A friend of mine once taught that the Bible teaches in three ways, through direct command, through example and through principle. Sometimes God comes right out and says “thou shalt not” and sometimes He gives us a principle to live by such as “your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost” so maybe you shouldn’t smoke since that is harmful to your body, His temple and then sometimes he teaches by example where this is what David did and so maybe you should do it too. This is what Samuel did so maybe you should do it too. Well, the Bible does not give us a direct command regarding the naked body, It does give us principle and example regarding the naked body and that is what we are going to concentrate on in this chapter.
Now let me take a two-minute pit stop and first address Leviticus chapter 18 where some will try to tell you that God gave direct command regarding nudity. This again is another example of taking Scripture and making It mean what you want It to rather than at face value. In Leviticus 18 repeatedly you will find the phrase “Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness” and then it is followed by “of thy father’s brother or son’s wife”, etc. What you will not find are the words thou shalt not see their nakedness. Scripture uses the phrase “uncover the nakedness” when it is dealing with sexual sin. If you are uncovering the nakedness of your father’s brother you are having sex with your father’s brother. If it says thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of your son’s wife, it means specifically don’t have sex with them. Not one time in Scripture is there a command to not see your father’s brother naked, but there is a command to not uncover your father’s brother’s nakedness. And if you’re looking for verification of this you need look no further than verses 20-23 of the same chapter where Scripture explains undeniably that what Christ is referring to here is sex.
20 Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour's wife, to defile thyself with her. 21 And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the Lord. 22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. 23 Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.
Notice also that in God’s eyes sex outside of marriage with anyone in this long list is just as bad as sex with another man if you’re a man or sex with an animal. Sex with anyone outside of the person that you are married to is wrong and in verse 21 He also says that abortion is wrong. You see, killing your baby after having sex with someone you shouldn’t have isn’t something new, it has been going on for thousands of years. These references allow us to know that Christ was not talking about simple nudity He was clearly referring to sex. So, if you’re trying to use this Scripture to say anything other than “sex outside of marriage is bad” then you are adding to Scripture and the Bible is very clear that adding to Scripture is also wrong.
Now, back on point…does the Bible give us any examples of public family friendly non-sexual nudity in a positive light? Well, I’m glad you ask, because we are going to give you several Bible examples. I was taught early on to never base a doctrine on a single verse…so we are going to show you several examples and let you decide for yourself if family friendly non-sexual nudity (naturism) is still okay in the sight of God. Does God still tell us that naked and unashamed is still His view of His creation? King Saul and the Prophets 1Samuel 19:24 And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?
Apparently, the prophets were naked regularly as no one thought it odd for a prophet to be nude and when Saul joined them and became naked the people then assumed that he was a prophet as well.
So, it’s okay for prophets and kings to be naked in sight of all the people. Job Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
Job had decided to take his clothes off while in mourning with no scriptural condemnation.
So, it’s okay for someone in mourning to be naked in the sight of all the people. Isaiah Isaiah 20:2 At the same time spake the LORD by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot, my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years.
Isaiah the prophet spent 3 years completely naked at the Lord’s command.
Another prophet in the will of God and even at His command was okay to be naked in the sight of all the people. Ruth Ruth, the Moabitess daughter in law of Naomi, who becomes the wife of Boaz and is later named in the genealogy of Jesus in Matt 1:5 was also most likely naked in the account of Ruth gleaning in Boaz’s fields. As we already know, due to the high cost and time it took to make clothing, most people worked in the nude, cleaned off and then put clothes back on. Evidence of this fact is found throughout scripture…Jesus’ reference to the worker in the field coming in at supper time, the man who had to leave his clothes for collateral on a loan having it returned to him at night for protection from the cold and Peter fishing in the nude to name just a few. When you read the account of Ruth gleaning corn in Boaz’s fields you can safely assume that she along with everyone else was working in the naked condition that God originally intended. We know that Ruth and Naomi were not from a wealthy family or there would be no need for Ruth to follow the harvesters and pick up leftovers in the field. We also see Boaz giving specific instructions to the hired harvesters to purposely leave some corn behind in the fields so that Ruth and Naomi would have enough to eat. This alone is enough to indicate that Ruth would not risk damaging an expensive piece of clothing while working in the fields. As another example of the commonplace of nudity in this very account we would need to look no further than Ruth 3:3 “Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee…” Deborah Judges 4:4 And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.Deborah was a prophetess during a time in Israel’s history that they were once again doing evil in the sight of God. And, since no man of the prophets was found worthy by God to do the job, God appointed Deborah to lead Israel spiritually.The interesting thing that we see in the Old Testament about the prophets is that they prophecied in the nude at God’s leading. Not really too surprising since we see the Levites being nude for the ceremonial washing in front of all the people and being dressed by Moses in the priestly garments, nude in front of all the people. No need to take my word for it, let’s look at the verse again for our confirmation… 1 Samuel 19:23-24 And he went thither to Naioth in Ramah: and the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah. And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?
