 (Jan. 20, 2000) AV, Strongs # 03544


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