Historian adds fuel to Turin Shroud debate





A Vatican researcher rekindled the age-old debate over the Shroud of Turin, saying that faint writing on the linen proves it was the burial cloth of Jesus.

Experts said the historian may be reading too much into the markings, and they stand by carbon-dating that points to the shroud being a medieval forgery.

Barbara Frale, a researcher at the Vatican archives, said in a new book that she used computer-enhanced images of the shroud to decipher faintly written words in Greek, Latin and Aramaic scattered across the cloth.

She asserts that the words include the name "(J)esu(s) Nazarene" - or Jesus of Nazareth - in Greek.

That, she said, proves the text could not be of medieval origin because no Christian at the time, even a forger, would have mentioned Jesus without referring to his divinity. Failing to do so would risk being branded a heretic.

"Even someone intent on forging a relic would have had all the reasons to place the signs of divinity on this object," Ms Frale said. "Had we found 'Christ' or the 'Son of God' we could have considered it a hoax, or a devotional inscription."

The shroud bears the figure of a crucified man, complete with blood seeping from his hands and feet, and believers say Christ's image was recorded on the linen's fibres at the time of his resurrection...


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