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The Turin Shroud is lie and deception
 

I have previously written (in Finnish language) a number of texts regarding the Shroud of Turin, with the goal of giving Biblical grounds for the fact that the shroud is not an act of God, and that the picture of the shroud does not depict the Jesus of the Bible. Since the media, every now and then, focuses on this topic by either giving new pieces of evidence, either aiming for proving that the shroud is genuine or proving that it is not. In addition, since believers, too, focus on the topic time and time again, some may sincerely believe or think that the Shroud of Turin is an act of God and that the picture depicts Jesus, I considered it to be a good idea to again address the topic from a specific viewpoint. The goal of the present text is to highlight what the Bible teaches about this in detail, and to highlight something that will fully debunk the Turin Shroud story and theory, and will fully prove that the shroud is deception, a forgery, and a scam. Spend time in prayer while reading the text and comparing it to what the Word of God says on the subject.

 

Contents:
The so-called evidence given by Juha Hiltunen
Linen cloth
Burial clothes
False tradition
Conclusion
 

 

The so-called evidence given by Juha Hiltunen

In 2014, a Christian website based in Finland posted an interview with Juha Hiltunen, a Turin Shroud researcher, in regard to the shroud. Three years have passed since the time of the interview, but for the ideas presented in the interview are presented again and again, it is a good idea to address this in regard to what the Bible says on the subject.

Juha Hiltunen says that even stronger evidence has been found to prove the authenticity of the shroud:

Independent studies clearly show that the picture is the result of an electromagnetic discharge. In layman's terms, the discharge is the resurrection of the body. A dead person has been inside the shroud, but the person has mysteriously disappeared from the tied clothes. There are no signs of the rottening of the body. The picture has formed as an extremely thin halftone photograph - without any outlines - on the surface of the linen clothes. The photograph has topographical dimensions, and when it is portrayed by computer-assisted means, it is possible to create a three-dimensional hologram of the photograph. - - - John mentions that the sudarium, i.e., the face-cloth was wrapped separately. The face-cloth was placed on the head of the deceased person when the person had died. In Spain, there is a bloody face-cloth of this kind, which ended up in Spain from Palestine in the 7th century. The pollen on the face-cloth in Spain, and the blood type of the blood match that of the blood on the Shroud of Turin. It is also known as Sudarium Christi, i.e., the face-cloth of Christ, and researchers consider it to be very likely that both cloths were on the same person. - - - According to an earlier document (preserved from the 4th century) of a bishop, early Christians took a picture of Jesus with them, among other things, and it is likely that "picture" expressly refers to the shroud. - Juha Hiltunen

When we study the shroud of the Lord Jesus in the light of the Bible truth, we can see that the conclusion and ideas of Juha Hiltunen are refuted by the truth manifested in the Bible.

Linen cloth

A photograph formed on one large linen cloth, and allegedly depicting Jesus, is the backbone of the Turin Shroud story. Some argue that God made the picture on the cloth through an electromagnetic discharge upon the ascension of Jesus. When we carefully study what the four gospels say, we can see the truth and understand that the Shroud of Turin is fake and not Jesus' picture made by God.  

Matt 27:
57 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple:
58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.
59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth  (sindon in the singular form)
60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.

Mark 15:
43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.
44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.
45 And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.
46 And he bought fine linen (sindon in the singular form), and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen (sindon in the singular form), and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.

Luke 23:
50 And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just:
51 (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.
52 This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.
53 And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen (sindon in the singular form), and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.
54 And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.

The gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke say that there was one large linen cloth where the body of Jesus was wrapped after He had been taken down from the cross. When and if you read all these three gospels, you may reach the conclusion that Jesus was buried in one large linen cloth - a conclusion which can be used to support the claims made by Hiltunen.

When we carefully study all the four gospels, the linen cloth (sindon) - as reported in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, was not used as Jesus' burial cloth. Instead, He was taken down from the cross and wrapped in the linen cloth, but was then covered in many different cloths for burial, and a face-cloth (a napkin) was placed on His head - which is the custom when Jews bury their dead.

