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  #201  
Old 12 January 2010, 10:42 PM
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BlushingBride BlushingBride is offline
 
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So... Jesus was planning to revisit the tomb? He was planning to die again?
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  #202  
Old 12 January 2010, 11:23 PM
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DemonWolf DemonWolf is offline
 
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But Jesus' shoud was crumpled and tossed aside. I suspect that if a servant came to the table to find the napkin neatly folded on the table, but the tablecloth balled up and in the corner, the servant would simply assume that the master was insane.
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  #203  
Old 12 January 2010, 11:33 PM
Bettie Page Turner Bettie Page Turner is offline
 
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[Mary, to child Jesus] Jesus! How Many times have I told you to be neat? Don't just throw things aside! I mean really! Were you born in a barn? Oh...wait... [/Mary, to child Jesus]
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  #204  
Old 13 January 2010, 12:17 AM
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RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
 
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Uh, I'm not a boy, but I am Jewish, and I have never heard of this custom. What's more, considering that all the disciples were from the working classes, and didn't have servants, one presumes that even if such a custom existed, this symbolism would be lost on them.

But back to the words.

I don't know ancient Greek, much less the dialect in which John was written, but it seems that the word translated "napkin" in the KJV bible is "saudarion." It is related etymologically to the Latin word "sudare," which means "to sweat." So it was a cloth for wiping sweat from your face. Although, as a burial cloth, it may have been used for tying the jaw closed, which was a common practice in lots of places and times, until morticians began doing things like wiring people's jaws shut.

Now, the word for "rolled up," which is how the face cloth is described as having been left, is "entulisso." A better translation might be "wound up." In other words, the idea being conveyed is probably not that it was neatly rolled, like a napkin for a napkin ring, but rather wound up the way you would if you wanted to use it to tie something-- like a person's jaw closed.

I have no good guesses for why the author of John makes special mention of the wrappings and face cloth being separate, unless he is either trying to emphasize that a very much alive Jesus pulled them off himself, rather anxiously-- they would have been really restrictive-- and didn't care where they landed, OR, the author wants to make sure that the reader knows that both the wrappings AND the face cloth are there, meaning that no one stole the body, and left the wrappings, but kept the cloth that tied the jaw shut, or unwrapped the body for some other nefarious purpose
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  #205  
Old 13 January 2010, 11:17 AM
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Cyrano Cyrano is offline
 
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As I'm not aware of every English slang expression, I confess that when I first read the title, I thought "Fold the Napkin" meant something like "Kick the Bucket" or "Buy the Farm". But maybe I'm not the only one.
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  #206  
Old 13 January 2010, 01:56 PM
Nick Theodorakis Nick Theodorakis is offline
 
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For what it's worth, John Chrysostom (ca 347-407) left a large number of homilies and commentaries, and here is his take on the passage:

Quote:
...When then she came and said these things, they hearing them, draw near with great eagerness to the sepulcher, and see the linen clothes lying, which was a sign of the Resurrection. For neither, if any persons had removed the body, would they before doing so have stripped it; nor if any had stolen it, would they have taken the trouble to remove the napkin, and roll it up, and lay it in a place by itself; but how? They would have taken the body as it was. On this account John tells us by anticipation that it was buried with much myrrh, which glues linen to the body not less firmly than lead; in order that when you hear that the napkins lay apart, you may not endure those who say that He was stolen. For a thief would not have been so foolish as to spend so much trouble on a superfluous matter. For why should he undo the clothes? And how could he have escaped detection if he had done so? Since he would probably have spent much time in so doing, and be found out by delaying and loitering. But why do the clothes lie apart, while the napkin was wrapped together by itself? That you may learn that it was not the action of men in confusion or haste, the placing some in one place, some in another, and the wrapping them together....
Homily 85 on the Gospel of John

No mention of the master and servant at the table paradigm, which would have been out of place anyway since elsewhere Jesus tends to subvert this model (see the "foot-washing" for example).

Nick
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  #207  
Old 13 January 2010, 02:04 PM
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FWIW the description of Lazarus' burial clothes was

The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go." [John 11:44]

That makes me think it's like RivkahChaya said - the cloth was probably tied around the head, or else it would've fallen off when Lazarus stood up. It also implies someone has to take the burial clothes off. In Jesus' case maybe angels are just neat freaks.
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