April Fool!!! – Jess Whitlock

Jess Whitlock

I watched a TV documentary on April 1 called, Mysteries of the Man in the Shroud (i.e., the shroud of Turin). The documentary was certainly slanted to indicate belief that the “man” of the shroud was Christ and that this was the burial cloth. I cannot help but wonder if it was just coincidence that this “special” aired on April Fool’s day?

Dr. Walter C. McCrone of Chicago, a microscopist with a worldwide reputation, has already declared the shroud of Turin to be a hoax! Dr. McCrone was a member of the Shroud of Turin Research Project. He is quoted as saying, “They actually gave me the samples [from the shroud—JLW] that I was looking at. But then I started getting results that they didn’t like and from that point on, our paths started to separate.” His careful examination revealed no blood! It did reveal a “great deal of red iron earth and vermillion paint pigment,” so with over 50 years experience he concluded that the image was “painted by an artist.”

Oxford University did radiocarbon dating tests on samples from the shroud. I know that such dating is not conclusive in all areas, but the tests done in the 1980s gave an approximate date of A.D. 1350. It is highly unlikely that such tests were 1300 years off target!

When the television documentary was about over the narrator stated: “Science will not settle the mystery of the man of the shroud…” That’s right—but the Bible will.

Without the scientists, microscopists, lab technicians, etc., we can easily see whether or not the shroud of Turin was the actual burial cloth for Christ our Lord. Christ Himself stated in John 5:39, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” The Scriptures remain as the final authority—therefore,what saith the Scriptures?

Bear in mind that the shroud of Turin is one piece of linen cloth measuring 14.25 feet long and 3.58 feet wide. At an undetermined date a matching strip of linen 3.5 inches wide was attached alone one of the long sides of the cloth. (Information available in Biblical Archaeology Review, Vol. 10, No. 2, 1984 beginning on p. 30.)

Let your fingers do the walkin’ and let the Bible do the talkin.’ In Matthew 27:59, “And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth.” In Mark’s accounts 15:46, “and wrapped him in the linen.” Luke 23:53 reads, “and wrapped it [the body of Christ—JLW] in linen.” And, John’s record, 19:40, “Then took they [Joseph and Nicodemus—JLW] the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices.” Now, did they wrap, wind, or bind the body of Christ? The answer isthey did it all “as the manner of the Jews is to bury” (John 19:40). To deny this is to deny the Word of God in the matter. John’s account mentioned the plural “clothes” or “cloths” in the ASV of 1901. Obviously the work was not done in one piece of cloth, such as the shroud of Turin is! It all boils down to whether we believe God or the words of men who have made hoaxes their livelihood for multiplied centuries!

In his book, A History of Christianity, Mr. Paul Johnson tells of same claims made through the centuries that purport to be authentic,showing how gullible some people can be. We will just have room for a small sample:

Gregory IX, who became Pope in 1227, produced the relics of the guardians of the papal city: the heads ofthe apostles Peter and Paul, which were carried in solemn procession through Rome…Although Peter was supposed to be buried beneath the high altar of St. Peter…his head, together with saint Paul’s, encased in magnificent reliquaries, were kept…along with the Ark of the Covenant, the Tablets of Moses, the Rod of Aaron, an urn of manna, the Virgin’s tunic, John the Baptist’s hair shirt, the five loaves and two fishes from the feeding of the 5,000 and the dining table used at the Last Supper.

The shroud of Turin seems to pale into insignificance in comparison to some “discoveries” through the centuries. The late brother J.T. Marlin, who made as many trips to the Bible lands as any man I know, once told me that he figured if you could gather up all the chips and pieces of wood that were said to have come from the cross that bore the body of Christ you would probably have enough wood to build an ark but he chuckled, none of it would be gopher wood! We have read of claims to have the shoes of Christ, His swaddling clothes, the blood and water that came from His side, etc. But, Barnum and Bailey told us there was one born every minute! To those caught up in the documentary of the man in the shroud of Turin, let me say, April Fool!

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Author: Editor

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