Heather Pringle, writing for the Archaeology Magazine’s weekly blog, has an article on the Shroud of Turin. The article, “Who Made the Shroud of Turin?,” compares the Shroud of Turin with burial shrouds dating from the first century A.D. The following is an excerpt from the article:
If you are not Catholic, you may not have heard yet that the Vatican has decided to put the very famous Shroud of Turin on public display for six weeks, beginning on April 10th. Exhibitions of the controversial shroud–believed by many devout Catholics to be the winding cloth that covered Jesus after his crucifixion–are relatively rare. Indeed, the Vatican has authorized only five such expositions since 1898. As a result, the faithful are hastening to their computers to obtain online tickets.I notice that the Vatican will not permit any scientific experimentation or testing of the shroud during the exhibition. Quite possibly, it is a little disenchanted with the latest archaeological findings related to the controversial cloth. In December, Shimon Gibson, an archaeologist and senior research fellow at the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jersualem, announced tantalizing results from a new study that he and Boaz Zissu, an archaeologist at Bar Ilan University, just completed on a 1st century B.C. shrouded burial they excavated in a tomb in Jerusalem. Gibson and several colleagues published the first part of the study in a paper in PLoS One on December 16th.The entire study will clearly shed much new light on the authenticity of the more famous Shroud of Turin. As the team points out in the PLoS One paper, archaeologists rarely find ancient shrouded burials in the Jerusalem region: the city’s high levels of humidity quickly destroy organic materials. So, as Gibson recently explained to a reporter at The Catholic Review, ”this is the first shroud from Jesus’ time found in Jerusalem and the first shroud found in a type of burial cave similar to that which Jesus would have been buried in, and (because of this) it is the first shroud which can be compared to the Turin shroud.”
To read Pringle’s article, visit Beyond Stone and Bone by clicking here.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary