Using the famed Shroud of Turin as a starting point, artificial intelligence has produced an image that purports to match up with the marks on the controversial cloth.
The new AI image was created by Midjourney software, according to the Daily Star, which said it commissioned the image to mark the 90th anniversary of the first time the shroud was put on public display.
The idealized image shows a man with long hair and a beard.
According to Artificial Intelligence, this is what Jesus looked like if the Shroud of Turin is authentic. pic.twitter.com/CQaxwfv3Qn
— Lee Strobel (@LeeStrobel) September 27, 2023
— Daily Star (@dailystar) September 25, 2023
The software has been used before, according to the New York Post.
“The results are hilarious, and everyone I’ve shared my work with can’t believe how real the pictures really look,” Duncan Thomsen said, noting that he used the AI software Midjourney through the Discord app.
The shroud has a long and disputed history, with some saying it was the burial cloth of Jesus Christ and others a medieval forgery.
As with all things connected to the Shroud of Turin, the new image sparked controversy, according to CBN.
“The AI, depending on the access it had, was likely to reference several popular images of Jesus in addition to the Shroud before making a picture. The Shroud gives no specific indication of eye color, skin color, hair color, or clothing – this image includes all which indicates it is pulling from various images,” author Clinton S. Thomas said.
“Interesting. There’s no confirmed historical record of Jesus having long hair though. The long hair descriptions stem from early depictions of Him from paintings of people in that time. In addition to His depiction, the description of Him in the book of Revelation is a description of Jesus resurrected, not living,” filmmaker Christian Newlands said.
“No matter how accurate AI may like to be, it can’t be that accurate if the information that gets processed are only depictions,” he added.
That’s the negative of shroud of Turin. pic.twitter.com/snoTfu4I4h
— Nedum Ofor-nedu (@nedumx) September 28, 2023
Brian Hyland, an exhibit curator at the Museum of the Bible, said the face on the shroud “seems so peaceful in comparison to the violence that you see all over the rest of the body,” according to CBN.
Hyland noted “there have been questions about the veracity of this image ever since its first documented appearance in the late 14th century.”
Although 1988 carbon testing put the date of the shroud in medieval times, that has been disputed. A more recent study estimated that pollen on the shroud is about 2,000 years old.
“The pollen samples that were gathered they, a lot of them are from plants that are native to not just the Middle East, but specifically the area around Judea, Palestine, and Syria and stay where it was in that time period,” Hyland said.
“There’s also pollen from the area around Constantinople. There’s a lot of pollen from Europe,” he said.
Collectively, he said, the pollen indicates a trail that begins around Jerusalem and ends in Europe.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.