Shroud of Turin Rendition in Torino, Italy

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Museo della Sindone (Holy Shroud), Torino, Italy

You can’t usually see the original Holy Shroud, as the Church only occasionally brings the famous artefact out for public viewing (the last time being in 2010). However, you can visit the museum to learn a lot about it, later viewing a life-size reproduction displayed in a chapel. The Holy Shroud is an ancient relic passed down through generations and closely guarded, as many believe it is the shroud that once wrapped Jesus’ body after death. And if you study the cloth, it’s true that the wounds evident on the shroud do correspond with the wounds dictated in the Bible (blood stains on the man’s feet from a nail hole as well as on the wrists – interestingly not the hands; this has to do with a lack of difference between ‘hand’ and ‘wrist’ in ancient Greek. The man also has a postmortem cut on his side, his back is injured as result of a whipping and multiple puncture wounds appear on the forehead as well as signs of a beating). However, according to carbon dating, the Shroud is at best 1,000 years old – bringing up the question of how accurate carbon dating is (if contaminated by chemicals, linens especially can be affected). Here, lit from below, is a Polish artist’s rendition of the moment that Christ comes back to life, gasping for air after lying dead and buried for days. Whether or not you believe in God, whether or not you think that by staring at the Shroud you are literally staring into the eyes of Jesus, you have to admit that the idea that it could be him is powerful and arresting – and enough to make your spine tingle. “And let there be light,” you whisper as you eventually tear your eyes away from the powerful figure who may or may not be Jesus Christ.

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2 thoughts on “Shroud of Turin Rendition in Torino, Italy

  1. The Greek word translated “hands” is cheir. There is no Greek word for wrists. In Acts 12:7 the same Greeks word is translated “wrists”. Some have theorized that nails through the hands would not have supported the weight of a human body.

    • Wow that’s really interesting! The exhibit didn’t mention that (well, at least not that I remarked). But it certainly mentioned the fact that the only wound that doesn’t correspond with traditional Biblical depictions is the wrist wound. It is rather interesting to see how different languages translate things when no perfect translations exist–and how that can lead to errors in understanding; my current studies in French have made that even more evident!

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