Both men suffered a series of punctures throughout the scalp from many sharp objects, a seriously bruised face, a horrible whipping (over 100 wounds from this beating have been counted on the shroud), abrasions on both shoulders from a rough, heavy object, and contusions on both knees. Both men had the more normal wounds associated with crucifixion; namely, punctured feet and wrists. Strangely, both men escaped having their ankles broken, as was normal, but both had post
20 Ibid., Chapter 4.
21 For an authoritative description of some of the proposed tests to be performed on the shroud, see Kenneth E. Stevenson, Editor, Proceedings of the 1977 United States Conference on the Shroud of Turin(Bronx: Holy Shroud Guild, 1977).
22 See Stevenson and Habermas, Verdict, chapters 5–6 and Appendix A. See also John Heller, Report on the Shroud of Turin(Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1983), especially chapters 12–14.
mortem chest wounds instead, from which blood and watery fluid flowed. Both men were buried hastily in fine linen and were buried individually.^23
Indications that the man buried in the shroud could be Jesus come from the correspondence between the two. They agree even down to the small details in about one dozen areas that were not normal crucifixion procedures. The chances are seemingly minimal that two men would have so many agreements, especially in points of abnormal circumstances. Also, no areas of contradiction apparently exist. It should additionally be remembered that the shroud has been kept for hundreds of years as the actual burial garment of Jesus, long before such scientific testing could be done. While this last point by no means demonstrates the shroud’s authenticity in any sense, it does show further a possible relationship between Jesus and the man buried in the shroud.^24
Naturalistic attempts to account for such phenomena as the three-dimensional, superficial and non-directional image, plus additional details such as its resolute and unsaturated nature, have failed to produce a viable alternative theory that explains all of the data. The scientists reported that they were unable to discover any known natural causes that could account for the shroud’s image. In scientific terms, the image is a “mystery.”^25
Perhaps even more amazing, the shroud contains no bodily decomposition, indicating that the body exited the cloth after a comparatively short interment. Furthermore, according to the scientific team pathologist, the body was probably not unwrapped, as indicated by the fact that many of the bloodstains were intact (including the blood clots), since such action would have disturbed the bloodstains. Even more interesting is the possibility that the image was caused by some sort of light or heat scorch that emanated from a dead body in the state of rigor mortis.^26 In short, the converging scientific facts show that the body left the cloth by some as yet unknown means. Since the man buried in the shroud is possibly Jesus, we also have some possible empirical evidence for his resurrection.^27
23 Stevenson and Habermas, Verdict, chapters 3, 10.
24 For details concerning this correspondence that cannot be presented in this book, see ibid., chapter 9.