Any good reasons for associating anything supernatural with the shroud?

imageA reader writes:

I happened upon you blog and was curious as to what (if any) you believe to be the chief reasons why the shroud image formation ought to be seen as naturalistically implausible.  I believe the shroud image to be that of the crucified Jesus of Nazareth and am curious to know if there are good reasons for associating anything ‘supernatural’ with his burial shroud.

So 1) Chief reasons why the image formation ought to be seen as naturalistic?

Ray Rogers got as close as anyone, but that was only to produce fuzzy coloring on linen similar to the image on the shroud in many respects. But it wasn’t a distinct image. And frankly, I have many doubts that Rogers’ proposed chemical reactions will produce an image like the one found on the shroud. Maybe it is part of the answer.

So 2) Are there good reasons for associating anything supernatural with his burial shroud?

No, not really. Paolo Di Lazzaro, Daniele Murra, Enrico Nichelatti, Antonino Santoni and Giuseppe Baldacchini at ENEA, in Italy, have produced color on a fiber with a UV laser. It, too, is similar to a shroud’s imaged fiber in many respects. The doubts I have with Rogers’ chemical reactions seem to apply just as much here. And where does this UV light come from? The implication is the Resurrection no matter what is said or not said. And who is to say that a supernatural event like the Resurrection produces light or any form of radiation.

In April, Mark Antonacci, author of The Resurrection of the Shroud, wrote to me. In part, he said:

[A]ll naturalistic and artistic methods that have been proposed since Vignon and Delage’s initial scientific study in 1900-02 have failed to duplicate the many body image features (or blood marks) found throughout the Shroud’s full-length images.

I responded, here, that I agreed. In fact, I said that if you strike the words naturalistic and artistic and just say all methods, I agree. I did say, too, that I would add the words “so far.” Who knows what is yet to be proposed.

I explicitly stated in my response to Mark that I also consider any image caused by radiation of any kind to have been naturalistically caused, the only question being where did the very natural radiation come from. A miracle, perhaps?

The evidence just isn’t there for any image theory. And that that is so doesn’t suggest anything. So, no, I don’t see any good reasons for associating anything ‘supernatural’ with Jesus’ burial shroud. So far.

Picture: Part of the ENEA team: Dr. Daniele Murra, Dr. Paolo Di Lazzaro and Dr. Giuseppe Baldacchini (from left to right)

43 thoughts on “Any good reasons for associating anything supernatural with the shroud?”

  1. Sometimes a very general question like the inquiry above helps to draw one away from minutiae to focus on more overarching concepts. One problem with the supernatural is that it is well-nigh impossible to distinguish it from the unexplained. There are many, many aspects of the shroud which remain unexplained, but that does not necessarily make them good reasons for associating anything ‘supernatural’ with it. Another, equally difficult aspect of the supernatural is that, not being constrained by physics, as it were, it is capable of anything at all, and a guess that the image was formed by a burst of atomic radiation is as good as guessing that the entire shroud was created ex nihilo on the morning of the resurrection, while other associated grave-cloths simply dematerialised. Distinguishing which of the two is more likely is more of a philosophical than a scientific question.
    Another aspect of the inquiry is whether ‘supernaturalism’ might be expected to ‘rub off’ onto things associated with supernatural people (if so I might describe Jesus), in the way that forensics scientists claim that ‘every contact leaves a trace.’ This too is more of a philosophical than scientific question, but is worth exploring. A pair of Mahatma Gandhi’s sandals was recently auctioned near me, and fetched £19 000. They are worn and tatty, and had they belonged to anybody else would have been thrown away long ago, but they have a kind of ‘Gandhiness’ about them which makes them valuable. In that context, the very fact that the shroud is so venerated might be evidence that it has a ‘supernaturalness’ about it, that an ordinary cloth acquired from a supernatural person by association. Trouble is, of course, that in these cases provenance is all. If it were demonstrated suddenly that Gandhi had in fact never worn the sandals, or that the shroud of Turin was a 16th century copy, then the ‘Gandhiness’ of the one, and the ‘supernaturalness’ of the other, would disintegrate completely, suggesting that these qualities, even if they are genuine, lie in the minds of observers rather than in the objects themselves.

