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Some believe it to be the burial cloth that once covered the body of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion, while others maintain it’s a medieval forgery. And still others are undecided. I’m talking about the famous Shroud of Turin, an ancient linen artifact that holds the image of a man bearing the wounds of a crucifixion imprinted on its fibers whom some believe to be Jesus. Its origin has been debated by scholars and theologians for centuries. And the arguments continue, for if it’s a forgery, why hasn’t anyone been able to replicate it? And if it’s authentic, can recent advances in scientific analysis prove it?
This month, St. Philip’s Church in Greenville is offering two lectures by Russ Breault, an internationally known expert on the Shroud of Turin, and founder of the Shroud of Turin Education Project. His work has been featured in documentaries aired on the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, and CBS.
The shroud is presently owned by the Catholic Church and is kept in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy. However, it’s not just Catholics who believe the image is that of Jesus.
To be clear, the Shroud of Turin has never been authenticated as being the burial cloth of Jesus, but evidence suggesting the possibility is certainly intriguing. Mr. Breault’s approach of the topic is similar to the way a modern crime scene detective analyzes evidence. His presentation relates what recent scientific discoveries have revealed, and puts forth arguments for both sides of the debate. He then leaves it up to his audience to draw their own conclusions.
As Mr. Breault states on his website, shroudencounter.com, “The Shroud of Turin is the most analyzed artifact in history, yet remains the world’s greatest unsolved mystery.”
His ninety-minute fast-moving presentation will be conducted twice: once on Saturday, March 10th at 5 p.m., and Sunday, March 11th at 2 p.m at St. Philip’s Parish Center. Tickets are $5 per adult, with children under 12 admitted free.