"I think some of
the stains [on the shroud] are candidates for foodstuff. The shroud may
have been a witness to Holy Thursday and Good Friday," he told the
Jackson runs the
Turin Shroud Center of Colorado with his wife, Rebecca. The two are
dedicated to studying the reputed burial cloth of Jesus and delivering
educational lectures around the globe. The shroud has an image of what
many believe to be Christ, following his crucifixion.
Jackson is the
director of research for the center and has studied the shroud since
1974. He teaches physics at the University of Colorado at Colorado
Springs. He led an American team that traveled to Turin, Italy, in 1978
collecting data to study the cloth, including carbon dating. That
research is still the primary data source for studying the image on the
shroud, reported the Herald.
Jackson told the
Herald his concern is authenticating the shroud from an archeological
perspective; it is up to the magisterium to concern itself with
implications on the Catholic faith.
Jackson says the
dimensions of the cloth are consistent with cubit measurements used in
the first century. The stains on the cloth are consistent with wounds
Christ suffered during the crucifixion, including scourge marks,
puncture wounds and blood stains where the crown of thorns would have
rested as well.
Rebecca, a Catholic convert who was raised in an Orthodox Jewish
household, is the center's expert on early Judaism. She notes the man
of the shroud was buried according to Jewish standards. The figure's
hands are crossed, as opposed to being clenched as found in Egyptian
pagan burials. And while Jewish custom is to cleanse a body before
burial, cleansing would not have taken place if the person died a
violent death; if he is sentenced to capital punishment for a crime of
a religious nature; if he is killed by a gentile; and if he is
considered an outcast from the Jewish community.
Christ met all
of these disqualification standards, says Rebecca, hence the likelihood
that the man of the shroud was a Jew and plausibly Christ. Furthermore,
she said, the linen of the shroud is of the type that was likely to
have been woven in the first century A.D.
"The bottom line
is I think what is portrayed on the shroud is realistic based upon
crucifixion reconstruction," said Jackson. "When you look at the
totality of what we have on the shroud, I personally think it is the
burial cloth of Jesus."
John Jackson has posited a theory that the linen which has become known
as the Shroud of Turin may have been present for the Last Supper as
well as at Christ's crucifixion, reported the Colorado Catholic Herald.