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Why was the headcloth of Jesus wrapped to the side?
A friend asked me about a supposed Jewish tradition concerning the head wrapping of Jesus in the tomb. The Gospel of John notes that Peter and John (if the beloved disciple is the writer of the Fourth Gospel which this writer accepts) run to the tomb of Jesus. They investigate the tomb and saw the “napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself” (Jn. 20:7, KJV).
Story - Online - Churches - Tradition - Person
According to a story circulating online which has been passed along in many churches, an ancient Jewish tradition held that when a person had finished their meal, the person would toss their napkin aside if he or she was finished. However, if the person had to leave and was not finished, the person would neatly fold their napkin and place it to the side of their plate indicating that he or she would return. Advocates of this story contend that the folding of the napkin in John 20:7 was Jesus' way of saying that he was going to leave but would soon return. While the story is heartwarming, one must ask if there any merit to the claim. After investigating the story, unfortunately, I must report that there seems to be no evidence that the story is true. But there is a more remarkable twist that is greater than the supposed tradition. First, here are the reasons why the story seems to be nothing more than an urban legend.
1. The headcloth was not a napkin. With all due respect to the King James Version, “napkin” may not be the best translation of the term sudarion (Gk., sudarion). Sudarion indicates a small piece of cloth which could be a towel, a napkin, handkerchief, or a...
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