  2. supernatural or natural?
    I favor a supernatural explanation, but not radiation. I favor an explanation that is supernatural, beyond our conceptions of science. I have no idea what that supernatural process might have been. I believe that the total failure of modern science / art history etc. to provide an adequate explanation for the shroud is very telling. I realize that the lack of an adequate explanation does not automatically mean the image’s creation was supernatural. But I DO think it significantly increases the chances that it’s creation WAS by supernatural means.

  3. Dan: “And who is to say that a supernatural event like the Resurrection produces light or any form of radiation.”

    As Yannick Clement has frequently pointed out, the image is not of a glorified resurrected body of the Lord, but of a very dead corpse apparently still in rigor mortis and within some 40 hours of death.

    As far as I’m aware, the Shroud is not renown as being associated with any notable miracles involving physical healings. I personally feel that its significance is somewhat more profound, in that it is a witness to the mortal life and death of Jesus Christ. The cloth’s survival to the present from ancient times, is I think a favourable argument towards its authenticity. The Image of Edessa, whether or not it was the same object as the Shroud, was credited with preserving the city from invasion only so long as it remained there, which may be its only talismanic reputation. Another supernatural property it has, is its witness and encouragement to Faith and belief, for the wavering doubting Thomases.

    Although I’m inclined to think that the image is very likely naturalistic, I still see it at least as a second class miracle, in that the particular environmental circumstances which produced the image must have been clearly an Act of Providence as all other deliberate attempts to reproduce it have been unsuccessful. I’m aware of only two other known cases where a dead human body has produced a comparable image.

    As to the question of radiation being a cause: I have frequently referred to the experimental work by Giovanna De Liso in the seismically active area of Piedmont over a period of some 12 years. She has produced the most persuasive images I have seen, those of a snake and also a metallic object both with 3-D properties. Earthquakes are known to produce the heavy inert radioactive gas ‘radon’, which emits radiation. Radiation from radon has been implicated as a significant cause of cancer in occupants of apartment buildings in the USA.
    The gospel accounts of the crucifixion relate that a swarm of earthquakes occurred, including one credited with moving the rock from the entrance to the tomb.

    A minor criticism of De Liso’s work is that she used relatively thin objects, compared to that of a human body. Others have experimented with producing images specifically involving radon gas.
    “Shroud-like image formation during seismic activity”; Giovanna de Liso; ENEA Frascati Conference May 2010.

    Click to access DeLisoWeb.pdf

    Copies of the images she produced are clearly shown in the paper, and are I think persuasive.

    Earthquakes are a little on my mind at present, as in Wellington we are feeling regular shocks from a daily swarm of shallow 5.8 shakes off the NE coast of the South Island, barely 20 miles away.

    1. hi Dave can you please advise what the 2 comparable images from dead bodies are,as I don’t know of any that share the characteristics of the shroud image. I will check out that radon gas material,sounds interesting.

    2. I guess it depends Dave on if one accepts the legend of Agbar V being healed of leprosy which would fall into the category of miracle associated with the Shroud.

      As for the rock moving from the tomb by an earthquake, Scripture only says in one of the gospels that it was moved – in Matthew it states and angel moved the stone. In the others, it just states it was moved (—Mark16.1-7—Luke24.1-11—John20.1-2.pdf), but does not give cause. So your theory that the earthquakes moved the stone goes far outside the text.

  4. Matthias: The two objects are the Jospice mattress imprint, and a veil that covered the face of a Christian Coptic woman ~500AD. The second object was once in the Louvre, but either the imprint has since disappeared, or else the object has been taken.

    Jospice Mattress Imprint, Peter Carr, Fr O’Leary PDF on Shroud website:

    Click to access imprint.pdf

    Correspondent Louis seems to have some acquaintance with persons involved in the Jospice imprint.

