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Latest Shroud of Turin News with an Exclusive Message from A Renowned Scientist

Professor Giulio Fanti from University of Padua, Italy is one of the world's leading Shroud researchers and you can ask him questions.

Myra Adams


March 23, 2014 - 6:30 am

Professor Giulio Fanti, famous Shroud of Turin scientist and research author

In the next few weeks leading up to Easter Sunday you can expect to hear more news about the Shroud of Turin — a mysterious piece of linen that millions of Catholics and other Christians believe is the actual burial cloth of Jesus Christ.

It was during Holy Week last year when the Shroud of Turin generated headlines around the globe. That was a result of Italian scientist and renowned Shroud researcher Giulio Fanti releasing his book, The Mystery of the Shroud.

Fanti is an Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Padua in Italy. His 2013 research book scientifically debunked the infamous and controversial 1988 carbon-14 dating that supposedly “proved” the cloth only dated back to the Middle Ages — more specifically between the years 1260 and 1390.

Headlines such as: “Shroud of Turin is not a medieval forgery” were typical of what appeared across all media platforms especially on Good Friday, 2013.

Now in 2014, Professor Fanti has a new book (only in Italian at this moment) and the title translates into English as, Turin Shroud: First Century A.D.

According to the book’s press release, “The new dating methods are published in prestigious international journals and no one has yet pointed out methodological errors.”

This Shroud dating research project costing $75,000 (54,000 Euro) was funded by Padua University. The funding made it possible to “develop alternative methods of dating the Shroud based on mechanical and opto-chemical analyses after obvious calibration.”

Here is a more simple explanation of the dating methods if you are not a scientist.

Shroud now 3

Professor Fanti, renowned Shroud dating expert

The research examines the rate at which the microscopic fibers comprising linen cloth are known to decay.

Fanti studied ancient linen cloths of undisputed ages by chemically and mechanically observing the strength of their microscopic fibers. Then he compared the fiber’s rate of decay to linen known to be both older and younger than the fibers found on the Shroud of Turin.

The press releases states: “The results of these studies have produced dating all mutually compatible with a date of 33 BC with an uncertainty of plus or minus 250 years at a 95 percent confidence level.”

Since the generally accepted date of Christ’s crucifixion is 33 AD then this date range of 280 BC to 220 AD places the first part of the 1st century squarely in the middle.

That timing is also compatible with the fact that a “fine linen cloth” which was to become Christ’s burial shroud could have been produced and purchased by a ‘rich man” named Joseph of Arimathea according to the Gospel accounts in the New Testament.

If you are unfamiliar with the Shroud of Turin here is a brief “crash-course” so you can better understand why Fanti’s research is crucial, especially since his date range includes the time when Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem.

Shroud of Turin front and back image. Burn marks are from fire in 1532

Shroud of Turin front and back  negative image. Burn marks from a fire in 1532 run the entire length.

The Shroud of Turin is the most sacred religious relic that exists in the world today. It is also the most studied, tested and analyzed due to a mysterious negative image of a man that appears on this 14.3 by 3.7 ft. linen cloth.

The full body image, both front and back, is that of a crucified man who was subjected to the horror of Roman crucifixion — well documented as a form of punishment during the time of Jesus.

The markings seen on the man in the cloth reveal those left by a crown of thorns, torture, scourging, nail puncture wounds of the hands/feet, bruised knees, and a side spear wound.

Is it a coincidence that every mark appearing on the man in the Shroud is consistent with the physical torments endured by Jesus Christ as described in the Bible Gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John?

Additionally, the man in the Shroud does not have any broken bones. Not only was this mentioned in the Gospel accounts, but was prophesied in the Old Testament Book of Psalms, “He protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.” (Psalm 34:20)

The burial cloth (shroud) that wrapped the crucified body of Jesus is also mentioned in the Gospels after Christ was no longer in the tomb. These Scripture accounts make it easier for those of faith to believe that the cloth was left behind as proof of Christ’s resurrection on what is now called Easter Sunday.

Therefore, if the Shroud is scientifically proven to be Christ’s burial cloth then it would be the physical evidence of Jesus Christ’s resurrection which is the foundation of Christianity with or without any physical evidence.

That said, now you can understand why the Shroud of Turin is so controversial.

Jesus under burial shroud in History Channel image.

Today the Shroud is securely stored in an underground vault in the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy. It has been there since it was returned to Turin in 1946 after it had been removed in early 1939 to a more secure location during WWII.

