The Shroud of Turin: What's Your Opinion?


Please can you point to where I said that critics should be hushed. I have said no such thing and I would politely ask you to retract your comment.

Thank you


No. That you can characterise my approach as “demolishing” a “relic” itself suggests an unwillingness to engage, although your earlier comments seemed quite reasonable. Perhaps you were attempting to set me up for a fall, or perhaps I am reading too much into this last comment.

If the Shroud of Turin is not a “relic”, then I am obviously not “demolishing” it. If it is a relic, then I have no more wish to “demolish” it than the most ardent authenticist. Nor have I attempted to dissuade those who believe in its authenticity, or its miraculous provenance, from their beliefs. Quite the opposite, as a glance through my posts will show. The impression the Shroud makes on any individual can be a personal miracle of their own which I think it would be wrong to attempt to discredit.

However, I note that while there have been some 540 comments on this thread (from considerably fewer commenters), there have been over 4500 ‘views’, and it is to these silent viewers that anybody commenting on any Internet forum should pay particular attention, as they outnumber the commenters by about 10 to 1. I know nothing about their beliefs in anything, although looking at a site called Catholic Answers, and a thread about the Shroud at least suggests an interest.

In general, I think, Catholics are not very demonstrative. Even Sunday mass attendance represents a fairly small proportion of their number. I believe that they find it increasingly difficult to reconcile the rational and the irrational, and are falling away from the faith for the same reason expounded by St Augustine so many years ago, that when simple everyday experience contradicts a supposed tenet of faith, then their faith appears, and probably is, absurd.

The real evangelists of today are not the tub-thumping miraculists, but the quiet rationalists, who show not that Science and Religion are irreconcilable, nor even that they are “non-overlapping Magisteria”, but wholly integrated aspects of exactly the same thing. That, I believe, is the way to strengthen the faith of waverers, and possibly, for all I know, convert atheists to some realisation of what the theology of Christianity is really about.

Certainly. I cannot see how a forensic investigation into an image of such ineffability can do otherwise. If, however, there is anybody reading this whose Christian faith is weakened by the idea that the Shroud may not be authentic, then frankly his faith was not properly founded in the first place. The Christian faith is no place for people who do not want to know whether their faith is founded on truth or falsehood.

And of course he was perfectly correct.


I didn’t say ‘said’ I said ‘seem to be implying’, I was careful to use this sentence. I means what you’re saying appears to have that intention, not that it does. Leaving you room to qualify yourself.

This quote is what made me ask that question.

You seem concerned about the posts criticising the shroud. You use words like “so many detailed posts” implying that there are ‘too many’ or that they should be ‘less detailed’ in order for them not to be quite so many and quite so detailed.

You worry that the questioning is “demolishing” something that in your eyes is “the most important” relic, and to you an important means of evangelisation.

Have I mischaracterised you?


The site admins can have no data on people who visit without creating an account, nor can they verify the accuracy of information provided by those who do. But this question is not really that important in itself.

Sorry, but I believe that the real point is that the Turin Shroud is an object. Even if it is proven beyond any doubt to be entirely man-made over 1000 years later has, or should have, no bearing on whether any particular individual believes in Jesus or the Resurrection. My understanding is that true faith does not require proof or objects.


I think that, in honor of Mr. Farey, I will change my user name to:
“Blatant Liar,” or, perhaps, “Gibbering Incoherence.”
Coming from Mr. Farey, I take these characterizations as a great compliment.


The miraculous Image on the Shroud of Turin is the Sign of Jonah that was promised by Jesus to be available for an entire generation of people. In today’s world innuendo and slander against the idea that Jesus even existed abound on the internet and the news. Or, if His existence is conceded, then the postulation is that He did not actually work miracles and His teachings are not relevant.

Our Lord’s miraculous Image contradicts these falsehoods. It is a bulwark to our faith and to the Church when many would prefer to have no church and no religion. The Shroud of Turin is the most important and most valuable physical object in the entire world. Its usefulness and relevance in this age of atheism cannot be overstated.


Actually He never says anything about ‘it being available for an entire generation of people’, rather its the Pharisees who challenges Him to produce more signs, and He rebukes them strongly on that desire.

Matthew 12:38-40 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)
The Sign of Jonah
38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” 39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so for three days and three nights the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth.

There’s nothing here about any relic waiting behind for us to hold. And if you look up the opinions of the Church Fathers on Matthew 12:38-40 (as collected in Aurea Catena by St. Thomas Aquinas), you’ll see that they consider this to be referring to His Ressurection. That He went into the earth and rose on the third day.

