The Shroud of Turin remains one of the enduring mysteries of our age. No convincing explanation has yet been given for the “negative” image of a crucified man transferred to a length of cloth and preserved in Turin for the last four centuries. Although radiocarbon dating of the fabric in 1988 indicated it to be medieval, synchronous with the Shroud’s first recorded appearance in the 1350s, there is still no satisfactory explanation for the image itself. Was it painted? If so, by whom? How could the artist have understood perspective before this technique was “discovered” in the Renaissance? How could he have painted an image in negative with no means to see and check it? With so many questions about the Shroud as inexplicably unresolved as ever; with the radiocarbon dating findings only deepening the riddle, not solving it; and with the Shroud about to be shown again, in 1998 and 2000; an overview and an up-to-date consideration of the evidence is overdue. Here, Ian Wilson returns to the subject of his international bestseller, “The Shroud of Turin”, to reveal such startling findings as the discovery of human blood and DNA on the Shroud; the uncovering of historical evidence that something very like the Shroud existed at the time Jesus lived; the discovery of a “bioplastic coating” of living microorganisms which, if it had been carbondated in 1988, would have indicated that the Shroud was some one thousand years older than it was thought to be; and the new analysis of the photographic-negative-like image on the Shroud.
Wilson’s landmark book on this subject, “The Shroud of Turin”, was published in 1978. In the intervening twenty years, in addition to the radiocarbon dating, much additional research has been done on the Shroud, and the dating process itself scrutinized. Ian Wilson’s pursuit of every discipline related to the Shroud, including art history, physiology, chemistry, microbiology, photography, and archaeology, has equipped him to give the most authoritative answer yet to the question: Did the Shroud wrap the body of Christ? His enthralling text, with its objective but persuasive answers, tells us as much as it is currently possible to know. It also makes it possible for us to believe.