Peter worked “gymnos” that is: naked

Of course, Peter was naked. Why shouldn’t he be?

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 <gymnos>,) and did cast himself into the sea.

It is easy for us modern westerners, with our big houses, private bathrooms with frosted windows, and abundant clothes to retroactively ascribe our privacy taboos onto the ancient world.

One example of this is how we work so hard to put clothes on Simon Peter the fisherman when the Bible clearly tells us that he was naked.  Modern evangelicals have worked very hard to say that the word “naked” here, just means that he was “stripped to the waist” as the Living Bible puts it.

But this contradicts everything we know about the ancient world.    The Bible says that Peter was “gymnos” from which we get the word gym.  One of the most commonly known facts is that the Greek gymasts competed naked.

Ancient Athletes “gymnos” – naked

In fact, the Paul mentions this fact, in a complementary way, in Hebrews 12:1.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us

I once had a missionary friend who showed me the videos he had taken on a trip to some tribal people who lived on islands.  He had to heavily edit the films in order to not show the nudity that was common.  These are people who are very conservative sexually.  They practice strict monogamy, yet men and women who work around water and in boats all day long do not drag walk around in wet clothes.  They, often, without embarrassment or shame, go naked.  They are not “nudists” or “naturists” that just don’t have the same weird hangups that our current culture has.

This same missionary would be taking a shower in the public shower house on the island when the local people (men and women) would walk in and look him up and down(I suppose to see if he was pale all over!).   It didn’t even occur to them that this might bother him.

Similarly, people who live in huts and houses that are, at most, 1 to 2 feet away from each other know a lot about each other’s sexual habits.   A family that lives in a house with a single room knows a lot about Mom and Dad’s sexual habits.  Otherwise everyone would be an only child.

I know that this horrifies our modern privacy taboos, but it is we who are strange in this, not the rest of history and the world.

The openness toward nudity and erotica in the ancient world was not considered “porn.”   Porn is a recent invention.  Porn could only exist after Puritanism had first created an attitude that the human body and human sex was sinful, lustful, and dirty.  That it must be hidden away from human eyes lest we lose control of ourselves and become animals.

There is a lot in the Bible about harlotry.  There is even a lot in the Bible about the clothing of harlots and their customers.

Isa 3:16 Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet:

Eze 23:15 Girded with girdles upon their loins, exceeding in dyed attire upon their heads, all of them princes to look to, after the manner of the Babylonians of Chaldea, the land of their nativity:

And so on.  But note that whenever the attire or clothing of a harlot are mentioned, it is about them putting ON clothes, not taking them off.  Even today street walkers put on fishnet hose, they don’t wear bikinis.

The reason that we have such a problem today with Christian men being “addicted to porn”  (a ridiculous phrase, by the way) is because we have repressed normal erotic desire.  As a result, the instinct bursts out in an unhealthy way.

God grant the church the wisdom to stop this crusade against nature and nature’s God and get back to preaching the Gospel and Biblical morality.

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