Jesus Naked in the Gospel

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Joseph D. L.
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Re: Jesus Naked in the Gospel

Post by Joseph D. L. » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:11 pm

Ken Olson wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:58 pm
Joseph D. L. wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:03 pm
I'm not sure if there's a greater meaning behind this, but I find Ken's criticisms to be unfair to Stephan.
Hi Joseph (if I may),

I'm working on a longer reply to your post, but I'd like to ask you a question first. Do you understand that Stephan is claiming that the author of Mark is saying that Jesus was literally naked from the time he crossed the Jordan toward Jerusalem (sometime after Mark 10.1), that the beggar Bartimaeus (and possibly the Rich Young Man) in Mark 10 were also literally naked, that Jesus, the disciples, and some of the people in the Triumphal Entry (Mark 11.7-9) were naked and that Jesus was naked during the Cleansing of the Temple (Mark 11.15-19)?

I'm not making a general argument against nakedness being mentioned in the gospels, certainly not in the cases Mark 14.52 and Matthew 25 where the word naked is actually found, nor in the case of Jesus being crucified naked in John where it is explicitly stated that the soldiers took his himation and chiton (19.7). I'm arguing that Stephan has made no reasonable case for concluding that Mark meant to portray Jesus, Bartimaeus, the disciples, and other people as publicly naked in Mark 10-11. Are you saying that you think Stephan has, in fact, made a reasonable case for those?

Best,

Ken
I understood it as, if Jesus could have been naked when he entered Jerusalem. I think if it can be argued sufficiently it can be considered as possible. Nothing is guaranteed with this subject. Heck, we have all sorts of suspects for the beloved disciple, with absolutely nothing to go on. One is just as plausible as the others, and Stephan's interpretation is as likely as any others. People treat this as a science when it isn't. It is pure guess work. Whole denominations have been created based on one marginal aspect of the text. If it's good for the goose, etc.

Also, my reasoning for bringing up Matthew and Luke was that they may have been consciously aware of this feature in Mark or Secret Mark or what have you, and thus wanted to explain it away as a commandment for being naked before Christ, or destitute before Christ.

Maybe I'm biased because I like Stephan's thought experiments. It did give me some things to ponder.

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Re: Jesus Naked in the Gospel

Post by Ken Olson » Tue Jul 21, 2020 5:37 am

This is a belated response to Joseph D.L.'s posts of a week ago. I am very conscious of the fact that some of my exchanges with Stephan do look like sniping contests and I regret that. I have tried, where possible, to write separate posts dealing directly with the source material and just presenting my analysis. In the case of the post to which Joseph was responding, I claimed that Stephan was ignoring counterevidence against his unjustified assertion that poor people did not wear layers of clothing antiquity, that he used ellipsis to remove the part of the passage he quoted from Joan Taylor that plainly showed she disagreed with his position, and that he had not produced the evidence he claimed to have for an oral tradition that Jesus walked naked from the Jordan in Mark 10. I realize that sounds hostile, but I honestly could not think of a nice way to say it. That said, I don't think any of what I wrote was unjustified.

Joseph D.L. wrote:
I understood it as, if Jesus could have been naked when he entered Jerusalem.
This is what Stephan wrote:
How did Jesus end up naked in front of the disrobed blind man? Only one answer makes sense. At the very least there seems to have been an oral monastic tradition that Jesus walked naked from the Jordan (regardless of Secret Mark he has to cross the river before arriving at Jericho), the impure blind man takes off his clothes and presumably follows a naked Christ. 
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7008&p=110672&=Nudus+nudum#p110549

This does not sound to me like Stephan was just posing a hypothetical possibility, nor does it sound like he's using “naked Christ” in a non-literal sense. Stephan seems to be claiming that he has evidence that shows, at a minimum, that there was an oral tradition that Jesus walked naked from the Jordan, and by implication remained naked at least until the episode of Blind Bartimaeus. Can you suggest any other plausible way to read what Stephan wrote?

You quoted the text of Jerome's Epsitle 125 (which is more than Stephan did) but then you did not go on to explain how it demonstrates Stephan's claim that Jesus walked naked from the Jordan as far as his encounter with Bartimaeus, or, rather that there was at least an oral tradition of such. In fact, it looks like you were willing to accept nudus nudum in a metaphorical sense, which is not what Stephan, from all appearances, is suggesting. I think that the reason Stephan did not quote the passage and has not revealed what, if any, other evidence he has for his claim is that he knows his evidence would not survive critical examination if he did present it.
Joseph: I think if it can be argued sufficiently it can be considered as possible.


