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This may be the Shroud of Turin Story of the Year

please don’t shoot. I’m just the messenger

Rebecca Hamilton, an 18-year member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, has just posted one of her 2013 Favs: New Tests Date the Shroud from the Time of Christ on the Public Catholic channel in Patheos (bold emphasis is hers):

Recents tests indicate that the Shroud of Turin was created somewhere between 300 BC and 400 AD.

This places its origin within the time of Christ. That does not mean that the Shroud is the burial cloth of Christ. But it does mean that it could be.

I am not a scientist, so I can’t evaluate the tests which have given us these dates. I can’t read the original documents written by the scientists who performed the tests because they are in Italian.

What I can do is tell you that I have read that the tests were preformed on the same strands taken from the Shroud for the 1988 carbon dating tests that concluded the Shroud originated in the Middle Ages. Scientists who performed the more recent tests which yielded the dates of origin for the Shroud that place it in the time of Christ say that the original samples were contaminated and that this is why they gave inaccurate results. They also say that the technology employed in these new tests yields more accurate results than that used in 1988.

If all this is true — and it has been published widely on various media — then it leaves us with the proposition that the Shroud is either genuine, or it is an extraordinary fake. The questions that come to mind are how someone of this era could have managed to fake something like the Shroud and why, since Christianity was a persecuted sect during much of the latter half of this time, would they do it?

She includes an interesting RNS clipping from the Washington Post. But what is most interesting is the direction the comments go in (19 so far). I also think Rep. Hamilton seems reasonably open-minded.

I hate to see, however, “They also say that the technology employed in these new tests yields more accurate results than that used in 1988.” because it just isn’t true. Who are they? Everyone I know, who might be classified as a “they” says the opposite.

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