Contradictions involving the Shroud of Turin?

Does John 20:6-7 disprove the Shroud of Turin? Or other verses from the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 50:6), like Jesus’s beard being plucked?

No scripture verse, unless it is absolutely specific, can be taken to infer or deny anything in particular.

Don’t you imagine that the thousands of Catholic, Orthodox and Christian scholars who have examined the shroud over the centuries might have noticed this?

Q: Is there the slightest chance that you are misreading the verse? In all such apparent contradictions or inconsistencies in a 2,000 year old institution, it is far better to doubt ourselves first, and seek greater understanding.


I agree, I’m skeptical about the Shroud of Turin.

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Scripture proves nothing about the Shroud of Turin.
I do not believe it is the the burial cloth of Christ.
However, starting yet another of many many threads on this topic no doubt the fanatics will come out of the woodwork.

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Like the “Fatimaniacs”? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

As you well know, we need not believe in either, as they are not contained in the Sacred Deposit of Faith. I have a devotion to Lourdes, but do not drive myself crazy over it, but rather have a deep sense of gratitude.


I too don’t think the Shroud of Turin dates from the first century, but I don’t think John’s gospel necessarily disproves it, and neither, of course, do those who believe it authentic. The dispute hinges on John’s use of the word “othonia” to describe the cloths used to cover Jesus in the tomb, whereas the synoptic evangelists use ‘sindon’. ‘Othonia’ is plural, and usually translated as ‘strips’, while ‘sindon’ is singular, and means ‘sheet.’

The use of a plural word need not confound. While there is vanishingly little evidence for normal practice, or any kind of practice for that matter, regarding Second Temple Jewish burials, one large sheet accompanied by some other smaller cloths is not an unreasonable assumption. The smaller cloths could include a face cloth (sudarium) and/or thin strips for binding the main cloth to the body, or bands for keeping the jaw shut, or the hands, or feet, together. So in talking of funeral cloths, it would be uncontroversial either to speak of the big ‘shroud’ alone, or to include all the others.

As for ‘othonia’, although in other contexts it is used to describe bandages and swaddling bands, it is also used for sail-cloth, long bolts of linen stitched together to make a - much larger - sail. The dimensions of the Shroud do not preclude the use of the word ‘othonion’ to describe it. Other othonia could include the other strips or bands also used.

As I say, I think the Shroud is a medieval fabrication, but I also think that if it is ever proved to be from the first century, the presumption would have to be that it was Christ’s, and not a random crucifixion victim. Although we cannot be sure that other victims were not flogged, crowned with thorns and stabbed in the side with a lance, the combination of all three seems a remarkable coincidence, and the fact that it was preserved before there was any corporal decay speaks of an unusual burial, to say the least!

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The reason that we in the western Church have little or no knowledge of the Shroud’s early history is that the relevant books were deleted from the Roman canon in the 6th century by Pope Gelasius who put them into the “books not received” category.

However in the Eastern Church and especially in the Armenian Church of the East, one will find a very strong tradition of the disciple Thaddeus bringing an image bearing cloth to King Abgar V of Edessa. Monks in Mount Athos still to this very day paint icons of that sacred image.

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In 2015 Italian scientists Fanti and Malfi published a definitive proof that the Shroud of Turin dates from the first century.

A second edition is coming out now. I think that it will be a blockbuster!

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Here we go again! This is getting boring. It has not been proven to be the burial cloth of Christ.
These are my last words in this thread. I really thought and hoped all the other acrimonious threads on this subject were the end of it.

Did the poster you responded to say it was proven to be Christ’s? I read the poster to say it was proven to be from the first century and that’s not quite the same thing—is it? Where is all the acrimony?


I guess you haven’t been in previous threads on this!

It is true that ‘the letter from Jesus to Abgar’ is among the texts listed in the fifth section of the Decretum Gelasianum. It is one of the " libris non recipiendis", and condemned in the strongest terms. “Haec et his similia non solum repudiata verum ab omni Romana catholica et apostolica ecclesia eliminata atque cum suis auctoribus sequacibus sub anathematis insolubili vinculo in aeternum confitemur esse damnata.”

(These and similar ones, we acknowledge to be not merely rejected but eliminated from the whole Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church and with their authors and the followers of its authors to be damned in the inextricable shackles of anathema forever.)

However, as lustinus says, both it and numerous other texts relating to the legend are readily accessible, and the more they are studied, the less likely does it appear that the Image of Edessa is anything to do with any burial cloths of Christ. No scholars of Byzantium, Syria or Turkey of the period acknowledge any such possibility. The hypothesis seems to have been originated by Paul Vignon, and widely promulgated by Ian Wilson, but although superficially ingenious, it does not bear any kind of detailed scrutiny.

Secundo Pia’s photographs taken in 1898 reveled evidence that had been hidden for 1900 years which proved that the Shroud was authentic, and this proof was expounded in Paul Vignon’s 1902 publication: THE SHROUD OF CHRIST. Pia’s proof and Vignon’s book burst like a bombshell into the “rationalistic” world. Prominent Catholic theologians Chevalier and Thurston found a French photographer who promoted the theory that Pia’s astounding negatives were a “photographic accident.” Fr. Thurston was a Jesuit, an order known for its dislike of miraculous relics, and he wrote many articles contesting the authenticity of the Shroud.* However, after Enrie’s repeat of Pia’s photography in 1931, Fr. Thurston stopped writing about the Shroud.

The Shroud, having been proven authentic by Pia’s negatives, must have a history. It is just not possible that it was unknown for 1300 years before surfacing in France. The history that is available is that of the Image of Edessa, and the authority on this relic is Prof. Mark Guscin who believes that the Image and the Shroud are one and the same.**

Opponent’s of this idea would have us believe that the heavily guarded Image of Edessa/Mandylion, the most sacred relic in all of Christianity, somehow disappeared in 1204 never to be seen again despite the fact that the officers of the French Fourth Crusade knew where and what it was and had taken steps to safeguard it.

