Believers in the Shroud boast that nobody can make anything exactly like it. But you don't have to! It is enough to make something that has all its scientific characteristics.

Occult accounts speak of making strange images.  Pagan lore is full of that too.  Of course the Church is not interested in any suggestion that the occult was used to contrive the image.  So much for the investigation being open!

The main reason why the Shroud is such a puzzle is that the image was put on it so long ago and it has experienced much contamination from detergents and hands and candle smoke. And it is ageing and needs preservation. If it could be reverted back into the state it was in when the image first appeared, it would be easier to work out scientifically how it was done. But one thing for sure with the reproductions is that all the main features can be replicated. The shroud is not a miracle.

I should add that it is a mystery but so are many other old things that science cannot fully explain.  Time keeps secrets and time makes secrets.  Most of the mystery is really down to the sophistry and exaggerations and addictive behaviour of shroud fans.  It is like a contagion.

The how of the shroud creation is an interesting question.  In fact, the position of the bloodstains and the image matter more than how they were created. The believers are unable to use a body or a dummy to create an image of a man and his blood that is similar in appearance and layout. They have tried it. The image is hugely distorted and its measurements differ radically from the shroud image and the blood ends up a mess and does not appear like it does on the cloth. And they still claim there was a body in the Shroud! No matter how the image was made, it did not come from a real body - nobody lay in that cloth.

If anybody could do the impossible and lay out a body so that it makes an image of a man and his blood just like it is on the Shroud, then that person would need to be trying to create an image. But we are told in the gospels that Jesus was put in a shroud for burial and not any other reason. Whatever the origin of the Shroud image is, it was made deliberately and is not the real shroud of Jesus.

Religionists reason that God fixed the distortion miraculously. Miracles can be used as an excuse for hiding the fact that something is not a miracle. But if God had allowed a distorted image an art expert would still be able to make a picture from that of an undistorted image. In the age of computers, that would be easy. And shroudies would be very impressed at how a messy image comes out so well when a computer application is run!

People forget that if even there is a God, the God you worship is still the God you think is there. It is the product of your thinking. The notion of God doing miracles is nonsense because he is not going to have that high of a regard for your religious opinions. He does not adore them as much as you do!

However the image was done, it was done with the cloth being totally flat so no body pushed into it and it was not draped on anyone. That proves that some technique - some deliberate deception - was at play. That is more important than knowing exactly how it was done. Another give away is how the wounds look and act as if they were put on all at once. But Jesus according to the gospels was abused at different times. First, the flogging. Next the crown of thorns. Then the wounds from falling. Knees? Elbows? Then his hands and feet. Then finally the side wound. There is the miracle of being able to see where the thorns went in through the hair which would be impossible!

Adams, Frank O., Sindon; Synergy Books, 1982
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Chrysostomos, Bishop, and Hieromonk Auxentios, "The Holy Shroud: the Controversy in Perspective," Diakonia, 1980, Vol. XV, No. 2.
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Jennings, Jack, "Putting the Shroud to Rest," The Christian Century, June 1, 1983. Johnson, Paul, Civilizations of the Holy Land; Book Club Associates, 1979.
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