    The Coptic veil is more elusive, but I found a reference to it:
    There are a number of objects known as the Veil of Antinoe, because they were found at Antinoe. This particular object was discovered by Gayet:
    Extract from SHROUD SPECTRUM INTERNATIONAL, quarterly publication of the Indiana Center for Shroud Studies, issue no. 26:
    Veil of Antinoe discovered by Gayet:
    “Also of considerable interest is an article by Père Dubarle on the subject of the “Veil of Antinoë”, a face veil excavated early this century from a Coptic cemetery at Antinoë in Upper Egypt by French Egyptologist Albert Gayet. Apparently this veil, folded four times over the face, featured at least three imprints of the face it once covered.
    Unfortunately, although the Gayet collection still exists, and is now kept in the Louvre, the veil in question is either no longer extant, or its imprints have disappeared. As noted by Père Dubarle, the pioneering French Shroud scholar Paul Vignon must have known of the Antinoë
    veil, but appears to have taken no interest in it.”
    Search in document:

    Click to access n20part4.pdf

    1. thanks Dave,but these images are not really comparable with the shroud image are they.I Know of the matress imprint,the only similarity with the shroud is the image was created from a dead man’s body.There the similarity ends!

      1. The description of the Veil of Antinoe itself, proves it has no similarities to the Shroud whatsoever. Found folded four times with the imprints of the face which had gone through 3 layers…definitely nothing like the Shroud image, where the image barely imbeds a single fibril. Also a very vague description of the images, …Were any facial features discernible or was it simply a stain? I guess we’ll never know, since the veil is no longer.

        I don’t understand how anyone can still contemplate or place the Jospice mattress or the Veil of Antinoe in the same category as the Shroud of Turin. It reminds me of people still using the now debunked d’Arcis memorandum to argue against authenticity…almost comical imho.


  5. In order for the imprint of Jesus’ body on the shroud, a radiation had to have come from inside his body and projected itself on the cloth. When the cloth was photographed, instead of getting a negative, Secundo Pia got a positive image, so it was like Jesus took an ex-ray of himself and He knew the day would come when people would question the cause of the image. In today’s world, we question everything and God knew this day would come and it would come at a time when our world would be facing possible extinction, when faith would come into question. This time is our trial, our time to contemplate, our time to believe or not, what is obvious to many of us, but it is a matter of faith. The definition of faith that I like best is “FAITH IS BOTH THE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR AND THE EVIDENCE THAT THINGS EXIST THAT ARE NOT YET PERCEIVED WITH THE SENSES.

    1. It does seem quite evident that the Shroud was created specifically for our time. An era of secular thought and religious persecution. But alas as Jesus had once said; “only those with eyes to see will see”.


  6. Matthias, Ron: I think you’re both taking me out of context when I referred to Jospice and Antinoe as the only other two known examples where a dead body has produced an image on fabric. Matthias asked me what they were and so I identified them. I did not assert that they were comparable. Check para 4 of posting #4 above for the context!

    Rosalie’s explanation owes more to a creative religious imagination than it does to any scientific evidence. The idea that Resurrection radiation caused the image seems to emanate solely from a certain School of Engineering located somewhere near Turin, but few others accept Professor Fanti’s hypothesis. If radiation was involved, it is more likely to have come from radon gas emitted from the ground during an earthquake as I mentioned previously. We’ve had a few scary ones over this weekend near Wellington, the latest about 6.5, barely 30km south of here.

    1. My apologies Daveb, but it just irks me whenever the Jospice mattress is even mentioned in context with the Shroud. People must not get the impression that ‘ANY’ object found to date has any similarities with the Shroud. The Shroud is in a league of it’s own.

      Rosalie’s explanation may be religiously motivated, but it is a possible explanation and not just from Prof Fanti. Several others have suggested the same including Dr. Jackson et al and others. Although the radiation hypothesis has been disputed by many, including Ray Rogers, it still does not eliminate it as a possible cause. Just as you state that you believe the image may have been an act of providence and possibly created by the effects of seismic activity, I believe a ‘controlled’ burst of radiation may also have been the cause….controlled being the key word here. Seismic activity is known to also create/release electrical charges/fields also, along with gas in some instances, this is from what I have understood and I do not close my mind to it as a possible cause of the image formation. Alas it would be quite difficult to prove as hundreds of conditions must be met along with a timely seismic burst. But all this does also speak to authenticity, as it seems to me that the Shroud always seems to keep one step ahead of our technological abilities…strange isn’t it?


