The bottom line then is that either the image is that of Jesus of Nazareth or it was intended by its creator to portray Jesus. Since we’ve virtually ruled out human artifice, are we crazy or unscholarly or unscientific to suggest the image is likely that of Jesus?
It goes back to the great quote by John Walsh:
Only this much is certain: The Shroud of Turin is either the most awesome and instructive relic of Jesus Christ in existence-showing us in its dark simplicity how He appeared to men-or it is one of the most ingenious, most unbelievably clever, products of the human mind and hand on record. It is one or the other; there is no middle ground. (emphasis Jones)
Is it the central dilemma? Or is this notion subsumed in the greater mystery of the image? Authenticity through science? Plausible history?