The man on the Shroud
Copyright © Stephen E. Jones
This is the eleventh and final installment of part #22, "The man on the Shroud: X-rays," of my series, "The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic!" For more information about this series, see the "Main index #1" and "The man on the Shroud #8." Emphases are mine unless otherwise indicated.
- The man on the Shroud #8
- X-rays #22
Introduction The frontal image of the man on the Shroud includes under-the-skin x-ray images of his skull, cheekbones, teeth, finger bones, hand bones and the dorsal image his spine. See also 10Dec15.
[Above (enlarge): A Polarized Image Overlay photograph showing the Shroud face (left) compared to an x-ray image of a human skull (right). As can be seen, the Shroud image contains teeth and skull bone structures that are beneath the man's skin, which are only seen in x-ray radiographs or other modern imaging techniques.]
The Shroud man's finger and hand bones are x-ray images Sceptics had claimed that the Shroud was a medieval forgery because the man's "hands and fingers [were] unnaturally long and spidery". However in 1984, Giles F. Carter (1930-2010), a Professor of
Chemistry at Eastern Michigan University, who for 15 years had specialised in x-ray fluorescence analysis, proposed that parts of the Shroud man's image were the result of:
"... x-rays emanating from the bones of the man in the Shroud ... absorbed by elements (e.g., sodium, silicon, phosphorus, potassium, calcium) at the surface of the body, which would then fluoresce and emit secondary x-rays of relatively long wavelength".Carter noted that the fingers in the Shroud image "are extremely long for a man of 1.73-1.78 m (5'8" - 5'10") height" and "the probability is very small that a man of this height would have such long fingers". After considering other explanations of the Shroud man's too-long fingers, Carter proposed that, "the finger images may be due at least in part to x-rays emanating from the bones in the body":
"...the finger images may be due at least in part to x-rays emanating from the bones in the body. Finger bones continue throughout much of the hand, and they could cause the fingers to look too long. In normal bodies, the ratio of the distance from the middle fingertip to the base of the finger divided by the distance from the middle fingertip to the wrist (wound area) is about 0.5. This compares with a ratio of about 0.6 for the image on the Shroud, meaning that the fingers are unusually long and the rest of the hand is grotesquely small. The probability for this to have occurred must be small".In 1992, Dr Alan Whanger, using his Polarized Image Overlay technique, was studying both positive and negative photographs of the Shroud man's hands when he realised that he was "clearly seeing the bones in the fingers and the palm of the hand (the phalanges and the metacarpals)" - see above:
"It was immediately apparent to me that I was clearly seeing the bones in the fingers and the palm of the hand (the phalanges and the metacarpals). I have had considerable clinical experience in reading x-rays, but I took a photograph of this to a professor of skeletal radiology who agreed that indeed the bones are visible. I got x-rays of my own hands in the same position as those on the Shroud, and it became readily apparent that we were seeing the knuckles and the base of the thumb on the Shroud image".Whanger's identification of "the metacarpal bones and the three phalange bones of each finger" was confirmed correct by "Michael Blunt, Challis Professor of Anatomy at the University of Sydney".
The man's left thumb bones are visible under his left hand The man's curved and inverted left thumb bones are visible under his left palm. His right thumb bones may also be visible flexed under
the palm of his right hand.
"A second curious part of the Shroud image is the mouth area. Close inspection ... shows the presence of what appear to be eight or more objects, two rows of four or six ... Perhaps these could be teeth images ... Because the lips probably covered the teeth of the body of the Shroud, any images of teeth may indicate that x-rays have been involved in the formation of the Shroud image ...".[Above (enlarge): Extract from Shroud Scope of a close-up positive photograph of the Shroud man's mouth area. As can be seen, under the skin of the man's upper and lower lips are at least 4 pairs of upper and lower teeth with a bite line between them.]
Using his Polarized Image Overlay technique, Whanger was able to identify "teeth with their roots" and other beneath-the-skin skull bone features (see above), the "teeth images" in particular being "evidence of X-radiation from the depth of the body". Whanger also pointed out these beneath-the-skin x-ray images of the Shroud man's teeth explains why the artist who painted the sixth-century Christ Pantocrator icon at St Catherine's Monastery, Sinai, depicted Jesus' lips as chapped.
[Above (enlarge): Close-up of the lips of Jesus depicted in the sixth-century Christ Pantocrator icon at St Catherine's Monastery, Sinai. As can be seen the artist depicted Jesus' lips as chapped, which is inexplicable unless the artist saw the x-ray images of Jesus' teeth on the Image of Edessa/Shroud and interpreted them as chapped lips.]
