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Carbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin
Is Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ
May 8, 2015
The Shroud of Turin is a 14.3-foot long linen cloth that contains a faint image of the front and back of a man.
The results of a battery of carbon dating tests performed on the Shroud of Turin in 1988 concluded that the material of the Shroud was only about 600 to 725 years old.
But the carbon dating results are contradicted by a mountain of evidence that supports the belief the Shroud dates back to the time of Jesus of Nazareth.
For example, in 2002, Dr. Mechthild Flury-Lemberg, a respected expert on textiles, discovered that one border of the Shroud contains a particular style of stitching so unique “it could have only been created in the time of Jesus or just previous.” Such stitching has never been found in medieval Europe but is similar to the hem of a cloth found in Masada, the Jewish fortress near Jerusalem that was destroyed in 74 AD. Atheists have never been unable to refute this.
There are dozens of well documented books detailing an overwhelming amount of evidence that support the belief many Christian have – which is the Shroud wrapped the body of Jesus Christ during His Resurrection, and the image on the Shroud was created by energy that emitted from the body of Jesus during His Resurrection.
The most scientific and extensive research ever performed on the Shroud spanned more than three years and was begun in 1978 by the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP). Over thirty experts including NASA and Los Alamos Laboratory scientists used two tons of scientific equipment to examine and record essentially every inch of the Shroud, and collected samples of dust, pollen, “blood,” etc. from the surface of the Shroud.
In 1981, STURP published papers and articles in scientific journals with the conclusion that the image on the Shroud “was not the product of an artist.”
Think about that!
The image of the Shroud “was not the product of an artist.” This made atheists apoplectic – “not the product of an artist” really means “not the product of any human being.”
And so it is not at all surprising that beginning in 1981, there was enormous urgency within the atheist leadership circles to “do something about the Shroud.”
Atheist scientists began to zealously push hard for a carbon dating of the Shroud, and of course they wanted to perform the dating themselves. They succeeded in convincing the Catholic Church to let them do exactly that.
And that is OK with us, and we actually trust the results.
But as we will explain in this article, although the results of the carbon dating on the Shroud “dates” the Shroud to medieval times, in reality, the carbon dating actually produced evidence that supports the Christian belief that the Shroud wrapped the body of Jesus when He was resurrected.
Find the Truth And You Will Connect All the Dots
Atheists assert the Shroud is a forgery by a very “clever” medieval artist, whereas Christians believe the Shroud surrounded the body of Jesus of Nazareth during His Resurrection and the image on the Shroud is an energy-photo taken at the time of the actual Resurrection.
The conflicting evidence and beliefs about the Shroud make it the world’s most controversial artifact.
Atheists love to select one piece of evidence they like, and throw out any evidence they do not like. That is not good science, it is black science.
True science informs us that we must take into account all the evidence and connect all the dots.
This article will propose a hypothesis that reconciles the seemingly contradictory evidence and connects all the dots – and at the same time, we expect our new hypothesis will add to the controversy.
But first, in order to help you fully understand our hypothesis about the Shroud, we would like to inform you of some little known facts about the carbon dating methodology.
Facts About Carbon Dating
This is important to understand so let us repeat this one more time.
Carbon dating measures the amount of carbon-14 decay after something dies.
Carbon dating does not tell us how long anything actually lived, and carbon dating does not tell us how long anything has been on Earth.
Carbon dating only tells us how long something has been dead.
This means if something is not dead, carbon dating will not work at all.
It actually also means sometimes carbon dating does not tell us the most important information, which is how long anything was alive.
To put it another way, carbon dating only works on things that used to be alive and is now dead. (To more fully understand carbon dating, please click here to read the Wikipedia.org article about carbon dating).
Now that you have read the Wiki article – let us say it one more time:
Carbon dating is a good tool that can help us know how long something has been dead. Carbon dating cannot tell us how long anything was alive. Sometimes, the most important information is how long something lived.
The following example will help you better understand the limitations of carbon dating.
Carbon Dating of Trees Lacks the Most Important Information
Some trees live for thousands of years.
If a tree began its life about 5000 years ago, and then died about 1315 AD, and if we performed carbon dating tests on the remnants of that tree, we would know it died about 700 years ago.
But carbon dating cannot tell us how long the tree lived before it died. Carbon dating could not tell us when the tree actually began its life. Carbon dating would give us no clue that any particular tree is one of the oldest trees in history and lived for 4300 years before it died.
In order to try to find information on how long the tree lived before it died, we have to look at other types of evidence. For example, we could use tree circumference measurements or tree ring data to help us know about how long the tree was alive.
In the case of this tree in our current example, the most important information about the tree is not that it died about 1315 AD, but that it lived for 4300 years before it died and it was one of the oldest trees that ever lived. Carbon dating alone would not give us this most important information. We have to look at other evidence to find this information.
Carbon Dating of the Shroud Lacks the Most Important Information
In exactly the same way, the carbon dating of the Shroud probably only told us when the Shroud’s material “died,” but not how long it lived before it died.
The Shroud was made from linen which has cotton fibers – the people doing the carbon dating on the Shroud assumed that the cotton fibers died before the Shroud was actually woven, which generally is a valid assumption. You see, cotton fibers come from cotton plants which of course were living plants at one time, but died before the cotton gets woven.