This is backwards. It is possible that Jesus walked naked from the Jordan to Jerusalem, or that there was an early church tradition that he did. If it could be argued sufficiently, we would accept it as true. My point though, is that Stephan has definitely not offered sufficient evidence, or anything close to it, for his claim.
Joseph: Nothing is guaranteed with this subject. Heck, we have all sorts of suspects for the beloved disciple, with absolutely nothing to go on. One is just as plausible as the others, and Stephan's interpretation is as likely as any others. People treat this as a science when it isn't. It is pure guess work. Whole denominations have been created based on one marginal aspect of the text. If it's good for the goose, etc.
This bit is seriously problematic. To see why, try replacing the name Stephan with the name Giuseppe. Is it all just guess work, so that Giuseppe's interpretations are just as likely as any others? Or do we have ways to evaluate Giuseppe's claims to determine their degree of plausibility?

As to your question: why the hostility? Here are the things to which I was hostile in the post:

I am hostile to making up facts about the ancient world, ignoring counterexamples and counter-arguments, and asserting things that we have already seen good reason to conclude are false. This is what Stephan does when he says beggars or poor people did not wear layers of clothing in antiquity, or that only rich people did.

I am not fond of appeals to authority in general, but I am actually hostile to quoting a particular scholar as though she supported one's position and using ellipsis marks to remove the part of the passage one is quoting where she clearly says she does not.

I am hostile to making a claim that Jesus walked naked from the Jordan and then failing to present the evidence that one claims to have for that conclusion when asked for it.

I think those things are enough to justify the degree of hostility I exhibited. Do you think hostility to those particular things is unreasonable, or do you think I am unjustified in claiming Stephan did them?
Joseph: Also, my reasoning for bringing up Matthew and Luke was that they may have been consciously aware of this feature in Mark or Secret Mark or what have you, and thus wanted to explain it away as a commandment for being naked before Christ, or destitute before Christ.
Yes, when you are arguing for something you quote sources and use reasoning. This suggests you don't think it's all pure guess work. That said, I think your argument would need considerable further development before it could be accepted as establishing likelihood.
Joseph: Maybe I'm biased because I like Stephan's thought experiments. It did give me some things to ponder.
I think that may well be the case (though I don't think Stephan's claims about nudity in Mark 10-11 can all be classified as thought experiments – he is making positive claims in many cases). But seriously, I am trying not to create a straw man of Stephan's arguments, but to evaluate what he's actually arguing using established critical standards. If you saw somewhere in the post to which you were objecting where I misrepresented Stephan's argument, would you quote it and tell me why you found it unfair?
Last edited by Ken Olson on Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Secret Alias
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Re: Jesus Naked in the Gospel

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Jul 21, 2020 7:56 am

I am really busy but:
This does not sound to me like Stephan was just posing a hypothetical possibility
It does if you are the kind of person like me who spends large parts of the day contemplating stuff as questions and answers in your own head.

If I eat this amazing tomato pesto from Italy I am going to get fat.
Well I will just run on the track for 20 minutes. That will burn it off.
But what about the butter on the pasta.
I will use olive oil.
The Seggiano pesto has lot's of olive oil.
350 calories just for the serving of pesto.
No butter, no olive oil.
But I am making it for the whole family. They're going to be disappointed. That's going to add to dampening of the experience of eating the pasta.
I will use a little butter.
Make the Seggiano fusilli. Add butter. Add the warmed tomato pesto. Add the grated cheese. Give all of it to my family. No visit to the track.
Tutto a posto!

Eventually I arrive at the solution.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Re: Jesus Naked in the Gospel

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:07 am

And now I am having this discussion in my head that when I go on tour to promote my new book I am going to have a clause in my contracts that they have to have a microphone and a sound system so that I can sing Engelbert Humperdinck songs during the intermission.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Re: Jesus Naked in the Gospel

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:13 am

“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote


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Re: Jesus Naked in the Gospel

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:31 am

But when you really look back at Plato's dialogues are they really that different? First of all, they never happened that way. I was just rereading the life story of Diogenes. He was closer to being the real Socrates than the figure in the Dialogues of Plato. So you have this guy Plato essentially making up dialogues in his head which completely distort our whole picture of Socrates. And then in the Dialogues themselves there are whole stretches where you're like - WTF is he talking about? He's just gone off on a tangent that is based on the flimsiest of logical inferences. I guess my point is that if we imagine 'dialogues' to be about being right all the time or 'correctness' we'll be sorely disappointed. But if we think of them as a process which gets us to the right answer by pushing and prodding us to think differently about things, then yes forums like this are invaluable. I have for instance a lot to thank you for, Ken. I don't think I would have completed my present project if it wasn't for our interactions. Seriously. I mean that.