  7. Ron :

    My apologies Daveb, but it just irks me whenever the Jospice mattress is even mentioned in context with the Shroud. People must not get the impression that ‘ANY’ object found to date has any similarities with the Shroud. The Shroud is in a league of it’s own.

    Agreed. Why Jospice mattress is brought at all is beyond me.

    Things like this happen, probaly, relatively often – body evaporation can react with plastic and mattress cover was plastic.
    I already posted once my own experience when a body of a two year old boy ( still alive, though) left an imprint on a plastic cover. The boy died of acute liver failure after severe intoxication by an antihelmint product.

  8. Ron: “The Shroud is in a league of it’s own.” = Wot! No forger’s trial preruns yet discovered? Hmm!
    “Seismic activity is known to also create/release electrical charges/fields also, …”

    Have another close read of De Liso’s paper. She obtained the best images in the presence of: iron bearing gneiss rock masses; fluctuations in the geomagnetic field; fluctuations in the electric field; release of radon during seismic activity. If any one of these elements were absent, then usually no image resulted. Specific pre-treatment of the cloths was also a significant factor.

    We continued to endure significant seismic activity in Wellington over the weekend; Buildings are being checked, trains not running till tracks are checked out; workers being discouraged from going into the city. Seismologists are saying 20% chance of major earthquake here within next 24 hours. Hope this isn’t my last posting on the site! But it’s been relatively quiet over the last 16 hours.

  9. Question mentioned above : “I believe the shroud image to be that of the crucified Jesus of Nazareth and am curious to know if there are good reasons for associating anything ‘supernatural’ with his burial shroud.”

    My answer : People who got a childlike faith or those who are members of what I call the “supernatural fringe” of society, even though they are not necessarily Christian faithful, are always seeking for some supernatural things when it comes to religion. It is like that today (especially when it comes to the Shroud and the Marian apparitions), and if you read well the Gospels, it was also like that in the time of Jesus when most of the people who were following him, did that for one specific reason: his miracles! They were not interested by the profound meaning that was lying under these miraculous act but only by the magical aspect of it and I’m pretty sure that, some times, people were even seeing miracles while it was not the case at all… Things have not change much over the years since humans are profoundly the same than those who lived 2000 years ago. I always say to myself that, beside the great development of our technology, the human being has not evolved a lot since that time and I’m pretty sure St Paul would not be too lost if he would get back here today into ou pagan culture!

    If we would ask ourselves honestly the question of what is the most profound meaning of the Shroud, I think many Christian (like myself) would end up saying that it is the fact that this cloth prove (I dare to use this word), not the Resurrection (even though, as I often say, it is possible to see some signs of that event in association with this cloth), but the Incarnation of God in our humanity! That’s an extraordinary thing to meditate upon! I’m truly convinced that, as Christians, we keep the focus a bit too much on the death-resurrection of Christ while forgetting to seek the profound meaning of the Incarnation of God…

    Here it is (for me at least): God so love us that he planed from the beginning to come here in our humanity, at the right time, for one reason: to show us is real face (which is the face of Love and Mercy in person and nothing else) so that we can stop being afraid of him. And I truly think that, with the eyes of faith, we can see something of that on the Shroud of Turin! But being able to see a proof of the resurrection on it, I think we can forget about that… And in the end, who cares? As I often say, the only fact that such a gruesome burial cloth was kept and carefully preserved for almost 2000 years is enough to understand that those who did that (Jesus followers for sure) were seriously convinced that he was resurrected. Personally, I don’t need more than this to be “secure” in my faith…

    1. Little spelling mistake. You should read : “into our pagan culture” instead of “into ou pagan culture”. Sorry.

    2. Here’s my take on this: our Christian faith is predicated on a miracle – the Resurrection – a supernatural event. This was the belief of the early Christian witnesses. If the event is supernatural then it is not illogical to consider that there could be a supernatural image formation process involved with the Shroud. However neither is it illogical to posit that the image was a naturally caused by-product of the supernatural event. Being open to both possibilities is good ‘science’.

