This site is the best presentation of all the available data. Most damning perhaps is that the first historical document to reference this shroud is a letter from the then Bishop of Troyes to Antipope Clement VII, warning against veneration of this known fake, even claiming that his immediate predecessor had obtained a confession from the artist who made it. Coincidentally, the carbon dating data, the type of cloth, the pigment and techniques used all fit with the date suggested by this document.
But I said you can prove it as a fake yourself, and you can. The images, front and back, are not anatomically correct, the man on the back is taller than the man on the front. The head is detached from the body and is too small, there is no navel, the legs and arms are too long. And this is how you can prove the fake yourself.
Look at the pose of the figure in this picture:
The pose of the body is odd, don't you think? The shoulders are flat down, the elbows bent at about 30 degrees. And yet the left hand easily covers the genital area, the right going beyond it. Lie flat on the floor and try to copy this pose. You can't do it. Your arms aren't long enough. Now try something else. Cross your arms as close to the groin as possible, and now, totally relax. What happened? Your legs have turned and opened, you hands have fallen to your sides, and your fingers have relaxed and bent. It wasn't uncommon for bodies to be buried with the hands in this position but they had to be tied there, but there are no signs of any kind of ties at the hands or to hold the legs together.
There was no way a medieval artist would portray the genitals or buttocks of the adult Jesus.
There is another more shocking fact that I was completely unaware of until I started researching this again. Something that a catholic education and three years seminary neglected to mention. If Jesus actually existed, he most certainly did not look like this (forget the white skin and blue eyes for now):
His hair would have been cut short. Yep. Maybe a short beard, but again not much like this, as beards were saved for elders. Long hair at the time was definitely out. For one, it was against the Talmud. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul says this, “Does not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?” (11:14). Not likely he would have said that if Jesus looked like this.
But the figure on the shroud has long hair and a bushy beard - he's also at least 6 foot tall according to one of the images. That would have put him outside the law, and head and shoulders above everybody else (pun not intended). It does fit however with the way that Christian art depicted him in the middle ages. Early images of Christ showed him as beardless, and with short hair, curiously. But a lot of this had more to do with iconography, rather than trying to depict an actual likeness. Long hair and beards had meaning in different parts of the ancient world.
Who is this?
It's not who you think it is. This is Zeus.
That's Jesus, from the 6th century. Beards were a sign of knowledge, age and responsibility, long hair was associated with divine power. Christ victorious above looks more like a startled teenager. But with Zeus, there is authority and wisdom. So a bearded long-haired Jesus became the norm around the 6th century in the east, later in the west.
Much has been made in the past that depictions of Jesus look like the shroud which prove its authenticity, but it is more likely that the shroud looks like the art, as it doesn't look anything like a first century Jewish man from Palestine.
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