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Holding the Shroud to an impossible standard?

imageA reader writes:

This is in response to an online article by you on the Shroud of Turin that ended with the following: "We simply do not have enough reliable information to arrive at a scientifically rigorous conclusion."

I have been reading about the Shroud since I was 13.  I’m now on Social Security.  In that time I have never, with the signal exception of what we know to be a botched carbon 14 dating, encountered any credible evidence that the Shroud is NOT authentic, and an ever increasing mountain of evidence that it is–evidence of all sorts from many disciplines.

So far as I can tell the Shroud has long since passed the test of reliable information.  I mean unless you require repetition of the experiment, in this case the death, burial, and perhaps Resurrection of Jesus Christ, an historical artifact, especially an ancient one, can hardly deliver up more or better evidence than I have encountered in this case.

I am to say the least very confused when people such as yourself or Gary Habermas, obviously otherwise sympathetic to it, hold the Shroud to an impossible standard.  Certainly investigations can be refined and there is always the possibility of gathering more data but even without anything further the Shroud is about as genuine an artifact as any commonly accepted.

Therefore, I would be quite interested to know what keeps you from a positive judgment.

You speak of “an ever increasing mountain of evidence” supporting authenticity. Yes, that is so. But how good is some of that evidence and how significant is some of it. You suggest that I hold the Shroud to an impossible standard. Really? Consider:

There is the question of how the images are formed. I think I can say (I too am on social security and have studied the shroud for many years) . . .

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