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The Shroud of Turin:  Beyond Science?

Posted on 24 April 2017, 9:45

While watching the History Channel’s Easter special on the Shroud of Turin (The Face of Jesus Uncovered?), I was in awe of the capabilities of science and computer technology; however, I was also reminded of their limitations.  The scientists studying the shroud (below) concluded that it is not a painting or some creative fabrication. They can tell what it isn’t but not what it is.


I have read quite a bit about the shroud and have seen at least a half dozen other documentaries on the relic that many believe covered the crucified body of Jesus of Nazareth two-thousand years ago, but this one went beyond all others, moving me from being “very” skeptical to just “somewhat” skeptical as to whether the shroud is in fact the burial cloth of Jesus.  Prior to this documentary, I was about a 20 percent believer (80 percent doubter) in the authenticity of the shroud, but I am now an 80 percent believer.  My 20 percent doubt is divided between it being the image of someone other than Jesus and some form of fraud that goes beyond modern science. 

Like so many others, I pretty much dismissed the shroud as being authentic after the carbon-14 tests in 1988 dated it to around the fourteenth century. My belief factor was then down to about two percent.  I began reconsidering it a few years later when it was pointed out that the carbon testing was from a small edge of the shroud that was contaminated from frequent handling and from repairs due to fire damage 700 or so years ago.  Moreover, it was reported that pollen from an artichoke plant native to the Jerusalem area was found embedded in the fibers. 

What the scientists in this most recent documentary pointed out that I had not heard before was that a 3-D image analyzer revealed that there are contours in the image – distortions resulting from the cloth being draped over a body – thus strongly suggesting that the shroud was in fact wrapped around a human body.  Such contours are not found in paintings or other art work,  making it highly unlikely that it was an artistic endeavor by Leonardo da Vinci or some other artist from that era, as so many have come to believe. And while the image on the shroud appears to be a man much older than 33, the age at which Jesus is said to have been put to death, a computer graphics artist was able to eliminate the contours and turn the two-dimensional image on the shroud into a three-dimensional figure, the result being a much younger man, one of perhaps 33. 

Add in the fact that the numerous blood stains on the shroud were subjected to testing and found to be real blood with DNA indicating an ethnicity from the area around Jerusalem.  On top of that, the numerous blood stains on the shroud are consistent with wounds resulting from both scourging and crucifixion, including a crown of thorns.  While there is evidence that many others were crucified in Jesus’ time, indications are that scourging was not part of the execution process, and it seems very unlikely that a crown of thorns would have been placed on the victim.  To put it another way, the wounds on the shroud image are totally consistent with the biblical account of the crucifixion of Jesus and not consistent with what is known about other crucifixions. 

Another interesting fact mentioned in the latest documentary has to do with the sudarium, a face cloth that is said (John 20:6-7) to have been draped over Jesus’ face before the shroud was placed over him.  The sudarium has long been preserved in a chapel in Oviedo, Spain. Forensic testing has “lined up” the blood on the sudarium with the blood on the shroud.  While carbon-14 testing has dated the sudarium to around 700 AD, the history of this particular sudarium goes back to approximately 570 AD, and the laboratory noted that later oil contamination could have resulted in faulty testing. 

Those involved in studying the shroud cannot offer a scientific explanation as to how the image was imprinted on the 14-foot long linen.  It was explained that diffused light would not make such an imprint.  The bottom line is that it is presently beyond science.  Of course, the religious explanation is that it resulted from some supernatural burst of energy that is called the resurrection. 

While the orthodox Christian belief is that the physical body of Jesus left the tomb and that he visited with his disciples before ascending to “heaven,” the teachings that have come to us in more recent times from the spirit world through credible mediums tell it differently.  I believe the explanation given to Johannes Greber (below) by a seemingly advanced spirit, through the mediumship of a young man, offers the more rational view. “As you are able to convert matter into steam with the aid of high temperatures and even to cause this steam to become invisible to the human eye, so also is the spirit-world able to dissolve matter completely,” Greber, a Catholic priest turned psychical researcher, was informed.  “It too makes use of hot power-currents, by means of which it converts matter into an od-like, etherealized form.  For, as I have explained to you, all matter is nothing but corporealized od which can be dissolved into spiritual od.”