Which is further evidence that the Shroud existed in the sixth century [see "c.550"], as the Image of Edessa, doubled-in-four (tetradiplon) - seven centuries before the earliest 1260 radiocarbon date of the Shroud!
[Above (enlarge): Enrie 1931 negative photograph of the man in the Shroud's head showing parts of his skull are visible under the skin, including his forehead, eye socket (supraorbital ridge or brow ridge), cheekbones and teeth.]
Part of the man's spinal column is visible in the dorsal imageCarter noted that, "Part of the backbone may be visible on the dorsal image ...". This was subsequently confirmed by
[Right (enlarge): Positive photograph of the Shroud's dorsal image, rotated with head uppermost, showing the spinal column (red arrow), vertebrae (yellow arrow) and termination at the pelvis (blue arrow).]
Nuclear medicine experiments A Californian urogynecologist Dr August Accetta, founder of the Shroud Center of Southern California, injected himself with a solution of methylene diphosphate which contained radioactive technetium-99m, a radioisotope with a short half life. The technetium-99 is absorbed by the body's bones and tissues and then emits gamma radiation which can be photographed. However, only about 50% of the technetium-99 binds to bone, with the rest binding to protein and red blood cells, which adversely affects the quality of the bone scan. Accetta, et al., do not claim that their human radiation experiment "reproduced any of the exact characteristics of the Shroud image", but they do claim that it "generated a number of characteristics which parallel the image on the
[Above (enlarge): "A nuclear radiation image produced by Dr August Accetta [left]... after injecting himself with a weak radioactive substance. The `V' shape in the genital area is a protective shield. The image has convincing VP-8 three-dimensionality, thereby replicating the Shroud [centre]. And particularly striking is the image of the hands [right top and bottom] ... compared to those on the Shroud, seen between them. Unlike in the case of the Shroud, the process showed up Dr Accetta's internal organs. Conceivably, therefore, the Shroud process was similar, though a mainly surface phenomenon only".]
Turin Shroud" and "those characteristics which are similar can potentially help to explain better those seen on the Shroud as well as point to the probable general origin of its image". Wilson listed those similarities between Accetta, et al.'s results and the Shroud:
"First, it was conclusively demonstrated that a full-body radiation image could be produced by this means, without the application of any paints or dyes, which replicated all the Shroud image's monochromatic characteristics. Second, the image had the same collimated, or straight-up, straight-down character as that of the Shroud's imprint, though in fairness it should be said that a collimator in the set-up ensured this, since otherwise the radiation would have spilled out at all sides. Third, apart from its being slightly more distinct against its background, the image had the same lack of outline as that on the Shroud. Fourth, the image shared the Shroud's otherwise seemingly unique lack of any light focus. Fifth, the Shroud's X-ray properties were strikingly replicated, spectacularly in the case of the hands, in which the metacarpal bones and phalange or finger bones could clearly be distinguished with a most compelling similarity to these same bones on the Shroud. Sixth, when viewed via the VP-8 Image Analyzer, Accetta's body exhibited the same three-dimensional properties as that on the Shroud imprint, the limbs being particularly similar".
Problem for the forgery theory (see previous three: #19, #20 and #21). So, far from the Shroud man's "unnaturally long and spidery" hands and fingers being evidence that the Shroud was a medieval forgery (see above), they along with the other parts of the man's image where his underlying bones are visible, are yet another problem (to put it mildly) for the forgery theory! That is because x-rays were first generated and detected by Fernando Sanford (1854–1948) in 1891 and first studied and named by Wilhelm Röntgen (1845–1923) in 1895. Therefore a medieval or earlier forger would not have known about x-ray images, let alone depicted them!.
Resurrection! After considering naturalistic alternatives (which don't fit the evidence and are so fantastic that it is highly unlikely that any Shroud sceptic would endorse them), Carter proposed that the Shroud is that of Jesus Christ, and the energy released by His resurrection "was partly in the form of x-rays, which then reacted with the linen":
"Another explanation, which should not be automatically rejected by scientists, is that perhaps the Shroud of Turin is in reality the Shroud of Jesus Christ, and perhaps some unknown process resulted in the resurrection, and the energy released by this process was partly in the form of x-rays, which then reacted with the linen Shroud as described above"Of course scientists should not "automatically reject..." any theory that fits the evidence, but modern science is dominated by the unproven and unprovable philosophy of Naturalism, which holds that `nature is all there is - there is no supernatural'. Even pro-authenticist scientists (who are not necessarily Christians - the late Alan D. Adler (1931-2000) was evidently not, being Jewish), can be unwittingly captive to Naturalism (Col 2:8), so they balk at the resurrection of Jesus as an explanation of the image of the man on the Shroud. For example, Adler dismissed Carter's x-ray theory as:
"... fine chemically, fine physically, yet bizarre biologically ... the man would have been so radioactive that he glowed in the dark. Not to mention he would have been dead long ago from the radioactivity"But the fallacies in Adler's rejection of Carter's resurrection explanation are: 1) Jesus was already dead - that's what "resurrection" means; 2) x-rays are electromagnetic, not nuclear, radiation, so there would have been minimal radioactivity (Accetta did not die); and 3) from a naturalistic perspective, the resurrection of Jesus, in which His body was transformed into a "glorious body" (Php 3:21; 1Cor 15:51-53), is "bizarre biologically"!