So, two things to take note of here, the first is that Saul’s nudity was at the specific leading of the Holy Spirit of God. The second thing that we see is that the people made the assumption that Saul was one of the prophets because he was nude. The only conclusion that one can draw is that the prophets were nude while doing their spiritual duties…therefore it is only logical to infer that the same rule would apply to Deborah as prophetess that applied to all the other prophets. We also see later in scripture that God commands Isaiah to not just be nude while preaching, but to indeed go an entire three years in the nude, not even allowed to wear his sandals.
Bathsheba 2 Samuel 11And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem. And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? ...
Most Christians are aware of the account of David and Bathsheba and David’s choice to commit adultery, then murder. What most are told from the pulpit is “see, if Bathsheba hadn’t been on that roof naked then none of this would have ever happened.” They conveniently blame the woman and her clothing or lack thereof on the man’s sin. What should have been the proper response? We need look no further than the Prophet Nathan’s response to David to find the answer. As Nathan referred to Bathsheba as the innocent lamb in the story and properly blamed David and his heart condition at the time. The passage even gives us a hint at David’s heart condition when it says that it was the time when Kings went forth to battle that David tarried still at Jerusalem. He was lazy and derelict in duty to start the account and it went downhill from there rather quickly. Had David been out doing what he was supposed to be in the first place then his adultery and subsequent murder would not have happened. Bathsheba was doing what every other woman in the kingdom was doing, taking a bath naked. Some women of the kingdom took their bath in the river and those who could took their baths on the roof where the hot middle eastern sun would warm the water. Bathsheba was the wife of one of David’s mighty men. Their house was close to the castle indicating position and wealth, so they had the money to put a rooftop bath in, but everybody took a bath nude and in the public’s view…the sin was not in the nudity, the sin was in David’s heart.
Pharoah’s Daughter Exodus 2:5 And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river's side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. This is how everyone took a bath, washed their clothes, etc. In fact, this is still how a lot of people take a bath and wash their clothes in some parts of the world. The whole concept of prudery and no one can see me naked is a modern construct. Not even possible until modern times with the advent of running water and inexpensive clothing. Seeing other humans naked was normal and common and nonsexual until recent modern times. It is our opinion that the modern view of the body…that it is dirty and sexual and shameful and needs hidden does not match with God’s view of the body…that it is made in His image and designed to enjoy this world as God originally intended. We believe firmly that the Godly view of the body is a much better, dare we say healthier view of the body! We’ll take the old-fashioned view, y’all can take the modern view if you’d like, but we recommend God’s view. The Pawn Shop Guy Exodus 22:26-27 26 If thou at all take thy neighbour's raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down:27 For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I am gracious.