Od was the name given by German chemist Baron Karl von Reichenbach (1788-1869) to an energy that he discovered existing among “sensitive” people – people with clairvoyant, clairaudient, and clairsentient abilities.  It is said to be a “life principle” that permeates and connects all living things and has been likened to the prana of the ancient Hindus, the chi of the Chinese, the astral light of the Kabbalists, the vis medicatrix naturae of Hippocrates, the magnetic fluid of Mesmer, the orgone energy of Reich, and the ectoplasm of mediums.  It is apparently present in all humans, although those with mediumistic ability have it in greater quantities, though not necessarily in greater quality.
Indications are that the misty vapors often observed leaving the body of a dying person are od. It acts as sort of a glue in bonding the physical body with the spirit body, and the more materialistic the person the denser the od and the more difficult the separation.

“Not even of Christ was the natural body raised,” Greber was further informed. “Like the physical bodies of all mortals it had been created from the od of the earth and like them it returned to earth, with this exception, that it was not redissolved into terrestrial od by way of decay, but by dematerialization effected by the spirit-world.”  It was further explained that when Jesus appeared to his disciples after his death, his odic body materialized, and when he departed the odic body dematerialized. 

As I see it, the survival or resurrection message is not affected one iota by accepting that the physical body of Jesus dematerialized rather than believing that it “went to heaven.”  I’m at 99.9 percent on that.

Michael Tymn is the author of The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die, Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife, and Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I.


Next blog post: May 8


Hi Mike,
Thanks for your comments. A relief to feel - if you are right, that most churches/people don’t believe any longer that a (supposed)“Christ’s crucifixion”, showed that “he died to save us all from sin” -I am not so sure.For many I know this is still a maxim of their faith.

Moving on, if ‘Seth’ teachings are accurate - and they have considerable support, as I show below; then two things follow (which are intensely interesting) - the issue of the shroud is irrelevant with “Seth” teachings, since it was not Christ within it, but a deranged volunteer determined to be crucified. The second shocker is that it seems that Judas was maligned - as according to ‘Seth” he led the ruse to supplant Christ with the deranged volunteer. No wonder he “supposedly” offered up a deranged substitute to the Romans, while Christ was actually outside Jerusalem - supported independently by Courtenay Brown’s remote viewing. This account is validated by two more modern independent accounts than the single account in the Bible - that of the highly regarded ‘Seth” teachings and the independent blinded remote viewing arranged by Dr Courtenay Brown. So with respect, I feel it has moved away from being just a theory (putting my science hat on),to (based on the evidence) to being a high probability. I guess though we will never know with certainty.  Some though here consider that by Christ’s resurrection he conquered death. But while I in no way wish to denigrate Christ whom I love, this surely is a misconception as there is no death for any of us, only transition, and with reincarnation we too are resurrected again.

Thank you for raising the whole issue with your review and giving us an opportunity here to debate the fascinating issue of the Shroud of Turin.

Bruce Scott-Hill, Thu 18 May, 03:13


Thank you for the additional information.  I will have to get out my Seth books and view the video you referenced to get a better handle on this; however, I’ll also have to dig into the Bible because you seem to be basing much of this on the belief that Jesus supposedly sacrificed himself by dying for our sins, i.e., the atonement doctrine.  To my recollection, that is something the Church came up with 300 years after his death.  I don’t recall if there are passages in the Bible supporting that or if different interpretations can be given to such passages.  I have never accepted the atonement doctrine in the first place.  Even Catholicism does not seem to give the same importance to it that many Protestant denominations do. 

The bottom line here is that I don’t believe there is a “sacrifice” element involved in the whole story. It is that sacrifice that seems to be at the heart of your theory.

As I see it, it is the Easter message, not the crucifixion story that is important, i.e., that we live on.  Of course, much of orthodox Christianity still believes his physical body was resurrected rather than his spirit body.  It is the same with all of us, the spirit body leaving the physical body at some point after physical death. 

The Shroud story suggests that he had such powers, or the spirits supporting him, had such powers, as to immediately dematerialize the body, thereby giving support to the resurrection story,  not the crucifixion story.

One way or the other, it doesn’t really affect one’s belief in survival if he or she is aware of all the evidence accumulated since then.