      1. And what about a totally natural cause of the image by the dead body BEFORE the resurrection? Why thinking the resurrection had something to do with the image? Even if we can’t completely reject the idea that the image come from a by-product of the resurrection, I prefer by far to focus on trying to find a natural explanation for the image that exclude any idea of a resurrection. That is what any good science is all about in my mind.

        How the idea that the image can have been caused directly or indirectly by the resurrection can be considered as “good science” when the scientist who do this kind of “good science” has to believe in the Resurrection of Christ first? In other words, what kind of “good science” can be only reserved to those who believe in the Resurrection of Christ? Sorry, but this has nothing to do with science in my mind. This has much more to do in trying to use the image on that cloth to back-up some pre-conceived religious ideas…

  10. Here’s a thread from this past May, in which the same issue was discussed. I still believe that the resurrection offers the best explanation for the Shroud image and other aspects of the Shroud. (Remember, it’s not just a matter of explaining the image. There’s more than an image to explain.) If anybody’s interested, I summarize my reasons for thinking the resurrection is the best explanation in post #14 in that thread. (If the post numbers change because of more posts being added to the thread, then look for a response I wrote to daveb of wellington nz at 6:21 P.M. on May 23.)

  11. Yannick et al
    If one believes in the resurrection, it is no real leap of faith to believe that some unexplained aspect of the resurrection created the shroud image. Unless you are a “Christian” who believes the resurrection is entirely metaphor.

    1. I don’t believe the resurrection accounts were a methaphoric tale but I never saw any solid piece of evidence coming from the Shroud that could make me think for one second that the image was caused by anything else than the dead body of Jesus of Nazareth (who was God incarnate in our humanity).

      Please, never forget that, before he disappeared, the dead body of Jesus was like any other dead body (which is in total congruence with the reality of the Incarnation) and also, never forget, as Daveb pointed out, that the image on the cloth is that of a dead Jesus and not a resurrected Jesus with his eyes open. And finally, as I often said, I’m 100% convinced that the resurrected Jesus that appeared to the disciples was not at all looking like the man of the Shroud, because, if he was looking like that, they would have had no problem at all to recognize him.

      In sum, the image we see on the Shroud is the image of the historic Jesus right after his death on the cross and not the image of his glorious body in eternity, no more than the body (or, more rightly, the different human forms) he showed to his disciples after his death. I say “different human forms” based on the last Resurrection account in St John’s Gospel in which the disciple had big problems to recognize the Resurrected Jesus, even though they had already meet him twice before (at least). This prove that the Resurrected Jesus could take any human form he wanted in order to appear to them while respecting their freedom to believe or not. Remember that, for me, these material apparitions of the Resurrected Jesus were “just” material signs that were done to help his disciples to believe that he was really resurrected. See my other post on the subject:

      In the end, since the image is really that of the historical Jesus after his death on the cross, why not considering as most probable the hypothesis that the image on the cloth come from a natural interraction between this dead body and the surface of the cloth? If we use the Occam’s razor principle correctly and honestly, this is by far the most probable scenario…

      1. Here’s a theory, could Jesus’ resurrected body have been restored to his zenith genetic point. This is the point in which a human body stops ‘growing’ and then begins diminishing – on the cellular level. I read once that we reach this zenith point around the age of 21 or so. Thereafter our cells diminish, at greater speed as we age. The disciples did not recognize Jesus because the last time they’d see him he was in his 30’s, weathered by time and age – and of course his suffering. Now they encounter a young man, full of life – indeed life at its fullest point. There is a familiarity to him, yet a strangeness.

        Is this what our resurrected bodies might be like? Each of us restored to the zenith point forever, all imperfections in our DNA repaired. Look yourself in the mirror, then imagine yourself in the full bloom of youth, all physical imperfections gone. Would your friends and family recognize you?

        Just musing of course. This is one mystery we shall never solve in this life.

