Friday, February 23, 2007

Nakedness and the Bible

(I have been doing a lot of traveling on the island as of late, so it has prevented me from posting. I hope to be back on track now.)

I was asked in the comment section on my last post about nakedness and the Bible. I have also been asked the same question, about my post, from another person as well. Here is a short answer to that question, but none the less, an answer that gives Bible truth to the question of nakedness and sin.

Gen 3:7, 21

Genesis 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.


In verse 7, because of sin, Adam and Eve knew they were naked for the first time. They felt shame. Adam made an “apron” out of fig leaves. From the word apron we know Adam only covered the groin area. (The word means “loin covering.”) It was not enough though. In verse 21 God makes a “coat” out of animal skin. Death has entered the world. An animal had to die to cover their shame. Notice it was a “coat” God made. The Hebrew word implies robe/long garment. God covered their nakedness. He did not cover their nakedness with just a loin cloth, but with a “coat,” or long garment. God has set the standard here for us to follow. (First mention principle) God covered Adam and Eve with clothes. We, too, need to be covered with clothes. Allowing others to see your nakedness is sin, except for your spouse.

Lev 18 is a good chapter for seeing we are not to look upon each others nakedness.

Some think nakedness is just the groin area. That is not true Biblically as we seen in Gen 3. A coat covered much more than the groin area. When we compare Gen 3 with Ex 28:42, we see we need to be covered from our chest area to at least our knees. Our thighs need to be covered. This is true of both male and female.

Many times nakedness in the bible is associated with sin rebellion, shame, peril. One verse to see this is EX 32:25

Do a study on nakedness in the Bible, not in light of American culture, but solely based on what you read in the Bible. I believe many Christians will be surprised!

10 comments:

Sista Cala said...

You are correct in every way. I just wanted to add a bit about the nakedness of Adam and Eve as mates.
They were see-through/transparent before the fall. They had nothing to hide and tried to hide nothing.

Terry McGovern said...

sista cala,

Thanks for coming by my blog. I appreciate you coming and commenting!
I would not agree with your view, though, that Adam and Eve were "transparent." I have heard and read this view before, but I do not believe the Bible teaches that. In Gen 3:7, the Bible says their "eyes" were opened, not that their body physically changed. The teaching that they were transparent does not come from the text itself. It is a teaching you have to be taught outside of the Bible.

Pam said...

Hi I saw where you visited my sister's blog (Jungle Hut) She is a missioanry in Venezuela. My dad pastor's Smyrna Baptist in Tampa, which brings me to this point - I bet I have met you before! That is so cool! Worlds away but we meet again on the internet!

Brian said...

Hey Terry, thanks for the response.

I'm actually heading out to PNG to record the Jesus Film in two weeks.

:)

I agree with your response. It was never my guess that nakedness was acceptable, but I couldn't think of any biblical passage that addressed it. I greatly appreciate your well worded response.

Many blessings!
Brian bish

Terry McGovern said...

Pam,


Yes, it is a small world. I was surprised to see your sisters comment on my blog. Glad you dropped by here.

Brian,

Enjoy your trip!

Jungle Mom said...

I have been having problems with the word verification. It seems to be working for me now! I see my sister has already told you all the facts. Thanks for coming over to my blog. My husband says hello.

Sista Cala said...

Terry, I wasn't talking about their physical bodies being transparent, I was meaning their thinking/psyche/persona...I'm not sure how to say it. I meant like, seeing right through someone's motives. Oh well, your post covers it well. Meanwhile, I'll work on my vocabulary and writing skills. :-)

Juan Carlos Asmat said...

I do agree with what you are saying on this post and thanks for the verses.

PastorDavidRN said...