Jews buried their dead by washing the body and cleaning it of blood (if the body had blood on it). Once the washing and cleaning had been done, the body and the clothes were anointed with spices The cleaning and anointing are totally missing in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, which proves that these three gospels do not cover the burial in detail. This important point also proves that Jesus was not buried in one large linen cloth because His bloody body was taken down from the cross and wrapped in a linen cloth when the body still was bloody. The linen cloth was not a burial cloth because Jews did not wrap their dead in bloody burial cloths, and not in only one linen cloth, but they used several separate cloths. The linen cloth (sindon) was used for wrapping Jesus' dead body after it had been taken down from the cross, to wait for the actual burial; the burial preparation commenced soon after that time. All the four gospels prove that the above is the truth.

Burial clothes

Joh 19:
38 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.
39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.
40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes (othonion, in the plural) with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. 41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.
42 There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.

Regarding all the gospels, the gospel of John describes the burial of Jesus in the most detailed way. According to the gospel of John, the body of Jesus was wrapped in burial clothes (othonion, in the plural) with spices, as was the Jewish custom.

The gospel of John does not use the Greek word sindon (singular) to refer to the burial clothes, but uses the plural, othonion, which refers to burial clothes. The gospel of John proves that Jesus was wrapped in burial clothes, as was the Jewish burial custom. The Turin Shroud theory is refuted by the Bible truth because Jesus was not buried in one large cloth, but in several separate clothes.

Some say that there was not enough time to bury Jesus according to the Jewish custom, but He was quickly buried due to the fact that the Sabbath was soon starting, which is why they say that Jesus was buried in one large cloth and was laid quickly into the grave. This argument is refuted by the testimony of the gospel of John because the gospel of John says that Jesus' burial followed the Jewish custom. It included the washing and cleaning of the body, and anointing the body with spices. When Jews read the gospel of John in the era of the early church, every Jew knew that the body was washed and cleaned before it was anointed with spices, which is why it was unnecessary to separately mention the washing and cleaning of the body.

John 20:
1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.
4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.
5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes (othonion, plural) lying; yet went he not in.
6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes (othonion, plural) lie,
7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes (othonion, plural), but wrapped together in a place by itself.

Luke 24:12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes (othonion, plural) laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

And then, we see a very important piece of evidence in the gospels. The evidence is found in the gospel of John and the gospel of Luke (i.e. through two witnesses). When Jesus had risen from the dead, His burial clothes (othonion, plural) were found in the grave, as well as the face-cloth  (a napkin) for covering His face. The number of clothes in Jesus' grave was not one (sindon), but there were clothes there (othonion, plural), which was the Jewish custom - and which is proven true by the gospel of John.

Some say that Jesus was buried in one linen cloth (sindon), and burial clothes (othonion) were wrapped in the linen cloth, which was how God made a picture of Jesus on the Shroud of Turin through an electromagnetic discharge. This theory is refuted by chapter 20 of the gospel of John, and by Chapter 24 of the gospel of Luke because no linen cloth (sindon) was found in the grave of Jesus, but the burial clothes (othonion) and the face-cloth were found there. The gospels of John and Luke prove that several burial cloths were used in the burial of Jesus, and that the Shroud of Turin is a forgery, fraud and deception.

The Turin Shroud theory is not saved by another theory either, which says that the disciples removed the linen cloth from the grave when they had seen the picture of Jesus on the cloth. The Bible describes the burial clothes of Jesus in great detail. The gospels of John and Luke say that only the burial clothes (othonion) and the face-cloth (a napkin) were in the grave, and they were the burial clothes of Jesus. The Turin Shroud theory is a lie and deception.

