Is it really Jesus Christ? Shroud exhibit goes up at Trinity Western University.

Dr. Phillip Wiebe is an expert on the Shroud of Turin.

Update: The event schedule is now available online.

It stands over 14 feet tall. The cloth is made of herringbone twill and flax. The eerie face and body of a man can be made out. Could this be the image of Jesus Christ, or is it someone else? That question has baffled and been debated by scholars and researchers for centuries as they grapple to answer the mystery of the Shroud of Turin. Now the public will have an opportunity to view and discuss this unique antiquity at Trinity Western University.

Dr. Phillip Wiebe, Professor of Philosophy at Trinity Western University and Shroud expert, is also one of the Founding Members of the Vancouver Shroud Association, a group who will be bringing a large Shroud exhibit to the university campus March 10-14. The exhibit features some 30 museum boards, five glass-top wooden display boxes depicting replicas of items used in Roman crucifixions, and a 14 foot reproduction of the Shroud. The display will also feature a map to help visitors and guests understand how to "read" the Shroud.

Wiebe says, "The possibility that we might be looking at Jesus Christ gives his life - and death - more significance than it already has. The Shroud revives universal interest in a person who continues to speak to humanity beyond the grave, even if the person depicted is not Jesus."

The real Shroud of Turin, housed in glass in the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy, is receiving considerable attention. The cloth is famously known as being a burial cloth resembling the outline of a naked male figure after being crucified. The biggest debate has been and continues to be about the Shroud's origin and if the man on the cloth is in fact Jesus Christ. As more and more scientific data and research is examined more and more questions remain. There is now even a term, Sindonology, which describes the study of the origin of this legendary cloth.

In Wiebe's office at Trinity Western University, a 7 foot tall replica of the Shroud overtakes the room laden with books typical of a professor. It pales in comparison though to the life changing experience Wiebe had after viewing the real Shroud. The Professor had been lecturing for years on the artifact and after hearing that the Shroud was on display he decided that he should go and see it.

It was during this viewing of the original cloth in August 2000 that Wiebe had a spiritual experience. "The Shroud, or God, if you will, spoke to me. The first thing I heard was ‘the resurrection is real Phillip' - which immediately put aside my old doubts. The second message I received was that if this man had such a remarkable end to his life, his remarkable beginning - the Virgin Birth - was also credible" says Wiebe. "And the third message was in the form of the question: ‘Why would such a remarkable being die?' So seeing the Shroud was a huge culmination of a 30-40 year quest for me about his identity. It was a wonderful conclusion to a very long search and I was privileged to put to rest my own questions about Jesus and his deity."

Those taking in the Shroud exhibit at Trinity Western University which is co-sponsored by Redeemer Pacific College, will also have the opportunity to hear several companion lectures. These include Janice Bennett, from Seattle, Washington, and Phillip Wiebe who will present two lectures titled; "The Shroud of Turin: Authenticity and Significance for Theology", and "The Shroud, The Bible and the Resurrection." Father John Horgan, another Founding Member of the Vancouver Shroud Association, will also be on hand to present his lecture on "The Seven Last Words from the Cross."

Says Wiebe, "A visit to the Shroud Exhibition will, at the very least, arouse every visitor's curiosity about two questions: ‘Who is the man depicted on the cloth and how was the image produced?' Museum boards and lecturers will make reference to the most significant information already gleaned about the Shroud, derived from two dozen academic disciplines."

At a Glance

What: Vancouver Shroud Association's Shroud of Turin exhibit
Where: The Atrium at Trinity Western University
When: March 10-14
Time: Daily from 9 am to 9 pm
Cost: Free to attend
Contact: Dr. Phillip Wiebe Tel: 604-888-7511 ext 3334, Email
Schedule: Click here for event schedule.


MARCH 10-14, 2008

Monday (March 10)

7 pm: Dr Phillip Wiebe: "The Shroud of Turin: Authenticity and Significance for Theology" Powerpoint presentation followed by Q & A

Tuesday (March 11)

1 pm: Phillip Wiebe: "The Shroud, The Bible, and the Resurrection: How Shroud Research Either Corroborates or Unexpectedly Undermines the Resurrection of Jesus," Powerpoint presentation followed by Q & A

Wednesday (March 12)

1 pm: Conversation between Phillip Wiebe and Mr Karl Schultz, "Negative Retouching," followed by Q & A

7 pm: Ms. Janice Bennett: "The Sudarium of Oviedo & the Shroud of Turin," Powerpoint presentation followed by Q & A

Thursday (March 13)

1 pm: Dr Thaddeus Trenn: "Physics and the Shroud Image," followed by Q & A

Friday (March 14)

1 pm: Fr John Horgan: Holy Faces of Christ in the History of Christian Devotion" Powerpoint presentation followed by Q & A

7 pm: Thaddeus Trenn: "The Shroud of Turin: A Parable for our Times," followed by Q & A

Trinity Western University, in Langley, B.C. is an independent Christian liberal arts and sciences university enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers undergraduate degrees in 39 major areas of study ranging from biotechnology, education, nursing, theatre and music, to psychology, communications and biblical studies. TWU's 15 graduate degree programs include counseling psychology, business, theology and leadership, and offers interdisciplinary studies in English, philosophy and history. TWU holds Canada Research Chairs in Biblical Studies, Biotechnology and Interpretation, Religion & Culture.


Last Updated: 2008-03-10
Author: Erin Mussolum