Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
April 27, 2009
The mystery of the shroud
Okotoks parish hosts Canadian-based exhibit on 1st century burial cloth
Dr. Phillip Wiebe
Dr. Phillip Wiebe, professor of philosophy at Trinity Western University, also a founding member of VSA, has written and spoken extensively on the Shroud. He was one of two keynote speakers who gave a series of presentations during the final two days of the exhibit in Okotoks.
His conclusion is that the Shroud gives evidence of the Resurrection.
“The Shroud for me is evidence that a body disappeared in a way required for a resurrection that no one witnessed.”
The evidence of the Shroud points to the body dematerializing at a subatomic level, rather than the molecular level of decay that an ordinary body goes through, Wiebe says. It would have required the equivalent of 29 atomic bombs to atomize an object of the density of a body.
There are unique qualities about the image on the cloth. It has a three-dimensional quality and displays characteristics of an X-ray image. It is anatomically correct and could not have been produced by any known artistic method. The wounds on the body are also consistent with the Gospel accounts of what happened to Jesus during his passion and crucifixion.
After lecturing on the Shroud for many years, Wiebe took the opportunity to see it in 2000. When he did, he says it spoke to him saying, “The resurrection is real, Phillip.” The statement immediately resolved his four-decade quest to know the identity of Jesus and confirmed for him the deity of Jesus.
Like Wiebe, Russ Breault, president and founder of Shroud of Turin Education Project, Inc., from Atlanta, Ga., is a non-Catholic expert on the Shroud. He has lectured around the world, to Catholic and non-Catholic audiences. His fascination with it became his life work after writing two articles on the scientific studies done on the Shroud in 1978 for his campus newspaper in 1980.
“I became convinced of two things: the Shroud was a phenomenal witness for Christ, and nobody knew anything about it. So, I took it upon myself to start lecturing on it and it took on a life of its own.”
Breault says there is a preponderance of evidence, a collection of proofs, pointing to the piece of cloth definitely being a genuine Jewish burial shroud that originated in Israel at the time of Jesus. Still, not all the questions about it have been answered.
“The image remains inexplicable. It is 30 years since it was researched, but we still don’t understand how the image was formed. Everyone likes a good mystery, and you can’t get a better one than the Shroud of Turin.”
While it cannot be proven that it is the Shroud of Jesus, Breault says that from a scientific perspective, it bears witness to an historical event that actually occurred 2,000 years ago. It is mute testimony to the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Its significance and meaning go beyond that for every Christian believer, he says.
“The message of the Shroud also points to a future event. Whatever happened to Jesus in the tomb is going to happen to every believer in the future. It is the hope of our own resurrection. Jesus described himself as the ‘first fruits’ of the resurrection, and that becomes our hope for ourselves as believers.”
He speculates that the message of the Shroud might also be that little piece of evidence that those who live in this skeptical age are looking for.
“Looking at the message of the Shroud, it goes to the heart of God, who doesn’t want any to perish, but wants all to come to salvation.”
More information about the Shroud of Turin is available on websites such as www.manoftheshroud.org; www.shroud.com; and www.shroudencounter.com.
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