The Shroud of Turin, the burial shroud of Jesus, has long been decried as a ‘hoax’ by materialists and Christian-haters. Yet the scientific evidence now firmly favours its authenticity. Perhaps the most remarkable corroboration comes from the lesser known Sudarium of Oviedo.
This piece of ancient cloth It resides in the Cathedral of Oviedo, in Spain. The Sudarium is a piece of linen cloth, 34 by 21 inches, thought to have been used to cover the head of Jesus immediately after the crucifixion (John 20:7). Unlike the Shroud, the Sudarium does not display an image. The Sudarium contains male blood of type AB, however, which matches the blood on the Shroud. Moreover, the patterns of blood flow on the Sudarium are consistent with those of a crucified man.
Indeed, the Sudarium and the Shroud covered the same person, as Juan Manuel Miñarro, the author of a study sponsored by the Spanish Center of Sindonology, 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,” said the center’s president, Jorge-Manuel Rodríguez. “Logic requires that we conclude that we are speaking of the same person.”
ALTHOUGH MIÑARRO STOPS SHORT OF LINKING THE TWO CLOTHS TO JESUS, AMPLE RESEARCH HAS YIELDED STAGGERING EVIDENCE. FOR EXAMPLE, BOTH LINENS SHOW BLOODSTAINS ON THE HEAD, IN APPROXIMATELY THE SAME POSITION, THAT WERE FORMED BY SHARP OBJECTS, SIMILAR TO WHAT THORNS WOULD PRODUCE. JESUS WAS THE ONLY PERSON IN RECORDED HISTORY TO HAVE BEEN CROWNED WITH THORNS BEFORE CRUCIFIXION.
Bennett explains as well that the Shroud and the Sudarium are consistent with Jewish burial customs of Jesus’ day:
ANOTHER IMPORTANT MATTER IS THAT THE CADAVER THAT WAS WRAPPED BY BOTH THE SUDARIUM AND THE SHROUD SUFFERED DEATH BY CRUCIFIXION, BUT WAS AFFORDED A JEWISH BURIAL. THIS IS HIGHLY UNUSUAL BECAUSE MOST CRUCIFIXION VICTIMS WERE LEFT ON THE CROSS FOR DAYS AND THE BONES WERE LATER DEPOSITED IN COMMON GRAVES.
Bennett adds that the “new research establishes approximately 20 points of correlation [between the Shroud and the Sudarium], which more than satisfies the standards of proof used by most judicial systems around the world, which require only 8 to10.”
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