I just listened to a lecture by Dr. Gary Habermas at the EPS apologetics conference, and according to Gary it turns out there is very strong evidence in favor the Shroud’s authenticity. There are paintings of Jesus from the third through the tenth centuries that look they copied the face from the shroud. If the shroud was their model it had to preexist the artwork. It’s not a casual similarity, they have the same bruise marks and all. Forensic scientists have verified that the blood is real and that the body was in a state of rigamortis. Not to mention there is pollen from Jerusalem on it which is an unlikely find if it was a medieval European forgery as skeptics assert. As usual, skeptics have written it off as a hoax, which is understandable. In fact, I had discounted it as a forgery like so many other “relics” the medieval church attempted to pass off. Mainly because there was a carbon 14 test in the 1980s that dated it to the Middle Ages. So you would think that would be the end of it…
However it has now been demonstrated that the cloth they tested was a patch woven into the shroud from when it was scorched by fire – the original fibers are much older. At a symposium in 2005 it was demonstrated that newer fabric was spliced and woven into the old in the sample taken for the test. The carbon 14 test from the 1980s is now regarded as unreliable. Here is the peer reviewed scientific journal article that discredits the 1988 carbon dating.
In 1988, radiocarbon laboratories at Arizona, Cambridge, and Zurich determined the age of a sample from the Shroud of Turin. They reported that the date of the cloth’s production lay between a.d. 1260 and 1390 with 95% confidence. This came as a surprise in view of the technology used to produce the cloth, its chemical composition, and the lack of vanillin in its lignin. The results prompted questions about the validity of the sample.
Preliminary estimates of the kinetics constants for the loss of vanillin from lignin indicate a much older age for the cloth than the radiocarbon analyses. The radiocarbon sampling area is uniquely coated with a yellow–brown plant gum containing dye lakes. Pyrolysis-mass-spectrometry results from the sample area coupled with microscopic and microchemical observations prove that the radiocarbon sample was not part of the original cloth of the Shroud of Turin. The radiocarbon date was thus not valid for determining the true age of the shroud.
The image on the Shroud of Turin has not been explained by science and appears to be holographic in nature according to particle physicists who have examined the image. Far from being painted on the cloth , there is no other image like it in the world. It appears to be burned into the very top layer of the fibers similar to (but not identical to) radiation. The holographic nature strongly controverts ancient forgery methods, could it be that it evidences Jesus’ miraculous transformation from death to life?