What is the Jacques DeMolay theory?
Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas in a book, The Second Messiah: Templars, the Turin Shroud and the Great Secret of Freemasonry, argue that the image on the Shroud is of Jaques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar. He was arrested by King Philip IV of France in 1307and tortured. According to Knight and Lomas, he was crucified on a large wooden door but not killed. He was wrapped in a shroud. Acid products in his sweat, they contend, created the image on the Shroud.
Some have suggested that indeed an image might have been formed by a chemical reaction such as
- a Maillard reaction proposed by Rogers, R.N. and Arnoldi,
A.: "The Shroud of Turin: an amino-carbonyl reaction (Maillard
reaction) may explain the image formation." In Ames, J.M. (Ed.):
Melanoidins in Food and Health, Volume 4, Office for Official
Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 2003, pp.
- or as an auto oxidation proposed by Mills, A.A.: "Image formation on the Shroud of Turin." In Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 1995, vol. 20 No. 4, pp 319–326
While these two hypotheses may offer some support to Knight and Lomas, the ideas, just as likely support the idea that the image was formed from the body of Jesus. Knight and Lomas have depended on the 1988 carbon dating of the Shroud, which has been shown to be invalid. The the strong historical case which includes the pray Codex also clearly shows that the Shroud predates Jacques DeMolay.
Jacques DeMolay was executed with another Knights Templar, Geoffroy de Charney, it was a possible relative of the Geoffroy de Charny who took possession of the Shroud at some time prior to 1355.
Few serious shroud scholars or even skeptics take this hypothesis seriously. There are no historical records and no other basis for suggesting that such an event happened.