And you’re STILL trying to tell me…

We have a friend who has created some memes that are funny, but insightful and thought provoking. He let us use them in this post as well as in a collection on our own memes page.

Below I’ve combined these memes with some commentary from Fig Leaf Forum:

No one believes that God would ask one of His faithful servants to sin, and yet here He asks Isaiah to remove all his clothing for a period of three years. Actually, in this passage voluntary nakedness is commanded and involuntary nakedness is prophesied. When God asked His prophet to undress, Isaiah did so willingly and without shame. But notice that it was to be a sign to the Egyptians and Cushites that one day soon they would be led away in a state of shameful nakedness as captives. It was a common practice in those days to strip prisoners in order to humiliate them. This is another example of nakedness resulting from deprivation, which [is a whole different issue addressed elsewhere]. (Editor FLF #2)

Here again a prophet voluntarily strips off his clothes in the service of his God. No sin or shame is attributed to Saul for this action. In fact, Saul’s actions are instantly recognized as those of a prophet of God. Perhaps this was not so uncommon in those days! (Editor FLF #2)

Here was a man doing common work who for practical reasons took off his clothes. The thing is, since their boat was close enough for Jesus to see and talk to the fisherman, one must assume that others, including women and children, might also have witnessed such conduct from time to time. After all, in more primitive times bodies of water like lakes and rivers were commonly used for bathing or for laundry and often served as the source for drinking water. It is not unreasonable to suggest that women and children were often present at the shoreline, nor is it unreasonable to suggest that Peter’s behavior was not unusual for people doing hard and dirty work. (Editor FLF #2)

Regarding Jesus washing the feet of the disciples, in John 13:4 the plural use of the word “garments” indicates more than one. This plural translation is repeated in most versions of the Bible. You stated [in FLF #37] that the Greek word himation meant only one garment was removed by Jesus. Regardless whether one or more garments were removed, I believe Jesus was fully naked here at the foot washing event and afterwards. John says He “took a towel, and girded himself.” If He was clothed in any way, surely He would have draped the towel over one arm or shoulder. This may be an assumption on my part, but surely it is a logical and probable one. In John 20:27, Jesus asks doubting Thomas to “Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side.” Thomas had to actually touch and feel the flesh and body of Jesus. The Bible does not record that any clothes had to be removed for this to be done! Surely, if Jesus was clothed, the fact that He had to remove his clothing would have been recorded in this Scripture passage. It was not mentioned. Yes, Jesus could have had all the clothes He wanted, but He did not wear them. In the foot washing incident of John 13, what better way could there have been to teach His followers true humility and humbleness than for Jesus to divest Himself of all manmade trappings (clothes)? The event loses any forceful impact if He was clothed in any garment! (Doug from Australia in FLF #43)

Remember when Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem? What did the multitudes do? They cast their garments upon the “foal of an ass” that He rode upon [MATTHEW 21.7], and also upon the path (road) that He traveled [MATTHEW 21.8]. It appears that at the triumphal entry into Jerusalem there might have been a bunch of “nekkid” followers, joyful that the Kingdom of God had finally come. Many will try to tell you that they cast only their extra garments aside, and thus were not completely nude. Israelites (and particularly the followers of Jesus) were, as a rule, extremely poor. Many were beggars, and it seems unlikely that they had the extra clothing necessary to cast just certain garments aside during the triumphal procession into Jerusalem. Did those who had a large wardrobe available at home tell the Master, “Wait a minute while we go home to get some extra garments to cast aside during Your triumphal procession?” Did the rich who had the extra clothing available to cast aside at that time share them with those who only had a single garment?It’s quite likely that some of the worshipers at the triumphal entry were nude during at least part of the procession. None of my Bibles quote Jesus as saying anything like, “Get your clothes back on, you ‘nekkid’ rotten sinners.” This would have been the perfect opportunity for God to have included in His Word this little bit of information regarding simple nudity, if it’s true as so many tell us that being clothed is so critical to righteousness. Was Jesus so caught up in the moment that He forgot to give us that teaching? Could it have been that Jesus might have accepted the casting aside of His follower’s garments as a symbol of casting aside the world in favor of the Kingdom of God? Could this same casting aside of a symbol of the world (garments) be the reason why so many nudists claim to feel closer to God while nude? (Bill in California FLF #71)

In this passage, Micah was mourning because God’s people had been in sin and God finally declared judgement on them. The word for “naked” in this passage is again “arom.” This passage gives less context than the Isaiah passage for one to assume that Micah would have been fully nude (because being only in one’s undergarments was considered a type of being “nude” back then, and Micah was merely mourning), but it is still mentioned nonetheless, and so is included here. (Adrian from Ohio FLF Dec 19, 2010)

