"The Riddle of the Ages"
"One of the Most Perplexing Enigmas of All Time"
Did you know the actual burial cloth that once wrapped the corpse of Jesus likely exists still today? Furthermore, did you know that this ancient artifact kept in Turin, Italy, has an inexplicable full-body image of a crucified man featuring the same wounds that Jesus suffered while on the cross, as recorded in the canonical Gospels? When Pastor Stalley first heard these claims, he was quite skeptical and thought the matter was ridiculous, just foolish nonsense. He had earned a master's degree in church history many years earlier and had never even heard of the Shroud in Turin. But once he began to personally research the matter, he was blown away by both the scientific and historical evidence suggesting the Shroud was indeed authentic. This ancient artifact has been scientifically studied and scrutinized more than any other artifact in existence. Yet, after all of that investigative research and scientific experiments, the remarkable image on the Cloth remains unexplainable (scientifically speaking by natural means), "not the work of an artist," and irreproducible. Amazing indeed!
Elsewhere on this website the reader will learn of amazing discoveries regarding the Turin Shroud that have surfaced in recent years from the lens of forensic science (click on the "Apologetic" tab above). Those discoveries are discussed in more detail in the paper on authenticity found below. The significant contribution this website makes to research on the authenticity of the Shroud is in regard to in-depth analyses of the Biblical text.
The Shroud of Turin in the New Testament?
Although both forensic science and historical research has brought to light a plethora of evidence in support of the Turin Shroud being the actual burial cloth of Jesus, , skeptics and critics make a strong argument against the shroud’s authenticity with this simple observation: The Biblical writers failed to mention such a marvelous treasure with its remarkable image! However, that being said, a plausible inference can be made that, due to persecution and Jewish opposition to images, a real threat of confiscation and harm to the Shroud would have existed from enemies. Therefore, early Church leaders had good reason to keep the Shroud’s existence a secret from outsiders. On that basis, it is reasonable to consider that any reference concerning the image on the Shroud in the circulating writings of the Apostles would have been veiled or camouflaged. Several statements in the New Testament make excellent candidates in that regard. Exegetical papers on those texts can be found below. These papers serve as a watershed, challenging traditional understandings.
"Thanks to Larry Stalley's amazing research and papers it is now possible
to learn more about how the early members who witnessed the image
on the burial cloth actually considered and understood its significance."
— Bettina Morello (Graduated Magnum Cum Laude with a focus on Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity)
Papers on the Shroud:
- One Solitary Sign! (Link)
This is a brief overview revealing the significance of the Holy Shroud.
- Is the Shroud of Turin the Actual Burial Cloth of Jesus? (Link)
This paper on authenticity has been translated into Arabic by the Coptic Church in Egypt.
"Very interesting. Thanks for sharing your work; it is clear you have put a ton of research and effort into this." — Matt Fortunato, PhD, Christian Apologetics
"Here is an excellent paper on the Shroud of Turin. It is very solid and replete with many pertinent details. The paper offers the reader much to learn and ponder." — James A Termini, retired Aerospace Engineer at the Johnson Space Center, Houston.
- Four Veiled References to the Shroud of Turin in the New Testament (Link)
What are the best candidates within the New Testament for cryptic or veiled references to what we know today as The Shroud of Turin with its miraculous image? These four texts make my list.
"This is an insightful and erudite look at several New Testament passages that point toward the Biblical authors plausibly referring in coded terms (because of the need of secrecy due to the political and religious milieu) to what we now know as the Shroud of Turin. The approach goes beyond the typical simplistic and inadequate one of basing an assertion simply on one's personal interpretation of a translation of texts viewed through a 21st-century lens."
— Joe Marino, likely the world's foremost researcher on the Shroud and author of the definitive book, "The 1988 C-14 Dating of the Shroud of Turin: A Stunning Expose."
- Is the Image on the Turin Shroud "The Sign of Jonah" Jesus Promised?
"Larry, you are making a significant contribution to science and theology as it applies to the Turin Shroud."
— Gary Chiang, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Redeemer University, Ontario, Canada
Is the Shroud of Turin "The Father's Witness" ? (1 John 5:5-13)
Did the Heavenly Father leave behind a miraculous sign in the empty tomb testifying to the human Jesus being the Christ, His divine Son?
Good Shepherd Films has produced an offshoot of this thesis with an exceptionally well-done, brief video clip: Shroud of Turin Knows Details of the Crime Scene (pt. 2) on YouTube .
- The Shroud of Turin Served as a Tabernacle During the High-Priestly Ministry of Jesus! (Hebrews 9:11-12)
"Brilliant!" — Chuck Hampton, author,
"A Photograph of God's Love"
- The Crucified Christ Seen by the Galatians: A Literal Context for ΠΡΟΕΓΡΑΦΗ
Very intriguing. I was recently reading Galatians and wondered about what exactly Paul may be referring to in these verses. Your discussion showing a possible link to the shroud is fascinating. Thank you for a most interesting paper. — Greg Maeser
- "BRING THE CLOAK THAT I LEFT AT TROAS WITH CARPUS!" Did the Apostle Paul Make Use of a Cryptonym for the Holy Shroud?
(2 Timothy 4.13)
A fascinating paper... — Peter Wadhams
University of Cambridge, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP), Faculty Member and a member of the Shroud Science Committee of the Diocese of Turin
“He Saw and Believed!” Is the Shroud of Turin in the Background of John’s Resurrection Narrative? (John 20:1-10)
"Larry, I just completed 'He saw and believed" and was very impressed at your exegesis."
