From Publishers Weekly
In 1961, while poking around in a used bookstore in Boston, Lavoie stumbled across a paperback called A Doctor at Calvary, by French surgeon Pierre Barbet. As Lavoie thumbed through the pages, he discovered that Barbet was writing not about Jesus' crucifixion but about the Shroud of Turin, a piece of cloth that contained the bloody image of a naked man. Thus began Lavoie's 30-year quest to uncover the true origins of the Shroud and to reveal its mysteries. In this well-told scientific and theological detective story, Lavoie offers a step-by-step account of his attempts to prove that the Shroud of Turin could well have been the shroud that covered Jesus as he was taken from his cross to his tomb. In order to show that the marks on the cloth are indeed blood stains, Lavoie discusses the nature of blood as it clots, especially when those clots are covered with cloth. Through various experiments, he is able to conclude: "blood clots transfer to cloth as mirror images of themselves; the neatness of the transfers is related to the fact that the man of the shroud died in the vertical position; the time the clots take to transfer to cloth coincide closely with the gospel timetable of the death and burial of Jesus." Lavoie is on his firmest footing when he sticks to his scientific theories, but when he begins to argue in the final chapters that John's gospel and letters indicate that John possessed the shroud and was hiding it from his audience, he treads shakier speculative ground. Lavoie's book is entertaining reading that is sure to raise controversy when the Shroud of Turin is displayed publicly once again in April 1998.
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