The Church has never been able to answer some basic questions like: ‘How was it created?’ and ‘If it was created at the time of the Resurrection, how is it that there are no records of its existence before the fourteenth century?’ And now in this age of science, modern research techniques have thrown up some even thornier questions. (excuse the pun!)
At the turn of the twentieth century the first photographs were taken of the shroud and they revealed something truly mysterious. Although the image is vague to the naked eye, when seen in a photographic negative it astonishingly takes shape. The image is in the negative. This was taken by believers as the ultimate proof of its authenticity. How could such an image have been faked back in the fourteenth century? Yet when the Church finally conceded to allow carbon dating of the Shroud the findings were that the cloth was most likely created somewhere between 1260 and 1390.
The possibility that the Shroud is a fake became even more than likely, yet still the question remained. How was it created, and by whom? Any suggestion that the image has been painted onto the cloth has had to be ruled out. Close examination shows that while the bloodstains have been painted on, the image of the body has not been. In fact it has been formed by some kind of scorching of the cloth which, however, does not penetrate through to the other side.
The authors of this book believe they have the answer to this enigma which they reveal in one of the book’s alternative subtitles: How Leonardo da Vinci Fooled History. They believe that the face of the Shroudman, as they call him, does not belong to the body, but is in fact the face of Leonardo himself.
Their thesis brings in Alchemy, the Knights Templar, the Priory of Sion, the Johannite Heresy, and the ways and means by which Leonardo could have produced what they believe to be the first photograph using technology known at the time.
Why would he have done it? Was he commissioned by the Church to recreate the Shroud after an earlier version was lost? Was it a statement of da Vinci’s own heretical beliefs? Or could it have been as a joke on the Christian world which, for hundreds of years, has been solemnly crossing itself before his image?
Although I am almost convinced that Leonardo created the Shroud, while this book does give a good overview of all the ins and outs of the debates that have raged over the Shroud, I think it still leaves many of the most troubling questions unanswered. Perhaps that is because the authors would like you to read their follow-up books – The Templar Revelation, The Sion Revelation and (most intriguing of all) The Stargate Revelation!
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