So many mysteries surround the death of Jesus. From the sudden disappearance of the body to the actual location of the tomb, there’s still a lot the world does not know about that period in history. One more mysterious thing associated with the death of Christ to think about is the Shroud of Turin. After more than five hundred years, there is so much mystery surrounding this material, and here's what to know about it.
What Is The Shroud Of Turin
When Jesus died on the cross and was taken down, his body was wrapped in linen before it was transferred into a tomb. The linen in which his body was wrapped is what is now referred to as the Shroud of Turin.
This linen with a 14-foot length features the image of a man, which many believe to be Jesus Christ, further backing the belief that it was the actual shroud used in burying Jesus of Nazareth.
- Length: 14 feet 5 inches (4.4 m)
- Width: 3 feet 7 inches (1.1 m)
The History Of The Shroud Of Turin
For many years since its first emergence in the 1350s, the shroud has been disputed by scientists, priests, and biblical scholars. While some believe this shroud is the actual linen used to wrap Jesus’s body, others believe it is simply a deception that was created in the Middle Ages.
It all began in 1359 when Geoffroi de Charny - a popular French knight, presented the piece of linen to the Church of Lirey in France and claimed it was the original burial shroud of Jesus. This was approximately 1300 years since the death and burial of Jesus, and no one knows where it had been all those years.
Thirty years later, in 1389, the shroud was declared as not the true shroud of Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Clement VII after he received a letter that an artist had confessed to creating the shroud. This was after the shroud had brought in a lot of money and also drawn in a huge number of visitors to the Church of Lirey. The final decision after the declaration was that the shroud could remain on display as long as it was regarded as not the real shroud of Christ.
Despite being declared as not the Shroud of Jesus, the shroud still saw a series of events before it was finally placed in its final resting place, where it can still be found today. First, it was sold by the granddaughter of Charny to the House of Savoy, who kept it in a chapel in Chambery in 1502. Thirty years later, a fire in the chapel caused parts of the shroud to be melted before it was quickly rescued. The marks of the fire can still be seen today on the shroud.
Where Is The Shroud Of Turin Located Currently
The linen used in wrapping such an important figure is a priceless material not just important to the believers of the Abrahamic religions but also important to the historical society. For this reason, this piece of linen has been one of the most widely sought materials around the world. The actual location of the Shroud of Turin today can be traced back to 1578, when the House of Savoy moved the shroud from Chambery to the Cathedral of Turin. Currently, the shroud is kept in the royal Cathedral of Turin, Italy, and has been there since it was first moved in 1578.
- Current Location Of The Shroud: Cathedral of Turin, Italy, since 1578.
More Facts About The Shroud Of Turin
Even though the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin may not yet be decided, it remains a material that reminds many of the sacrifices of Jesus. For this reason, it has remained a mystery and a topic that creates strong debate between different groups of people who even back their claims with scientific research.
According to the radiocarbon dating by one group of scientists, the linen dates back to the Middle Ages; meanwhile, the death of Jesus took place in AD 30 or more than a thousand years prior. This group does not agree with the authenticity of the shroud as it is too recent to have been the shroud of Jesus. As with such a heavily debated topic, one must not conclude based on just one claim because another group also claimed the shroud dates back to the period between 300 B.C and A.D. 400.
The blood stains from the shroud were also analyzed, but the result also supported the strong claim that the shroud could not have been from the body of Jesus. Even though much scientific research has concluded that the shroud originated in the Middle Ages rather than the time of Jesus, the authenticity of the shroud remains open for debate, and people all over the world still see the shroud as an inspiring piece of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
As expected from such a highly important material, the shroud is now being protected with tight security and utmost care. To keep it from damage, it is kept under laminated bulletproof glass in an airtight case filled with argon and oxygen and is constantly being monitored by security cameras. Due to its fragile condition, the shroud is not open for viewing by the public but can only be seen on rare occasions when it is displayed by those in charge of keeping it. Such an event draws in millions of viewers around the world, and the last public display of the Shroud of Turin was in 2010.