      2. I really don’t think the body of Jesus during his physical appearances to his disciples was (or were) the same as the spiritual body he now has in Heaven. I’m pretty sure is glorious body in Heaven is pretty much of the same appearance than the body he had on Earth before his death. That mean when we will see him in Heaven, since we know is picture from the Shroud, we should be able to recognize him easily, which is totally unlike what his disciples experimented when they encountered him after his death. And I’m sure that was what God wanted in order to respect the freedom of faith of these disciples.

  12. Off-topic, but for the few who may be concerned for my welfare:
    Wellington has come through Monday as at 9:30pm without further earthquake disruption. The trains are running again, the city’s mayor has decalred the CBD is again open for business, with only a few street closures due to threats of falling glass and building facades. Some of the streets are a mess with fallen building debris. A 1960 harbour reclamation fell into the harbour, a few containers with it. The people in the small town of Seddon further south closer to the activity were not so lucky. One poor chap was killed when a TV set fell on his head, and there’s other widespread damage and devastation there. It’s all to do with the Pacific tectonic plate subducting under the Australian plate, and it all happens out in Cook Strait between the two main islands. Severe earthquakes can be quite devastating. The city of Christchurch is still in recovery mode some nearly two years after several swarms of quakes hit there. And this is a country with quite good emergency services, civil defence, good building standards, and which can provide a good disaster response. Pity those less fortunate!

  13. Thanks, Dave for letting us know :)

    due to the new prince nothing was on the news the whole day – forget about the southern hemisphere, nothing even on local trayvon-zummerman craze.

  14. “I’m pretty sure his glorious body in Heaven is pretty much of the same appearance than the body he had on Earth before his death”
    well, who knows! It’s a great mystery. My own “hunch” is that we won’t “see” people in heaven, that the experience of that reality will be completely different to our earthly perceptions. It might be more like we “feel” other souls and interact with them on some other level.
    But frankly, I have no idea!

    1. Interesting thought Matthias. Personnally, I believe we will be able to recognize the spiritual body of each person we will have known here on Earth, including Jesus through the image of the Shroud, because I believe our appearance will be somehow close to what we are now but in a totally immaterial reality. Don’t ask me how this will be, I have no idea! ;-)

      So, I don’t expect that we will be just souls floating around through the clouds. But at the same time, I agree with you that the eternal, spiritual and immaterial life that we will live on the “other side” will be totally different than our present material and physical life. What makes me sure about that is what Jesus said to the Sadducees : We will be like angels! That’s one of the only time Jesus said something quite clear about life after death…

  15. Quot homines, tot senentiae! All we need know is:
    “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” I Cor 13:12.

    1. And how did we are known by God? Everyone is know by God as a precious and beloved son or daughter and there’s nothing that will change this (not even our bad deeds or our lack of faith). He even died on the cross for each one of us just for one purpose : to reveal the greatness of his love to us. We can see this quite clearly on the Shroud.

      When we’ll be face to face with God, that’s when we will truly and completely realize how much he does love us. That’s what Paul tried to express in this part of his letter.

      And after such a direct and total revelation of the love of God for each one of us, I just can’t imagine that there will be one person who will still reject the infinite love that he will have seek all his life and which is called “God”… That’s why I completely believe in Universal Salvation.

      1. I don’t preach, I give my testimony versus my experience of God everytime I see an opportunity and it’s surely not you who will stop me. Like it is said in the Gospel : If I close my mouth, the stone will shout ! ;-)

        For someone who constantly write down quotes from the bible, I think you should look at yourself in the mirror my friend.

        Peace anyway! :-)

  16. Based on the studies and the lack of a clue how the image was formed, attributing a supernatural cause is not that far fetched. That doesn’t in any way prove anything, but thus far there is no theory at all that accounts for all of the properties of the Shroud. I wonder if anyone will ever figure out how the image got on the linen, but I admire those who have been trying for all these years and for those who continue to do so.

    1. The same thing is true the other way around my friend Andy: There is absolutely nothing in all the data and observation from the Shroud that would suggest that a miraculous event was at the heart of the process that lead to the image formation! Please, read again Rogers book and I think you should be convinced of this…

      As I often said here and elsewhere: if the image would be composed of a substance not known by scientists or if there would not be any similar image in nature (please note that there are! Remember the images of plants and flowers coming from a Volckringer pattern process? Remember the body image on the Jospine mattress?), then I would agree to say that a miraculous process is possibly what have caused the image. In my mind, the only known image that we can make that kind of reflection is the Guadalupe Tilma… Not the Shroud.

      Every bit of data coming from the Shroud really seem to suggest that a natural (link to the biological state of the corpse of the Shroud man) was at the heart of the image formation process. Having said that, I can’t deny that the probable suddent disappearance (spiritualization) of the body from Inside the Shroud could have played some role in the image formation process, but in my mind, this was surely not the main cause for the presence of this body image on the cloth.

      1. Yannick, I think you miss the point. There may have been a natural cause for the image we see, but what caused the natural causation to occur? An image ‘exactly’ like we see on the Shroud has never been found in history, that we are aware of.
        ‘Similar’ just does not cut it when talking about the Shroud image…get it? The Volckringer pattern process definitely does not ‘cut-it’, nor does the Jospice mattress, as with the Volckringer pattern it takes an extreme amount of time for the process to actually show, or has in many cases of the Volckringer pattern, ever been analyzed as for it’s depth into the material it had appeared.

        I see signs that the Shroud image is ‘special’ and not just a natural causation. For instance the depth of the image equal throughout the complete image, the pseudo three dimensional image with very little distortion created on a cloth, which evidence shows actually covered a real corpse….Where has this been seen before? ..NOWHERE!.


  17. I have to wrote down again the last paragraph because I forget one word (sorry): Every bit of data coming from the Shroud really seem to suggest that a natural process (link to the biological state of the corpse of the Shroud man) was at the heart of the image formation process. Having said that, I can’t deny that the probable suddent disappearance (spiritualization) of the body from Inside the Shroud could have played some role in the image formation process, but in my mind, this was surely not the main cause for the presence of this body image on the cloth.

  18. Ron, I will answer some of your arguments, taking them one by one :

    You said: “An image ‘exactly’ like we see on the Shroud has never been found in history, that we are aware of.”

    My answer : If the image formation process was totally natural and occurred only because of some very specific factors were reunited (especially the presence of a fresh corpse that has been highly tortured for several hours prior death, which did stayed in contact with the Shroud before the apparition of the first liquids of putrefaction, the presence of a thin layer of impurities on the surface of the cloth and the presence of a damp stone tomb), this fact can well be completely normal. In sum, if it took the presence of all those factors and some others, it is totally normal that only one imaged shroud like this has survived to this day… Beside the strips of linen cloths coming the Egyptian mummies, are you aware of many intact burial shrouds that were preserved despite they have been used to envelop for a short period of time the corpse of a tortured man and that were made with the ancient method of manufacturing linen cloths? Of course not! That gives you a pretty good answer for why there is no other ancient linen cloth that show the body image of a dead man on it!

    You also said: “with the Volckringer pattern it takes an extreme amount of time for the process to actually show, or has in many cases of the Volckringer pattern, ever been analyzed as for it’s depth into the material it had appeared.”