Genesis 3 never explains why God clothed our first parents in animal skins, nor does it record His action as a commanded behavior. Some Bible scholars believe He was graciously providing leather outfits for protection and warmth. This view is in keeping with the real “need” of the naked spelled out in James 2:15-16 (NKJV). Other theologians suggest that the skins of slain animals were meant to teach us about the necessity of sin’s atonement [a Hebrew word that means “covering”]. Today, however, most preachers, like yourself, insist that God’s intention was to hide the nudity of the body itself—yes, even though it was the nakedness of a married couple!

This last concept is highly suspicious of a devotional allegiance to Victorian standards for dress. With devastating results, missionaries of the Victorian era imposed these same standards—as part of their “Gospel”—on converts in naked cultures. Hiding the body as a moral necessity, however, is totally absent in the actual language of Genesis 3. But a dogmatic belief that such was God’s unstated purpose effectively colors all further biblical study about nakedness, tempting Bible students to read their own cultural experience back into Bible times. This molding of Scripture to fit man-made conventions is a pride of cultural knowledge that borders on cultural idolatry. Dr. James McKeever, an evangelical Bible teacher, pointed this out in his critique of the history of Western missionaries who clothed naked natives as a “holy” activity: "The thing that we need to be very careful of is not to create God in our own cultural image. We need to guard against attributing characteristics to Him based on the taboos of our society. The very worst thing is to take a false image of God that we have created and try to impose this ‘god’ on other cultures.” (Read his whole chapter on “Nudity and Lust“ from his book, IT'S IN THE BIBLE).

Terry McGovern said...

PastorDavidRN,

Thanks for coming by the blog.

Lets examine your points against Scripture.
First, you made this statement: “Some Bible scholars believe He was graciously providing leather outfits for protection and warmth. This view is in keeping with the real “need” of the naked spelled out in James 2:15-16”
Let’s see if climate was an issue when Adam clothed himself and Eve. Perhaps a cold wind came through after the fall and they had to quickly get clothes! No maybe a snow storm occurred! The Bible says why Adam clothed himself and Eve. It was because they were ashamed. In context with the preceding verses, the Bible stated that Adam and Eve were "naked and not ashamed" (prior to the fall). Moses, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote those words. This shows us that in Moses day, if a person was naked they would be ashamed. So not being ashamed, when naked, was something different about Adam and Eve. Then, after the fall, Adam and Eve covered themselves. Why? Because now they were ashamed and so they clothed themselves. The preceding verses did not say they were naked because the weather was ideal for nakedness. It says they were naked and not ashamed. So what was the change? Shame! That is Bible. Again, it did not say, “Adam and Eve were naked because the weather was ideal”. If this was the case, clothes would not be needed for quite some time!

Let’s see if anywhere else in the Bible supports my point. Let’s look at EX 32:25. “And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies”. Please, take note it does not say, “Moses saw they were naked (for Aaron had them take their clothes off because the climate was ideal for nakedness.)” Nakedness and shame go together. It is frightening you read the scriptures and do not see this. The fact is there is verse after verse where the Bible uses the word naked or a form of the word naked (literally and illustratively) to describe shame and judgment.

Now, let’s look at this verse (1Ti 2:9). “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel,…;” First notice, they were to be CLOTHED and modestly at that! The instruction for clothing here was not based on weather conditions, but on appearance! I, as a preacher and teacher of the Word of God, will most certainly teach this, and the fact of nakedness and shame! It has nothing to do with the Victorian time period, but Bible! I am not at all concerned about setting up a western culture, nor is my mission to save the culture I am in. The fact is, as people convert to Christ, a brand new culture should form, a Biblical culture, that should look drastically different that the original!
There are times when naked or a form of the word is not referring to shame/judgment, but instead to someone being destitute and without proper clothing for climate conditions. This would be true of the verse you stated in James, as well as several other places in scripture. For people who have this need, we have an obligation to help meet their need for warmth and modesty.

How sad you read the Bible and conclude there is nothing wrong with nakedness. (I did not write that trying to sound condescending. But truly saddened you see nothing wrong with nakedness.) You need to put down some of these books from “Evangelical Bible scholars” and stay with the Bible!