Michael Tymn, Tue 16 May, 20:35

Hi Mike, Thanks for your further comments. I take your point in previous posts about how roughly 50% of channelled information may well be wrong and 50% different, so both cannot be correct - obviously. However in the case of “Seth”, there is a growing accumulation of scientific evidence (e.g. esoteric researchers like myself) that give pretty overwhelming evidence that all of Jane Robert’s “Seth” books are completely valid - including my research). Obviously all the evidence cannot be given here. This research is scientific using trusted scientific protocols, and I am happy to provide you with further details. I am afraid on a science basis, I have to side with ‘Seth’s account of the crucifixion. This validity testing/analysis by myself on “content” and Prof.Cunningham on “Source” is but one test, but for solid science one must have another independent test. We have this with an expert on remote viewing - Dr Courtenay Brown who for his own interest arranged for a blinded remote viewing expert to carry out a target viewing on the crucifixion and the results are on Utube for anyone to see. The outcome - Christ was not crucified on this basis using solid science i.e from two independent tests. From a rational point of view it does make sense too, that Christ - who preached consistently against human sacrifice, would not have allowed himself to be sacrificed. Human sacrifice surely would also be an anathema to God. So the concept that Christ saved himself to save us all from sin, must be false and dogma and one of the many falsities in the Bible - caused by changes made by scribes or priests at the time to suit their own agendas. Hope I won’t be crucified and sacrificed myself for heresy - but I am merely following the evidence.

Kind regards, Mike - keep up your good work.

Bruce Scott-Hill, Tue 16 May, 06:22


I still haven’t found a spare two hours to watch the you-tube, but I did reread Geraldine Cummins’s short book (more pamphlet at 35 pages, “The Resurrection of Christ.” Clearly, the spirits communicating through Cummins, probably the best known automatic writer, do not agree with those controlling Roberts.  So I guess the question is: which one was controlled by devious spirits? 

Referring to the passage in the Gospel of John where it is said that the linen cloth was not disturbed or laid aside, the automatic writing received by Cummins states:

“Note that no human being could remove a body from its linen clothes without altering their positions, without laying them aside.  Or, if it had risen up the movement would, of course, have altered the folds of the clothes.  How then were these wrappings unchanged?

“Once the Supreme Mind wholly controlled the brain, it could work through it, and through the nervous system, upon every part of the Body, transmit the direction of the spirit and the life-units to every atom in that kingdom of flesh and blood.

“Now, during those preceding hours of stillness, the spirit dwelt apart in Hades (not to be confused with Hell, as most Christians interpret it) within the astral shape, and,  in that time the life-force was condensed so that it conveyed a kind of vital essence to the Body.

“This essence broke like waves through the human frame, and, by reason of its condensation, increased the pace of the electrons, driving them more rapidly round the nucleus.  Such a process naturally led to the Body entering another dimension.  Before it actually did so, before the life-force stormed through it, the spirit had registered the command that the Body should pass through the linen wrappings and the walls of the tomb.  This, through it being in another dimension, the wrappings were not disturbed.

“But, as I previously remarked, the process was accomplished in a tiny fraction of a second.  There came the spring back, the resumption of activities with the earthly rhythm of time in a certain tree-shaded place in the Garden.  Actually, Pure Mind now having control over the Double, it could, at will, check the life-flow, and thereby cause the electrons to slacken in speed, travelling once more at the rate as which all men travel.

“Now, if the timing of a healthy body is thus altered, as has been the case with certain masters, it resumes, as a rule, the old form.  But when the body is injured by serious wounds and much loss of blood beforehand, conditions are somewhat changed.”

For what it is worth…

Michael Tymn, Fri 5 May, 05:22


Thanks for taking the time to post all that and to give the link.  I don’t know what to make of it all, except that I don’t think one needs to buy into the atonement doctrine, which I don’t, to accept the crucifixion story as told and otherwise accept the resurrection story, though not a physical body resurrection. To put it another way, the crucifixion story has great meaning without the original sin and atonement beliefs. I haven’t had time to view the video, but hope to do so soon. 
I haven’t time to view the remote viewing video, but hope to do so soon.

Michael Tymn, Tue 2 May, 12:23

For those interested, I have dug out references to the two sources that have a different take on “the crucifixion of Christ – for those interested. The first is teachings from ‘Seth” the supposed multidimensional entity channelled by Jane Roberts, and Dr Courtenay Brown – a lifetime researcher of remote viewing who tested this, and claims it supports ‘Seth” With the following “evidence”, I suggest you read the ‘Seth” extract first from Jane Roberts, “Seth Speaks”. Then view the link to see Courtenay Brown’s remote viewing of the Crucifixion he claims supports “Seth”. You will see that the essence of all this is the contention that since Christ preached against “Sacrifice” continuously while on earth, it is highly unlikely as an extremely advanced entity, that he would allow himself to be sacrificed, but rather accepted a ruse arranged for him by Judas to use a volunteer derange man instead.
It does seem highly contentious since, if true, it demolishes the argument that Christ died to save us all from sin and even the Catholic concept of original sin – which logically seems questionable.

