Is the Shroud of Turin really Jesus' burial cloth?
Jesus was taken from the cross in a cloth, according to Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Matthew 27:59; Mark 15:46; Luke 23:53). More than 1,300 years later, a cloth was "discovered" and thought to be Jesus' burial cloth. It is located now in Turin, Italy and referred to as the Shroud of Turin.
The Shroud of Turin shows markings that indicate whomever was buried in it had been crucified (markings on the hands and feet consistent with the wounds of crucifixion). There are also markings around the head, back, and legs consistent with torture. What the Gospels describe as the beatings Jesus underwent before and during His death on a cross are consistent with these markings.
Some people believe the Shroud of Turin is indeed the burial cloth of Jesus Christ while others say it is a work of art, or a hoax. Some testing shows the Shroud of Turin to be as old as the 10th century BC while other testing reveals pollen spores common to Israel dated to the 1st century AD.
The Bible's description of what happened to Jesus after He died on the cross is inconclusive about the Shroud. The cloth used on Jesus' body as it was taken from the cross, as referenced above, was a whole piece of linen. When the body arrived at the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea it was likely washed and rewrapped. Luke 24:12 and John 20:5–7 are sometimes translated as "strips of linen" and sometimes "linen cloths." We know there were at least two pieces of linen: one for Jesus' head and at least one for His body. The Shroud of Turin is in one piece, showing the wounds from head to foot. These facts seem to dispel the idea that the Shroud of Turin is the burial cloth of Jesus.
So, how should we regard the Shroud of Turin? It might have been the burial cloth of a crucified man, but is not likely associated with Jesus. Due to its doubtful nature, we cannot use it to prove Jesus' resurrection. Even if it were Jesus', it is certainly not something to be worshipped. Our faith in Jesus' death and resurrection does not rely upon any physical evidence, but on the eye witness accounts and upon the Word of God. And our worship is reserved for God alone.
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