The real reason given for the move as indicated by documents recently uncovered in 2010  was that Hitler was “obsessed” with the sacred relic and tried to steal the Shroud in 1943. Up until 2010, it was thought the Shroud was only moved due to potential Allied bombing of Turin. However, now we know that it was actually moved by Italian authorities more than a year before the bombing began in June of 1940 because they were wary of Hitler’s overzealous “interest” in the Shroud.

It has only been since 1983 that the Shroud has been owned by the current living pope. Wikipedia states:  “The shroud remained the property of the House of Savoy until 1983, when it was given to the Holy See, the rule of the House of Savoy having ended in 1946.”

Pope Francis, by all indications is a proponent of the Shroud.  Thus the cloth made its first ever, live television appearance on the Pope’s first Easter weekend in 2013. Also last year, keeping up with the times, the Shroud got an app on i-Tunes. (Shroud 2.0)


Shroud of Turin app 2.0

The Shroud’s last public display was in 2010 when it attracted over two million pilgrims. The next one is scheduled for 45 days in 2015 . Given Pope Francis’ popularity, interest in and ownership of the Shroud, even more believers are expected to visit Turin, Italy in 2015.

Here are some undisputed facts about the Shroud that have been proven by scientists.

Shroud now 5

Close up image of the man in Shroud showing what looks like marks from crown of thorns and scourging.


Pollen found on the Shroud cloth has been proven to be consistent with the types of plants and flowers known to have been in the area of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus and used at Jewish funeral rites.

The weave of the cloth is also historically accurate for Jerusalem and the time period when Jesus is known to have lived.

There is human male blood on the Shroud and it is type AB. The blood penetrates the cloth as you would expect.

However, the blood on the cloth was there  BEFORE the image of the crucified man. Moreover, the image of the man does not penetrate the cloth and was formed at a later time. “Blood first, image second” is a phrase familiar to Shroud researchers. Even more remarkable, is the man’s image can be scraped away with a razor blade because it sits on TOP of the cloth.

Scientists still do not know for sure what comprises the substance of the image. However, they all agree that paints, pigments, stains or dyes could NOT have left the image for any substance known to man would have penetrated or seeped into the cloth along with the blood.

Furthermore, and more baffling is the image of a crucified man is a photo negative and a “positive image” is only reflected when a photo is taken.

This astounding fact was discovered by an amateur photographer named Secondo Pia in 1898. Pia asked to photograph the Shroud using the “new technology” of photography and was shocked when he developed the film.

The last item in our “crash-course” comes from a 2012 study by the same Professor Fanti of Padua University. His study strongly suggested that the force which caused the man’s image to be imprinted on the cloth was radiation released in the form of an electrical discharge. In other words, a burst of light and energy.

Solidus Coin

Byzantine era coin, 692 AD with Christ  resembling Shroud image.


Professor Fanti’s 2014 book also has some interesting new research about Byzantine coins bearing the actual face of Christ starting in 692 A.D.

The press release states:

“It is evident that the first coins minted with the face of Christ by Emperor Justinian II, from 692 AD must have taken the Shroud as a reference model. (The coins are also six centuries older than the alleged date from the 1988 carbon-14 dating.”)

Now, since about 1995 I have developed a keen interest in the Shroud of Turin. Fortunately, I was one of those two million people who last saw it on display in 2010.  Then, as a result of writing about the Shroud here on PJ Media in July of 2012, I was contacted by Russ Breault who is one of the world’s experts on the Shroud and heads up the Shroud of Turin Education Project. 

Russ-Real Face

Russ Breault in 2010 as seen on the History Channel documentary, “The Real Face of Jesus?”

Russ’s expertise lead him to be a consultant and appear on the History Channel’s 2010 mega-hit documentary The Real Face of Jesus?

This intriguing documentary revealed a 3-D model of what the man in the Shroud might actually have looked like using “distance information” that appears on the Shroud itself.

Fanti with 3D "distance information" image contained within Shroud of Turin

Professor Fanti displays  a 3D “distance information” image of the Shroud of Turin.

That distance information, combined with 3D modeling and advanced relief mapping techniques developed by NASA, were all used to construct an actual face of the man in the Shroud.

"Real Face of Jesus?" Credit: History Channel

Model of Shroud face from  ”Real Face of Jesus?” documentary.   Credit: History Channel

Professor Fanti with Shroud of Turin reproduction.

Professor Fanti with Shroud of Turin life-sized reproduction.