But if Jesus of Nazareth really was resurrected, and if the Shroud actually wrapped His body during the resurrection, then the cotton fibers may very well have also been resurrected by the same resurrection energy that gave new life to Jesus, and the cotton of the Shroud could have then continued to “live” for over a thousand years.
With all this in mind, we propose the following hypothesis for the Shroud of Turin:
Carbon Dating Was 1300 Years Wrong Because
The Shroud’s Material Was Given New Life
During the Resurrection of Jesus Christ
We propose that the image of the Shroud was imprinted onto the Shroud during the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth and the resurrection energy gave new life not only to Jesus but also to all the linen and cotton material comprising the Shroud. The cotton components of the cloth thereafter lived on for another 1300 years or so during which time the cloth obviously did not age normally, and there was no carbon-14 decay.
The aging process of the Shroud slowed down, which you would expect if the Shroud was touched by the energy of the resurrection – the Shroud material had its own resurrection and was given new life by the resurrection energy.
The results obtained from the carbon dating of the Shroud only informed us that the material of the Shroud finally “died” between 1260 and 1350 AD and that is all we learned from carbon dating.
But the carbon dating procedure was unable to give us the most important information, which is the Shroud lived for 1300 years before it died and the Shroud was woven 2000 years ago.
Just as we have to go outside of carbon dating to find out how long that tree lived before it died, we also have to go outside of carbon dating to find out when the Shroud was actually made, or how long the Shroud “lived” and actually existed before it “died.”
We Know, Atheists Do Not Like This Hypothesis
Atheists will shout ‘FOUL” and “PREPOSTEROUS” but our hypothesis is the only one that reconciles all the evidence. Our “Resurrection of Jesus and Shroud” hypothesis is the only theory that connects all the dots.
Our hypothesis is the only explanation that is consistent with all of the credible evidence.
We know that atheists love to point to one piece of evidence they like and then ignore all the other evidence. But in doing so, atheists are breaking the rules of good science.
Good science teaches us that a valid hypothesis must connect all the dots, in other words, we should account for all the evidence and formulate a hypothesis that reconciles them all.
In the case of the Shroud, atheists assert that the carbon dating results are indisputable and therefore we can ignore all the other evidence.
But that is absurd – carbon dating produces very limited information.
In the case of the tree, carbon dating did not give us enough information and we had to obtain other evidence, like tree rings, to find out that the tree was one of the oldest in history.
In the case of the Shroud, carbon dating also provided only limited information and there is so much other evidence that it would be unscientific to ignore them all. It happens that all the other credible evidence supports the theory that the Shroud is the burial cloth of Jesus Nazarene and the image was imprinted onto the Shroud by the energy of the resurrection. As we already said, there are dozens of well documented books detailing solid evidence in support of this.
Until now, the carbon dating evidence was the only solid evidence atheists had that supported their assertion the Shroud is a fake.
But that has changed.
We now know the carbon dating never could tell us when the Shroud was actually made. Instead, the carbon dating only tells us how long ago the Shroud’s cotton components started to exhibit carbon-14 decay.
Therefore, the carbon dating results are actually evidence that support the theory Jesus Nazarene was actually resurrected. This is due to fact that in order to conform to all the evidence, the only explanation is that the cloth of the Shroud was simultaneously resurrected and was given new life for another 1300 plus years.
Even Carl Sagan Would Have Had To Agree Resurrection Is Possible
If you are an atheist, you probably think resurrection is just religious nonsense and think we are crazy but please consider this:
Atheists just love Carl Sagan, and he famously said that the Drake Formula for Alien Life tells us there are probably millions of advanced civilizations in this Milky Way Galaxy and trillions more in other galaxies.
(Please click on this link to watch Carl Sagan come to this conclusion).
Let’s use the exact same type of logic Carl Sagan used in the above video. By doing so, we arrive at the following conclusion that resurrection is easily possible:
If only 1 percent of the millions of civilizations in our galaxy advanced their medical capabilities to the point they can essentially live for thousands of years and essentially restore life, and if only 1 percent of those civilizations advanced to the point where they could travel into space and visit the Earth, then there would be at least hundreds of alien civilizations in this galaxy that could have resurrected Jesus. Or Jesus could have been one of them.
Carl Sagan would have had to admit that there could be lots of advanced civilizations that would be able to perform god-like miracles such as resurrections.
What We Embrace and Believe
You yourself may not be interested but many have wondered what our beliefs are.
We embrace, love and honor Jesus of Nazareth and acknowledge Him as Son of God.
But we are certain the Bible is not the literal Word of God, although we honor and love those who wrote the Four Gospels as the greatest men to ever walk the Earth.
We embrace the idea of everlasting life but we reject the concept of hell and damnation because we always feel God’s divine love in our own lives, and because we know He is all forgiving.
We believe God wants women to have the right to choose whether to have abortions.
We do not believe God created this world and everything in it – Earth is too much of a mess and God would never have created a world where most animals have to kill other animals in order to survive.
So, as you can now see, our beliefs and viewpoints are complicated and unusual.
Obviously, we are not Evangelical Christians. But we are some form of Christian.
We have personal knowledge of the power of prayer and we are so grateful for the thousands of our prayers answered by Jesus, Mary and God.
We want everyone to have the right to pray in our schools and anywhere else they choose to pray.
If you need a label for us, we would call ourselves Christonians, which is what Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were. A Christonian is anyone who acknowledges that if everyone followed the teachings of Jesus Christ, the world would be perfect.
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