NPR logo 'Death Certificate' Could Be Sign 'Shroud Of Turin' Is Real, Researcher Says

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'Death Certificate' Could Be Sign 'Shroud Of Turin' Is Real, Researcher Says

The Shroud of Turin. Antonio Calanni/AP hide caption

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Antonio Calanni/AP

The Shroud of Turin.

Antonio Calanni/AP

Traces of writing on the "Shroud of Turin" appear to be something of a death certificate and are consistent with what would have been on such a shroud at the time of Jesus Christ's death, a Vatican researcher says.

The Times of London writes that Barbara Frale, a researcher in the Vatican secret archives, says that the fragments of words written in Greek, Hebrew and Latin suggest the shroud was placed over "Jesus of Nazarene, or Jesus of Nazareth."

While carbon dating has indicated the shroud was made in the Middle Ages, well after Jesus' death, Frale maintains that it would have been "heretical" in the Middle Ages not to refer to him as the Son of God. She also says it was common at the time of Jesus' death for documents to be written with letters from several languages.

The Associated Press writes that Frale "believes the text was written on a document by a clerk and glued to the shroud over the face so the body could be identified by relatives and buried properly. Metals in the ink used at the time may have allowed the writing to transfer to the linen, Frale claimed."

She details her findings in a new book, La Sindone di Gesu Nazareno (The Shroud of Jesus of Nazareth)>