— Ralph Sidway, author of the helpful resource, "'THY MOST PURE IMAGE' A Bibliography on the Turin Shroud, especially for Orthodox Christians, with annotations and brief commentary."
"Thank you for your continuous contributions"
— Giuseppe Baldacchini, PhD, Emeritus, ENEA, Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development. Author of more than 280 papers in international scientific journals.
"Of remarkable interest is the exegetical interpretation of the Fourth Gospel formulated by the scholar Larry Stalley, with regard to the apostle John. The focus on the Greek language and the variety of Greek verbs that mean "to see" gives an excellent contribution for a deeper understanding of the recounts on the burial clothes of Jesus and on the Holy Shroud of Turin.” — Clelia Albano
Jesus' Burial Shroud in the Four Gospels
"Very fine, concise paper for the exegetically challenged who are content with their 21st century interpretation of an English translation of a 1st century text originally written in Greek."
— Joe Marino, prominent researcher on the Shroud and author of the definitive book, "The 1988 C-14 Dating of the Shroud of Turin: A Stunning Expose."
Did the Galatians See the Image on the Holy Shroud? (Galatians 3:1)
Is the Shroud of Turin Foreshadowed in the Transfiguration Story? (Matthew 17.1-9)
Are There Veiled References to the Shroud of Turin in the New Testament?
(An Exegetical Summary of Select Texts)
"Larry, excellent paper and it's up to the usual Stalley standards." — Joe Marino, prominent researcher on the Shroud
- Teaching pastor for many years
- University degrees, with honors,
in Biblical Languages (Greek/Hebrew) and Church History
- Author of a dozen academic papers regarding the Shroud of Turin. Several of these are groundbreaking, landmark studies. Most of these papers analyze specific statements within the New Testament that, in the author's opinion, are likely veiled or cryptic references to the Turin Shroud. Due to persecution (and to safeguard the Shroud from harm) the rational inference is made that any reference by the Biblical writers to the Holy Shroud with its miraculous image [i.e., "not made by human hands" (Hebrews 9.11)] would have been veiled.
Five of these papers have been published online at www.shroud.com. For an abstract on each paper, as well as the paper itself, click "Link" on the left side of this page. These links will take you to www.academia.edu where the most recent revisions for all papers are posted. [You may need to sign up for a free account in order to access papers on Academia.edu. An account can be established by simply providing your email address.]
- Speaker in Canada at the 2019 International Conference: Science, Theology and the Turin Shroud.
- Past president of the oldest Toastmaster's Club in Spokane, dedicated to empowering individuals to be effective leaders and public speakers.
The Shroud of Turin in the New Testament?
The strong possibility that the Shroud is indeed authentic makes for a fascinating study! Evidence suggests the Shroud was treasured in the early Church. It was likely used in evangelistic efforts as proof to the truthfulness of the Gospel story. Imagine having possession of the Shroud and being able to use it when teaching others about the death, burial, and Resurrection of the Christ:
"He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities....
He was cut off from the land of the living,
For the transgression of my people he was punished....
After he has suffered, he will see the light of life...." (Isaiah 53:5a, 8, 11a)
In the author’s opinion, the academic papers above make an excellent case for there being hidden references to the Shroud (with its miraculous image) within the Biblical canon. If not the Shroud,
what is the correct answer to each of the following four riddles?
- How exactly did the Galatians (approximately twenty years after the crucifixion and hundreds of miles away from Jerusalem) see (“before your eyes”) Jesus Christ "displayed" or "posted up" as crucified? (Galatians 3:1)
- What specifically was "the sign of Jonah" — (1) a typological metaphor (2) for one, special, "attesting miracle" (3) "from heaven" (i.e., the hand of God) (4) that Jesus promised would be forthcoming (5) to that "wicked generation" (6) as a "sign" or warning of impending "judgment," (7) be a particular miracle His opponents would be able to "see", (8) show a temporal affinity between Jesus' death narrative and the story of "Jonah," (9) serve as heaven's testimony of Jesus being Daniel's "Son of Man" (i.e., the Messiah or Christ), and (10) could be described as "something" instead of someone? (Matthew 12:38-42; 16:1-4)
- What exactly was the writer of Hebrews referring to when he wrote of “the greater and more perfect sacred tent” (i.e., tabernacle) when Christ ministered as the superior “High Priest” — a sacred tent that was “not made with human hands … not of this creation,” yet was associated with His actual “blood” and assisted with His entry into the heavenly “Sanctuary” ? (Hebrews 9:11-12)
- The funeral linens played a crucial role for the Apostle John when coming to faith in the Resurrected Christ. Upon entering the tomb, we are told "He saw and believed!" (John 20:8). In the final chapter of his First Epistle, when (Birth? Baptism? The Cross? The Resurrection?), how, and why did John perceive the Christ has having “passed through water and blood” … and what specifically (past and present) was John writing about when he then spoke of “the testimony (or witness) of God that He has testified (Greek verb in the perfect tense) concerning His Son” — a testimony regarding Jesus that is “greater than the testimony of men” (i.e., a stronger or more persuasive apologetic than the testimony of John himself and the other Apostles), a testimony providing assurance regarding “eternal life,” a testimony when rejected equates to calling God a "liar," and a testimony buttressed in the present time by “the three that are bearing witness: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three are in reference to the one thing”? (1 John 5:5-13; cf. John 19:34-35)