Given that: 1) "the odds [are conservatively] ... 1 in 83 million that the man on the shroud is not Jesus Christ" [11Nov16]; 2) Jesus' apostles and over 500 of His disciples saw and heard the Jesus they knew resurrected after His death (1Cor 15:3-8; Mt 28:16-20, etc); and 3) as we saw in this series it is evidence for the resurrection of Jesus in that the image of the man on the Shroud: has "No style" #16; is "Non-directional" #17; is a "Negative" #19; is "Three-dimensional" #20; and in this part #22 it contains X-ray images; and as we shall see in "Blood clots intact" #24 and "No image under blood" #25. So the evidence is overwhelming that the image of the man on the Shroud is, as Wilson put it, "a literal `snapshot' of the Resurrection" of Jesus:
"Even from the limited available information, a hypothetical glimpse of the power operating at the moment of creation of the Shroud's image may be ventured. In the darkness of the Jerusalem tomb the dead body of Jesus lay, unwashed, covered in blood, on a stone slab. Suddenly, there is a burst of mysterious power from it. In that instant ... its image ... becomes indelibly fused onto the cloth, preserving for posterity a literal `snapshot' of the Resurrection"!
1. This post is copyright. I grant permission to quote from any part of this post (but not the whole post), provided it includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date and a hyperlink back to this post. [return]
2. Carter, G.F., 1982, "Formation of the Image on the Shroud of Turin by x-Rays: A New Hypothesis," in Lambert, J.B., ed., 1984, "Archaeological Chemistry III: ACS Advances in Chemistry, No. 205," American Chemical Society, Washington D.C., pp.425-446, 433; Whanger, M. & Whanger, A.D., 1998, "The Shroud of Turin: An Adventure of Discovery," Providence House Publishers: Franklin TN, p.117; Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, p.29; Antonacci, M., 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY, pp.213-214; Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, pp.38; Oxley, M., 2010, "The Challenge of the Shroud: History, Science and the Shroud of Turin," AuthorHouse: Milton Keynes UK, p.241. [return]
3. Carter, 1982, p.433; Wilson, 1998, p.29. [return]
4. Carter, 1982, p.433; Whanger & Whanger, 1998, p.117; Accetta, A.D., Lyons, K. & Jackson, J., 1999, "Nuclear Medicine and its Relevance to the Shroud Of Turin," in Walsh, B.J., ed., "Proceedings of the 1999 Shroud of Turin International Research Conference, Richmond, Virginia," Magisterium Press: Glen Allen VA, 2000, pp.3-8, 3; Antonacci, 2000, p.214; Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, pp.37-38; Oxley, 2010, p.241. [return]
5. Carter, 1982, p.433; Wilson, 1998, p.29; Ruffin, C.B., 1999, "The Shroud of Turin: The Most Up-To-Date Analysis of All the Facts Regarding the Church's Controversial Relic," Our Sunday Visitor: Huntington IN, p.151; Antonacci, 2000, p.213. [return]
6. Carter, 1982, p.433; Wilson, 1998, p.29; Antonacci, 2000, p.213; Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, p.38; Oxley, 2010, p.241. [return]
7. Carter, 1982, p.433; Antonacci, 2000, p.214. [return]
8. Prather, J., 2015, "Autoradiography - Council for Study of the Shroud of Turin," August 29; Whanger & Whanger, 1998, p.117. [return]
9. Whanger & Whanger, 1998, pp.116-117. [return]
10. Dutton, D., 1984, "Requiem for the Shroud of Turin," Michigan Quarterly Review, 23, pp.243-55; Schafersman, S.D., 1982, "Science, the Public, and the Shroud of Turin, The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. VI, No. 3, Spring, pp.44-45, 45; Sox, H.D., 1988, "The Shroud Unmasked: Uncovering the Greatest Forgery of All Time," Lamp Press: Basingstoke UK, p.70; Schafersman, S.D., 1998, "Unraveling the Shroud of Turin," Approfondimento Sindone, Vol. 2. [return]
