Even as researchers reported "conclusive evidence" the Shroud of Turin only dates back to the Middle Ages, another scientist charged that dating tests did not consider possible radiation from Jesus' Resurrection.
In an article Wednesday in the British journal Nature, three prestigious laboratories officially released results of radiocarbon dating tests on the shroud - a piece of cloth 14 feet long by 3 feet wide that appears to bear the scorched image of a crucified man - which some believe was used to wrap Christ's body.Although the Roman Catholic Church has never declared the shroud to be authentic, it has been widely venerated by generations of believers.
The results, which were generally discussed last year, "provided conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is medieval," most likely dating from between 1260 to 1390, the researchers wrote.
The radiocarbon dating generally agrees with the shroud's first appearance in the 1350s in Lirey, France, when a knight presented it to the local church. It was brought to Turin, Italy, in 1578.
In 1987, church officials finally permitted scientific tests to be run on a small piece of the shroud, leading to the report published by Nature.
But in a letter published in the same journal, a Harvard University physicist sought to keep the controversy alive by suggesting the scorched image on the shroud may have been made by energy emitted from a resurrecting body.