The Shroud of Turin: relic, historical artifact, icon or pious fraud?

Twitter icon

Facebook icon

About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Is this your first visit?
Contact us
External links

Recommended books

Visitors' essays
Our forum
New essays
Other features
Buy a CD of this site
Vital notes

World religions
Christian def'n
 Shared beliefs
 Handling change
 Bible topics
 Bible inerrancy
 Bible harmony
Interpret the Bible
 Beliefs & creeds
 Da Vinci code
 Revelation 666
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing Religions

Non-theistic beliefs

About all religions
Main topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handling change
Doubt & security
Confusing terms
End of the World?
True religion?
Seasonal events
Science vs. Religion
More information

Morality & ethics
Absolute truth

Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious freedom
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten Commandments
Abortion access
Assisted suicide
Death penalty

Same-sex marriage

Human rights
Gays in the military
Sex & gender
Stem cells
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news










Sponsored links


Religious Tolerance logo

Christian relics/urban legends


The Shroud of Turin: All sides of the issue:

horizontal rule

Conflilcting quotations:

bullet "The Shroud of Turin is a genuine artifact of a first century Roman crucifixion of an adult Jewish male...The Shroud of Turin is not the artifice of a forger." Jack Kilmon 1
bullet "It's senseless that this travesty is still being played out to the public, since it was in fact settled 600 years ago, but I guess if enough lies are propagated long enough, the truth will ultimately become the disenchanted myth." Bruce Monson expressing skepticism that the Shroud of Turin dates to the 1st century CE. 2

horizontal rule

Photograph of the Shroud of Turin by Giuseppe Enrie (1931)

Shroud of Turin3

horizontal rule

What is the shroud?

The Shroud of Turin is a piece of linen cloth 1.1 meters wide and 4.36 meters long (approximately 43 inches by 14.3 feet). The linen was "spun with a Z twist, and woven in a three to one (herringbone) twill." 4 It bears the negative image of the front and back of a naked man with beard, long hair and a mustache, bearing wounds on his body, most of which are consistent with having been flogged and later crucified. Many devout Christians believe that this shroud was the actual fabric used to wrap Jesus after his crucifixion circa 30 CE.

Most investigators assume that there are only two possible explanations about the nature of the Shroud:

bullet That it is the actual burial shroud of Jesus, having survived from the 1st century CE, or

bullet That it is a forgery, intended to deceive the faithful.

Only rarely are two additional possibilities suggested:

bullet That it is a religious artwork;  a type of painting, devoutly created to portray what the shroud might have looked like.

bullet That it is the burial shroud of a crucified man other than Jesus, which has survived from the 1st century CE.

horizontal rule

Sponsored link.

horizontal rule

The Shroud has an app:

The Shroud 2.0 app by Haltadefinizione can be downloaded from iTunes. It is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod devices. It comes in two versions: one is free; the other has a nominal cost and supplies additional in-depth material. See:

horizontal rule

Topics covered in this section:

bullet Introduction to the shroud:
bullet What do people believe the shroud to be?
bullet History of the shroud.
bullet What is on the linen?.

bullet Analysis of the shroud:
bullet 1. First impressions of the shroud

bullet 2. A more detailed analysis of the linen

bullet How the shroud might have been created in medieval times
bullet Dating methods:
bullet Carbon-14 dating according to most scientists

bullet Carbon-14 dating according to many conservative Christians

bullet 2004: Dating by measuring the Vanillin content of the shroud: Part 1  Part 2

bullet Dating by "mechanical and thermal measurement." Status of the Shroud according to the Vatican." (Being written)

bullet The shroud and the Bible text:
bulletAdditional information: Conclustions and books about the Shroud of Turin:
bullet Part 1.

bullet Part 2.

bulletWeb sites that discuss the shroud
bulletDevelopments from 1988 to the present time

horizontal rule

Sponsored link:

horizontal rule


  1. Joe Nickell, "Blooming 'Shroud' Claims," Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 1999-NOV/DEC issue, Page 22-23.
  2. Bruce Monson, "Oh what a tangled web we weave," Review of Ian Wilson, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real." Review is online at:
  3. Giuseppe Enrie, Shroud of Turin [Public domain], 1931 at: via Wikimedia Commons
  4. "The Holy Shroud," at: (No longer available online)
  5. Barry Karr, "Review of Evidence Confirms Shroud of Turin Is a Forgery," Religious News Service, at:

horizontal rule
Site navigation:

Home page >  World religions > Christianity > Christian history.... > here

 Home page > Christianity > Christian history... > Urban legends > here

or Home page > "Hot" religious topics > Urban legends > here

horizontal rule

Copyright 1999 to 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 1999-NOV-18
Latest update: 2016-DEC-14
Author: B.A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)
Sponsored link

horizontal rule

Go to the previous page, or go to the "Christian history, beliefs..." menu, or go to the "Christian Urban Legend" menu, or choose:

Custom Search

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Hot, controversial topics

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Twitter link

Facebook icon

GooglePage Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.

More To Explore