The Face of the Man on the Shroud

One of the mysteries of the New Testament is that there are no descriptions of what Jesus Christ looks like. Nothing about how tall He is, the color of His hair or of His eyes, or . . . .

None.

But being the sensory creatures as God made us, we can’t help but wonder what Jesus looks like.

How we thirst for and yearn to see His face. Psalm 27:8 gives voice to humanity’s sorrowful yearning:

“Your face, Lord, do I seek. Do not hide your face from me.”

Our crie de coeur is given eloquent expression by St. Anselm (1033-1109) in Proslogium:

But if thou hast found him, why is it that thou dost not feel thou hast found him? Why, O Lord, our God, does not my soul feel thee, if it hath found thee? [My soul] strains to see thee more . . . but it sees that it cannot see farther, because of its own darkness . . . . Everywhere thou art wholly present, and I see thee not . . . and therefore my soul still walks in its darkness and wretchedness. For it looks, and does not see thy beauty. It hearkens, and does not hear thy harmony. It smells, and does not perceive thy fragrance. It tastes, and does not recognize thy sweetness. It touches, and does not feel thy pleasantness.

Artists, like Jon McNaughton, have used their imagination to fashion their images of Jesus.

In 2015, the scientific unit of the police force in Rome, Italy, used computer software that’s normally used to age an individual and reversed the process to generate the angelic face of what the man whose face and body are imprinted onto the Shroud of Turin would look like as a 12-year-old boy.

In 2018, Dr. Giulio Fanti, Professor of Mechanical and Thermal Measurements at the University of Padua, created a 3D carbon copy from meticulous measurements of the imprinted image of the Man on the Shroud. Master sculptor Sergio Rodella then made a statue in plaster from the 3D carbon copy.

Professor Fanti said:

“Christian tradition believes that the image that is seen on the Shroud is that of the crucified Jesus. And now science is of this opinion too. For years, using the most sophisticated 3D technologies, we have studied  the image left by the body on the sheet. And the statue is the final result.

This statue is a life-size, three-dimensional representation of the Man of the Shroud, based on the millimetric measurements obtained from the shroud in which the body of Christ was wrapped after the crucifixion.

On the Shroud I counted 370 scourge wounds, without taking into consideration the lateral ones, which are not imprinted into the Shroud because it enveloped only the front and back of the body. We can therefore hypothesize Jesus suffered a total of at least 600 scourges. Moreover, the three-dimensional reconstruction has allowed us to reconstruct that at the time of death, the man of the Shroud has slumped to the right because His right shoulder was dislocated in such a severe way as to damage the nerves.

According to our studies, Jesus was a man of extraordinary beauty (“bellezza straordinaria”). Long-limbed, but very robust; almost six feet tall, while the average height of the time was around 5′ 5″; with a regal and majestic expression.

We therefore believe that we finally have an accurate picture of what Jesus was like on this earth. From now on, it will no longer be possible to portray His image without taking this work into account.”

Here’s the face of the Man on the Shroud:

But in the end, it doesn’t really matter what we think Jesus looks like because when we finally see Him face to face, we will know it’s Him. To quote McNaughton:

“Someday when I actually meet the Savior, I’m not going to recognize Him because of how long His hair is or the color of His eyes, or whether He has a short beard or long beard, or how dark His skin is. I’m gonna recognize Him because of the way I feel, standing in the presence of the Savior.”

See also:

~Eowyn

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TraildustchemtrailssuckCalGirlKevin J LankfordAlma Recent comment authors
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operaghost
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operaghost

I will recognize him with my heart. <3 <3

Auntie Lulu
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Auntie Lulu

operaghost . . . you have brought up a fact that not everyone realizes.

Jim
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Jim

Except that by the time Jesus was crucified, he didn’t have a beard.

Auntie Lulu
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Auntie Lulu

There is no doubt that since every knee will bow and acknowledge Christ–when he comes again . . . even those who know nothing about Christ and His teachings. But, can you just imagine the immense joy that all those who have kept Christ in their hearts will feel at being allowed to actually be in his presence? He will be as familiar to them as the back of their hand. Thank you Dr Eowyn for this sweet, and tender article on “the face of Jesus,” and the Shroud of Turin . . . I never tire of articles regarding… Read more »

Ron W
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Ron W

Beloved, now we are the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. –I John 3:2

DachsieLady
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DachsieLady

I now understand better why my religion calls being “saved” and in Heaven as the Beatific Vision. “Beatific Vision The immediate knowledge of God which the angelic spirits and the souls of the just enjoy in Heaven. It is called “vision” to distinguish it from the mediate knowledge of God which the human mind may attain in the present life. And since in beholding God face to face the created intelligence finds perfect happiness, the vision is termed “beatific”. For further explanation of the subject, see HEAVEN. ” http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02364a.htm ____ “From the beginning, man was raised, far above the claims… Read more »

Lophatt
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Lophatt

Wonderful piece Dr. E, I appreciate it. I’m a believer. I’ve studied this fairly extensively and I’m convinced. Besides the “scientific” (if that is what informs faith) evidence, the Shroud touches us at a much deeper level.

Our God doesn’t exist in OUR time, He makes time. For whatever reason He gives us encouragement from time to time along our sojourn. Everything else pales in significance when compared to His sacrifice. Man can’t even begin to fathom the depth of His love.

Catherine
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Catherine

The young woman, Akiane Kramarik, has a “portrait” very, very like this extrapolation. See it at:
https://art-soulworks.com/collections/home-wall-decor/products/jesus-prince-of-peace-canvas-open-edition-by-akiane-kramarik-priced-by-size-1

Steven Broiles
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The Holy Shroud of Turin contains 3-D information in it that could not have possibly been faked, because artists and scientists did not know anything about the way in which the image was produced until 30 years ago or less. It must be historically and scientifically authentic: Science has proved the Shroud contains real human blood. We even have retrieved some of the DNA from that Most Precious Blood. We must all make sure we do whatever it is we can do to save our souls. It seems peculiar to us, according to our own fallen nature, that THIS is… Read more »

Alma
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Alma

We cannot see HIM because HE is not of this world, HE IS THE FATHER, THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT in ONE.

Kevin Lankford
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Kevin Lankford

I suppose it is only our human nature to want to envision Jesus as the most comely of man. Even with the “Shroud of Turin” as a model, one could easily misinterpret the features out of predetermined expectations, or may be, simple hope. Most of us want to see the “Shroud” as authentic,…..but, even if science can not prove it fake, there is all ways the possibility of some one who did have some secret knowledge and skill not revealed. We do, how ever have the description in Isaiah 53 : 2, stating Jesus has no comeliness or beauty that… Read more »

CalGirl
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CalGirl

`Thank you , Kevin. I’ve interpreted Isaiah 53:2 to mean (to me) that the face of Jesus was not extraordinary in looks–but fit in with the “common man” of his day and his culture. So, what, then, made him extraordinary? His message. His representation of his Father on Earth…..His attraction was never meant to be physical, but through his message and the life he lived while on Earth.

chemtrailssuck
Guest

Wow. Just wow! He did all of this suffering and taking on our sins for us, just thinking about it is mind-boggling. Awesome, Dr. E!

TrailDust
Admin

A good friend who has become an Orthodox clergy told me that many depictions of Jesus in iconography are based on the man in the shroud.