Next, I’ll be going into the provenance of the shroud. Knowing the history of the shroud is not a necessary condition for my arguments on the authenticity of the shroud. But, it would satisfy intellectual curiosity of how the shroud traveled from Jerusalem to Lirey, France.
The analysis of the possible route will be assuming the shroud is authentic. If anyone wants to argue it’s not authentic, address my summary of arguments on the Shroud of Turin and not on things posted about the provenance of the TS.
I’ll be going backwards in time discussing the history of the TS. I won’t be starting from Turin, Italy, but the earliest point that all viewpoints agree on, which is 1350.
The general consensus of even the most doubting researchers is to accept a “1350” date as the beginning of the “undisputed” or documented history of the Shroud of Turin.
Obviously, the shroud would not have been called the Shroud of Turin prior to that time. It wouldn’t have even been called the Turin Shroud in 1350. So, the only way to make a match would be by physical descriptions or artwork of the shroud. Physical descriptions would also be limited since it’s only through modern science that we’ve been able to more fully understand the characteristics of the shroud.
There are many barriers that prevent us from knowing the exact history of the shroud. One is nobody in the past would’ve been thinking, “People in the 21st century will be wondering about the exact historical trail of this shroud, so I need to make sure I document it for those in the future to know about it.” Second, the shroud obviously had to go through the Byzantine empire to make it from Jerusalem to Lirey. And Westerners know relatively little about the Orthodox church and their history. Most don’t even know what the Orthodox believe. Third is history in the past has often been retold through legends, and it’s difficult to decipher what is true or false in legends. Fourth is early Christians held to the discipline of the secret, so they concealed many things. Fifth is the Jewish mindset would’ve had reasons to not publicize the shroud. I’ll get into more of these reasons as we approach the era when these factors apply.
Nobody really knows the exact path of how the TS traveled, but there are clues that point to possible routes. And it’s those clues that we’ll be exploring.