William Lane Craig Believes the Shroud Of Turin is Authentic

“A careful assessment of the evidence, especially concerning the tests recently concluded by a team of forty American scientists, however, render the forgery hypothesis [for the Shroud of Turin] extremely unlikely.  …Hence, there is just no known mechanism by which a medieval forger could have produced this image.  …If the Shroud is not a fake, then the next question is naturally:  is the man on the Shroud Jesus?  There seems to be little reason to doubt that it is.”

William Lane Craig, “The Son Rises”, (Copyright 1981), pp. 64, 66

From National Geographic:

“In 1988, the Vatican authorized carbon-14 dating of the shroud. Small samples from a corner of its fabric were sent to labs at the University of Oxford’s Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit (RAU), the University of Arizona, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. All three found that the shroud material dated to the years between 1260 and 1390, more than a millennium after the life and death of the historical Jesus.”

Source:  here

Gary:  Those damned scientists!  Spoiling the orthodox/conservative Christian story line once again!


10 thoughts on “William Lane Craig Believes the Shroud Of Turin is Authentic

  1. Again, shouldn’t the title say ” WLC believED the Shroud authentic”?

    Since you’re reading a book published in 1981, and then cite studies from 7 years later, you’d need to find references to WLC claiming the Shroud authentic post-1988, like in the last two or three years to be accurate.

    Has WLC stated that the Shroud is (likely) authentic in the last few years. I’m pretty sure he hasn’t, but stand open to correction.

    And I dunno – reviewing a book 35 years out of date, and then criticising it for being out of date, just seems… silly.


    1. I’m trying to make a point: William Lane Craig has a habit of overstating the strength of the evidence for the Christian supernatural claims. He essentially calls them facts. This situation shows that one should not trust WLC’s swagger.

      Just as the experts have proven that the Shroud is a forgery, I believe that one day it is highly likely that the majority of scholars will come to the conclusion that the Empty Tomb Story is a fictional story (forgery?) of the author of Mark.


  2. And hey, sorry not to get back to the blog, been a crazy week. I see that you post tons… Not the usual blog with an entry, comments for a week, then new entry…
    So dunno how much gonna be able tk engage on any given day. Sick kids, work and life and all.

    Dunno if you ever responded to my comment about Bart Ehrman and the “Gospel according to Bart” etc.. guess will track it down to see some time.


  3. I think it’s likely that the Turin Shroud goes back to 6th century Edessa or earlier.
    One can trace its history that way as several Christian scholars have.
    I believe that the carbon dating is misleading when it says it was made in the 13th to 15th c. One of the carbon dating scientists later changed his opinion on this, saying that the carbon dating took a sample from a known medieval patch job on the shroud. That is what I think happened.

    The true story of the Shroud, whatever it is, would be a very interesting one to learn.


  4. Interesting. I thought Gary Habermas was the only well-known evangelical apologist that believed in the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin.


    1. Well, as Liam said, in 1981 WLC believed in the authenticity of the Shroud but that was quite a few years ago. Maybe he has changed his mind since.

      I wouldn’t bet the farm on it, however.


  5. As someone has said above, citing a statement by someone and then citing evidence from 7 years after the fact is ridiculous. In 1981 the scientific evidence was pointing in the direction of the Turin Shroud being legitimate; in 1988 the evidence was pointing the other way.

    I don’t mean to be rude but it seems to me that you are not familiar with basic standards of hypothesis testing and general scholarship. I read your bio. If you abandoned a long held faith due to your exploration of logical or factual issues I would say that you should probably reconsider as you seem unfamiliar with the standards by which things are judged.


    1. Thank you for your comment.

      I accept scientific expert opinion. And last I checked, the majority of scientists believe that the Shroud of Turin is a fraud. I realize that there will always be some scientists (almost all of whom are Roman Catholic believers) who will disagree with the majority opinion. If you have a source that provides proof that the majority of the scientific community now accepts the Shroud as the authentic burial cloth of Jesus, please provide it. I am always willing to change my position based on expert opinion and evidence. Nothing is inerrant to me. Please do NOT direct me to a source that simply voices a minority opinion.


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