Why did Jesus fold the Napkins

OK, any Jewish tradition buffs out there? I got this from a friend of mine. It seems pretty neat. What are your thoughts:

Why Did Jesus Fold The Napkin? [FONT=Arial]Why did Jesus fold the napkin?
Why did Jesus fold the linen burial cloth after His resurrection?[/FONT]

  [FONT=Arial]The Gospel of John (20:7) tells us that    the  napkin, which was 

placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave
clothes. The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was
neatly folded, and was placed at the head of that stony coffin.

  1. Early Sunday morning,    while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found    that the stone had been rolled away from the 

entrance. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]2. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and I don’t know where they have put him!” [/FONT][FONT=Arial]3. Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]4. The other disciple outran Peter and got there first. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]5. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]6. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]7. while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying to the side.

    Is that    important?  Absolutely! Is it really significant?    Yes![/FONT]
  [FONT=Arial]In order to    understand the significance of the folded napkin, you have to    understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day.    The 

folded napkin had to do with the Master and Servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition. When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it. The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished eating, and the servant would
not dare touch that table, until the master was finished. Now if the master was done eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers,
his mouth, and clean his beard, and would wad up that napkin and toss it onto the table. The servant would then know to clear the table. For in
those days, the wadded napkin meant, “I’m done”. But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table, because… [/FONT]

  [FONT=Arial]The folded napkin    meant, "I'm coming     back!"

He Is Coming Back!!![/FONT]

Very cool and enlightening :thumbsup:

I’d need to see more proof that this is true.

It sounds about as fishy as the “eye of the needle” being a small gate in Jerusalem that was too small for a camel to pass through unless it were unburdened of its load and on its knees - sounds good but utterly lacking in any historical evidence.

It relies on the use of the Greek word for napkin being the same for both a head covering used at a burial and a cloth used at the dinner table - supposing they used a cloth at the dinner table to begin with.

It could be true, I’ll grant, but it sounds like eisegesis to me.

I guess great minds think alike (that’s my story, and I’m sticking with it)!

I was thinking the exact same thing, including the “eye of the needle” analogy, when I came across this story, which is why I posted it.

Mary taught Him to be neat. :wink:

I hereby proclaim that Dogma of Folding Napkins. Since we are told to imitate Christ, I believe folding napkins is possibily an 8th sacrament whosh!:eek:

Who died and made you Pope? :rolleyes:

ooo cool. is this true?

I don’t know. So far we’ve had:
-a couple of skeptics,
-a self-proclaimed Pope declare it dogma,
-a claim that Mary was the first to teach that “cleanliness is next to Godliness” so she taught Jesus to fold his napkins.
-and one “cool”.

But no Jewish Tradition experts. Where’s Valke2 when we need him?!?

I am so not trying to derail this thread…but…Was the whole body wrapped and then another cloth also used to cover the face? I’m thinking how could the shroud of turin be authentic if the head was covered seperately? And just why have I never thought this before???


I never thought of the folding the cloth and napkins much - coming from a protestant background, I guess we skipped that part (never really had any meaning). But, looking at it, I’m reminded of after Communion when the priest folds the cloths (like on EWTN) and puts them back into this green folder-like-thingy (What’s the name for it?).

This has been explored. The heading covering exists, and has been compared, favorably, to Turin’s shroud.


No derail. It is not obligatory to believe in the authenticity of the shroud or the sudarium. However, neither is it forbidden. For those who accept the authenticity of both, I see no problem. If, indeed, the shroud is authentic, (or even if it isn’t) no one really knows by what means the image got there. Those who believe in its authenticity tend to believe it was by miraculous means. Now, if so, then there should be no difficulty in accepting that Jesus’ image could be imprinted on the shroud, face covering or no face covering. This reminds me of people who believe in God, yet just can’t accept the validity of the Eucharist. If you grant the existence of God, it’s illogical to limit His powers to preclude outcomes that we have difficulty thinking through. A Being that can create the universe wouldn’t have too difficult a time putting an image on a shroud, face cloth or no face cloth.

Returning to what I think is the original inquiry, the folded sudarium has always intrigued me as well. Without having any scholarly basis to think it, it has always seemed to me to be a powerful image of calm, and of unhurried action. Surreptitious body-snatchers would hardly bother to fold a face cloth. Nor would an escapee who had dodged death. This image of an almost timeless unhurriedness was, to me, captured well in the final scene in Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ”. The peace and unhurriedness of Jesus in that scene, to me, conveys something of the contrast between time and eternity. When I saw that scene, I immediately thought of the folded face cloth, though that is not portrayed, because of the way the character portraying Jesus acts.

We don’t know, of course, how it got folded. Perhaps an angel did it out of respect. Perhaps Jesus did it to convey a calming message. Perhaps, being among God’s creatures, and subject to His command, it folded itself. But it’s intriguing, and is perhaps meant to be.

I think you are referring to the burse. It is standard in the older mass, but has vanished , along with the chalice veil, in most places. The color changes to match the other vestments.

. In ancient Jerusalem, there was a custom to have a cloth hanging on the door, as some kind of flag. When it was hanging, guests would know that it was meal-time and they could come in and eat. When it was removed, it was a sign that the meal had ended. aish.com/rabbi/ATR_browse.asp?l=n&offset=4

That’s the only thing I was able to find reagrding napkins (it is found in the Talmud). I never heard of the tradition of folding a napkin to let the servant know you were coming back. Why Jesus would do this, if it were a tradition, I couldn’t guess. The tomb is not a dining room.

Perhaps because in Catholicism, the tomb is a dining room–the wedding feast of the Lamb? Even if it is not true, it makes for an interesting meditation. :gopray:

Mary (JC’s wife)

where did my post asking for primary sources of their culture go?


I knew it!!! :blessyou:

maybe he was tired, and used it as a pillow. After all, i hear dying is a real workout

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