For most people, the answer is, “No one knows.” Such an answer seems acceptable as there were no known portraits made of him in his lifetime and the photograph wasn’t invented, yet. Even for religious people, unless they’ve had a vision of Jesus (which does happen from time to time), most religionists just don’t know. Surely we’ll just have to wait until the Second Coming or Judgment day to find out, right?
Maybe not. Maybe we already have the image of Jesus Christ.
what4anarchy recently brought me a DVD entitled, The Fabric of Time. It was a documentary that presented the results of all the scientific studies done on the Shroud of Turin, a burial cloth that contains an image of a crucified man in the fibers of the cloth itself. No one knows how the image was created; it is not a painting. Despite intense scientific examination, scientists are still baffled. However, we do know the following:
- It is not a painting
- It is of an estimated 5′ 11″-6′ 2″ semitic man in his thirties, who weighed approximately 170 pounds
- The man was crucified
- The man was scourged in a manner exactly corresponding to Roman techniques
- The man had long hair and a beard, part of which appears “plucked out”
- There are head wounds consistent with the damage inflicted by a crown of thorns
- There is a right side wound consistent with a spear thrust
- Scrapes on the knees and shoulders are apparent
- Bruises on the face are apparent
- The wrists had wounds that are consistent with Roman crucifixion, i.e. as if nails had pierced them
- The thumbs curled under, consistent with a wound inflicted by nail insertion at the wrists
- Two coins were placed over the eyes, one on each eye and from their markings they can be traced to Jerusalem, being struck in 29 AD
- The coins were of equal value to the widow’s mites
- A plaque was placed over the neck in burial with four Hebrew letters written on it, which together mean, “Abba” or Father.
- Images of flowers were also found on the cloth
- The flowers were determined to be those found only in the Jerusalem area, only blooming during March and April, the time around the death of Christ
- The cloth (the Shroud of Turin) is fourteen feet long, half covering the bottom of the body and the other half covering the top of the body
- The image was transferred to both top and bottom parts of the cloth, so that half of the cloth shows the anterior of the body and the other half of the cloth shows the posterior
- Both anterior and posterior images of the crucified man are perfect, meaning the image was impressed upon the cloth while the body was suspended in mid-air and while the cloth was pulled perfectly taut
- 2-d photographic images taken of the cloth have recently been processed and converted into 3-d images, allowing the image of the man to be viewed in 3 dimensions
- Testing is undergoing to determine whether the fibers of the cloth itself are actually holograms, which, if this proves true, will allow complete reconstruction of the entire image (parts of which were lost due to fire damage in the Middle Ages)
- The few dissenting scientific opinions (concerning paint particles and Carbon-14 dating) have been scientifically disputed in peer-review journals, for very good reason
- I’m still working my way through all the bonus features, but I could have sworn that expert, scientific testimony also stated that the body had no broken bones
All in all, the evidence is overwhelming that the Shroud of Turin contains an actual image of the full body and face of Jesus Christ, front and back, processed in some yet unknown way. The mystery of the anomalies of the cloth—for example, the apparent position of the body when the image was impressed upon the cloth (hovering or levitating over the stone slab, instead of resting upon it)—leads the more religious of the scientists to theorize that this image may have been created at the moment of Christ’s resurrection.
I invite other LDS to look into this for themselves. If you haven’t yet seen Jesus in vision, this may be the opportunity to do so. In addition to the above DVD documentary, you may want to visit The Shroud of Turin web site, which also contains the latest research.
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