In his new book, The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection, English art historian Thomas de Wesselow claims that the ancient artifact is authentic and refutes scientific tests that declare the ancient shroud a medieval fake.
In 1988, laboratories at the University of Oxford, the University of Arizona and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, obtained small samples of the sacred cloth and conducted carbon dating tests. Their results were all the same; one of Christianity’s most mystifying relics could not have been used to wrap Jesus’ body because the tests dated the cloth samples to be from 1260 -1390 AD.
However, according to de Wesselow, “Technically, conceptually, and stylistically the shroud makes no sense as a medieval artwork.”
LiveScience reports that de Wesselow believes the image on the shroud was created by a natural chemical process and interpreted by Jesus’ followers as a sign that he rose from the dead.
"People in the past did not view images as just the mundane things that we see them as today. They were potentially alive,” said the author.
In a CBS interview, de Wesslow maintains that the image on the shroud correlates to the events of Good Friday through Easter Sunday.
"You start off with the flagellation, and that's very clearly presented on the shroud, with these very, very distinct marks of the flagrum," said de Wesselow. "You can then see the crown of thorns. He then is beaten and you can see on his face underneath his eyes there's a swelling. His nose looks as if it's been broken.”
The author also noted that many artistic renditions of the crucifixion incorrectly show Christ’s hands nailed to the cross through his palms rather than through the wrists, as shown on the shroud.