Seth Comments
The “Seth” comments (channelled by Jane Roberts) – see below.
Remote viewing Support – arranged by Dr Courtenay Brown. Click on this link.

On balance, I rather side with this account due to two factors, the first is the reliability of ‘Seth” teachings due to “Source” analysis by Professor Cunningham, plus the scientific correlation research I am currently carrying out on “Content” on “Seth’s” teachings. (I hope to publish a scientific paper on this later this year).
The other reason, is of course the independent “blind” remote viewing arranged by Dr Courtenay Brown on the actual Crucifixion event. He has almost spent his working life on remote viewing research.

“Seth” on the Crucifixion of Jesus
NOTE: All punctuation is that of Seth.
Reference: “Seth Speaks”, (Session, 591, August 11, 1971, 9:03 pm, Wednesday
“Now: For your edification:”
Christ, the historical Christ, was not crucified. - You will have to give me time here. (Pause.)
He had no intention of dying in that manner; but others felt that to fulfil the prophecies in all ways, a crucifixion was a necessity. Christ did not take part in it (Pause.) There was a conspiracy in which Judas: played a role an attempt to make a martyr out of Christ.  The man chosen was drugged-hence the necessity of helping him carry the cross (see Luke:23) and he was told that he was the Christ. He believed that he was. He was one of deluded, but he also himself believed that he, not the historical Christ, was to fulfil the prophecies.
Mary came because she was, full of sorrow for the man who believed he was her son.  Out of compassion she was present. The group responsible wanted it to appear that one particular portion of the Jews had crucified Christ, and never dreamed that the whole Jewish people would be “blamed.”
(Pause at 10.00.) This is difficult to explain even for me to unravel.  The tomb was empty because the same group carted the body away. Mary Magdalene did see Christ, however, immediately after (see Matthew 28). (Long, pause.) Christ was a great psychic.  He caused the wounds to appear then upon His own body, and appeared both physically and in out-of-body states to His followers.  He tried however, to explain what had happened and His position but those who were not in on the conspiracy would not understand, and misread His statements.
Peter three times denied the Lord (Matthew 26), saying he did not know Him because he knew that that person was not Christ.
The plea, “Peter, why hast thou forsaken me?” came from the man who believed he was Christ-the drugged version.  Judas pointed out that man. He knew of the conspiracy, and feared that the real Christ would be captured. Therefore, he handed over to the authorities a man known to be self-styled messiah—to save, not destroy, the life of the historical Christ. (10.05. Jane’s pace had speeded up considerably now.)
Symbolically, however, the crucifixion idea itself embodied deep dilemmas and meanings of the human psyche, and so the crucifixion per se became far greater reality then the actual physical events that occurred at the time.
Only the deluded are in danger of, or capable of, such self-sacrifice, you see, or find it necessary.  Only those still bound up in ideas of crime and punishment would be attracted to that kind of religious drama, and find within it deep echoes of their own subjective, feelings.
Christ knew however, clairvoyantly, that these events in one way or another would occur, and the probable dramas that could result. The man involved could not be swerved from his subjective decision.  He would be sacrificed to make the old Jewish prophecies come true, and he could not be dissuaded.
(10:10.) In the Last Supper when Christ said, “This is my body, and this is my blood,” He meant to show that the spirit was within all matter, interconnected, and yet apart—that His own spirit was independent of His body, and also in His own way to hint that He should no longer be identified with His body.  For He knew the dead body would not be His own.
This was all misunderstood. Christ then changed His mode of behaviour, appearing quite often in out-of-body states to His followers. (See John 20, 21; Matthew 28, Luke 24.) Before, he had not done this to that degree.  He tried to tell them however that He was not dead, and they chose to take Him symbolically. (A one-minute pause.)  His physical presence was no longer necessary, and was an embarrassment under the circumstances. He simply willed Himself out of it. Now you may take your break.
(“Thank you.  It’s very interesting.”) (10:17. “Wow,” Jane said after she came out of trance, “nobody’ll like that.

