The Turin Shroud is the most famous relic in the world. Millions believe that it is the burial cloth of Jesus Christ bearing his crucified and bloodied image. The cloth is kept at Turin in Italy. The cloth is an enigma. Many say it is a miracle. But in fact the greatest mystery is who the cloth depicts for the man whose face is on the Shroud is not Jesus Christ.

Even if the cloth is strange and inexplicable and even if there is real blood on it, it still does not give us any reason to think these effects came from contact with a body. The image does not carry the huge and grotesque distortions that would be seen if a body had lain in it and imprinted the images. The image has nothing to do with proving the existence or resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Shroud believers are desperate to believe in it. They have an answer for all the problems of the shroud and the contradictions. Nothing else needs as many improbable "explanations" as the Shroud does. Believing in it is actually harder than believing it is just a clever though not watertight forgery. When something needs too many such explanations, plainly its authenticity is doubtful.

Shroud believers have an excuse for each of the many many problems with the Shroud. They go as far as to argue unconvincingly that the New Testament saying Jesus had wounded hands fits the Shroud which has no hand wounds but one wrist wound. They stretch the meaning of hand to include wrist. Even if the Greek word for hand allows for stretching, we must remember that the gospels would have used hand in the popular sense to mean just the hand. Popular speech does not like stretching meanings. Shroud believers stretch and distort even the New Testament itself to get it to fit the notion that the Shroud of Turin is really Jesus' shroud.


Those who try to show that the New Testament accounts and the authenticity of the Shroud are compatible, only leave it open for Christians to believe in the Shroud. The accounts are said not to support the authenticity or inauthenticity of the shroud. In fact, they undermine authenticity.

Some believe that despite the bloodstains and bleeding of the Shroud man that he was washed. Because of the scourging the Shroud man has, he should be bathed in blood but there is blood only on several places on the Shroud image and not all over the image. The image is not made entirely of blood but consists of some blood marks and the rest is something that has been burned onto the cloth. This makes some think that the washing removed the clots and dried blood causing a little blood and serum to seep out (page 215, The Divine Deception). This would involve a violent scrubbing. The disciples of Christ would not have been so irreverent. And they would have found it hard to wash for once the scabs would come off and new blood would seem to be coming they would have had to wash until it stopped, which it soon would for dead men don’t bleed. The blood should be running into the water on the body and turning into light liquid. This would show on the cloth but it doesn’t. None of these things happened so the Shroud man was not washed. The only way they could avoid any smears of blood and water would be to wash the body entirely until all the exposed wounds were cleaned and had nothing left to issue. But the Shroud man is clean and has blood from various wounds - a contradiction. This shows that the Shroud’s blood did not come from a body but was put on it. Tests have been done by Professor Zugibe to try and show how a dead body with wounds could put marks on a cloth like the Shroud but these marks are nothing like the quality of the Turin Shroud marks (page 216, The Divine Deception). If there had been a body in the Shroud the blood should be distorted and way off the image due to the cloth being wrapped around. But on the Shroud there is no distortion of the blood and it appears on the image where you would expect to see it on a picture of the body.

The Gospel of John, chapter 20 says
24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27 Then saith He to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God.
29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

The gospel of John says Thomas could put his hand into Jesus' side. Shroud man has a small tight wound. The gospel says Thomas could put a finger in Jesus' hand wounds but you could not do that with Shroud man. It is safe to assume the wound was too small for though we do not see the entrance wound we see the back one and no finger can fit in it. The gospel of John does not say which side Jesus was wounded in or even if the wound was visible from the front. The shroud man follows artistic convention of the Middle Ages which had Jesus wounded in the right side rather high up.

Thomas would not believe that Jesus really rose from the dead until Jesus would appear to him and let him touch his wounds. Jesus appeared and asked Thomas to put his finger in the wounds. It is said that God wants people to believe on account of stories they have heard and to have no interest in solid evidence. Thomas is called doubting Thomas. In fact he was a disbelieving Thomas. He heard Jesus rose and denied it. Jesus speaks as though people are believing only because of the stories even then. The gospel talks as if there is no evidence except testimony. Thus it eliminates the possibility of a miracle shroud.

Why does the author take care to avoid saying Thomas actually put his finger in the hand wounds? Possibly because it was believed the wounds would not have been big enough to allow that? But then why mention wanting to probe the wounds at all? The story cheats us. It wants us to think Jesus was a physical person and then gives us no evidence that he was.

The shroud man supposedly has been nailed through the wrists. This is only a guess because the hands are unnaturally long so the wound might not have been positioned correctly. The author is clear that none of Jesus' bones were broken and they would have been had he been nailed through the wrists. "A bone of him shall not be broken." The wrist has eight bones.

We must remember that Jesus asked Thomas to use his finger for the hand wounds and to use his hand to put it into the side. These imply bigger marks than those on the shroud. The gospel would remark if Jesus expected Thomas to put his finger in his wrists. That would be too bizarre to omit. The author knew we would see it as Thomas touching the Lord's palms. That was what he meant.

Believers in the Shroud point out that hands in Greek meant the wrists and palms and fingers etc. They say that the shroud only shows the exit wound on a wrist but that Jesus might have been nailed through the hard part of the hand. The nail went in an angle. Again this would break bones. And there is no evidence that the shroud man really had an exit wound. All you see at the spot is the blood. And there is no proof that it is blood. Many experts say it is not. How a cloth that may contain what is not blood can be taken as proof or evidence that Jesus was nailed through the wrists makes one despair.

Believers argue that Jesus or the shroud man was nailed through a space in the wrist but that is pure guess work. The space of Destot is the space in question. So we are to believe that the Romans carefully located it to make sure that the nail would not break any bones! And it must have been a tiny nail to get through that space. All of that talk of the nail going in through that space and avoiding bones is nonsense and it is just a refusal to admit that the shroud cannot be real.

Believers say that using the space cuts nerve that causes the thumb to retract and go out of place so that it cannot be seen if you look at the back of the hand. It is tucked into the palm. So they say that is why you should see a thumb on the shroud man and you do not. What we are not told is that that effect can happen but it happens rarely. Also, we are talking about one thumb. The other hand is covered so we don't know if there is a thumb there or not. The thumb might be tucked behind the hand below which is why it cannot be seen.

The thumb could have been left out by mistake as there is an anatomically impossible flat footprint on the shroud.

The shroud man has no rope cuts at the wrist and no smearing. He is not Jesus Christ who would have been tied on to the cross and then nailed if he was nailed at all. The ropes would have cut in if he were suspended on the cross.
Believers say if he was nailed in the wrists he didn't need ropes. They think the ropes were used if a person was nailed through the palms to help stop their body weight from making them fall off the cross by making their hands tear.

The wrist bleeding should have smeared when it was pushed against the cross and by the nail.  Jesus would have been pushing up and down for breath.  The angle of the bleed supposedly tells the shroud believers that it shows Jesus was nailed as you can see from the traditional crucifix.  As this makes no sense for the mark totally contradicts the wrist being pressed up to wood some say the blood ran after the man was taken from the cross.  But then you would still see the smears.  Some desperate people tried to make out that he was nailed FACING the cross!  If he was then that contradicts the gospel data which clearly indicates he was facing people at the foot of the cross and how could you give him a drink easily if he was facing the cross?  The gospels being too wrong would indicate that miracle or not the man on the cloth is not Jesus or cannot be shown to be.

The tidy wounds do not match or reflect the true messiness of the crucifixion.  They don't fit the gospels information at all.

Please read:

The Shroud man is not Jesus Christ.


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