The burial clothes and the face-cloth (a napkin) of Jesus are significant proof of His resurrection, and if Jesus would have been buried in one large linen cloth and that if God would have done picture of Jesus on this linen cloth (sindon), this would have been reported as an important piece of evidence of the resurrection in at least one gospel, or other New Testament books. The large linen cloth with the picture of Jesus is not found in the New Testament, and no linen cloth (sindon) was found in the grave. If God had made a picture of Jesus on the Shroud of Turin, and if early church believers would have taken it, this information would certainly be mentioned in some New Testament books or letters. However, the New Testament does not mention Jesus' burial linen cloth and Jesus' picture on it at all because the Turin Shroud story is false. The story is refuted by the truth, i.e. the Word of God.   

False tradition

Attempts have been made to match "scientific" proof based on the Turin Shroud story with unbiblical "Christian" tradition. There are numerous examples of this, but I will only address one of them here. A Turin Shroud exhibition took place at the main building of the Jyväskylä parish of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland from the 6th of April to the 10th of May in 2014. Prior to the opening of the exhibition, Juha Hiltunen was interviewed on the evidence regarding the Shroud of Turin. In the interview, he stated this, among other things:

"There are no signs of rottening on the fabric and the blood stains, and when we consider the conditions in the Middle East, where this is from, this body must have been taken away, or it must have disappeared from there in less than 36 hours - this would match what is reported in the gospels, where it says that He was risen on the third day..." - Juha Hiltunen

The Bible does not say that Jesus was in the grave for approximately 36 hours from Good Friday to Sunday morning. The Good Friday teaching regarding the day of Jesus' death is a false religious tradition, not Bible truth. The more you study the so-called evidence of the Shroud of Turin, the more you will see how attempts are made to match the "evidence" with unbiblical religious tradition. This, too, proves that the Shroud of Turin is fake, and the picture on it does not depict the Jesus of the Bible, and the Shroud was not used in His burial.

Matt 12:
38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.
39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

In the Bible, Jesus says that He would be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights, that is, three full days and nights, which equals 72 hours. The Lord Jesus was in the heart of the earth, that is, physically dead for three days and three nights, which refutes the theory of 36 hours and Good Friday, which was not the day when Jesus died. Many argue that the three days, and "on the third day" refer to parts of three days, which means that Good Friday would be Jesus' death day and the weekly Sabbath and Sunday would be part of the three days.

The aforementioned argument regarding the time span from Good Friday to Sunday is refuted by what the Lord Jesus says in the Bible. In the Bible, He says that He would be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights, which means three full days and nights, and one day includes both day-time and night-time. The Good Friday theory is refuted by the testimony of the Lord Jesus. The Biblical, Jewish day begins at about 6 pm after sunset and ends at the sunset on the next day, that is, at about 6 pm.

Matt 27:
46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
47 Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.
48 And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.
49 The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.
50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

The Lord Jesus died on the ninth hour, that is, approximately between 3 pm and 4 pm. Many people say that Jesus died at 3 pm. When we count from Good Friday to Sunday morning, according to the Biblical clock, that is, the one that Jews used and which is the clock as reported in the Bible, the time span from approximately 3 pm on Friday to Sunday morning only equals about one full day and only part of a second day, and the time span equals only two nights. When compared to what the Bible teaches, the time span from Good Friday to Sunday Morning as the time span of Jesus being in the grave is false and unbiblical. The Lord Jesus died on Wednesday, that is, on the Great Sabbath of the Passover week, and He rose from the physical death on Saturday just before the weekly Sabbath ended, which matches what Jesus says; three full days and three full nights.

Conclusion

If believers base their faith on the scientific "evidence" of the Shroud of Turin and on religious tradition, and if believers believe in these extra-biblical testimonies, and believe - on those grounds - that the picture of the Shroud of Turin depicts the Jesus of the Bible, such believers have gone astray from the truth in regard to this. Regarding the Shroud of Turin, or any other theme or teaching, we are not to base our faith on extra-Biblical information because only the Bible has the truth of God's works and the truth manifested in the Word of God.

