According to a book just released in Italy, researchers have established a new date of origin for the Shroud of Turin. Using a method involving spectroscopy and infrared light, researchers are now placing the origin of the shroud between 300 B.C. and 400 A.D., consistent with the lifetime of Jesus (other reports claim a range of 280 B.C. to 220 A.D.). Previous attempts to date the shroud using radiocarbon dating placed its origin between the 13th and 14th centuries, suggesting it had been faked. However, this origin was in dispute, not only because the level of sophistication required to produce such a fake did not exist at that time, but because the sample was apparently contaminated by newer fibers used to repair the shroud after it was damaged in a fire.
Although the Catholic Church has so far not taken an official position on its authenticity, Pope Francis will appear on Italian television today to introduce images of the famous shroud.