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The Shroud of Turin

The Shroud of Turin is said to be the cloth in which Jesus was buried. Many have an interest in it. There is even a Shroud of Turin Website. Controversy has grown as to its authenticity. According to the Bible, the shroud cannot be real.

The Head Cloth

John 20:
3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.
4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.
5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.
6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

Verse 7 tells us that there was a separate wrapping for the head. The Shroud of Turin shows a cloth which was for the whole body. It was laid over the whole body and head. It wrapped over the top of the head and then down the back to the feet. This is different from the Bible. This alone shows us the shroud is a fake.

The Face

Isaiah 52:14 says, "As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:" This verse is about the crucifixion. The man in the Shroud of Turin has a relatively intact face. The body is wounded, but it could be much worse. "Marred more than any man" does not apply to this man.

The Image

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: (Exodus 20:3-4). Not only did God say not to make any graven images he also said not to make likenesses, either. Verse 4 uses the Hebrew word temuwnah (תֵּמוּנָה). Definitions for this word include the modern word photograph. Creating or keeping pictures of God and Jesus Christ is a sin. Jesus would not leave behind an image of himself when it was forbidden for everybody else to do.

The Hair

The man in the shroud had hair that was shoulder length or longer. This could not be Jesus. Jesus did not have long hair. 1 Corinthians 11 lets us know that for a man to pray or prophesy with long hair or his head covered, is a sin. Some people think that Jesus was a Nazarite. He was not. Instead, he was a Nazarene. There is a difference. A Nazarite was not to cut his hair during the period of his vow, consume any fruit of the vine or go near any dead body. We know from the Bible that Jesus did consume the fruit of the vine and he did go near dead bodies. Even if Jesus was a Nazarite, because he went near Lazarus, a dead person, seven or more days before his crucifixion, he would have to shave his head per Numbers 6:9-11. On the eighth day he was to bring two turtledoves, or two young pigeons to the temple; one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. But Jesus had no sin so this would not be appropriate unless he was doing it for the world. Hebrews 10:12, however, says he gave only one sacrifice for sin. This also would keep Jesus from being a Nazarite.If Jesus had shaved his head, Jesus would stand out and Judas would not have to identify him for the multitude mentioned in Matthew 26:47-49. If this were the case, Jesus would have his head shaved on the cross. In Matthew 26:7 a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, came and poured it on Jesus' head. In verse 12, Jesus said she was doing it for his burial. If Jesus were to shave his head, the ointment would not prepare him for burial. Either way you look at it, Jesus would not have been buried with long hair, and again, we find the shroud to be a fake.

The Spices

John 19:39-40 shows us, "And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury." The amount of spices that would be used in a burial would have a tendency to obscure facial detail and color the shroud. It does not appear to be so with this shroud. If the spices were removed it would least cause distortion to the image. In the worst case scenario it would destroy the image.

The Beard

The previous items prove the shroud is a fake. In addition, there are other conditions which are highly suspicious. Isaiah 50:6 says, "I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting." The man in the shroud has a beard. The hair on the cheeks themselves, proper, does not show. If this were authentic, it would require that Jesus had his hair pulled off of his cheeks and his cheeks alone, not the chin or at the mustache. That seems quite unlikely.

The Image

Exodus 20:4 says, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:" God said not to make idols. He did not say don't make them if you are going to worship them. He says not to bow down to them or worship them in verse 5. In verse 4 he said not to make them and it did not matter whether or not you worship them. He did not stop there. He said not to make any likeness as well. That means that it is a sin to make or have a likeness or picture of Jesus. So what happened with the shroud? What was left?. What was left is an image of someone's face. How is that God or Jesus left an image of Jesus' face in the resurrection when God said not to do so? God and Jesus would never do such a thing because they would be violating their very own commandment. Isn't even blasphemy to suggest they would do so?


The issue should have been settled a long time ago yet is still fascinates many today. The 2013 display was covered by CNN as well as numerous other media outlets. While scholars debate the issues of the shroud, Biblical study shows the shroud to be a fake.

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