Following an interesting exchange on the blog concerning the question of the color of the blood on the Shroud, I would like to share with everyone two very important and relevant quotes concerning the question of the authenticity of the blood that is on the Shroud.
The first one come from Al Adler’s book “The Orphanes Manuscript” and was written by Dorothy Crispino: “On the 10th of June (1997), Adler saw the Shroud for the first time. It was, for him, an awesome experience. It was a recognition, by sight, that, as he had been demonstrating in tireless experiments, the Shroud could not be a painting. (Adler said:) “When they unrolled the Shroud… Just look at it! It takes two seconds… This is no painting! That blood is blood!”
And the second quote come from Pierre Barbet’s book “A Doctor at Calvary” (personal translation): “(On the 15th of October 1933), I saw the Shroud in full daylight, without any glass interposition, at a distance of less than 1 meter, and I suddenly felt one of the most intense emotion of my life. Because I saw, at my surprise, that all the images of wounds had a color clearly different than the whole body (image) and this color was that of a dried blood that had soaked the cloth. It wasn’t, like it is for the rest (of the image), brownish stains on the Shroud reproducing the relief of a corpse. The blood itself had stained the cloth by direct contact and this is why the images of wounds are positives while the rest is negative. The exact tint was difficult to define… but the general aspect was that of red (carmin mauve, said Mr. Vignon, following the thought of Antoine Legrand), more or less faded depending of the wound: more accentuated for the side (wound), at the head, at the hands and at the feet; paler, but very perceptible, on the numerous scourge wounds… But the surgeon understood, without any doubt, that this was blood that had soaked the cloth…”
So, in the end, I think these two quotes coming from true blood experts that have seen the Shroud in person in Turin (Barbet even saw it in sunlight) are well enough to understand that the question of the supposedly unusual color of the blood on the Shroud is really secondary… The fact that these two experts have immediately recognized, with some surprise and even with some shock in both cases, that these stains cannot have been made of anything else than blood is what really matter when it comes to the blood issue! And what is really important to note is the fact that, in both cases, these two blood experts didn’t made any mention of a problem concerning the color of the blood when they saw the Shroud with their own eyes of expert and recognized immediately that the blood on the cloth is really blood! Their first reaction in front of the Shroud is very telling because, in both cases, the color of the blood was not an issue that could have made them doubt if these stains were really made of blood or not! Truly, what they saw was evident for them: it was real blood… In other words, if the color of the blood they saw was as unusual as some think, they would never have made this kind of instant conclusion that the stains are really made of blood!
So, when you add the fact that Adler and, indepedently in Italy, Baima Bollone, have both scientifically proved that these stains are made of real blood, surely primate and probably human, then there are no question about the fact that what appears to be blood on the Shroud is really blood, no matter his color! Again, that’s what really matters in the end.
On that subject, it is very interesting to read this other quote from Barbet’s book (published in 1950): “Of course a rigorous scientific proof that these stains are blood would need physical or chemical tests… but since it is proven that the other images (note: he refers to the body image) are not manmade, that this Shroud contained a corpse, can these traces of wounds, so riches in details as real as unexpected, could be colored by something else than blood?”
Since it has been scientifically proven since that time that the blood is real blood, I think Barbet, following his previous comment, would have easily conclude that such a blood, in the context of a real burial cloth that really contained the corpse of a crucified man, cannot be anything else than real human blood… I think we can easily forget about the possibility that it can be baboon’s blood!
I think it’s fair to conclude that the question of the authenticity of the blood on the Shroud has been answered since a long time! All the rest (like the question of the color of the blood) are details that cannot be taken (even by honest skeptics) as being potentially able to prove the contrary of what has already been proved, i.e. that the blood could be anything else than real human blood.
Final note: It is important to also keep in mind that most of this blood is not made of whole blood but is made of exudates of blood clots that were humid enough to stained the cloth. This had a huge impact on the shape and texture of the bloodstains on the cloth and who knows if this could not also had some impact on the resulting color of these bloodstains on the cloth? Anyway, no matter if this had an impact on the color or if the color is really redder than normal, the most important thing to understand, once and for all, is that what has stained the Shroud cannot be anything else than real human blood and this scientific fact represent a huge problem for anyone who wants to demonstrate that this relic is in fact a human creation, probably made during Medieval time! That’s what matters the most concerning the blood that is present on the Shroud…