Bruce Scott-Hill, Tue 2 May, 00:57


I’ve read a few of the Seth/Jane Roberts book but I haven’t come across the Jesus story. However, I recently read an article on a Gnostic site which tells the following story I wasn’t aware of.

In Book Six of his Wars of the Jews, Josephus briefly relates the story of a certain Jesus son of Ananias, a rustic from the hinterlands, who began incessantly proclaiming a series of woes upon Jerusalem several years before the Romans attacked. Regarded by the Jewish leaders as demon possessed, this Jesus was hauled before the Roman governor Albinus and flogged to the bone with whips. Albinus eventually pronounced the wretched man insane and released him. During the siege of Jerusalem, while still preaching judgment on the city, a stone from a Roman catapult struck the unlucky Jesus..[Read the Rest]

Jon, Sun 30 Apr, 12:13


After reading your article, I now join with you in belief. Incredible therefore to think that there is a strong possibility that this shroud enveloped once the body of Jesus. Still, putting my science hat on, I am aware of another story that says that Jesus was not crucified at all, but rather a demented person was happy to take his place. (This is according to a channelled teaching by a supposed high entity called, “Seth” – channelled by Jane Roberts.  Judas was supposedly involved in the successful plot. This was recently supported by a Dr Courtenay Brown – who arranged a remote viewing investigation, which is available on the internet.
Despite all this, yours was (as usual) a beautifully written article. You certainly do a great service for White Crow Books and for mankind - in your in depth, painstaking research and beautifully written articles.

Bruce Scott-Hill, Sun 30 Apr, 00:29


Thank you for the comment. I realize that there is no way to tell how many other crucified people were subjected to scourging before crucifixion, and so part of my 75% belief factor is based on references that say it was not common.  How those historians can know for sure one way or the other, I don’t know.  As for the crown of thorns, I see at least two blood stains on the forehead of the image, but, here again, who is to say what caused them?  I’ll hold at 75% for now.

Michael Tymn, Sat 29 Apr, 22:42

I have followed the research on the Shroud intermittently over the years, including the opinions of supposed experts pro and con. Like yours, my notions of its authenticity have wavered.

By the standard of ordinary common sense, the idea that the Shroud represents a kind of negative picture of Jesus is preposterous. But that could be said of many kinds of paranormal phenomena, including some for which there is strong evidence of their validity.

I watched, on YouTube, the History Channel documentary you referenced and while it was somewhat repetitious and the narration occasionally sensational, the discussion of the controversy over the carbon-40 dating of the cloth was persuasive. The scientific team that did the latest research resulting in the three-dimensional image created from latent information on the Shroud struck me as sane, competent, and as objective as anyone can be in such a contentious matter.

At this point I am convinced that the cloth is not some kind of medieval forgery, given that nothing is “painted” on it, the blood stains are actual human blood, the fiber is woven from a flax plant that grows in the Jerusalem area, that the segment of cloth used in the carbon testing was probably a later addition, and other details the program noted.

We seem to have in the Shroud an image of a man who was crucified some 2,000 years ago.

I am less convinced than you that he can be identified as Jesus, though.

The Romans of that era were remarkably tolerant of local religions and cults in the areas they ruled, but they were savagely intolerant of political insurrection. After the rebel army of Spartacus was defeated by Crassus, six thousand of Spartacus’s followers were crucified on the Appian Way. We do not know of any such horrifyingly spectacular mass executions around Jerusalem, but there is no doubt that some fractious Jewish sects were strongly anti-Roman. It seems entirely possible that many crucifixions took place in the Jerusalem area of which knowledge has been lost to history.

There’s not much evidence about Jesus’s political views—I know of nothing in the Gospels except the somewhat ambiguous “Render unto Caesar ...”—and we really have only what would now be called the “narrative” of the New Testament to back the claim that Jesus was crucified at all. The story that Pilate had Jesus executed to keep the peace with the Jewish authorities is possible, but hardly constitutes proof.

The blood stains on the Shroud indicating the victim was tortured with the flagellum is consistent with the Gospels’ account, but we don’t know whether such was a frequent refinement of Roman cruelty in that time and place. I cannot see a crown of thorns in any of the Shroud images.

Having said all that, I do believe that the Shroud is paranormal or, if you like, miraculous. And thank you for bringing the program to our attention.

