The Shroud of Turin. Was it a hoax or a miracle?
The Shroud is the supposed burial cloth of Jesus Christ and there is much debate over its authenticity. In the late 1970s and early 1980s the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) performed a set of experiments and analyses on the Shroud of Turin. STURP issued its final report in 1981. They concluded that the Shroud image is that of a real human form of a scourged, crucified man. It is not the product of an artist. The bloodstains are composed of hemoglobin and also give a positive test for serum albumin. The image is an ongoing mystery and until further chemical studies are made, perhaps by this group of scientists, or perhaps by some scientists in the future, the problem remains unsolved.
But outside of the study by scientists, the shroud offers another possible proof of its authenticity. It’s called the blood theory of the shroud.
The blood theory of the Shroud, put forth by the German researcher Kurt Berna, sought to prove that the man in the Shroud was not dead when laid to rest. His blood theory seeks to prove that the man, Jesus Christ, did not die on the cross.
“I assume you’ve never heard of Kurt Berna?”
Nash shook his head.
“That’s understandable. His book was written in German and is now out of print. However I acquired a little known translation of his book in English. When I read it, I knew he was onto something.”
“And what was that?” queried Nash.
“To start, Berna stated that all the reports about the death of Jesus, as recorded in the Gospels, were true–considering the definition of death at that time.”
“I’m not sure I’m following you.”
“Let me explain. Take blood on the hair. Most forensic investigators know that blood dries quickly and when combined with hair, forms a hard, impermeable crust.”
Nash was glad he had decided to forgo breakfast that morning.
Roth continued. “Obviously, fabrics don’t absorb dried blood, and the traces of the stuff visible on the Shroud can only have originated from the blood that had been flowing from open wounds. See where I am going with this?”
“I’m following. Go on.”
“Now, in regard to the crown of thorns, Berna wrote that any blood after Christ’s death would be dried up and congealed. This is the natural behavior of blood which leaves the body and is exposed to air.”
Nash wondered where the old man was going with this, but kept his mouth shut for now. Besides, he was enjoying flying this amazing craft too much to care about much of anything else.
Roth continued. “Now, when a crown of thorns is removed leaving small wounds on the skin at the back of the head – what happens? Nothing!” he stated excitedly, startling Nash. “Absolutely nothing! There is no blood pressure in a dead body, and, as everybody who understands anything about human blood circulation knows, without pressure blood does not flow from a wound. Once death has ensued, blood circulation in the human body follows the same law.”
“So what does this have to do with your theory about Christ not dying on the cross?”
“We’re getting there, Jeremy, I promise. And keep your eyes on those instruments. It looks like we’re heading into cloudy weather ahead.” The old man, who was clearly in his elements — lecturing and flying – pressed on excitedly. “Now where was I?”
“Blood circulation,” said Nash, taking note of the gray clouds on the horizon.
“Oh, yes! Now a living body’s skin will appear a reddish color because blood penetrates to the capillaries. But in death, when the heart stops pumping, the veins draw the blood back. The result? The capillaries are the first vessels to be emptied because they are at the extreme end of the circulatory system. What happens soon after a body dies?”
Nash shook his head.
“The skin turns white. This is what happens to a corpse some eight to ten hours after the heart has ceased to beat. Not only is there no blood flow through open wounds because of lack of pressure, but the blood retracts a little in the veins.”
Nash was certain he had heard that last bit on a recent episode of CSI, but he didn’t say anything.
“Ah, but what happens if there is still blood pressure?” asked Roth. “What happens if the heart is still beating?”
Nash glanced at the excitable little man. “I don’t know, you tell me.”
“In the case of the crown of thorns, the smaller wounds would fill with blood, and the blood would flow from the head, through the hair, and onto the Shroud. That is why it cannot have been a corpse that was in the Shroud because the body was not dead. Plain and simple.”
Roth sat back, pleased with himself. Nash had to grin at the man’s enthusiasm.
“If you believe this blood theory,” said Nash, “then why do you have your man Peacock at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher?”
“Because I believe that Jesus survived the crucifixion, lived a long life, died and is entombed at the Holy Sepulcher.”
So is the Shroud of Turin a hoax or a miracle?
The eBook is selling for .99 cents. Such a deal.