The Shroud of Turin continues to spark intense theological debate. While one side believes that the cloth is nothing more than a medieval forgery, the other contends that the x-ray-like image imprinted on it was supernaturally created during Jesus Christ’s resurrection.

In the past, claims that it was the work of a renaissance artist, an optical illusion or, as mentioned, a legitimate, faith-inspired phenomenon have abounded. Without a doubt, the cloth has confounded supporters and detractors, alike, for decades.

Now, “The Mystery of the Shroud,” a book that examines new chemical and mechanical tests that were more recently conducted on the shroud, seems to side with the latter assessment. Journalist Saverio Gaeta and Giulio Fanti of Italy’s University of Padua (professor of mechanical and thermal measurement) collaborated on the new book that maintains that the Shroud of Turin dates back to the 1st century and not to a later time period as some have contended.

New Book Offers Stunning Revelations About the Shroud of Turin | The Mystery of the Shroud

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As TheBlaze previously reported, the shroud features an image of a bearded man (i.e. Jesus) whose body appears to have wounds from nails in his hands and feet — the same locations that some believe were affected when Christ was nailed to the cross.

(READ THIS ON THEBLAZE BLOG: Did Jesus’ Face Really Appear on This Guy’s Shower Wall?)

Vatican Insider has more about the new book’s stunning claims:

New scientific experiments carried out at the University of Padua have apparently confirmed that the Shroud Turin can be dated back to the 1st century AD. This makes its compatible with the tradition which claims that the cloth with the image of the crucified man imprinted on it is the very one Jesus’ body was wrapped in when he was taken off the cross. The news will be published in a book by Giulio Fanti, professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at the University of Padua’s Engineering Faculty, and journalist Saverio Gaeta, out tomorrow. “Il Mistero della Sindone” (The Mystery of the Shroud)…

What’s new about this book are Fanti’s recent findings, which are also about to be published in a specialist magazine and assessed by a scientific committee. The research includes three new tests, two chemical ones and one mechanical one. The first two were carried out with an FT-IR system, so using infra-red light, and the other using Raman spectroscopy. The third was a multi-parametric mechanical test based on five different mechanical parameters linked to the voltage of the wire. The machine used to examine the Shroud’s fibres and test traction, allowed researchers to examine tiny fibres alongside about twenty samples of cloth dated between 3000 BC and 2000 AD.

The analysis was carried out by professors who hail from various Italian higher education institutes. Interestingly, they agree that the shroud does, indeed, date back to the period of Jesus’ purported death by crucifixion.

With 95 percent certainty, the Vatican Insider reports that the Shroud of Turin’s original dating in 1988 was incorrect and that the new FT-IR testing found the material to reach back to this timeframe. Rather than having roots between 1260 and 1390, the shroud, based on the new results, likely originated between 200 BC and 400 AD.

New Book Offers Stunning Revelations About the Shroud of Turin | The Mystery of the Shroud

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The previous 1988 carbon-14 tests, if these news findings are true, are incorrect. As the Telegraph notes, the previous study of the material was disputed due to the fact that the relic was repaired after a fire in the Middle Ages. Many shroud enthusiasts believed that the new fabric used to fix the relic contaminated the first set of results and inevitably led to the finding that the cloth originated much later than some believe.

On Saturday, pictures of the shroud will appear on television and Pope Francis will provide a voiceover discussing the fascinating relic. Those interested in seeing it up close can also download Shroud 2.0, a new app that showcases stunning images of the controversial fabric.

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