Now here we have Old Testament law where a man is needing a loan and needs to leave a pledge of some sort to guarantee the loan. The law was that if you took his clothing as security for the loan you had to get his clothes back to him by nightfall so that he had something for warmth as the nights get cool. The presumption that is easily made here then is that during the day the man had no clothes. That was okay, meaning then that the clothes were not a necessity other than for warmth and protection as the night grew colder. The Levites Leviticus 8:1-13 1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,2 Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments, and the anointing oil, and a bullock for the sin offering, and two rams, and a basket of unleavened bread;3 And gather thou all the congregation together unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.4 And Moses did as the Lord commanded him; and the assembly was gathered together unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.5 And Moses said unto the congregation, This is the thing which the Lord commanded to be done.6 And Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water.7 And he put upon him the coat, and girded him with the girdle, and clothed him with the robe, and put the ephod upon him, and he girded him with the curious girdle of the ephod, and bound it unto him therewith.8 And he put the breastplate upon him: also he put in the breastplate the Urim and the Thummim.9 And he put the mitre upon his head; also upon the mitre, even upon his forefront, did he put the golden plate, the holy crown; as the Lord commanded Moses.10 And Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified them.11 And he sprinkled thereof upon the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all his vessels, both the laver and his foot, to sanctify them.12 And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron's head, and anointed him, to sanctify him.13 And Moses brought Aaron's sons, and put coats upon them, and girded them with girdles, and put bonnets upon them; as the Lord commanded Moses. This is the account of when Moses takes Aaron and sons and consecrates them for the priesthood. Moses completes a ceremonial bath with Aaron and his sons in front of all the people. He then dresses Aaron, anoints the articles of the temple and once that is completed he then dresses Aaron's sons, who are presumably standing naked in front of the entire congregation the whole time that Moses dealt with Aaron and the temple. There should be no surprise by now based on the common place of nudity in society at this time. When you add the story of King Saul and the prophets as well as considering circumcision being the outward sign of being one of God's chosen people and the only way to know that is if they could see it, then we can safely assume that nakedness was quite common. Jesus John 13:1 ¶ Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?
So, Jesus Himself disrobed in order to wash the disciple’s feet (vs4) and if disrobing in front of others was a sin then Christ, who knew no sin would not have been allowed to disrobe.
Christ is our example…you hear the question asked all the time…what would Jesus do? Well, here we know exactly what He did and still some will say that it’s okay for Him because He’s God, but it’s not okay for us. He is our example!
So, we have prophets, prophetesses, kings, those in mourning, workers in the field, bathers and now Christ Himself. Blind Bartimaeus Mark 10:50 And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.
Here we have Jesus traveling through Jericho teaching and ministering and as He is leaving Jericho, blind Bartimaeus sitting beside the highway hears that Jesus of Nazareth is passing by and he’s heard the accounts of Jesus healing the sick and infirm and so he begins to cry out “Jesus, thou son of David have mercy on me.” The people who were around begin to tell Bartimaeus to be quiet, to keep the noise down and so Bartimaeus begins to cry out louder and more often. Jesus heard him and called for him and so when Jesus called Bartimaeus, Bartimaeus according to the Word of God “cast away his garment, rose and came to Jesus.” Now, Jesus was just about to heal the man who was obviously trusting Jesus, who obviously believed who Jesus was and is. If being naked were a sin, wouldn’t casting aside one’s garment been a stumbling block to Bartimaeus’ healing, at the very least wouldn’t it have gotten him reprimanded by Jesus? You know, something like…hey, I’m going to heal you and all, but dude put your clothes on, but no we don’t see that at all do we? In fact, we see no condemnation at all of the man’s nudity. What we see instead is Jesus telling Bartimaeus that his faith had made him whole and then we see Bartimeaus in verse 52 that he “followed Jesus in the way.” Notice also that it doesn’t say that he went back and grabbed his garments and then followed Jesus in the way, I believe the assumption could be made that he followed Jesus just as he was…in the naked and unashamed manner he had been healed in.
Peter John 21:7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.
Peter was out working on his boat…he had been out fishing. I have read historical documents where it was common place in this day and age for people who were in particularly dirty jobs to disrobe for work. They didn’t have a wardrobe full of a dozen outfits, two for every day of the week. They didn’t have a computer-controlled washer and dryer in the mud room so that after work they could come inside and close the door and pull the blinds so they could disrobe and put their stinky fishy smelling clothes in the washer. There wasn’t a shower in the master bedroom in fact there was no shower at all, people washed in the river together. The toilet was a wall on the outskirts of the city where everyone went to use the facilities. I Samuel 25:22 says “So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.” Only the super-rich of the day had hot water and that was on the roof where the sun could heat it up. They worked without their clothes on and when they finished working, they would clean off their bodies and redress so their clothes stayed fairly clean longer.