The opponents of the Shroud’s authenticity often accuse the other side of having a religious agenda and of “fanaticism.” We have already seen such on this very thread. In my opinion, it’s really the other way around. Several religions do not like the Shroud. It contradicts Islam’s teaching that Isa was not executed by crucifixion. Bahia’ Faith theology holds that Jesus was no more than one of a long line of prophets and teachers and that His teachings have been supplanted by those of Baha’u’llah. Abdul’Baha taught that Jesus did not actually perform miracles and that the story of His resurrection was no more than a spiritual allegory.*** The evidence found on the Shroud proves that Jesus’ corpse disappeared into another dimension, and this proof cuts at the core of Bahia theology. In my opinion, the leading opponent of the Shroud’s authenticity on CAF is a subscriber to this Bahia theology. I have called him out on it previously, and he has never denied it.





So the dating of the shroud was proven inacurate. The fragment used to date it was taken from a edge, that everyone knew was damaged in a fire from the 1500’s, so it is dating the fire. The question is it was painted, it apears it if from light. A engineer used a modern day laser and he couldn’t completely replecate it. Which even if he could how would someone in the past create it.

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The Shroud samples were valid samples. Their C-14 evidence does not hold up to the robust statistical analysis used for determining dating. All “reweaving” and biological contamination hypotheses have been disproved. One possibility remains that would explain why the Shroud has more C-14 content than would be expected of a 2000 year old relic, and that is the idea that the Shroud was exposed to a neutron radiation event. As I am sure that you know, it is neutron radiation that converts both nitrogen and C-13 into C-14. The image found on the Shroud is consistent with the theory that it was formed by proton radiation. Atoms are, of course, composed of both protons and neutrons. If Jesus’ corpse vanished, it may have left a residual proton and neutron radiation, and the neutrons would have enhanced the C-14 content of the Shroud’s linen fibers. Mark Antonancci and Physicist Robert Rucker call this theory the Historically Consistent Hypothesis.*

*TEST THE SHROUD, Antonacci, 2015

Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., PhD in physics, knows a little about it. His videos are quite interesting.
One such example:

Also, since 1996, one of the oldest websites and the largest shroud website, created by Barrie Schwortz, a Jewish man:

As many will know, there has been much discussion on the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin in these forums, and it would be tedious to reiterate all the arguments for and against all over again, although I will be happy to answer any questions those new to the subject may have. Undead Rat and I have quite a long history of academic discussion here, he asserting various ‘proofs’ of authenticity and I explaining that they are no such thing. He is curiously convinced that I am of the Baha’i Faith, when in fact I am a Roman Catholic and, in spite of his not remembering (“he has never denied it”), I have said so very clearly and explicitly. I am happy to make that clear again, here.

Undead Rat considers the Image of Edessa “the most sacred relic in all of Christianity”. This is hardly born out by mentions of it in literature prior to the sack of Constantinople, where it is scarcely mentioned after its arrival there, merely joining the vast collection of alleged relics in the various palaces and chapels. Later, its memory, rather than the actual image, was taken up by the Orthodox Churches and given more prominence than it ever enjoyed while in actual existence.

The radiocarbon tests on twelve small samples cut from the Shroud all gave results indicating that some 92% of the radiocarbon typical of freshly dead material still remained. This clearly suggests a late medieval provenance for the cloth. Attempts to account for that percentage in a first century cloth by working backwards from the proportion of radiocarbon to the number of neutrons that had to have reacted with it, emitted from a specific distance away, have attracted some support from some authenticists, but are roundly disputed by others, who still cling to the ‘interpolated material’ hypothesis, or, in a minority, the possibility of deliberate fraud. It is still obvious that the most likely reason for the medieval date is that the Shroud is, in fact, medieval.

Fr Spitzer is a Catholic apologist for whom I have great respect, and whose opening premise in the film referred to, that Faith and Science cannot contradict each other, is a major tenet of Catholic doctrine. However, his failing sight has meant that he must rely on memory for his facts, which sadly lets him down quite badly. His lecture is littered with basic errors of fact, errors that even his fellow authenticists recognise, and cannot be taken as an authoritative exposition.


That’s not true. One of the lead scientists of STURP is on camera confirming that the dates were accurate but the samples were bad because they contained medieval cotton. He still had a sample of the original cloth in his lab. He was very angry because he wanted to silence the “lunatic fringe” as he called them. I admire that he had the guts to admit they were right all along. The cotton likely came from the nuns who repaired it.

Its documented here:

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Published at Thermochemica Acta and peer reviewed.

There has been much discussion about Raymond Rogers’s paper, and many confirmed authenticists, and myself, a non-authenticist, do not accept that his observations necessarily lead to the conclusions he drew. In particular the values he assigned to the pre-exponental factor and the rate constant of the Arrhenius equation are not explained at all, his finding of a pigment embedded in a water-soluble gum is inconclusive, and his comments on cotton are inconsistent with the findings of other observers. Irenaeuslyons is correct that Rogers was a real scientist, and that he thought he could easily demonstrate that any claim of ‘patching’ must be false, but he did not have a ‘sample of the original cloth’. He had some sticky tape slides with detached fibres on them, and a few threads from the Raes sample, and the ‘riserva’ portion of the radiocarbon sample. It must also be emphasised that the nuns who repaired the Shroud after the 1532 fire had nothing to do with the radiocarbon corner. That is supposed to have been repaired a hundred years later or so, and with a great deal more skill.

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