Shroud Debate
By Rich Savage

I. Appellant's Claims

  1. The shroud has been subject to more scientific studies than any other historical artifact
  2. No artist or scientist has ever been able to fully reproduce or explain the Shroud.
  3. No similar artifact has ever been found (except for the one showing what appears to be the very same face, and claimed to be the “napkin” that would have been placed upon the face of the same deceased).
  4. (In other words, if this is not a forgery, its implications are formidable – something very unusual happened to Jesus.)
  5. Science has shown that the shroud
    1. Is not a painting.
    2. Is not a photograph.
    3. Is 3D.
    4. Is holographic.
  6. The shroud is 700 years old -- at the very least.
  7. The figure on the shroud is extremely detailed and in total agreement with the Biblical account of the crucifixion.
  8. Some of the correct detail should not have been known by any forger 700 years ago.
  9. There is real blood on the shroud, and in the right places.
  10. In effect, the shroud is a negative – which further challenges the forgery notion.
  11. The historical evidence for its early existence is actually substantial and growing.
  12. The 1988 carbon dating appears to be invalid.
  13. There is a second image of the face on the back of the shroud which further supports the shroud’s authenticity.
  14. There are reasons to believe that the shroud was actually the table cloth used for the Last Supper.
  15. One very unusual aspect of the stitching on the shroud has also been found in the ruins of Masada. Masada was destroyed in 70 CE by the Romans. (I’ll need to rephrase this in order to convey its importance to the argument.)
  16. Appropriate pollen and flower remains have been found on the shroud.
  17. Arguably, appropriate coins are covering the eyes.
  18. The evidence against the shroud’s authenticity is really quite unimpressive.
  19. There seem to be only two “working” skeptics in the world – and their credibility is suspect.
  20. The other notable skeptics are only in the audience.
  21. If the Shroud is not the burial cloth of Jesus, the best explanation is that it is a fraud perpetrated by space aliens.