The Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC is set to unveil a new exhibit on February 26, which will focus on the Shroud of Turin.
Titled “Mystery & Faith: The Shroud of Turin,” the exhibit will remain open for public viewing until July 31.
Steve Green, president of the popular arts and crafts retail chain Hobby Lobby, is also the founder of The Museum of the Bible.
Many Christians believe that the Shroud of Turin is the actual burial cloth of Jesus Christ, which following his death and subsequent resurrection was discovered by his disciples in the empty tomb.
There is a great deal of evidence that would lead ordinary folks and scholars alike to believe that the burial cloth is indeed the very one that was wrapped around the body of Jesus.
The Shroud of Turin is a rectangular 3 ft. by 14 ft. piece of linen fabric that has the image of an individual impressed upon it. The person resembles in facial appearance much of the classic artwork that depicts the Son of God when he walked the earth.
Remarkably, there are visual signs that the person who was shrouded in the cloth had been tortured and had undergone the horrific method of death inflicted upon those declared guilty by the Roman government was crucifixion. The reddish-brown stains that appear on the fabric appear to correlate with the wounds in the scriptural account associated with the death of Jesus.
“Few items in existence today connect so closely to the biblical depictions of Jesus’ death,” Dr. Jeff Kloha, chief curatorial officer at The Museum of the Bible stated.
“The Shroud is an example of the enduring impact of and interest in the New Testament’s description of Jesus’ crucifixion,” he said.
The very existence of the Shroud of Turin has prompted some in the secular world to vigorously question its authenticity.
Several tests were conducted during the late 1980s that used carbon dating techniques to assert that the shroud did not originate at the time of Christ’s death.
The testing was highly criticized on several bases, including the fact that the sample used by the testing laboratories came from a single location on one corner of the cloth, which is contrary to proper testing protocols.
In stark contrast to the critics, there is mounting evidence that points to the authenticity of the full body image relic, which includes the following:
–Soil found on the Shroud of Turin matches soil found in other tombs in and near Jerusalem.
–Pollen grains found on the cloth are unique to the Jerusalem area.
–A digital photographic analysis of the coins found over the eyes on the image reveals that they were minted in Jerusalem by Pontius Pilate in 29 A.D.
–The shroud contains actual blood that has recently been shown through biochemistry to be from someone who experienced torture prior to dying.
–The Shroud of Turin also matches blood stains from the Sudarium of Oviedo, which is a separate burial cloth that was used to cover the head of Jesus. When the two cloths are compared, the blood stains on the head cloth are consistent with the patterns and blood type (AB) found on the Shroud of Turin.
–The head cloth was also discovered to contain the same pollen grains as the shroud.
Many pictures have been painted on fabric materials over the years. However, no other pictures on fabric have the unique qualities of the image contained on the Shroud of Turin.
The distinction is that the Shroud of Turin turns out to be a precise photographic negative, which is mysteriously imprinted on cloth material that does not accept photographic impressions.
The imprint could not have been produced by paint, dye, vapors, or scorching as some may claim. Furthermore, the photographic negative is only found on the uppermost layer of the linen threads and displays portions of the body in three dimensions, such as those found in 3D ultrasounds.
A solid scientific explanation that has been put forward regarding the transference of the image on to the cloth is that it was produced by a powerful burst of radiation that was emitted from the body shrouded in the cloth.
Believers view this as the point in time when Jesus came back to life.
In early 2018, the International Institute for Advanced Studies of Space Representation Sciences in Palermo, Italy used projective geometry and photogrammetric survey techniques to study the shroud. These tests are similar to stroboscopic photography, which captures a rapid sequence of images of a moving object on a single frame using multiple, quick bursts of light.
The results of the institute’s study indicate that a pulsating source of penetrating energy radiated from the body contained in the shroud.
To celebrate the opening of the new exhibit on the Shroud of Turin, The Museum of the Bible is hosting a grand opening on February 26, which will feature presentations from experts on the shroud, including Fr. Robert Spitzer and Barrie Schwortz.
Fr. Spitzer is host of the program “Father Spitzer’s Universe,” which airs on EWTN. He is also the founder and president of the Magis Institute of Reason of Faith.
Schwortz was the documenting photographer for the team that first conducted an in-depth scientific examination of the Shroud of Turin in 1978. He initially turned down the job of being the official photographer.
“When they first asked me to do this, first thing I said was, no, no way. And why did I refuse? Well, answer is simple; I was very uncomfortable with the subject matter because I was born and raised in an Orthodox Jewish home,” Schwortz said.
In 1995, after years of resisting, Schwortz consulted with a world renowned blood expert, Dr. Alan Adler, who answered a question that had kept the famed photographer from accepting that the shroud was authentic.
During a telephone conversation, the two had a discussion about the blood contained on the shroud.
The doctor described how he had found a large amount of bilirubin in the blood. The amount of the substance was consistent with “somebody who’s been tortured, like Jesus was, beaten the night before in the Garden of Gethsemane, then the next day scourged and ultimately, capped with … a crown of thorns, ultimately, crucified and speared,” Dr. Adler stated.
It was then Schwortz was convinced that the Shroud of Turin was not just any ordinary artifact.
“I think I serve God better this way, in my involvement in the Shroud, by being the last person in the world people would expect to be lecturing on what is, effectively, the ultimate Christian relic,” he told the Catholic News Agency in 2015.
“I think God in his infinite wisdom knew better than I did, and he put me there for a reason,” Schwortz said.