We're all living in parallel universes. On occasion we actually make contact with someone else in a meaningful way and that's magical and rewarding in itself. And yes I really do dream of singing in front of an audience. I've managed so many performers at events (Shania Twain, Monica, other acts etc). I've always been jealous of their abilities. More than sex, singing is the best.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Joseph D. L.
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Re: Jesus Naked in the Gospel

Post by Joseph D. L. » Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:32 pm

Ken Olson wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 5:37 am

Joseph D.L. wrote:
I understood it as, if Jesus could have been naked when he entered Jerusalem.
This is what Stephan wrote:
How did Jesus end up naked in front of the disrobed blind man? Only one answer makes sense. At the very least there seems to have been an oral monastic tradition that Jesus walked naked from the Jordan (regardless of Secret Mark he has to cross the river before arriving at Jericho), the impure blind man takes off his clothes and presumably follows a naked Christ. 
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7008&p=110672&=Nudus+nudum#p110549

This does not sound to me like Stephan was just posing a hypothetical possibility, nor does it sound like he's using “naked Christ” in a non-literal sense. Stephan seems to be claiming that he has evidence that shows, at a minimum, that there was an oral tradition that Jesus walked naked from the Jordan, and by implication remained naked at least until the episode of Blind Bartimaeus. Can you suggest any other plausible way to read what Stephan wrote?
I'm not here to defend Stephan or to argue his points for him. Stephan brought up something that got me thinking in other ways, and I started seeing what was there. That's all.
You quoted the text of Jerome's Epsitle 125 (which is more than Stephan did) but then you did not go on to explain how it demonstrates Stephan's claim that Jesus walked naked from the Jordan as far as his encounter with Bartimaeus, or, rather that there was alt least an oral tradition of such. In fact, it looks like you were willing to accept nudus nudum in a metaphorical sense, which is not what Stephan, from all appearances, is suggesting. I think that the reason Stephan did not quote the passage and has not revealed what, if any, other evidence he has for his claim is that he knows his evidence would not survive critical examination if he did present it.
Again I am not arguing Stephan's claims for him. Much of your post is redundant and baseless because of that. I think it's pretty clear that I was going off on my own search and seeing if there was substantial evidence for Jesus being naked anywhere in the Gospels, and indeed there is. As far as there being some greater meaning to this, I don't know.
Joseph: I think if it can be argued sufficiently it can be considered as possible.


This is backwards. It is possible that Jesus walked naked from the Jordan to Jerusalem, or that there was an early church tradition that he did. If it could be argued sufficiently, we would accept it as true. My point though, is that Stephan has definitely not offered sufficient evidence, or anything close to it, for his claim.
You'e taking this out of the context of the point I made right after this. People, especially the scholars who think they hold the keys to the mysteries of these texts, think that there is some grand unifying method or science to this when there absolutely isn't. Stephan's position is just as viable as yours, mine, or anyone else's, because the evidence is either so small that we can make anything out of it, or it is not there at all, meaning we can literally invent whole scenarios for our respective theories.
Joseph: Nothing is guaranteed with this subject. Heck, we have all sorts of suspects for the beloved disciple, with absolutely nothing to go on. One is just as plausible as the others, and Stephan's interpretation is as likely as any others. People treat this as a science when it isn't. It is pure guess work. Whole denominations have been created based on one marginal aspect of the text. If it's good for the goose, etc.
This bit is seriously problematic. To see why, try replacing the name Stephan with the name Giuseppe. Is it all just guess work, so that Giuseppe's interpretations are just as likely as any others? Or do we have ways to evaluate Giuseppe's claims to determine their degree of plausibility?
I think I've made it pretty clear that my overall problem with Giuseppe has to do with his methodology (or lack thereof), and his insufferable and unfounded arrogance and attitude towards everyone. He can believe what he wants. But even sticking with comparing him to Stephan: 1) Stephan has shown at least a respect and appreciation for the texts, while Giuseppe has admitted several times that he does not care about these texts and that his entire MO is about rendering them obsolete, as an Atheist Christ-myther, and 2) if the issue is of argumentation, Giuseppe has shown himself to be incapable of arguing his points sufficiently, while Stephan does sufficiently argue his points. You may not like them or agree with them, and no one is saying you have to, but to say that he doesn't is not true.
As to your question: why the hostility? Here are the things to which I was hostile to in the post:

I am hostile to making up facts about the ancient world, ignoring counterexamples and counter-arguments, and asserting things that we have already seen good reason to conclude are false. This is what Stephan does when he says beggars or poor people did not wear layers of clothing in antiquity, or that only rich people did.

