Mary

Was Jesus Clothed or Naked at the Crucifixion?

by Steve Ray on April 7, 2020

A few years ago I wrote an article entitled “Was Jesus Crucified Naked?” It generated a lot of comments, some very critical. A very kind person wrote to me today about that article saying they was uncomfortable with the idea that Mary was looking up at unclothed men on crosses.

THEY WROTE:
It was my understanding that since the days of Noah the Jews considered it an offense to look upon the nakedness of another, on or off a cross. I admit freely that this is topic I have not spent much time researching. It does make me uncomfortable to think of the the Blessed Virgin and the women surrounded by naked men. Yes, I am a prude.
Perhaps ironically, I keep this quote on my desk – “He wanted every square inch of His body to witness to His love and Sufferings.”
Thank you for your time in this busiest week of the Liturgical Year. Blessings.

MY RESPONSE:
Thanks again Sandra for visiting my site and sharing your thoughts. You are very kind and have a very good heart. I am sure Our Lord looks down on you with great love and compassion.

One thing I have learned from my 180+ times in Israel and my studies is that we think of the Holy Family living like us. The lived in a very rustic, cruel and difficult time in history. For example, when I give me talk “ A Day in the Life of the Holy Family” at the cave where they lived in Nazareth I always ask, “What did the Mary do first thing every morning?”

Everyone instantly says, “Pray!” I ask, “Is that the first thing you do every morning?” They all have a sheepish look on their face and say, “No, we go to the bathroom.” Ah, say I, “That is what Mary did first thing too!” Then I ask the second question, “Where did she go to the bathroom?” They all have a blank look on their face. I say, “If you live in a small village about 2 acres in size with a population of about 250 and you all live in caves with no plumbing or electricity or modern conveniences, where did Mary, Joseph, Jesus and the other 247 people go to the bathroom?

Nazareth(Picture: The picture to the right is of two girls from the village of Nazareth over 100 years ago, getting water at the well a 15-minute’s walk away, just like Mary had to do several times a day.)

We always think that the Holy Family floated 3 feet off the ground but they really lived a very crude and rustic life. It was cruel and the Romans hated the Jews and their way of life. They did everything they could to control and enforce their cruel rule. The Romans treated Roman citizens well (example St. Paul, Acts 22:28 beheaded instead of crucified). But the Jews were not citizens. They were rowdy and always resisting and fighting the Romans.

This is why Paul was beheaded (capital punishment for a Roman citizen) and Peter was crucified (capital punishment for a non-citizen). Anyway, it is good sometimes to forget we are Americans living in a modern world with compassion, etc. and imagine what REAL life was like. In Judea, in the 1st century, it was quite different. The brutal Romans has no compassion for the Jews and couldn’t care less what Mary and the other non-citizen, despised Jews thought.

We sometimes read OUR experience and way of life into the stories of 2,000 years ago. But they lived very, very differently than we do today. Understanding the REAL Mary and Joseph helps us love them even more!

Just a thought. Sorry I went on so long, but it is something that helps us understand the Bible and the Faith a lot better if we understand the actual historical-cultural situation at the time.

God bless and thanks again! Happy Easter!

If you send me your mailing address I will send you my talk on “Mary, Real Girl & Woman of Mystery.” It is a gift for Easter ?

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I put up a post a few days ago with a video of my talk in Ephesus about Mary being Queen of Heaven and an Intercessor for the people of God’s kingdom.

Someone wrote to object saying,

It is interesting Steve, as to what you left out in your reference to 1 Kings 2:19 , Solomon’s Mother did indeed come into the throne room, Solomon did indeed, rise and bow and have her sit at his right hand. But the Queen Mother’s request was in fact denied, and the first person to go to the Queen Mother with his request was put to death that very day! So much for taking requests to the Queen Mother, doesn’t always work!

I responded,

There are two ways to see the intercession of Bathsheba: 1) a naive request to the king for Adonijah and 2) a subtle and wise exposing of Adonijah’s continued deceit to claim the throne. Let me explain a bit. If we assume the first possible scenario, Solomon is a type of Christ yet Solomon was a sinner. Solomon’s sin does not detract from Jesus’ perfection as the quintessential king of Israel and the Universe.