If religious and unbiblical scientific "evidence", which is contrary to what the Bible teaches, guide believers' faith in the Lord Jesus in regard to some aspects, they fail to see the truth and can quite sincerely believe false teachings and think that they are in the truth. It is extremely important that we believers learn to put away religious traditions of men and scientific "evidence", which are contrary to Biblical truth. If believers do not learn to discern between lies and the truth, they allow traditions and wisdom of men to enter their hearts, and they base their faith on a false foundation. Do not allow lies to distort your faith, but always only trust the Word of God in regard to faith in God, the works of God, and in regard to what the Bible teaches.

Many believers might sincerely believe that the picture of the Shroud of Turin is Jesus' picture made by God. When people believe that the Shroud of Turin was used in the burial of Jesus, it is often the case that they do not believe all of the Bible, because the Turin Shroud story is refuted by what the Bible in full says. In some cases, people lack discernment and believe a false religious tradition and the scientific "evidence" of the Shroud of Turin. No believer is perfect, and we do not understand everything, but if you really want to know the truth regarding the Turin Shroud theory, the Word of God should have proof to support it. When we study the Word of God, we can see that the Turin Shroud story is refuted by the Word of God, and the Word of God proves that the Turin Shroud story is a lie.

Here are some details as reported in the Bible, which refute the Turin Shroud story:

Chapter 19 of the gospel of John says that Jesus' body was wrapped in linen clothes (plural form) with spices in accordance with the Jewish burial custom. The Turin Shroud story claims that Jesus was buried when He was still bloody, and due to the urgency, Jewish customs were not followed in regard to all aspects of His burial. The body was washed and cleaned prior to anointing it with spices, which was the Jewish way of burying the dead, and this is proved by Chapter 19 of the gospel of John. The gospel of John also proves that Jesus was buried in several separate burial clothes, not in one large linen cloth. Chapter 24 of the gospel of Luke confirms that several separate burial clothes were found in Jesus' grave, not one large cloth.  

In the Ten Commandments, God says that it is forbidden to make an image of God, and the Ten Commandments still apply in the New Covenant. God would not surely have acted against a commandment He Himself has given and made a picture of a naked Jesus on the burial clothes for all the world to see. The Bible says that it is a shame to be publicly naked. The man in the Turin Shroud picture is covering his genitals with his hands. When Jews buried their dead, they placed the hands of the deceased on the chest because hands touching genitals would have been shameful and would have put the deceased in shame.  

In 2009, an archaeologist, professor Shimon Gibson and co-workers found a grave in Jerusalem, where there were the remains of a man who had suffered from leper and died of tuberculosis. According to studies, the deceased had lived from approximately 1 AD to 50 AD, which means that he was a contemporary of Jesus. Gibson says that the deceased was buried according to contemporary Jewish tradition. The body - from neck to toe - was in several separate burial clothes, and the face was covered with a face-cloth (a napkin). This finding from the time of Jesus was buried in the same way as Jesus was. Gibson says that the Turin Shroud story does not match the Jewish burial customs of the first century. Gibson says that the burial clothes found in Jerusalem were woven in a different way than the Shroud of Turin. Gibson says that the Shroud of Turin is a single sheet made with a twill weave. According to Gibson, the twill weave only became common in the medieval period.

Bible truth and the archaeological grave finding in Jerusalem refute the Turin Shroud theory and story and they prove that the theory and story are false, a scam and deception. I am not trying to put blame on anyone who believes the Turin Shroud lie, but I encourage you to study the Word of God because only the Word of God tells us the truth in regard to the burial clothes of the Lord Jesus, and in regard to all truth - which the Word of God (the Bible) teaches.  

Finally, it is a good idea to highlight the main message of the Bible. The Bible says that Jesus died a physical death, but He was risen from the dead. The Lord Jesus is alive and forgives the sins of all those who believe in Him. The redemption through the Lord Jesus consists of His blood, death and resurrection. "If you confess your sins to God and believe in the Lord Jesus, your sins will be forgiven, you will inherit eternal life and will not go to eternal damnation."  

 

Petri Paavola

References:
33/38 Raamattu
Biblia 1776
King James version 1611

 





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