I am not fond of appeals to authority in general, but I am actually hostile to quoting a particular scholar as though she supported one's position and using ellipsis marks to remove the part of the passage one is quoting where she clearly says she does not.

I am hostile to making a claim that Jesus walked naked from the Jordan and then failing to present the evidence that one claims to have for that conclusion when asked for it.
As far as making up facts: Jesus did tell his disciples to wear as little as possible and that, when encountering a beggar, they are to give them even the shirt from their backs, meaning, at least to me, that going about naked was a sign of being before Christ and following his examples, just as Jerome said in Letter 125.

But the issue is not an issue of history but an issue of interpreting the texts. As it is we can interpret these texts however we want. No one is here to tell us otherwise. Yes, even Giuseppe is free to interpret it as he sees fit. When you argue your position in a public forum you need to be able to defend these interpretations to the best of your ability. I don't believe in truth in regards to NT scholarship, and will openly admit that my particular interpretations can be wrong. If you take umbrage with Stephan's claim than that is your right and you have the right to call him out where you feel you has feel to sufficiently argue his case.

As far as providing evidence goes, what exactly are you asking for? What would that evidence look like? Evidence doesn't exist in this field. It's all guess work and reconstructionism. All we have are arguments.
I think those things are enough to justify the degree of hostility I exhibited. Do you think hostility to those particular things is unreasonable, or do you think I am unjustified in claiming Stephan did them?
I still think your reaction was unfair. Surely you can appreciate a thought experiment even if you don't believe it yourself.
Joseph: Also, my reasoning for bringing up Matthew and Luke was that they may have been consciously aware of this feature in Mark or Secret Mark or what have you, and thus wanted to explain it away as a commandment for being naked before Christ, or destitute before Christ.
Yes, when you are arguing for something you quote sources and use reasoning. This suggests you don't think it's all pure guess work. That said, I think your argument would need considerable further development before it could be accepted as establishing likelihood.
Again I was going for something else and wasn't trying to argue Stephan's claim about Jesus walking into Jerusalem naked.

The way you're going about this seems dogmatic and wrong. I haven't even thought about this topic sense my last post (too busy with other things) and it isn't something I find particularly necessary. I found what I was looking for--evidence of Jesus being naked in the Gospels, and possibly telling his followers to be naked before him--and moved on. That's all I cared for.
Joseph: Maybe I'm biased because I like Stephan's thought experiments. It did give me some things to ponder.
I think that may well be the case (though I don't think Stephan's claims about nudity in Mark 10-11 can all be classified as thought experiments – he is making positive claims in many cases). But seriously, I am trying not to create a straw man of Stephan's arguments, but to evaluate what he's actually arguing using established critical standards. If you saw somewhere in the post to which you were objecting where I misrepresented Stephan's argument, would you quote it and tell me why you found it unfair?
[/quote]

It is not a matter of misrepresenting him but of taking this way too seriously when it just amounts to a thought experiment and asking questions.

Ken Olson
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Re: Jesus Naked in the Gospel

Post by Ken Olson » Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:27 am

I asked:
I am trying not to create a straw man of Stephan's arguments, but to evaluate what he's actually arguing using established critical standards. If you saw somewhere in the post to which you were objecting where I misrepresented Stephan's argument, would you quote it and tell me why you found it unfair?
and Joseph D.L. replied:
It is not a matter of misrepresenting him but of taking this way too seriously when it just amounts to a thought experiment and asking questions
Thank you.

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Re: Jesus Naked in the Gospel

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Jul 22, 2020 10:25 am

Ken just prefers the silly nonsense of Morton's Salt, the bald swindler and the rest to my silly (unpublished) nonsense. Some people like the Three Stooges. Others Jerry Lewis. There are clans among the comedians. Jay Leno has his group. Letterman another. Fools also divide into camps apparently lauding the invention of their side as superior to that other side. The question of whether Jesus was naked until his coronation put against Morton Smith leaving clues in his forgery because he was an unhappy homosexual in the 1950s. Take your pick. Different flavors of idiocy. One published and taken seriously. The other raised in a discussion board and unpublished. I'd argue both belong on a discussion board. But then again I don't take nonsense as seriously as Ken I guess.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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