Rick Darby, Sat 29 Apr, 00:00

I rather enjoyed Elene’s linked blog post about the Shroud and I agree with her comment that, “The one thing we know for sure, from studying the Shroud, is that we are creatures who have a gigantic ability to torment other members of our species. The only comfort I can find about this is that nowadays we at least give lip service to the idea that doing this is wrong, even as we keep doing it every day, all around the world.” - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Thu 27 Apr, 14:55


Thank you for that interesting link.  I don’t know if I fully grasp it, but it is my understanding that DNA from many people has been left on the Shroud over the centuries. This is from a vacuuming of the shroud.  Unless I missed it in my speed read, it is not specifically DNA from any of the many blood smears on the shroud.  It was implied in the documentary referred to that the DNA of one of the blood smears was from the area around Jerusalem, although I don’t know the history of this testing and am not inclined to research it at this time.

In her post below, Elene seems to say that testing of the blood on the Sudarium of Ovieda and the Shroud of Turin were both of the AB type.  Since only 4% of the population has AB type blood, that is an interesting match and contributes somewhat to the authenticity on a probability basis.

Dr. Pandarakalam, who also contributed a comment below, called my attention the Jospice Imprint, which is somewhat similar to the Shroud of Turin, although there are many dissimilarities. See for more on the Jospice Imprint. 

All that said, I am now at 75% rather than 80% on the authenticity of the shroud, at least as far as it being the burial cloth of Jesus.  Thanks to all for the comments.

Michael Tymn, Thu 27 Apr, 09:40

I am skeptical about the shroud’s DNA because

“In brief, mtDNA data indicate that numerous individuals have left traces of DNA on the TS. Moreover, their mtDNA sequences belong to haplogroups that are typical of different ethnic groups and/or different geographic regions, including not only Europe where official documents verify the presence of TS since 1353 AD but also North and East Africa, the Middle East and even India.”

Inconnu, Wed 26 Apr, 20:11


With the 3-D imagery mentioned above, the computer experts were able to come up with a death mask and from that they sculptured a head and face, just as we see them doing in modern police work.  The face they showed in the documentary was pretty average and looked like a typical man from that part of the world.  There is apparently no way to tell whether the skin was white, brown, or olive. 

I believe they said the image measured 5-11, although it may have been 5-8.  I read somewhere that the average Jewish man of that era was about 5 feet even, which means this person was much taller than average.  But the average male today is 5-9 and there are quite a few at 6-4 and taller, so the taller than average height doesn’t really disprove anything.

Thanks for your comments

Michael Tymn, Wed 26 Apr, 09:17

My courtroom logic prompts me to postpone judgment regarding the biblical authenticity of the Shroud of Turin.  Why did the gospel writers overlook such an unusual and important finding like the bodily image of Christ in his burial cloth when minute details of his burial, resurrection, apparitions and the empty tomb are narrated in all the gospels?  There appears not to have been even a folklore belief of such a miraculous image among the early Christians while the handkerchief story of Veronica, who wiped the facial blood stains of Christ, was prevalent as an extra-biblical story among them.  So, why didn’t anybody notice the bodily image of Christ in the shroud?  From these, it is obvious that the appearance of the image is a later development and not an instantaneous event alongside the resurrection.

Those who want to believe that the Shroud of Turin is actually the burial cloth of Christ can find a way around it if we hypothesise that the shroud actually combined an invisible “energy impression of the crucified body” and it became visible at a later date—a paraphysical/miraculous phenomenon.  So, one has to add another miracle to unravel the mystery of the shroud.  Scientists who investigate paranormal phenomena have to set what Renee Haynes would term their “boggle threshold” to infinity.  Induced quantum entanglement, the ultimate in scientific advancement, is halfway to being scientific reality. 

There is a similar scenario of invisible impressions becoming visible later in the Medjugorje visionary accounts.  Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo, one of the Medjugorje visionaries who claim to have had visions of Mother Mary since 1981, vouchsafed at Medjugorje to have received a parchment-like paper measuring 30.5 by 20 cm (8 x 12 in.) from the apparition that contained special invisible messages—written as though by a spy pen.  According to Mirjana, the writing was to become visible later, at a date when certain special messages are due to be revealed.

It is interesting to know that the Shroud of Turin is not a paint work or a medieval forgery.  Likewise, the Guadalupe image of the Blessed Mother (Mexico, 1531) is also scientifically proven to be not a paint work or creative artifact. 

