Why Protestants doubt the Shroud of Turin but believe "Heaven is for Real" Jesus is really Him

Forgive me if I am wrong in my observation. Is it because Colton Burpo (the little boy who had the near-death experience and met Jesus) is the son of a Protestant minister, and they just don’t trust the Catholic Church? Don’t get me wrong. I am not necessarily saying that Colton did not actually meet Jesus. I think it’s compelling that Colton saw Jesus the same way as the little the girl in former Yugoslavia who originally saw Jesus and later painted Him. I even own the picture because I think it’s an interesting depiction. It just seems like if you believe a near-death experience, shouldn’t it be easier to believe something that has compelling scientific evidence such as the Shroud of Turin? Would Hobby Lobby ever even consider selling pictures of the Shroud, like they do the Prince of Peace picture? Finally, are Protestants who own the latter piece of art worshiping an idol? :wink:

I rather doubt most Protestants have even heard of the Shroud of Turin. Those that have probably base their opinions about it on these things:

  1. that it was supposedly “debunked” by “science” (not true but that is what is generally believed).

  2. it’s a Catholic “thing” so they won’t even consider it.

  3. it’s so far afield from their religious culture it’s like expecting an American to care about some religious object in India.

Most Protestants don’t make one on one comparisons between the kind of religious experiences they find “normal” and convincing with any kind of Catholic experience. Most reject Catholic phenomena outright if they even consider it at all.

Not speaking of any protestants, of course, but my wife long ago developed a fascination with the Shroud (and Fatima and Padre Pio, before that). We accumulated roughly 20 books on the Shroud, covering all aspects. Looks like it’s real, to us.

But then, we’re Anglican.



What makes you think Protestants don’t believe in the Shroud of Turin? Many might not; but many Protestants don’t believe that Jesus literally rose from the dead. :shrug:

Trinity Broadcast Network shows programs about the Shroud all the time and there is not hostility or skepticism shown towards it just because the Vatican owns it. tbn.org/watch-us/our-programs/behold-the-man-the-shroud-of-turin

That’s why I apologized if I made a wrong observation. I know very few Protestants myself. That’s interesting that TBN broadcast programs on the Shroud. I might like to watch one.

It depends on the Protestant, doesn’t it? :slight_smile: Some, if not most, have never heard of it–at least in my experience. And many have drifted from sound doctrine these days due to ignorance and a general lack of belief in our society. The same can be said for many Catholics, as well. :frowning:

Trinity Broadcast Network shows programs about the Shroud all the time and there is not hostility or skepticism shown towards it just because the Vatican owns it. tbn.org/watch-us/our-programs/behold-the-man-the-shroud-of-turin

This surprised me when I first read your post. :slight_smile: But, it makes sense for a Christian station that upholds traditional teachings, such as the atoning death of Christ and the resurrection, to promote the Shroud because it’s a tangible piece of history/evidence. Sadly, the Shroud was washed so much of the information it contained has been lost. It’s compelling just the same.

The answer is simple.

The Shroud of Turin is held by those “eeeeevil Catholics” :slight_smile:
The other one is held by those “totally awesome” protestants :slight_smile:

I have no issue believing the shroud of Turin, if indeed there is good evidence for it.

The book is hogwash.

Many Protestants dont believe Jesus literally rose from the dead???

First of all, I doubt that. And second, if there are groups that dont believe in the literal resurrection, they are not Christian. They are a cult seperate from the rest of Christianity.

Oh, I would second Itwin’s statement, for sure. There are many among the liberal mainline denominations, such as the ELCA and ECUSA that do not believe the resurrection to be literal, especially among the clergy. I wouldn’t call them cults, per se, but more like social justice movements. They aren’t Christian, for sure…and among men most to be pitied

