Dating the Shroud
If the cloth was woven somewhere in the Middle East in the earliest years of the first millennium A.D., how did it end up in Turin? Many believe ancient evidence proves that a man named Jude Thaddeus brought the shroud to Edessa, Turkey, which is modern-day Urfa. It may have been taken to the Brito Edessenorum, the Castle of Edessa, the home of King Abgar. Statues identified as Jude Thaddeus do, in fact, show him with a shroud. At some point, it was hidden in the city's walls. After it was found in A.D. 544, reproductions were made of the shroud's image. The artists of the Renaissance seemed to find inspiration from the shroud. Amazingly, portrayals of Jesus from this time on resemble the shroud's haunting image.
Historical documents refer to an artifact called the Mandylian, a cloth that shows a man's facial image. Researchers believe that the Mandylian and the Shroud of Turin are the same cloth, but only the facial image was seen because of the way it was folded. The Mandylian was given to Constantine VII in A.D. 944. The folding method is known as tetradiplon or “doubled in four.”
Knights of the French Crusade took the shroud to Lirey, France, during the sack of Constantinople (modern Istanbul) in A.D. 1204. On April 10, 1349, the Christian emperor Constantinople gave the cloth to a French knight named Geoffrey de Charny. In 1355, it was displayed in the town of Lirey, France. A year later, the shroud was in the possession of de Charney's son, Geoffrey II.
Legends abound of the search for the Holy Grail, the so-called cup that collected the blood of Jesus. There is no scientific or archaeological evidence of a cup that Jesus used when he instituted the Lord's Supper. Perhaps the Holy Grail doesn't refer to a cup at all, but to the burial cloth that absorbed the blood of Jesus. The Knights could have been looking for the Shroud.
In November 1389, the Bishop Pierre d'Arcis of Troyes claimed the cloth was Jesus’ burial shroud. He described it as bearing the double imprint of a crucified man. For unknown reasons, Pope Clement VII ordered the bishop not to speak any more of the shroud. This happened on January 6, 1390. By A.D. 1457, the shroud was with the ruling House of Savoy, in Turin.