Therefore, it is no surprise that Russ Breault knows the famous Professor Fanti.

In fact, Russ appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America on Good Friday 2013 to explain Fanti’s breakthrough research that debunked the 1988 carbon-14 dating of the Shroud as a “Middle Age forgery” dominating the media during Easter weekend of last year.

At the same time, Russ personally explained Fanti’s research in my 2013 Easter Sunday Shroud piece that appeared here on PJM.

Recently, Russ put me in touch with Fanti for the purpose of writing this piece.

What follows is an unedited portion of  Professor Fanti’s answer to my final email question, “Can you tell me any more about the Shroud?”

His answer, exclusively for PJM readers, beautifully summarizes the mindset of the world’s most well-known and highest regarded Shroud scientist.

From Professor Giulio Fanti of Padua, Italy to Myra Adams on March 13, 2014:

From my experience of more than 15 years on the Shroud I have understood that I have to separate as much as possible scientific aspects from religious ones. And this is what I always try to do.

Anyway there is a point at the end in which science and religion must face each other comparing their results. Well, in the case of the Shroud, as in many other cases like in biology, scientific results are perfectly compatible with the religious ones reported in the Gospels and in the Bible.

In addition scientific results add interesting information to the accounts of scourging as reported in the Gospels.

Therefore I can conclude from both the points of view.

From a scientific point of view, we see on the Shroud the signs, not reproducible up to now, of a man who suffered all the tortures described in the Gospels, who remained in that linen Sheet for no more than about 40 hours and that disappeared in a very particular way that can be explained if we think to a man who became mechanically transparent.

From a religious point of view, after 15 years of intense studies, I indeed am sure, I have recognized this Man with certainty: he is Jesus Christ who was resurrected from the dead and who left us on the Shroud his unique “photography” documenting all what He suffered for us but also indicating that there is a new Life after this life.


Coin showing image of Christ resembling face from Shroud of Turin around 692 AD

Another coin dated 692 AD with image of Christ resembling face from Shroud .

Finally, if you have any questions for Professor Fanti please leave them as comments and I will pass them along with his answer in the comments section at a later time.

Or, if there are enough questions, I will post a separate piece called, “ Ask Professor Fanti ” —  for we know how professors love to answer questions from interested “students.”

Myra Adams is a media producer, writer, and political observer who served on the McCain Ad Council during the 2008 McCain campaign, and on the 2004 Bush campaign creative team. Her columns have appeared on PJ Media, National Review, The Daily Beast, The Daily Caller, RedState, BizPacReview and Liberty Unyielding. . Myra's web site contributes all profits to Christian charity. Follow Myra on Twitter @MyraKAdams

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All Comments   (14)
All Comments   (14)
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Thanks so much for such an interesting and fascinating article stating all the amazing evidences concerning the shroud. May our Lord bless you richly for that...My questions for professor Fanti are: Have you in any way colaborated with mr. Barrie Schwortz? Is there enough evidence to link the shroud of Turin to head cloth of Oviedo(Spain)? Is there a reasonable evidnce to link the shroud to the Garden tomb in Jerusalem? Thanks so much and In God's Love Vlad Fischer
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree with Mark V. We cannot definitively prove scientifically that the Shroud of Turin is in fact the burial cloth that wrapped Jesus. We don't have his DNA to match up with something extracted from the Shroud. However that does not mean we cannot make some reasonable assumptions. Courtroom evidence can either be the preponderance of evidence (civil) or beyond a reasonable doubt (criminal). While I think that Fanti's work comparing the chemical decay of other known linens is very compelling, it cannot be considered definitive. Yet again the statistical analysis of the Justinian coins from 692 is also very compelling, it cannot be considered definitive either. However, at a certain point the preponderance of all the evidence does become very persuasive. To allege it is the work of a medieval artist is not a credible claim when noted art historians testify there is no basis to make such a claim. There is nothing else like it in the world of art. Art is evolutionary, each artist builds on the work of others yet there is nothing evolutionary about the Shroud. In fact there are no known artistic substances on the cloth and the blood is actual blood--AB blood type with human DNA. The most spectacular attribute of the image is that it resides only on the top two microfibers--less than 1% of a single thread. In addition the intensity of the image is identical top to bottom and front to back. It would seem a piece of modern technology would be required to achieve this effect. So far we have not discovered any process that an alleged artist could have used. So at the end of the day, the Shroud remains a profound mystery. But in this I agree with Mark V, it cannot be proven definitively, and in that sense, the Shroud can never replace faith. Science and history can only take you so far, faith has to take you the rest of the way. Perhaps the Shroud asks the same question Jesus asked of Peter, "Who do you say that I am?" The answer to that question will not come from science but from faith.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Professor Fanti 's scientific objectivity is... less than impressive.