Every king in Israel/Judah had a queen but it was never his wife; it was his mother. She was called giborah, great lady and Queen Mother.

Being a sinner and flawed did not detract from the fact that Solomon was a type of Christ. Neither does Bathsheba’s sins and flaws detract from her being a prefigurement of Mary. Solomon and his mother were sinners; Jesus and his mother were not. What Solomon and his mother failed to do; Jesus and his mother do perfectly.

You could also note that Jesus said explicitly that the only sign he would give was the sign of Jonah, but Jonah was rebellious; does that mean Jesus’s crucifixion and burial was a result of his own rebellion?  Of course not–that would be an improper use of typology.

Also, if you use Bathsheba’s indiscretion to diminish Mary, then you must be consistent and use Solomon’s sins to diminish Jesus. Queen mothers were flawed intercessors; the Mother of God is an intercessor without flaw.

But if we consider the second possibility, the second way to interpret the historical and political situation behind this event we see Bathsheba as being very wise and discerning.

It is possible and even likely that Bathsheba was wiser than she is normally given credit for and made this request to expose the deceitful intents of Adonijah? Did she inform Solomon of the plot in a diplomatic way?

The taking of a king’s concubine was a political move to grasp the throne. In this scenario, Bethsheba wisely and publically exposed Adonijah’s continued plot for the throne. It ultimately brought about the assassination of the competitor for her son’s throne. As an “image” of Mary, the request can be seen as a parallel to the revealing of the Evil One and his continued attempt to displace her Son.

Sorry, I didn’t miss anything.

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Reposting a blog on Assumption I wrote ten years ago. Link to my long defense is here.

The Assumption of Mary always ruffles the feathers of anti-Catholics. I understand why. I used to be in their camp — I joined them in lockstep chanting the same slogans and mantras against “Catholic Tradition” and “man-made dogmas.”

WomanSun.jpgBut now I turn my guns on my old impoverished theology and anti-Catholicism and its lame attack on the Assumption and Queenship of Mary. I just learned too much to stay a member of the Fundamentalist camp with their Fundamentalist tradition. Click here to read my response.

(Picture:”The Woman Clothed with the Sun” – one of my favorites. I took this picture of the mural in the Church of the Visitation in Ein Kerem in Israel)

I recently posted a blog offering some biblical precedent for the Assumption and Queenship of Our Blessed Mother. I was not trying to prove the dogma, only to offer biblical precedent for it. There was some red-faced huffing and puffing and a few websites made hay with it. Naysayers immediately jumped to attention and posted a flurry of opposition with the same old, same old. They demanded I answer them RIGHT NOW!

What I said was not only rational and biblical, it was also easily defensible. My article is somewhat lengthy, though I did cut it back from what it was. I wanted to be somewhat thorough. I was criticized for not answering their flurry of charges and questions last week; now I’ll probably be criticized for writing too much :-)  Oh well!

I’ve never been one to be bullied or pushed into anything, and I certainly feel no obligation to tussle with them every time they step unto the playground with their taunts and jeers. But this topic interested me immensely and I thought I would enjoy delving deeper. I also thought it would be edifying and enjoyable for Catholics to read — to make them proud of their Catholic faith.

So, I had a few days of relative calm (unusual) without deadlines and such. So I wrote a response. You can read it here in PDF format. Enjoy, and if you are a Catholic — rejoice in Our Lord Jesus and in His Catholic Church, and honor His Mother.

Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, as recorded in Sacred Scripture, Mary said “All generations will call me blessed!” Be glad to be in the Church that still does that very thing!