After all, the purpose of the Divine incarnation was not to baffle us with miracles, but to teach us   unconditional love and lessons in forgiveness.  Yet, technically minded people need some pointers to faith and the Shroud of Turin could turn out to be one among them.  These are interesting times; those who are patient can get answers to their existential questions

Dr. James Pandarakalam, Wed 26 Apr, 08:59

The explanation given to Fr. Greber, that Jesus was not physically resurrected but appeared as his “odic body,” sounds as plausible as anything to me.  I agree that this explanation does not diminish the essential message that Jesus lived beyond the grave and we do too.

Readers here may also be familiar with the Gnostic point of view, which held that Jesus never had a “normal” physical body to begin with, and was considered by other Christians to be a dangerous heresy.

Whatever happened, and whether or not the image in the Shroud is actually that of Jesus, something non-ordinary took place to produce this mysterious piece of linen.  Here’s what I wrote about it a few days earlier:

Elene Gusch, Wed 26 Apr, 07:09

The information laid out here is quite convincing Mr. Tymn. The evidence seems to point that there is something miraculous about the shroud, and that it’s not a fake, but there’s one factor that makes me skeptical that it really is Jesus: from what I’ve read, people from his region didn’t look like the man in the shroud (especially the popular image of Jesus that we have today, from artist Warner Sallman). The New Testament says that when the Romans came to get Jesus, Judas had to point him out, which implies that Jesus looked like an ordinary man of his time, and not a handsome white guy. The man in the shroud would have easily stood out in a crowd.

I don’t doubt that there’s something unusual about the shroud, but I’m not convinced that it actually is Jesus.

Ian, Tue 25 Apr, 18:42

Michael, are you aware of the Tibetan buddhist concept of manifestation of the Rainbow Body
(Tibetan: འཇའ་ལུས་, Wylie: ‘ja’ lus, Jalü or Jalus - acknowledgments to Wikipedia) when the body of a very spiritually advanced lama dissolves into light over a period of several days after death. There have been a few fairly reliable modern accounts, but nothing as yet which I would consider definitive. 

As I consider Jesus Christ to have been a boddhisatva (although the theory that he travelled to India has now, I understand, been exposed as an early 20th century fraud), His resurrection doesn’t present a problem for me.  Now if only we could get hold of the robes of lamas who have manifested the Rainbow Body and test them!

Who knows. Perhaps, with the spread of Vajrayana buddhism around the world, it might even happen in the West in a hospital or funeral parlour!  That would make health care professionals and funeral undertakers pay attention and coroners would have to create a new category of verdict!

Paul McElroy, Tue 25 Apr, 15:32

The Shroud is now the most important religious relic in the world because it has been subjected to such rigorous scientific testing and its authenticity established.  The image of the Man in the Shroud was created by a mysterious—call it miraculous—process which science does not understand but which the investigating scientists say involves a form of energy unknown to science (Frank Tribbe’s “Portrait of Jesus?” describes this and more about the Shroud.)

The Knights Templars understood it, however.  At least, they understood that the Shroud was mute testimony to the fact that Jesus transubstantiated himself in the grave through an act equivalent to a self-controlled nuclear explosion which transformed his flesh, blood and bone into a body of light—the resurrection body—and thereby conquered death.  He attained enlightenment to the ultimate degree; he actually became light and is now known as the Light of the World.

John White, Tue 25 Apr, 06:52

Another great post Mike. Love the way that you weaved in Johannes Greber’s book- one of our top 10 on afterlife research.

wendy zamit, Tue 25 Apr, 00:41

From my point of view Jesus had an NDE

Claudio, Mon 24 Apr, 17:09

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Ukraine War: A Story of Survival, Sacrifice, and Service – If charitable service to those in need is the ultimate in spirituality here in the physical life, this book most certainly deals with spiritual matters. The author, Amber Poole, an American woman and her husband, Paul, from Scotland but with Polish roots, operated an educational center in Poland when the Russians attacked Ukraine in 2022. As many Ukrainians fled to Poland, they turned their center into a home for as many as 40 refugees. The author kept a very interesting “war diary” over the first 18 months of the war, discussing everything from the cultural adjustments required by both the Polish and the Ukrainians to her own reactions and adjustments, as well as philosophical concerns and conflicts that often surfaced. In spite of the adversity and distress, she embraced the adversity. Read here
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