Anything more is extra-biblical and outside of tradition.

The rest of your post appears like the worst kind of hyperbole from shroud enthusiasts. I have no doubt that the Shroud is very important to you, and that if it was proven to be an artifact that your faith would be shaken. I will pray for you undead_rat, because no relic should have this importance for yours or others faith.

God often uses smaller means to bring people into the fullness of the Faith. That He has attracted people to the Faith through that shroud no one denies. But the question remains whether the shroud is a relic or an artifact. If it is the latter, then it should be considered such.

To me the ineffable mysteries of the Church are the true bullwark against modernity.


In Luke 11:29-32 we also note Jesus’ use of the word “generation.” Of course the Sign of Jonah refers to the miracle of our Lord’s resurrection. But this miracle was a “sign” for a limited number of people. Only for those who knew Jesus, witnessed His death, and then met Him alive afterwards could this event be termed a “sign.” Even though we believe those events to be true, they do not constitute a “sign” for us because we did not witness them. That is what the Pharisees and the scribes were asking Him for: a miracle performed in their presence.

Something needs to be added to the Sign of Jonah for it to be available for a generation of people as Jesus indicated that it would be. His miraculous Image on His burial cloth is proof that He existed, was executed by crucifixion, was buried, and that His corpse vanished into another dimension. It is that missing element that makes the miracle of His resurrection available as a “sign” for an entire generation of people.

We, of course, are not able to witness our Lord’s resurrection. Therefore, for us, the Shroud of Turin is the Sign of Jonah, the miracle that we can witness which proves Jesus’ resurrection. Simply because the Church Fathers did not fully understand the Sign of Jonah, is not sufficient reason for us to reject its true meaning. If those same Fathers had been able to witness the Image on the Shroud, they might have come to the same conclusion as I have.


Vignon’s 1902 work, THE SHROUD OF CHRIST, has an unusual chapter not found in other books about the Shroud, and that is Chapter V, “The Face on the Holy Shroud, Compared with Imaginative Portraits.” Here Vignon presents his critique of the many representations of Jesus as painted or sculpted by the various masters and finds them all falling short of the profound majesty of the Shroud’s facial Image. Of course this analysis is subjective, but Vignon notes that even Leonardo da Vinci “protested that he was powerless to deal with such a subject [Jesus divine Image].”

His conclusion: " . . .among all the works of art which the world has ever known, sculpture or painting, the portrait on the Holy Shroud has never been equalled, much less surpassed. It stands quite alone. Reproducing as it does, the actual lineaments of our Lord, it seems to bring Him living before us, with all the heroism, all the goodness of the Redeemer still visible on the dead face."

As I indicated, this is Vignon’s subjective opinion. I present it here simply because I agree with it. My own subjective opinion is that nothing in art equals the profound majesty of our Lord’s true countenance that we see on His Holy Shroud.


This is absolute nonsense. Eleventh century Icons of the Mandylion are spitting images of the Shroud’s face. These were made while the Shroud was still in Constantinople, and the iconographer would have been able to view his subject. After the Shroud was expropriated by the French 4th Crusade, Orthodox icons of the Mandylion became more stylized and less similar to the Shroud. Account should also be given to the fact that Byzantine iconographers had only the negative image of Jesus’ face to work from, whereas a modern artist has the more easily recognized positive.

A famous early Mandylion Icon:

A drawing of Jesus’ portrait based on the Shroud of Turin’s facial image:


Then, of course, we have the ancient Icon of Jesus from St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai.


They are pretty apt expressions so feel free to change your name!


Again you are saying this is a fact when you very well know it is not a fact. That may be your opinion but that is all it is.


I find myself unable to agree. The proposal is so extraordinary that I cannot believe Undead_rat really means what he says, So I will enumerate some particular details I the hope he might explain whether he really thinks the “famous early Mandylion Icon” could have made while the painter was able to “view his subject.”

I will suppose, with those who equate the Shroud with the Mandylion, that it was folded up so that only the face was visible, and perhaps that it was a little brighter than we see it today. But:

  1. The Shroud is famously a pseudo-negative image. Its nose and forehead are dark and its eye-sockets are light. Nobody painting a copy and able to “view his subject” could have failed to notice that.

  2. The Shroud image is entirely monochrome. Nobody painting a copy and able to “view his subject” could have failed to notice that.

  3. The Shroud has prominent trickles of ‘blood’ on the forehead and down the sides of the hair. Nobody painting a copy and able to “view his subject” could have failed to notice that.