49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Last Easter I was in Vatican during Prof Fanti published his new research. Question for Prof fanti: Blood circulation stop when someone died. However according to Gospel, Jesus resurrected from dead. So far no one resurrected from dead and we don't know what sort of magnetic fields developed when blood recirculation re started. Can that sort of magentic fields are responsible for the image in the Shroud.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
" we don't know what sort of magnetic fields developed when blood recirculation re started. "

There is no connection between circulating blood and magnetic fields.

" Can that sort of magentic fields are responsible for the image in the Shroud. "

Nobody knows what caused the image, therefore, nobody can know the answer to your question, except to point out that there is no known mechanism by which magnetism can make an image form on linen.

49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank-you for your question. I will forward it to him today. I will also ask Russ Breault to for an answer to your question as well.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
These forensic questions too, please: Citing just the Gospel of John, how do the 100 pounds of preservatives matter, if at all, and how could there be a complete facial image on the Shroud if a separate cloth covered the head of Jesus?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Leaving aside the dating, nobody has yet to figure out how the image was put on the cloth.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well-documented and thoughtful essay, Myra. Thanks for the great update on the latest Shroud research. Question for Prof. Fanti: Do you think that we ever will have conclusive proof that, indeed, the Shroud of Turin is the burial cloth of Jesus and, if so, what might that evidence entail?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Well-documented and thoughtful essay"

Yes, in the same way the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders provide thoughtful commentary on the Dallas Cowboy games.

49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
"what might that evidence entail?

Physical evidence would have to be something like DNA or fingerprints. That's obviously impossible.

The only possible evidence is historical - that is, the finding of documents or artifacts which link this particular shroud with one particular person in history.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Bible does exactly state what the wounds of Jesus were and the Shroud has those exact wounds. EVERY SINGLE ONE IS MENTIONED in the Gospel accounts of Jesus' torture. None are left out and none are added.
No bones broken as I also mentioned in the piece.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, but that is not proof that this is the burial shroud of Jesus. It may be the burial shroud of another man who was crucified. There is nothing unique about the pattern of wounds. Nor is the lack of broken bones unique. The Romans only broke legs when they needed to speed things up. Normally, victims were left to die over several days. Broken bones would be the exception, not the rule. The wound evidence is compatible with the accounts of Jesus' crucifixion, but not UNIQUE to it. It's like finding a tire track from a Toyota at a crime scene. Yes, the accused has a Toyota, but so do thousands of other people. You need more evidence.

All this, of course, assumes it's not a simple fake from the Middle Ages, which is the most likely explanation. Professor Fanti's dating methods are.... Well, let's say they deviate from accepted scientific norms. How convenient that he comes up with 33 AD.

Easy to believe if you want to believe, but objective evidence? Not for anyone who prefers truth to myth.

You have some other problems with the Turin cloth, as well.

1. The image is of a fine physical specimen. Jesus began his ministry with 40 days of fasting, which would have left him skin and bones. He then began approximately 3 years of itinerant preaching, which would not be conducive to regaining a fine musculature.

2. The image is of a man with long hair. The norm at the time was short hair. It would have been a disgrace for a man to have long hair (as says the Scripture). Many have the mistaken idea that Jesus had long hair because He was a Nazarite. This is a fundamental mistake, likely a confusion between the town of Nazareth and the vow of a Nazarite, attributable only to profound ignorance of the gospel accounts. He drank wine and touched dead bodies. Both are forbidden for Nazarites. So, either He broke His vow, or he was never a Nazarite. Since there is nothing in Scripture to suggest he WAS a Nazarite, and HE could never break a vow, clearly He was not a Nazarite. In fact, the image fits the middle ages much better than the 1st century.

3. If God was so mindful of mankind's tendency to worship relics that He hid the body of Moses so that it could not be worshiped, why would he allow this relic to be left laying around for millions to worship? And worship it they do!

All in all, this cloth is very consistent with the relic racket that the Roman Catholic Church brazenly ran for hundreds of years, and still runs more quietly. It appeals to the superstitious, not to faith.

49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Romans were not in the habit of placing crowns of thorns on those crucified. This one has indications of head wounds that are in keeping with thorns...
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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