11. Extract from Latendresse, M., 2010, "Shroud Scope: Durante 2002 Vertical," Sindonology.org. [return]
12. Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., 1990, "The Shroud and the Controversy," Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nashville TN, p.131. [return]
13. Borkan, M., 1995, "Ecce Homo?: Science and the Authenticity of the Turin Shroud," Vertices, Duke University, Vol. X, No. 2, Winter, pp.18-51, p.42; Carter, 1982, pp.425, 433; Ruffin, 1999, p.151. [return]
14. Carter, 1982, p.430. [return]
15. Carter, 1982, p.430; Antonacci, 2000, p.213; Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, p.36. [return]
16. Whanger, A.D., 1998, "Radiation in the Formation of the Shroud Image - The Evidence," in Minor, M., Adler, A.D. & Piczek, I., eds., 2002, "The Shroud of Turin: Unraveling the Mystery: Proceedings of the 1998 Dallas Symposium," Alexander Books: Alexander NC, pp.184-189, 187; Oxley, 2010, p.241. [return]
17. Wilson, 1998, p.29. [return]
18. Whanger, 1998, p.187; Accetta, et al., 1999, p.3; Antonacci, 2000, p.214; Oxley, 2010, p.241. [return]
19. Extract from Latendresse, M., 2010, "Shroud Scope: Enrie Negative Vertical," Sindonology.org. [return]
20. Accetta, et al., 1999, p.3; Oxley, 2010, p.241. [return]
21. Carter, 1982, p.433. [return]
22. Extract from Latendresse, M., 2010, "Shroud Scope: Durante 2002 Face Only Vertical," Sindonology.org. [return]
23. Whanger & Whanger, 1998, pp.116-117; Accetta, et al., 1999, p.3. [return]
24. Whanger & Whanger, 1998, p.117. [return]
25. "Christ Pantocrator (Sinai)," Wikipedia, 6 February 2017. [return]
26. Extract from Latendresse, M., 2010, "Shroud Scope: Enrie Negative Vertical," Sindonology.org. [return]
27. Antonacci, 2000, p.213. [return]
28. Borkan, 1995, p.42; Accetta, et al., 1999, p.3; Oxley, 2010, p.241. [return]
29. Carter, 1982, p.432; Borkan, 1995, p.42; Accetta, et al., 1999, p.3; Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, pp.37-38; Oxley, 2010, p.241. [return]
30. Carter, 1982, p.433; Stevenson & Habermas, 1990, p.131; Antonacci, 2000, p.214; Oxley, 2010, p.242. [return]
31. Extract from Latendresse, M., 2010, "Shroud Scope: Durante 2002: Horizontal" (rotated left 90°), Sindonology.org. [return]
32. Antonacci, 2000, p.214; Oxley, 2010, p.242. [return]
33. Antonacci, 2000, p.214. [return]
34. Accetta, et al., 1999, p.3; Oxley, 2010, p.241. [return]
35. Extract from Latendresse, M., 2010, "Shroud Scope: Enrie Negative Horizontal (rotated left 90 degrees)," Sindonology.org. [return]
36. Accetta, et al., 1999, p.3; Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, p.130; Whiting, B., 2006, "The Shroud Story," Harbour Publishing: Strathfield NSW, Australia, p.181; Martindale, S., 2007, "H.B. doctor submits Shroud of Turin to scientific method," Orange County Register, October 19; "The Shroud of Turin proves the Resurrection," Free Christian Teaching TV, n.d., Accessed May 6, 2017. [return]
37. Accetta, et al., 1999, pp.3-4. [return]
38. Accetta, et al., 1999, p.4. [return]
39. Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, p.131. [return]
40. Accetta, et al., 1999, p.4. [return]
41. Accetta, et al., 1999, p.4. [return]
42. Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, p.130. [return]
43. "X-ray: Discovery," Wikipedia, 1 May 2017. [return]
44. Ibid. [return]
45. Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, p.38. [return]
46. Carter, 1982, pp.445-446. [return]
47. "Naturalism (philosophy)," Wikipedia, 22 April 2017. [return]
48. Zurer, P., 1983, "Archaeological Chemistry," Chemical & Engineering News, 21 February, p.35, in Stevenson & Habermas, 1990, pp.40-41. [return]
49. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?," , Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, p.251; 264-265; Wilson, 1998, p.234. [return]
Posted: 20 April 2017. Updated: 9 May 2017.