The Shroud is a forgery… Really ???
Recently, I print out a positive photo of Enrie and did a little folding test, just to see how the Shroud must have been originally folded inside the tomb. Of course, to do that I based my judgement on the 2 body images we see on the Shroud. And guess what ? I had a very nice surprise !!! So much that I want to share my little discovery with all of you. [Larger Image Below]
If you look at the photo of Enrie, you’ll see that the red line I draw is the approximate place where we found the middle line of the cloth. In other words, if we would like to fold the Shroud in 2 exact pieces of equal dimension, that’s where you should do the folding. And in the case the Shroud would be an artistic forgery, that’s also where we would expect to see the exact middle line between the 2 body images. In other words, it’s natural to expect that a genius forger like that would have put the 2 images completely symmetrically versus the middle line of the cloth, so that the edges of the 2 heads would be found at the same distance from the middle of the cloth. BUT WHEN YOU LOOK CAREFULLY AT THE 2 BODY IMAGES ON THE SHROUD, YOU NOTICED EASILY THAT IT’S NOT THE CASE AT ALL !!!
For me, that’s just another little interesting clue that point toward the fact that the Shroud is a real burial shroud of a real man who was beaten, scourged, crucified and who died of these tortures. To use the language of a Justice court, I would say that this represent another very good circumstantial evidence in favor of the authenticity of the cloth.
If you look again at the photo of Enrie, you’ll note that the green line I draw near the middle of the cloth is the approximate place where the cloth was originally folded to envelop the corpse inside the tomb. In other words, that’s where we see the middle line that separate the 2 images of the head and this line is not located exactly right in the middle of the cloth. For me, this non-symmetrical line of folding (versus the length of the cloth) has a REAL ODOUR OF AUTHENTICITY. And, starting from this original line of folding, we can easily estimate what really happen inside the tomb when they put the corpse in the Shroud.
Firstly, they put the back of the corpse on one part of the cloth and, in a very natural manner, they make sure that the feet would not be too close to the edge of the cloth. On the photo of Enrie, I traced a green line on the part of the cloth where we found the image of the back (part A) to show the approximate edge of the feet. In other words, that’s the spot where the edges of the toes were resting after the body was put in the Shroud. You can see that they made sure that the feet were not too close to the edge of the cloth. That’s why we see a nice portion of the cloth where there’s no image of the body (between the green line of part A and the edge of the cloth). After that, they took the other part of the cloth (part B) and they bring it back over the corpse to envelop it. But, unfortunately for them, they were probably surprised to note that the Shroud was almost too short !!! Effectively, on part A, I’ve draw a green line to show the probable edge of the feet and you can see that it is almost the same as the edge of the cloth !!! Here, I say “probable edge” because the body image there is almost non-existent. In fact, it’s not even clear if part A of the Shroud was really able to cover the top of the feet completely ! That seems to indicate that they left too much space between the edge of the feet and the edge of the cloth when they first put the back part of the corpse on the Shroud… And, like I said, this had the effect of making the Shroud almost too short (or really too short) to cover up completely the top of the feet, after they brought back the cloth over the corpse. Here, I want to add a little questioning for you : Who knows if this somewhat “erroneous” configuration of the Shroud over the feet is not responsible (partially or totally) for the fact that the image of the feet on the frontal part of the Shroud seem to be absent ?
Like I said, this “erroneous” (we can also say “non symmetrical”) configuration of the corpse versus the Shroud has a real odour of AUTHENTICITY ! And more than that, it really makes you think that the burial was done in haste, while the participants in the burial rite never took the time to make some measurement and adjustments, in order to be sure that the folding of the cloth would be located exactly in the middle of Shroud. This is surely not what we would expect if the images on the Shroud were the result of a brilliant artist ! Imagine an artist so brilliant to make 2 body images that respect all the correct proportions of a real corpse, but who would not have been able to put the 2 body images symmetrically versus the middle line of the cloth !!! It really seem ridiculous… And I should add that this argument is also true in the hypothetical case of a forger who would have used the real corpse of a crucified man to do his forgery (especially if we think that this forger would have wanted to consciously create the body images we see on the Shroud with some chemical “recipe” of his own). In this case too, we would expect that this brilliant forger would have taken a great care to place the dead body adequately in the right place, so that the cloth could be folded back over it, in order to make 2 pieces of equal length and, that way, to obtain 2 symmetrical images with a folding line located right in the middle of the Shroud. I’m sorry but I just don’t see a forger so brilliant not being able to located the 2 body images he created symmetrically versus the correct middle line of the Shroud !
So, you see ? The non-symmetrical aspect of the 2 body images, with a folding line not exactly located in the middle of the cloth, really point toward the fact that the Shroud is an authentic burial cloth of a real crucified person that was bearing all the stigmata of Jesus of Nazareth. That’s why, for me, a little clue like that is nevertheless IMPORTANT because it is one more circumstantial evidence in favor of the authenticity of the Shroud.
And evidently, this clue leads us to one important question : IF THIS ANONYMOUS PERSON IS NOT JESUS, THEN WHO IS HE ??? Here, I think the stigmata (especially the bloodstains from the crown of thorns) speaks for themselves !!!
That’s it my friends !!! I hope you found this little description interesting… Have you ever thought about that aspect of the Shroud ? Personally, I never realised that before I made a little folding test with a printed image of the Shroud.
In conclusion, I really think that, for the Shroud, many important answers lie under small details like that. And concerning the specific question of whether or not the Shroud is an authentic burial Shroud of someone, I firmly believe that this non-symmetrical aspect of the body images versus the Shroud offer one more clue to answer YES !!! Who said that everything is in the little things ???
Yannick Clément, Louiseville, Québec, Canada
Complementary note 1: Of course, all this argumentation is true in the case the present length of the Shroud is the same as it was originally. But even in this case, my argumentation would still be true, to some extent, because we can easily see that the feet are not even symmetrical versus the width of the cloth !!! Effectively, if we pay attention to the back image on the Shroud, we can see that the back is roughly symmetrical, but not the feet… That mean the body was not totally parallel with the cloth after he was put in the Shroud !
Complementary note 2 : In the hypothetical case that the side strip would not have been in place at the moment of the burial (John Jackson hypothesis), then my reflection would be even truer for the lateral aspect of the body images. Effectively, if that was really the case (I seriously doubt it, but let’s assume it’s true for a moment), then that mean that laterally, the corpse would not have been put in the Shroud exactly in the middle of the cloth. This is another little clue that point toward the fact that it is a real burial shroud of someone and this make you think that the burial was done rapidly, without paying too much attention to the symmetrical aspect of the corpse versus the shroud. At the same time, this is one more clue that goes against any idea of a forgery, especially in the case of an artistic forgery.
Complementary note 3 : If someone doubt of my conclusion that this non-symmetrical aspect of the body images versus the Shroud offer a real sign of a burial done in haste, it’s ok. Effectively, it is possible to read the body images a bit differently and to think that the participants in the burial rite made sure that the feet would not be too close to the edge of the cloth, not simply because it was natural to do so, but because it was necessary for the kind of folding they wanted to make. Effectively, we can think that the space they left at the edge of the feet was done on purpose in order to be able to fold back the free cloth over the top of the feet at the end of the enveloping of the corpse. This is another possibility. But personally, I think it’s much more probable that it was simply due to a natural move they did in order to make sure the feet wouldn’t be too close to the edge of the Shroud. But in the end, whether one possibility or the other should be true, it doesn’t change anything to the fact that the non-symmetrical aspect of the body images versus the Shroud has a real odour of authenticity…