Friday, March 29, 2013

The Mystery of the Shroud

Experiments conducted by scientists at the University of Padua in northern Italy have dated the Shroud of Turin to ancient times, a few centuries before and after the life of Christ. Many Catholics believe that the 14ft-long linen cloth, which bears the imprint of the face and body of a bearded man, was used to bury Christ's body when he was lifted down from the cross after being crucified 2,000 years ago.

The analysis is published in a new book, "Il Mistero della Sindone" or The Mystery of the Shroud, by Giulio Fanti, a professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at Padua University, and Saverio Gaeta, a journalist. The tests will revive the debate about the true origins of one of Christianity's most prized but mysterious relics and are likely to be hotly contested by sceptics. Scientists, including Prof Fanti, used infra-red light and spectroscopy – the measurement of radiation intensity through wavelengths – to analyse fibres from the shroud, which is kept in a special climate-controlled case in Turin. The tests dated the age of the shroud to between 300 BC and 400AD.

Scientists have never been able to explain how the image of a man's body, complete with nail wounds to his wrists and feet, pinpricks from thorns around his forehead and a spear wound to his chest, could have formed on the cloth. Mr Fanti said the imprint was caused by a blast of “exceptional radiation”, although he stopped short of describing it as a miracle.

(from an article written by Nick Squires, Rome Correspondent for The Telegraph Mar 28, 2013)

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"Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions,he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him,and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray,each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53: 4-6

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