imageThe National Geographic Society comes out with a revised special single-issue magazine October 1. I picked up a copy at the checkout of the grocery store. Wal-Mart and CVS have it. So does Amazon for $11.45.

The Shroud of Turin, as expected, is included under a section entitled, “Religion, Myth, and the Supernatural.” Not a bad, short article, considering:

THE SHROUD OF TURIN may be real or it may be a hoax. But it certainly reveals the limits of science in resolving the controversy. The shroud is a long, rectangular flaxen cloth that many believe to be Jesus’ burial wrappings. Faintly visible on the surface (and more evident in photographs) is the image of a naked, bearded man, with wounds like those suffered by Jesus at his death. The shroud is currently held in Turin’s Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.

The shroud’s validity has been debated since it first to view in the 14th century. In 1988, three independent carbon dating tests put its origins between A.D. 1260 and 1390, long after Jesus’ death. In 2005, a scientist asserted that the tests were performed on patched areas ant that the shroud was much older. this claim in turn was disputed. In 2013, scientists from the University of Padua retested the fibers from 1988 and dated them to between 300 B.C. and A.D. 400, the time of Christ.

On Easter Sunday, 2013, Pope Francis I spoke of the shroud with a mixture of reverence and caution, saying, “The Man of the Shroud invites us to contemplate Jesus of Nazareth.” Whether the cloth is historically valid, not even the pope is prepared to say.

Get this special issue. It is fascinating. It kept me up last night. Want to know what else is under Religion, Myth, and the Supernatural? Go figure:

  • The Lost Tribes of Israel
  • Garden of Eden
  • Noah’s Ark
  • Ark of the Covenant
  • King Arthur
  • A Female Pope
  • Prester John
  • Holy Grail
  • Dracula
  • Count of Saint-Germain
  • Fountain of Youth
  • UFOs
  • Roswell
  • Bermuda Triangle