I share this assessment,


When I was a Protestant (Free Will Baptist denomination) I had no problem believing in the authenticity of the Shroud and I was fairly open in my anti-Catholicism. It seems to me that most of the Protestants who take issue with the Shroud or claim it to be a forgery do so out of a distaste for relics in general and a feeling that the Shroud promotes idolatry of some kind. It is all part of a knee-jerk reaction to recoil from anything that seems, even remotely, Catholic. It may also lie in the widely held belief that the Church in general and the Vatican in particular are famously wealthy and that the Shroud is just another money-making scheme of some kind or just another underhanded way of luring unsuspecting believers into the Catholic Church; after all, they reason, if the Church is the whore of Babylon why would God allow the burial shroud of His Son to be in the possession of the antichrist or false prophet or whatever.
It is akin to certain Protestant groups that make pilgrimages to the Holy Land but will not visit the actual, historical Christian sites of worship (The Church of the Nativity, the Holy Sepulcher, the Tomb of Mary etc. etc.) because they are under the protection of the Church, East and West, and the holy sites themselves are undeniably places of ancient, liturgical worship full of icons and holy images etc., our guide when we went on pilgrimage, an Arab Catholic, pointed this out to us. It is a shock to their sensibilities.

Is “Prince of Peace” the side-head painting of our LORD from about 150 years ago?

If so, the fact it was created by a Protestant would be very germane to your question.

Protestants are not one body; some reject all images, while others have no such issues. But often, items originating in the Catholic Church draw more suspicion.


I know a lot of Protestant believers who know about the Shroud of Turin and believe it to be the burial cloth of Jesus…I’m not sure what to think of it myself but for now, I’ll just bank on Christ’s redemption as the basis of my faith.

God bless,


Which book? :slight_smile:

I heard Barry Schwartz, an Orthodox Jew, talk about the Shroud. He was a member of the original scientific team that examined it in the 70’s. It’s a great talk. Here are some websites if you are interested: google.com/search?q=shroud+turin+schwartz&gws_rd=ssl.

Catholics don’t need to believe in the Shroud so why should anybody else? That being said, I don’t see how the shroud would threaten most protestant’s belief system.

That is a very broad statement that should not be made without some sort of reference to statistical analysis. Maybe it’s because I go to church that I don’t run into these people who don’t believe in the resurrection of Jesus.

Could it be that you are referencing people who have nothing to do with church?



No reason really. I’d only say that is, like other such relics, it’s an aid to faith for many. It brought an Orthodox Jew, Barry Schwatz, back to practicing his faith. I feel certain that at some time in his life he’ll come all the way to believing in Jesus’ divinity. No doubt there are many others whose faith is helped. :slight_smile:

That being said, I don’t see how the shroud would threaten most protestant’s belief system.

It has to do with it being a Catholic relic. If it were one of theirs they’d be all for it. For some, anything Catholic must be bad. Sadly, that’s how some think.

I don’t. It’s a hard one for me to accept, too many chances for fakery if you ask me. I have not been convinced. Sort of like a visiting healing priest who came to our parish recently. He said he had a sliver of the Cross. Don’t believe that one either.

No. I am speaking of bishops and ministers within the mainline Protestant churches who openly deny the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. A well known figure who did just this without any condemnation from his church was Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong. In 2003, he wrote the following essay

*When one reads the New Testament in the order in which these books were written, a fascinating progression is revealed. Paul, for example, writing between the years 50 and 64 or some 20 to 34 years after the earthly life of Jesus came to an end, never describes the resurrection of Jesus as a physical body resuscitated after death. There is no hint in the Pauline corpus that one, who had died, later walked out of his grave clothes, emerged from the tomb and was seen by his disciples.

What Paul does suggest is that Easter meant that God had acted to reverse the verdict that the world had pronounced on Jesus by raising Jesus from death into God. It was, therefore, out of God in a transforming kind of heavenly vision that this Jesus then appeared to certain chosen witnesses. Paul enumerates these witnesses and, in a telling detail, says that this was the same Jesus that Paul himself had seen. No one suggests that Paul ever saw a resuscitated body. The Pauline corpus later says, “If you then have been raised with Christ, seek the things which are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” Please note that the story of the Ascension had not been written when these Pauline words were formed. Paul did not envision the Resurrection as Jesus being restored to life in this world but as Jesus being raised into God. It was not an event in time but a transcendent and transforming truth.

Paul died, according to our best estimates, around the year 64 C.E. The first Gospel was not written until the early 70′s. Paul never had a chance to read the Easter story in any Gospel. The tragedy of later Christian history is that we read Paul through the lens of the Gospels. Thus we have both distorted Paul and also confused theology.*

Even worse, there are mainline churches where one can be ordained while openly admitting to being an atheist, such as PC(USA) minister John Shuck: “I’m a Presbyterian Minister Who Doesn’t Believe in God”.

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