God Reports
10/30/15 at 06:25 PM 5 Comments

New DNA study adds support to Shroud of Turin’s validity

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The Shroud of Turin

By Mark Ellis and Anthony Gutierrez

The Shroud of Turin – revered by many as the burial cloth of Jesus — might be authentic after all, a new DNA study suggests.

After radiocarbon testing in the 1980s dated its origin between A.D. 1260 and A.D. 1360, many dispelled the legend surrounding the artifact.

Then some challenged the testing process because scientists had examined patches added to the shroud, not the original cloth. The patches were much newer than the original shroud.

In the most recent study, Gianni Barcaccia, a geneticist in the University of Padua in Italy, found human DNA of Middle East origin on the cloth.

“One of the most abundant human mitochondrial haplotypes among those discovered on the shroud, is still very rare in Western Europe,” Barcaccia told Live Science. “It is typical of the Druze community, an ethic group that has some origin in Egypt and that lives mainly in restricted areas between Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, and Palestine.”

Middle Easterners weren’t the only ones to touch the shroud and leave their DNA on it, according to the study published Oct. 5 in Scientific Reports. There are smaller traces of DNA from Europe, northeast Africa, Caucasus, Anatolia, the Middle East and even India. Those molecular fragments could have been deposited there by devotees who touched the shroud through the centuries and even by scientists in the last century.

The new study does not establish the age of the shroud.

The Catholic Church, which guards the artifact in Turin, first officially recorded its existence in 1353 A.D. in a tiny church in Lirey, France. The Catholic Church has never vouched for its authenticity, but tens of thousands of pilgrims flock to see it yearly.

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