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New Study Casts Doubt on the Shroud of Turin, Here's Why

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A new scientific study on the Shroud of Turin is questioning the claims that the shroud could have been the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.

The study, published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, essentially states that all the evidence from the shroud indicates the person who was wrapped with the cloth was standing up at the time. 

The biblical account of Christ's crucifixion makes it clear that Jesus had died when he was wrapped with burial cloths, so he couldn't have been standing.

The abstract of the study entitled, "A BPA Approach to the Shroud of Turin," states that a living volunteer was used in the "investigation into the arm and body position required to obtain the blood pattern visible in the image of the Shroud of Turin." BPA stands for "bloodstain pattern analysis" in forensic sciences. 

Studying the blood stains on the shroud, the research declares the stain markings at the back "are totally unrealistic" if they're supposed to have come from a body that was lying flat.

"The two short rivulets on the back of the left hand of the Shroud are only consistent with a standing subject with arms at a ca 45° angle," the investigation abstract states. "This angle is different from that necessary for the forearm stains, which require nearly vertical arms for a standing subject."

"The BPA of blood visible on the frontal side of the chest (the lance wound) shows that the shroud represents the bleeding in a realistic manner for a standing position while the stains at the back – of a supposed postmortem bleeding from the same wound for a supine corpse – are totally unrealistic," the study abstract continues.

The investigation says the results from simulating the "bleeding from the nail wounds contacting wood surfaces" were not clear.  

Christians accept the death, burial and resurrection of Christ by faith – based on the biblical account of the many eyewitnesses who observed those historical events – whether or not the shroud is real.

The shroud is located in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy. It depicts the image of a crucified man, and scientists and experts have studied it for a long time.

The Vatican has never officially declared or denied its authenticity, according to Fox News.

The network reports that researchers discovered bloodstains that did not line up with any single pose, which seems to indicate a model who was standing was used to make the patterns.

One of the researchers Matteo Borrini, a forensic scientist at Liverpool John Moores University in the United Kingdom told BuzzFeed News, "the bloodstains shouldn't be so inconsistent" if the shroud covered a person who was crucified or taken down from a cross to be buried.

Bloodstain pattern expert Jonathyn Priest of Bevel, Gardner and Associates Inc. told BuzzFeed News that the investigation "is founded in science and the methodology sound," but he also urged caution.

He said the results were based on parts of the body held steady and did not take into consideration if someone carried, cleaned or prepared a body to be buried. These things might need more study.

In July of last year, CBN News reported that a breakthrough discovery on the Shroud of Turin is leading some to believe it really is the actual burial cloth of Jesus Christ. 

Researchers from the Institute of Crystallography said they found signs of blood from whomever could have been wrapped in the shroud. 

"The Blood serum tells us that before dying the person was suffering," a researcher told CBN News. "This means that the Turin Shroud is not fake... It is certainly the funeral fabric that wrapped a tortured man."

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About The Author


Mark Martin currently serves as a reporter and anchor at CBN News, reporting on all kinds of issues, from military matters to alternative fuels. Mark has reported internationally in the Middle East. He traveled to Bahrain and covered stories on the aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Mark also anchors CBN News Midday on the CBN Newschannel and fills in on the anchor desk for CBN News' Newswatch and The 700 Club. Prior to CBN News, Mark worked at KFSM-TV, the CBS affiliate in Fort Smith, Arkansas. There he served as a weekend morning producer, before being promoted to general