Was the Turin Shroud a medieval Easter prop?
By T.K. Randall
October 28, 2014 · 24 comments
Is the Turin Shroud really 2,000 years old ? Image Credit: CC 3.0 Mogadir
A British scholar and author has claimed that the controversial relic is not from the time of Jesus.
The famous shroud, which many believe to be the burial cloth of Jesus himself, has been the subject of debate for years.
Radiocarbon-dating has suggested that the shroud is not actually from the time of Jesus at all but from the medieval period, however conflicting studies and opinions have made it difficult to reach a definitive conclusion over its origins and millions of people continue to believe that it really does bear the image of Christ.
British scholar and author Charles Freeman however is not convinced. In his latest research he maintains that the shroud does date back to the medieval period as suggested but that rather than being a deliberate forgery it was actually a theatrical prop used in the Easter rituals of the time.
"On Easter morning the gospel accounts of the resurrection would be re-enacted with ‘disciples’ acting out a presentation in which they would enter a makeshift tomb and bring out the grave clothes to show that Christ had indeed risen," he wrote.
Freeman's conclusions are based on historical accounts and depictions of the shroud and on recognizing that its appearance is likely to have changed significantly over the centuries.
"Astonishingly, few researchers appear to have grasped that the shroud looked very different in the 16th and 17th centuries from the object we see today," he wrote.
Source: The Guardian
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