  4. The Shroud has no ears. Nobody painting a copy and able to “view his subject” could have failed to notice that.

  5. The Shroud has a bushy, rather than a narrow, moustache. Nobody painting a copy and able to “view his subject” could have failed to notice that.

  6. The Shroud does not have ringlets of hair flowing outwards from the cheeks on both sides. Nobody painting a copy and able to “view his subject” could have failed to notice that.

  7. The overall shape of the Shroud face is rectangular, not oval. Nobody painting a copy and able to “view his subject” could have failed to notice that.

It is true that both pictures are full face images of men with beards. Apart from that, it would be difficult to make them more different. Anybody who thinks any picture of the Mandylion is a “spitting image” of the Shroud really needs to answer these points.


Yes, that is precise what the Sign of Jonah was, Christ rose again on the third day, leaving behind an empty tomb. There are no words at all about a relic being left behind. In fact He even rebukes St. Stephen who wanted to see His wound and put his finger in them before he believed.

This isn’t part of dogma, no Church Father refers to the Resurrection in those terms, or terms equivalent to it. Its both extra-biblical and outside of Tradition.

I prefer the approach of Byzantine Iconography which actually has a ban on depicting the Resurrection itself because that event is not described in either the Bible, or in Tradition, but should be treated as a profound mystery.

The Catholic Church cannot make pronouncements on matters outside of Tradition when it comes to matters of faith or morals. The consensus of the Church Fathers are part of the deposit of faith. Therefore their opinions are our opinions, and if they haven’t commented on something either directly or indirectly, the Magisterium of the Church is incapable of moving beyond that.

What you’re claiming is outside of Tradition and the Bible. It may be held as a private opinion however. In which case I simple disagree with it. I limit my beliefs to the Church Fathers as interpreted by the Magisterium.


Respectfully, opinion only in pondering :thinking: on his Spoken Words. Not to offend, but I do not accept or believe that our Heavenly Father is willing to trick us, in doing so, would Our Heavenly Father, not be a liar? a deceiver? himself in doing so? Father of Truth vs father of lies?

Our Heavenly Father speaks the truth does he not?

Our Heavenly Father since beginning of time, wants us not to be ignorant of such a one and he defines for us how to identify the one who seeks to trick us and deceive us, does he not within many Biblical verses?

Rev 12:9 ? >Is it not written>he will deceive the whole world… those who dwell on earth?

Rev 13:13? Is it not written? It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to the earth in sight of all: and by the signs that it is allowed to perform on behalf of the beast, it deceives the inhabitants of earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that had been wounded by the sword and yet lived and it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast so that the image of the beast could even speak and cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be killed…? :thinking:

2 Thessalonians 2:9? >. Is it not written>.he will use every kind of power, including miracles, signs, lying wonder that serve the lie and counterfeit power…?

Matthew 24:24 > Is it not written…false Christ and false prophets…? :thinking:

Matthew 8:44 For you are the children of your father of lies? :thinking:

Mark 13: 22 > Is it not written> False Christ and false prophets …? :thinking:

2 Corintian 11:14 > And do wonder for Satan himself masquerades as angel of Light? :thinking:

2 Corinth 4:4 Is it not written he lies…? :thinking:

Exodus 7:9-12 > Is it not written devil is able to perform miracles etc? :thinking:

Jesus >>Matthew 12:38-45 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you. But he answered them, And evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah>3 days 3 night…? :thinking:

2 Thess 2:8 Is it not written? And then the lawless one will be believed whom the lord will consume with his breath…? :thinking:

Within the Spoken Word of our Heavenly Father, identifies, exposes what to look for?
What is the character image of Satan?
Lying , deceiving is Satan’s primary weapon?
Satan can transform himself, masquerading like he is an angel of God, get others to believe he is God?
Works many lying wonders, signs, miracles, even can bring fire down from the heavens?
He will deceive the whole world?
He is most powerful?
He sets out to tempt, mix truths with lies?
He is the greatest trickster of all?
He sets out to destroy the goodness our heavenly Father has created?
He has children whom he has deceived in following his word? Matthew 8:44?

Peace :slightly_smiling_face: in pondering who the real trickster is? :thinking:


Respectfully opinion only.
Written is it not? :thinking: Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Peace :slightly_smiling_face:


Hello Hugh,

I have seen documentaries of the shroud ‘conclude’ that the flow of blood which ultimately ends up as pools on the shroud only makes sense if it indeed wrapped a 3D shape such as a body or a statue.

