COMMENTARY | Thomas de Wesselow, formerly of Cambridge University, believes the Shroud of Turin was created by a natural bodily decomposition occurrence and interpreted by Christians later on as a sign of the Resurrection of Jesus, according to LiveScience via Fox News. No matter what new discoveries come out about the Shroud of Turin, there will never be a full declaration of truth. There are too many people on the many sides of the issue about the Shroud to ever come to an agreement about its creation.
In Wesselow's new book, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," the idea is explained of how the chemicals in the body might have mixed with the carbohydrates in the cloth and created the brown print we see today. The goal of the new book is to finally close the case on the Shroud, but the goal will never be achieved. Many believers in the picture on the cloth are guided by faith which is very difficult to counter with one book.
I have seen the Shroud of Turin on two occasions. At both times, I read the displays used to tell the history of the cloth and to give the various perspectives on the creation of the picture. The ideas about the 1988 radiocarbon dating pressing the cloth to be created between 1260 A.D. and 1390 A.D. are presented right next to the ideas of it being caused by a natural process. Every single person viewing the Shroud of Turin is given the opportunity to come up with their own interpretation of what is seen and this is more powerful an experience than anything to be presented in a book.
The idea of the cloth being a forgery is presented right next to the belief that what is before you is the actual burial cloth of Jesus. The viewer is pressed to make a decision for himself or herself with the evidence presented. The viewer is allowed to make a decision based on science, faith or a combination of the two and this is the strongest answer possible for this mystery. The Shroud of Turin is a symbol of the decision to follow the teachings of religion or the teachings of science and will always be a matter of personal interpretation.