According to Artificial Intelligence, this is what Jesus looked like if the Shroud of Turin is authentic

The Shroud of Turin on the left, next to the AI-generated face on the right.

Throughout history, artists from Michelangelo to Leonardo da Vinci have strived to capture an accurate representation of Jesus Christ through their brush strokes. With AI technology, the long-awaited unveiling of what some believe to be the genuine face of Jesus, derived from the Shroud of Turin, has become a reality.

The Shroud of Turin, a revered Christian relic, is said to bear the image of Jesus post-mortem, imprinted on a 14-foot linen cloth. Its origins trace back to 1354 in northern France, where it was attributed to Geoffroi de Charny, a renowned French knight. However, the acquisition of the shroud remains a mystery.

The authenticity of the shroud has been the subject of heated debate since its emergence. In the 14th century, suspicions arose about its legitimacy, with the bishop of Troyes even asserting it might have been a fundraising scheme for the Lirey church. Pope Clement VII, while skeptical, allowed its display as an "icon," not a "relic."

Scientific scrutiny has further fuelled the controversy. Radiocarbon dating places the shroud's creation in the Middle Ages, yet some scholars argue the dated sample was a later repair.

While various Christian denominations acknowledge the shroud's significance, the Catholic Church refrains from a definitive stance, leaving interpretation down to its members and to believers.

This recent AI generated image offers a strikingly lifelike depiction of Jesus: a slender figure with flowing hair, gentle eyes, prominent cheekbones, and a goatee. This portrayal aligns with many historical artistic renderings of Jesus.

Skeptics raise the question of whether the AI generated image may have been influenced by prior portrayals of Jesus, or if our collective perception of Jesus has been shaped by the shroud itself.

The unveiling prompts a fundamental query: can this portrait be regarded as the authentic face of Jesus or a skillful reproduction? The debate continues, and opinions remain divided.

Duncan Williams is outreach director for the Christian Free Press and has worked for Son Christian Media here in the UK and Recovery Network Radio in the United States. He is an ordained minister and a long-term member of Christians in Media. He provides content and syndicated news for regional publisher