I am sorry that I can’t remember very much of this, one of the obvious cases would be the blood stains that appear to the sides of the face image. If you wrap the shroud around a 3D image of course when you flatten it out again the blood stains would not match up to the image.

Any thoughts about whether the shroud wrapped a 3D object and the claims that there are at least two image processes (or applications) on the shroud - the image and the blood stains.

And of course any comment on how this could be done?

From memory there is no image under the blood stains which suggests the blood image was created / applied first.


Respectfully opinion only in pondering :thinking: having lots of questions and in examining what is given.

How do we know it was Jesus face etc number one and not someone else?

How do we know then also who’s blood is on the shroud?

And what about the commandment, thou shall not, idolatry create an image?
It is written is it not? Speaks of the lawless ones?
Find it odd for our Heavenly Father to transgress his own commandments in doing so?

Interesting also the face on the shroud identically matches man made images or pictures, paintings drawn of Jesus, years or generations later >>after Jesus died? :thinking: :thinking:

Constantine made Christianity no longer a crime, punishable by death > crucifixion, not till>>> 315 Ad, so to say crucifixion would of been lost from of memory a generation or two later, would not be correct would it?

And crucifixion did not end in 315 Ad did it? Using crucifixion as a form of punishment, continued after Constantine 315 AD made Christianity no longer a crime, did it not?

Billions today still speak of crucifixion do they not, a memory never forgotten?
Historically recorded having quiet a history on crucifixion etc, do we not?

Hundreds, thousands upon thousands were put to death by crucifixion, Apostles also not just St Peter either, families, friends many in all walks of life, etc were put to death by crucifixion and Jesus was not the first was he to suffer this inhumane punishment known as crucifixion, was he?

Sorry, do not agree that crucifixion by the time of Constantine 315 Ad was lost to memory , but continued till the time of Constantine 315 AD and crucifixion continued after wards as one form of Roman punishment, did it not?

Constantine in 315 AD>>>>> only made Christianity no longer a crime to practice openly, punishable by death, or put in prison, but Constantine did not end crucifixion did he as a form of punishment? :thinking:

No one knows who it is or whose blood it is also, right, this has not been proven correct, but assuming>>>> because it matches a man made painting of Jesus, done by those long long after Jesus died and his Apostles, created their own image of him, right etc? By those who never knew him personally, or seen him right? :thinking::thinking:

Peace :slightly_smiling_face:


Our Lord’s miraculous Image on His burial Shroud is not any kind of “trick.” The faithful who love Him have always revered this sacred object and have not doubted that its Image is that of Jesus, “made without hands.” One chooses to believe, and then one finds the wonderful gift of Jesus’ Image which reinforces that belief.
Our Creator prefers that the choice to believe in Him comes first.

There exist those in this world who have deliberately chosen to reject Jesus, such as Prof. Edward Hall of the Oxford C-14 lab. Our Creator does not force belief in Himself on these. That is why He has presented this miracle in a way that His enemies may so easily dismiss it. The Shroud’s mysterious appearance in France in the 14th century was arranged by God, as was its C-14 data that the atheist professor so eagerly took to indicate 14th century date rather than proof that Jesus’ corpse vanished.

I should be ashamed of myself for doing this, but I have to confess that I find it somewhat amusing to see the frustration of the atheist skeptics like Joe Nickell over the continued belief in the Shroud by the faithful. It is so “obvious” to him that the Shroud cannot be real.

Our Creator is willing to trick those who have rejected Him. In this regard I believe that He has another trick in store for those who hate Him. That trick is defined in Psalm 9:15-16:

The nations have fallen into the pit they dug;
they are caught by the feet in the snare they set themselves.
YHWH has made Himself known, has given judgment;
He has trapped the wicked in the work of their own hands.

This pit that the nations have fallen into is their mistake of building forbidden weapons of retaliation: nuclear armed ICBMs. Each nation is unable to bring itself to stand down its evil devices and will wind up being destroyed by nuclear weapons as a result. The outcome is clearly described in Isaiah 66:15-16 and Jeremiah 25:32-33. Jesus Himself warns of this in Luke 21:34-35:
that day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap. For it will come down on every living man of he face of the earth.

A global nuclear war is in humanity’s immediate future. It will occur in this 21st century. Few foresee it, and even fewer understand it as the Great Day of the Lord and Christ’s 2nd coming. That is why Jesus said that His return would be like a thief in the night. God does not trick the faithful. We take His warnings seriously and follow His Law. For those who reject Him, it is another matter.

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