Shroud of Turin-Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ, or NOT?
The Shroud of Turin is a controversial item in biblical circles. Many millions believe it is the Burial cloth of Jesus Christ Himself, but is this true? Can we possibly know the answer? Is there any means we have been given to determine whether this could, in fact, be the actual burial cloth of Jesus Christ?
It is interesting that this cloth has been examined for centuries... scientific testing, photographic testing, and more, and there is no doubt that this alleged burial shroud is a very unique piece of cloth. However, the glaring and yet most overlooked source for confirmation or refutation is deafening. That source is the Holy Bible, the very words of God and His son.
This will address the most obvious elements of the claims made that this could be the burial cloth of Christ, and show that it is, in fact, NOT the burial cloth of Christ, and is either a Satanic or artistic creation meant to distract us from the truth of the bible. The main elements we will look at is, 1. the actual cloth itself, 2. The figure shown and the visible markings shown, including the hair, the nail wounds and the blood from the beating Christ took.
1. The shroud itself is a one piece shroud... end to end. What does scripture tell about "burial cloth," the actual burial cloth of Christ?
2. Now let's look at, first, the face of the figure. Notice that this man clearly has long hair, which was highly unusual for most men of Jesus's day. The traditional hair length was short, not long, as Jesus is often wrongfully portrayed in pictures and statutes.
Remember the story of Lazarus, and his resurrection back to life? Here is an example of the traditional burial cloth...
John 11:43 "Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!" 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth." NKJV
Notice that there are "gravecloths" (plural) and the face cloth mentioned. The head of Lazarus had a separate cloth wrapping it, and he was bound "hand and foot."
What of Jesus' burial cloth?
John 20:3 "Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. 4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself." NKJV
Here, we see the same "type" of burial cloths being mentioned... cloths, (plural), as well as the "handkerchief" that they had placed "around" His head, which was not attached to the body cloth. This is a clear difference between what scriptures tell us about the real burial cloths of Christ, and the "Shroud of Turin."
John 19:40 "Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen... as the custom of the Jews is to bury.
It appears plain that there were more than one simple cloth used for such burials, and that Christ simply did not have a cloth under and over His body.
1 Cor 11:14 "Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair , it is a dishonor to him?" NKJV
All Romans had short hair, as the statutes of Roman citizens show us today, and the Jews of Christ's day also had short hair. Some religious "experts" claim that "some" Jews of Jesus' day wore long hair, but there is little evidence to suggest this. Paul stated a fact regarding hair length, and if "experts" wish to believe that Paul was writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit," then they would understand that this is more than just Paul's "opinion."
In addition, another warning about men wearing long hair comes from another place in scripture...
Rev 9:7 "On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. 8 They had hair like women's hair , and their teeth were like lions' teeth." NKJV
"Hair like woman's hair" obviously means "long hair, not short like "men's hair, and this is in reference to demonic creatures that are clearly in defiance to God and His order.
Someone with long hair would have surely stood out and been easily identified, but Christ needed to be identified to others, so He certainly didn't have long hair...
Matt 26:48 "Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "Whomever I kiss , He is the One; seize Him." 49 Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" and kissed Him." NKJV
Luke 22:48 "But Jesus said to him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?" NKJV
Christ was NOT someone who looked different or could be easily identified, nor did He have any special looks...
Isa 53:1 "Who has believed our report?And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him." NKJV
John 8:57 "Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" 58 Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." 59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by." NKJV
Christ was an average looking man, and was not "handsome" or special looking in any way or easily identified.
The rare exception for long hair was those who took a Nazirite vow, such as Samson, and possibly John the Baptist...
Num 6:2 'When either a man or woman consecrates an offering to take the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the LORD, 3 he shall... :5 "all the days of the vow of his separation no razor shall come upon his head; until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to the LORD, he shall be holy. Then he shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow." NKJV
Judg 13:5 "And no razor shall come upon his (Samson's) head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines." NKJV
Matt 11:18 "For John came neither eating nor drinking..." NKJV
Christ surely had short hair, so this is yet another piece of evidence that the figure in the Shroud is NOT an image of Jesus Christ.
3. Let's address the alleged height of the body.
It is claimed the height of the body making the image is 5'11"-6'1" taking into consideration the cloth itself and stretching or shrinking. Once again, it is unlikely that Jesus Christ was about 6 foot tall or taller, for the same reasons stated above about being conspicuous. Generally, Jews are NOT tall people, and if this image were the actual image of Christ, He would have stood out quite easily in the crowds.
4. Another aspect of the image on the shroud is that of the wounds of the man.
In the shroud image, it shows some evidence of where there was bleeding and damage to the body on the head, and front and back of the body. Do we have any evidence of what Christ looked like after His scouraging and crucifixion?
Isa 52:13 "Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high. 14 Just as many were astonished at you, So His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men;" NKJV
This is a scripture referencing Christ, and His eventual beating. The end result of what the Romans did to Christ's body... His "stripes," left a horribly disfigured body which could hardly be recognized as human. The "stripes" Christ received was likely a "cat-o-nine" tails, which usually had bits of bone or metal in the ends of the leather, and which would literally rip out hunks of flesh. This apparently was done all across Christ's body, front and back, tearing into the flesh and horribly weakening Him, in preparation for the crucifixion. The image on the shroud shows very little evidence to suggest a "marring more than any man."
5. Let's now consider the actual markings of the alleged "crown of thorns," as well as the "nail" injury of the wrists. It seems convenient that these wounds show clearly, but is this realistic? Did the disciples simply wrap the Body of Christ in the cloth without any other steps?
John 19:38 "After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. 39 And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 40 Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury." NKJV
It is customary for dead bodies to be washed in water, and likely Christ's body was washed as well. This, along with the use of the myrrh and aloes together with the "strips of linen" which were "bound" around the body would surely have obliterated evidence of the head and hand wounds so clearly displayed in the shroud.
It is clear, when we allow scriptures, and not emotions and hopeful beliefs, to reveal the truth about the Shroud of Turin, that the shroud is NOT the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. The very fact that millions are willing to discard biblical evidence of the facts, and to embrace false ideas, should wake us up to this not only "this" fraud, but the many other beliefs and practices which so many embrace that are clearly unbiblical.
The Shroud of Turin is certainly an interesting historical relic. However it was created, or by whom, we can rest, assured that the shroud is NOT an icon of worship, neither should it (or any such physical item) be worshipped, or a distraction away from what the bible teaches.
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