This, from Natalie Wolchover, a staff writer for LiveScience, popped up on the publication’s web site yesterday afternoon. Entitled Countdown: Proof of Jesus Christ? 7 Pieces of Evidence Debated, the piece, with a dose of page title flippancy, touches on these topics:
- Biblical blankets
- Wood chips
- Holy hardware
- Lead lies
- Sacred scrolls
- Christ’s crown
- The Bible
Of the blanket, Wolchover writes:
Perhaps the most famous religious relic in the world, the Shroud of Turin, is believed by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus. The 14-by-4-foot linen blanket, which bears the ghostly image of a man’s body, has been worshipped by millions of pilgrims in a cathedral in Turin, Italy. But scientifically speaking, the Shroud of Turin is a fake.
Radiocarbon dating of the shroud has revealed that it does not date to the time of Christ but instead to the 14th century; coincidentally, that’s when it first appeared in the historical record. In a document written in 1390, Bishop Pierre d’Arcis of France claimed the image of Jesus on the cloth was "cunningly painted," a fact "attested by the artist who painted it."
Today, the Catholic Church does not officially endorse the Shroud of Turin as authentic, though many of the faithful, including Pope Benedict, have indicated that they personally believe in its holiness.
Shhh. Don’t tell her about the pope.