“Blind Bartemeaus is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. The thing that catches my eye in this story is Bart’s casting aside his cloak. As many have stated, it was not customary for people to wear underwear in those days. If any did, it would have been the rich. Bartemeaus is obviously not rich. He casts aside his garment and walks to Jesus naked. Jesus does not comment on this at all, but instead asks what Bartemeaus wants. Bart wants his sight and Jesus gives it to him.”I may be stretching things a bit, but to me, we all have to come to Jesus naked. We have to come to Him with nothing hidden, nothing held back. We must come to God is such a way that we are open completely and ready to receive the gift of grace that is offered. For those of us who enjoy naturism, this takes on a whole new meaning. I started my re-interest in naturism precisely because I felt God calling me to come to Him without reservation. I followed in the footsteps of Bartemeaus. When asked what I wanted, I replied to know Him better. I still do.” (Stephen FLF November 10, 2005)

So there you have it! Several different memes from both the Old and New Testaments. And you’re still trying to tell me…?

12 thoughts on “And you’re STILL trying to tell me…

  1. sassycoupleok

    Goor reasonable facts/arguments for nudity based on biblical support. Nicely done, 100 % agree. It’s obvious that nudity was portrayed in positive ways by the bible scholars to provide positive thoughts and inspiration back then and should also apply today.


  2. whitefreeze02

    My Father is a retired Uniting Church minister. Not that ministers’ ever really retire. For non Australian people. The Uniting Church formed in the mid 70s when the Methodist Church, parts of the Prespeterian Church and parts of the Congregational Church combined.

    After he retired, he went on a tour of Israel. A story he told us was of a boat cruise on lake Galilee. The tour guide was telling of Jesus’s first fishing interaction with Peter. A crew member on the cruise started to throw a cast net of a type that has been used in the middle east for centuries. Apparently the method, even today, is to use the boat to keep the fish in the shallows then cast the net over them. The weighted perimeter of the net then hits the bottom trapping the fish, then the fisherman hauls the net in with the rope in the centre of net. The crew removes the fish, then the fisherman gets the net ready for the next throw. I’ve seen this done in Australia. Big nets can be 30 feet in diameter. It sometimes involves part of the net being hung over the fisherman’s shoulder so that as he throws it the net uncurls into a perfect circle as it hits the water. Anglers in Australia generally use these nets to catch bait so it’s only a few casts, then get the rod out. I imagine doing this all night would get the fisherman quite wet. It would be done at night when the fish are in the shallows feeding. Jesus telling Peter to cast into deeper water is counter intuitive because when the net hits the water, the fish have more time to escape before the weighted edge reaches the bottom.

    I would think that anyone who had thrown the net all night would be wet, smell like fish and be covered in fish scales. Without the benefit of cheap clothing and washing machines, fishing naked makes sense.

    I’m merely speculating, but I’d tend to think that Peter jumping into the shallows to come ashore to see Jesus after the second fishing interaction wasn’t normal behaviour. I’d wait till we were at the beach, jump in, clean myself off then pull the boat ashore. I’m sure there would have been plenty of kids, like I was, out to watch the boats come in. And likely, naked kids.


  3. Paul B

    I think the amazing thing is that God still accepts people in man made clothes. Mark 10:2-12 is a discussion between Jesus and some Pharisees regarding divorce. Jesus basically said that divorce was written into the law because of their hardness of heart, then went on to show God’s ideal plan for marriage. It seems like God was saying, You’re going to do this anyway, but I’m never going to let you use it to disadvantage the women in your community. The divorce certificate was her proof that she wasn’t a “slut”, to use a modern idiom. And therefore was permitted to remarry. Actually it would probably reflect on the husband more. But that is just speculation.

    In Genesis 3, we see God clothe Adam and Eve. He says nothing about why. Since I’ve been exposed to the different view of nakedness I found on and David Hatton’s stuff, my current reading of Genesis 3 is that all I can take from it is God gave them permission to wear clothes. If they were in a state where they couldn’t bear to be seen, he wasn’t going to reject them on that grounds.


  4. jochanaan1

    I just checked the Greek for John 13:4. Both the Textus Receptus and the Nestle-Aland edition of the Greek New Testament have *himatia*, the plural form of *himation*, for “garments”. It follows that Our Lord took off ALL HIs clothes, taking on the role of a naked body servant, as He makes clear a few verses later.

    Liked by 1 person

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