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Mary, Mother of God’s Early & Later Life – The Real Mary

January 1, 2020

Questions I answered about Mary’s real life on Catholic Answers Live — it was a FUN show! To listen on-line, for podcasts and other listening options, click here.  (Photos: Top photo painted by James Tissot; bottom two pictures are actual photos of girls at the well in Nazareth over 100 years ago.) 1. Did Mary […]

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Aztecs, Human Sacrifice, Abortion and Our Lady of Guadalupe

December 12, 2019

Today we visited the Aztec Temple in Mexico City. The cathedral of Mexico City was built right next to the 500-year temple. I did a lot of study on the Aztecs and their massive human sacrifices and cannibalism. I realized there was a great tie-in with the Catholic faith, the sacrifice of Christ and abortion […]

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Eastern Orthodox Challenges the Immaculate Conception

December 6, 2019

An Eastern Orthodox Christian wrote to complain about, or to see how we Catholics explain the Immaculate Conception. He said he had asked many Catholics and none could answer. I find that hard to believe. After I answered his long and slightly edgy e-mail, I received his response – “Thanks.” Picture One: Statue of Mary […]

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Mary and the Apostles are Dead! Only Jesus can Mediate for Us! Really?

October 8, 2019

 Confusion of Many Protestants Too often well-meaning Protestants get confused and accuse of things that are outright nonsense if not lies. It is usually because they never take the time to really understand what the Catholic Church actually teaches and practices. Below is a good example of a kind and well-meaning Protestant pastor who wrote […]

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A Baptist Friend Asks: The Bible Says “All have sinned” so how can Mary be Immaculate?

September 25, 2019

A Southern Baptist writes: I am a Southern  Baptist who has a lot of respect for the Catholic faith. The Immaculate Conception is a hard concept for me. Does it also include the belief that Mary never sinned? How does that pass muster with Rom. 3:23 “For all have sinned and come short of the […]

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Mary’s Sorrows: Known and Unknown

September 12, 2019

Mary’s Sorrows,  September 15 (Our Lady of Sorrows) I did several radio shows on the sorrows of Mary this week, mentioning the Seven Sorrows of the popular devotion, but also some sorrows that are unknown. From times in the land of Israel meditating on her life, I pondered other sorrows she suffered. You can read my notes […]

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Birth of Mary in the Protoevangelium of James

September 8, 2019

In the early 2nd century the early Church held a document in very high regard. From this document we learn about the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her own birth. Since today is the Feast Day of the Birth of the Virgin Mary, I thought I would provide a link to the Protoevangelium […]

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Two Questions from an Unhappy Listener

September 3, 2019

After a recent radio show, a man wrote to challenge me. The e-mail contained two questions — the questioner’srs words are in blue. I have removed his name out of respect for his privacy. Dear friend, you wrote:   >> I found it rather interesting you had all those questions for Bible Christians. I am a Protestant convert that had […]

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Mary Saw Mercy… so real and visible and close it may have splashed on her face.

August 27, 2019

Since we are visiting the convent of St. Maria Faustina, I thought I would share this meditation on the Divine Mercy of God. Mary knew mercy. Mary saw mercy. The mercy was so real and visible and close it may have splashed on her face. Sister Faustina’s Divine Mercy shows the blood and water springing […]

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Mary, Assumed into Heaven as the Queen

August 12, 2019

A while ago a man called in to say my argument for the Assumption of Mary including references from the Old Testament was wrong. I had quoted 1 Kings 2:19 where Solomon had raised his mother up to a throne on his right hand to reign as Queen of the Kingdom. The man arguing with me […]

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While in Ephesus I Gave My Short Talk on the End of Mary’s Life

August 9, 2019

Do you understand the end of Mary’s life or what happened? I hope you enjoy this short talk while I was Ephesus where Mary lived and where the 3rd Ecumenical Council took place proclaiming Mary as the theotokos, the Mother of God. A LOT of people have watched and liked this video, so I thought […]

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Joachim & Anna: Nativity and Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

July 26, 2019

The birth and presentation of Mary is described in the early 2nd century document known and loved by the first Christians. It is the source for the names of Mary’s parents Joachim and Anna. It is entitled “The Protoevangelium of James.”  It is fascinating. I have only provided the first 1/3 of the document. The […]

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Meaning of Sacred and Immaculate Hearts – Feast Days are Upon Us!

June 27, 2019

Since Friday, June 28 is the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I am reposting this. A non-Christian friend found two paintings at an art show and asked me, “What in the world are these? They seem to have pagan elements. What do they have to do with Jesus and Mary?” Here is my […]

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