    My answer: The Volckringer pattern effect act very slowly and this feature is not at all in contradiction with the image we see on the Shroud, because in this particular case too, the image formation process can well have acted very slowly. In fact, if the image on the Shroud come from a natural process (like a Volckringer pattern effect or something else), it is pretty sure that the image took a pretty long time to “develop” on the surface of the cloth. Now, if you mean that, in the case of the images of plants or flowers, it takes a long period of contact in order that the image formation process can start, I think it’s true, but even if this is really true, that’s not enough to discard the idea that the Shroud’s image can well be the product of a sort of Volckringer pattern effect quite similar to what we see for plants and flowers but not completelly identical… Finally, you talk about the penetration of the image for the Volckringer pattern effects. It is true that, in the cases of images of plants and flowers on paper, there is an in-deep penetration. But, once again, that is not enough to discard the hypothesis that the Shroud’s image could well have been caused by a very similar process because, in the case of the Shroud, we know thanks to Rogers, that there was most probably a thin layer of impurities on the surface of the cloth and it is not impossible to think that this layer of impurities was the only thing that was “reactive” enough with the vapours and molecules coming from the fresh corpse to cause a sort of Volckringer pattern that was not totally identical to the process causing the images of plants and flowers on paper, but very similar in essence. And finally, if you take the two arguments together (the fact that the Volckringer pattern effects normally needs a long period of contact to operate and normally cause an in-deep penetration of the coloration of the paper fibers), I think we can say that, in the case of the Shroud, the fact that the body didn’t stayed more than 72 hours (probably more or less 36 hours) and the fact that there was a thin layer of impurities that were much more “reactive” than the linen fibers themselves, can have been a good combination for the start of a sort of Volckringer pattern effect that was quite similar but somehow different than what we see for images of plants and flowers (i.e. the process needed much less time of “exposure” than what goes on for the images of plants or flowers, which can be due to the presence of many factors put together, especially the highly traumatic state of the Shroud man’s body, and the process never caused an in-deep penetration of color in the cloth, which can be due to the fact that the thin layer of impurities was the only thing that was “reactive” enough in a so short time of “exposure”). Since we don’t know all the factors that were at work Inside the Shroud during the short period in which the corpse stayed there, and since no one (to my knowledge) has ever tested properly under good lab controls the Volckringer pattern hypothesis proposed by De Salvo (and others) in the context of the Shroud man, I really don’t think we can discard the idea that the image on the Shroud can have been caused by what I call “a different sort of Volckringer pattern effect, which is very similar in essence to the known Volckringer pattern effects for plants and flowers’ images but that was somehow different in some aspect concerning the Shroud. I think this scenario deserve to be analyzed much more in deep than what has been done to this day…

    Finally, you said: “For instance the depth of the image equal throughout the complete image, the pseudo three dimensional image with very little distortion created on a cloth, which evidence shows actually covered a real corpse….Where has this been seen before? ..NOWHERE!”

    My answer : Yes it has been seen before Ron! Please, take another look at the study done by John De Salvo concerning the Volckringer pattern effect ( You will see that all the “special” aspects of the image on the Shroud that you described (and that you consider as a clue to think it comes from the Resurrection) are ALL present in the images of plants or flowers caused by a Volckringer pattern effect on paper!!! I repeat: ALL! It is simply false to state things like: When it is photograph, the image on the Shroud is the only one in the world to show real 3D effect. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!!! De Salvo’s study has proven that if you photograph the image of a plant or a flower that come from a Volckringer pattern effect, and if you place it under a VP-8 image analyzer, you also obtain the same real 3D effect! I repeat: the same 3D effect that comes from the plant or flower-paper distance in the same way than the image on the Shroud come from the body-cloth distance… So, the few “special” features you described can all be found in nature, so they cannot be taken as good clues to think the Resurrection had something to do with the Shroud’s image.

    So Ron, I think you will need to come up with better arguments to convince me that the Resurrection of Christ MUST have acted directly on the formation of the image on the Shroud…

    1. Complementary note for my first answer to Ron: When I say “Beside the strips of linen cloths coming the Egyptian mummies”, of course, I don’t pretend that there are some of those strips of linen that has been preserved and that were used to enveloped the corpse of a tortured and crucified man. And even if this would be the case (most probably, that’s not the case at all), you understand that the context would have been completely different from the Shroud man’s burial and because no body image would be present on those linen strips, no one can take this hypothetical fact as a proof that a crucified corpse cannot imprint naturally a body image of himself on a linen cloth. This would have been a completely different context. I mentioned the linen strips of the Egyptian mummies just to note that outside these burial strips of cloth made of linen, I don’t think there is a lot of burial cloths made of ancient linen that have been well preserved to this day. I know a bunch of Christian and Jewish funeral cloths (some were pretty much like the Shroud of Turin) were found in Antinoë, Egypt, around 1900 and no one of these cloths were showing a body image like the Shroud, but that proves nothing since it is highly unlikely that there was even just one of these burial cloths that was used to covered for less than 72 hours the dead body of a scourged and crucified man… So, in this context, no good comparison can be made…

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