imageInteresting article yesterday from the blog of the Razor Swift Research Group:

Below is the link to a very interesting radio interview about the Shroud of Turin, said to be Jesus. The guest (Barrie M. Schwortz) who is an Orthodox Jew, believes that the image on the shroud really is Jesus! His team’s analysis of it have been written about in various journals.


The list is excellent and so I’m repeating it below. I do have some minor issues on matters of fact. I won’t go into those now except for one, which I offer up as an example.

If we are to challenge skeptical claims on minor points then we need to be careful on minor points, too. I have put my disagreement in bold and italics in the list below:

BTW: What is the Razor Swift Research Group? According to its ‘About’ page, it

Razor Swift Research Group is a nondenominational think tank founded by former atheist and skeptic A. M. Hempe. The objective of R. S. R. G. is to open hearts and minds through the platform of apologetics. It’s our desire to approach Biblical, faith, and other issues from a different perspective rather than rehashing some of the same “Christianese” preaching to the choir arguments. We maintain that faith and logic mustn’t necessarily be at odds with each other, but can be complementary. May no stone lay unturned.

Now for the list from Razor Swift:

  • The Shroud of Turin is first century linen manufactured in the ancient method, not woven in the medieval or modern method.
  • It bears the image of a man front and back that was scourged. It has about 120 blood stained markings, wounds that are dumbbell shaped which are consistent with the flagrum of a Roman whip with 3 throngs and dumbbell shape weights at the end of it.
  • The individual had been speared in the side. With ultra violet florescent photography it can be seen that there’s a large serum stain surrounding the blood which is invisible to the naked eye (this can’t be faked with medieval technology).
  • The man was clearly crucified, the exit wound (from the nail) was at the palm, and at an angle, which happens to be forensically (as attested by 3 forensics experts, how long have forensics existed?) accurate to that of a crucified victim.
  • There are blood stains on the head, front and back, consistent from a crown of thorns. There’s only one place in recorded history where Romans placed a crown of thorns on a crucified victim, and that was the account of Jesus.
  • The image on the shroud contains encoded spacial (3D) depth information, in which, paintings never contain such information. Only a computer can render this (this can’t be faked with medieval technology).
  • The image on the shroud is a positive with lights and darks reversed, like a photographic negative does (this can’t be faked with medieval technology). Schwortz said that you can’t make a photographic image without silver -in a certain form- but when the shroud was fully examined and tested, no trace of silver was found.

    But, oh yet you can make a photographic image without silver. Most, but not all photographic processes use silver “in a certain form.” There are several other non-silver processes. Certain iron compounds are light sensitive and are still used for blueprints. In the last century, platinum chloride was used for Platinotype photographs. Gum bichromate was popular up until the eve of World War II. It is still used, but rarely, by some specialty photographers.  Don’t forget that Picknett and Prince proposed that Leonardo da Vinci might have used a chromium salt. (See: Thoughts for a Sunday Morning: Tinfoil Hats)

  • Schwortz explained how the Luigi Garlaschelli made shroud (which was said to “debunk” the shroud of Turin) is not even a close replica. “LG” claims that the image was made by red iron oxide pigment, but it was found in minute insignificant quantities on the various parts on the cloth (on the image, and other areas). The scientific tests (via Pyrolysis Mass Spectrometry) concluded that there was no manganese, cobalt properties and other data to confirm LG’s claim. No image to date, has been close to having the same physical and chemical properties as the shroud, no one has came even close. Note: Here’s the peer reviewed paper on the study…mburgerWeb.pdf
  • Schwortz mentioned a face cloth (The Sudarium of Oviedo Spain) -which dates back to the 6th century without a break in its historical record- and it has blood stains that are congruent (matching up exactly) to the head of the shroud. This is the matching burial face cloth to the shroud. This can be witnessed on the History Channel Documentary I cited earlier.
  • He brought up the old Hungarian manuscript called the “Hungarian Pray Codex” that depicts the picture of the shroud including the “L shape” burn marks on it, herring bone weave of the cloth, and certain blood stains that parallel those on the shroud. The date of this codex is from 1191, when the carbon date test (more on this later) said that it can’t be from any earlier than 1260-1390.
  • In the year 2000, some researchers brought some information to the table, questioning where the sample was taken from on the shroud; the sample that was used for the carbon dating test. It was found that that area of the cloth was chemically different, it had been repaired, cotton was rewoven into it, and dye was added to the surface after it was rewoven to match the rest of the color of the cloth. This information was published in 2005 in a peer reviewed scientific journal called the Thermochimica Acta Volume 425, Issues 1-2, Pages 189-194., by the man (and corroborated by associate Raymond N. Rogers) who was the head chemist (of Schwortz’s team, Robert Villarreal of Los Alamos National Laboratory) showing that the sample dated, was not an original piece. The paper concludes: “Pyrolysis-mass-spectrometryresults from the sample area coupled with microscopic and microchemical observations prove that the radiocarbon sample was not part of the original cloth of the Shroud of Turin. The radiocarbon date was thus not valid for determining the true age of the shroud.” There have been multiple peer reviewed papers since this one, that have confirmed this analysis.
  • Another reason why the carbon test wouldn’t likely work anyways, is because the accuracy is compromised by 100′s of years of people handling the shroud (leaving their DNA), the fires it went through (adding carbon) etc. In effect, it’s “tainted”.
  • Schwortz explained that through analysis, the blood stains were already on the shroud before the image was formed. That would mean that the “forger” would have to put the blood stains on forensically correct before he/she put the image on the cloth. We still couldn’t do that today.
  • Schwortz explained that when putting the shroud under 10x magnification it was shown that there were no brush strokes, particulates, no paint, no medium etc. Another proof showing the image was not made by ink.
  • From the 3D rendered holographic of the shroud image, it was shown that the individual was in rigamortis. This was confirmed by forensic experts as well.

The Shroud Of Turin Is Real! « Razor Swift Research Group