FORENSIC SCIENCE AND FAITH Shroud of Turin and Sudarium of Oviedo – A Forensic Match

SCIENCE AND FAITH ARE NOT INCOMPATIBLE

The  human blood on the Shroud of Turin traditionally believed to be the cloth which wrapped the body of Jesus in the tomb has repeatedly been confirmed by DNA testing as blood group AB. Even more surprisingly, blood on the ‘Sudarium’ the cloth  which is believed by many to have covered the face of Jesus,  has also tested AB.

Jewish funerary tradition demands that if the face of a dead person was in any way disfigured, it should be covered with a cloth out of respect for the deceased. According to the biblical account Jesus was afforded a Jewish burial,  highly unusual as crucifixion victims were normally left on the cross for days with the body later deposited in lime pits. The biblical account of the disciples entering the empty tomb describes the shroud and the cloth lying separately.  ‘Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,and the napkin that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes but wrapped together in a place by itself”. (John 20:7)  

Skeptics understandably dismiss such biblical accounts, however, when Nasa scientists placed the image of the Sudarium and the shroud over each other they  matched  perfectly.  New research establishes some 20 points of correlation between the Sudarium and the Shroud of Turin.  The standard of proof used by most judicial systems around the world to confirm correlation between items requires only a match of 8 to 10.

The history of the Sudarium cloth is well documented, it was originally brought from Jerusalem and has resided in the Cathedral of Oviedo  in Spain since the eighth century.

  • The markings show distinct matching facial geometry; the length of the nose through which the pleural oedema fluid came onto the sudarium has been calculated at eight centimetres, just over three inches, exactly the same length as the nose on the image of the shroud; there is also an exact correlation with the beard.
  • Two bloodstains caused by the ‘crown of thorns’ on the forehead of the man in the shroud  show a correspondence with the bloodstains of the Sudarium, the thorn wounds on the nape of the neck also coincide perfectly.
  • Botanical researchers Professor Danin and Uri Baruch confirm that of 141 pollens and spores found on the Sudarium which was brought to Spain, 99% are from the Mediterranean region including Jerusalem but not from Spain.
  • The research group of the  University of Murcia which is studying samples of the Shroud of Oviedo, has discovered a grain of pollen from one plant that, according to the pollen expert Marzia Boi, is compatible with the botanical species of  ‘Helicrysum’ This plant, used for thousands of years for cosmetic purposes in the Middle East; also was used in Jewish burials during the first century of the Christian era.

Small bunches or bouquets of flowers were placed alongside the body of the man of the shroud, leaving the imprints and pollen grains on both cloths. Professor Danin identified two pollen grains of the species Gundelia tournefortii as native to the Gaza Strip Israel. They are seen near the image of the man’s shoulder on the shroud and also found on  the Sudarium,  The pollen is adhered to the blood; this means that the pollen arrived on the shroud at the same time as the blood, not at some later point.  This fact is significant because it makes it possible to disprove the claims that the Sodarium of Oviedo is a Medieval fake since pollen grains are only visible through a microscope and were unknown in medieval times.

Juan Manuel Miñarro authored a study sponsored by the Spanish Center of Sindonology, (shroud investigation) and recently concluded: We have come to a point where it seems absurd to suggest that ‘by happenstance’ all of the wounds, lesions and swelling coincides on both cloths,” Jorge-Manuel Rodríguez, centre’s president stated: “Logic requires that we conclude that we are speaking of the same person.”

 

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