Notice here that there was no condemnation at all from Christ about Peter’s nudity. Now why not? Well, this event occurs after Jesus Himself had disrobed to wash Peter’s feet, would it not have seemed a little silly then for Christ to turn around and criticize Peter for disrobing, especially when it was probably commonplace. If I were to guess I’d say that Peter usually worked naked so as not to make his clothes dirty as did most of the fisherman and carpenters and farmers of the day. So, when he saw Christ…he simply grabbed his robe and made his way to shore where he’d put his robe on probably even keeping it dry until he got to shore by wrapping it over his head. Peter has been working naked so as to keep his clothing as clean as possible, what sense then would it make if he grabbed his clothes and put them on just to jump into the dirty water? Does that make any sense to any one?
If being naked in the public view was wrong this was the perfect opportunity for Christ (God in human form after the resurrection) to explain to Peter and to all of us in affect that this was bad behavior and not to be done, but He didn’t do that. Why? In my opinion, because He created the body in His own image…why should He be ashamed of it, why should He want you to hide it? That seems to be Satan’s idea not God’s! I believe firmly that if there was more naked in a Christian’s life there’d be a lot less naked on a Christian’s computer. It’s almost as if this idea of clothing is Satan’s lie to hurt the Christian and his home.
So, we have prophets, prophetesses, kings, those in mourning, workers in the field, bathers, Jesus, Bartimaeus and Peter. The Servant in the Field Luke 17:7-8 But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?8 And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?
Here we have another example of someone working and this account also matches the historical record of people working in the naked and unashamed condition they were created in. This man in Jesus’ illustration had been working the field and Jesus’ question was do you expect him to come in from the field and just plop himself down immediately and start eating or do you expect him to go clean up, get the master’s meal ready, get himself dressed and serve the master first and then afterward go eat himself. Once again, no condemnation for the naked condition he was working in from Christ, just an example of how a servant serves a master, giving us clear direction that we are to place serving Christ above our own wants, needs or desires.
Stephen's Stoners Acts 7:58 58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.
Most people are familiar with the account of Stephen's stoning, what most people aren't familiar with is the state of their attire at the event of Stephen's stoning. When you think about the last couple of events mentioned...fishing, working in the field and the desire to keep one's clothing from getting dirty or stained...well, other than grape juice what stains worse than blood? The crowd was in the process of stoning Stephen to death. This was going to be a bloody event so it makes sense when you look at verse 58 and it says they "laid down their clothes" at Saul's feet. They removed their clothing, stoned Stephen, cleaned up and put their clothing back on. This speaks once again to the commonplace of nudity in society, not to the righteousness of the people committing the act. The Multitude at Palm Sunday / The Triumphal Entry Matthew 21:6-8 6 And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, 7 And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. 8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.
Here we have a very familiar passage, the event of the Triumphal Entry of Christ into Jerusalem...once again though, I wonder how familiar we actually are with the event. How many artist renditions of this event have we seen where the worshippers that day lined up along the path from the Mount of Olives to the Eastern Gate and the Temple Mount in some state of undress? I dare say none, but according to The Word of God that is exactly how they should be portrayed. Matthew tells us that they put their clothes of the donkey and that a "very great multitude" spread their garments in the way. Whenever you see the word multitude in the Bible the smallest number it typically refers to is 3,000. Here we see the multitude described as "a very great multitude", so can we safely assume a minimum of 3,000 people in some state of undress worshipping Christ as He makes His entrance into Jerusalem. Again, we must ask...if simple nakedness were such evil as it is referred to today by most of Christendom, then why didn't Jesus stop the crowd and order them to re-robe and then they could continue their worship and celebration? Maybe because He created them to be naked and unashamed and in His very image. Adam, Eve, King Saul, King David, All of the Prophets & Prophetesses, Aaron and his sons, Ruth, Bathsheba, Isaiah, Job, Jesus, Peter, Bartimaeus, Fisherman, Worshippers, Bathers, Farmers, Servants, Borrowers, etc. We certainly have a multitude of examples in The Word of God where simple non-sexual family friendly nudity was commonplace. Is non-sexual family friendly nudity commonplace for you and your home? Should it be? I believe the case can be made that maybe it should be. We’ve already seen that it is God’s preferred way for us to be as He is the One who created us to be naked and unashamed. Now we see plainly Bible example after Bible example, the question is what should you do about it? Should you decide that God prefers me and my family this way so this is the way we will be?