3

When Adam and Eve first eat the forbidden fruit, they put clothes on to hide their nakedness, indicating man was meant to be naked. However, angels show up in the Bible "dressed in white garments".

Why would angels wear clothes when they are holy?

closed as primarily opinion-based by fredsbend, curiousdannii, bruised reed, Mr. Bultitude, Dick Harfield May 4 '15 at 0:52

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • A good question but I'm not sure how any answer will be more than speculation. – fredsbend May 2 '15 at 5:49
  • 1
    One speculation (i.e., mine) is that angels wear clothes for the benefit of the people to whom they appear. Since angels "neither marry nor are given in marriage," as Jesus tells us, modesty is not likely the reason for their being (or appearing) clothed. Remember, too, that angels are spiritual beings; that is, they are invisible to the naked eye (no pun intended). God evidently gave them the ability to appear quite human, yet interestingly, sometimes when they appear to people they exude a preternatural lightning-like brightness which elicits fear in the people who see them (see Mt 28:2-4). – rhetorician May 2 '15 at 12:34
  • this is an interesting question haha...to bad there was not some areas to dump speculative subjects. I never would have noticed this..actually I think @rhetorician has a good argument to handle it – Mike May 3 '15 at 3:01
  • The nakedness of Adam and Eve before they sinned represented innocence. After they sinned their nakedness represented shame in the awareness of guilt. Shame and guilt is the most common meaning of nakedness throughout the rest of the Bible--though it can also mean being ignorant, destitute, and downtrodden. The clothing of the angels represents righteousness, which is doing good deeds according to God's truth (see, for example, Psalm 132:9; Revelation 19:8). – Lee Woofenden May 4 '15 at 1:53
5

Both nakedness (and the awareness of that nakedness) and white garments are symbols (this does not mean we are not talking about real things, just that they are also symbolic).

White is a symbol of purity. For example, Revelations 3:5

5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

Here, the saints are given white garments to symbolize that their sins are taken away and that they are pure. Similarly, white garments symbolize purity and holiness when seen on the angels.

Next, the clothes of Adam and Eve. God created them naked, so there can't be anything wrong with that, really.

Genesis 2:25

25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Note the addition "they were not ashamed".

Next, when they eat the fruit:

Genesis 3:7

7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves caprons.

And then they hide themselves. In that moment, they did something wrong and they are

  1. aware of being in sin
  2. aware that they are "naked" before the Lord, in other words, he knows what they did. They try to hide their sins from him. Nakedness could also be a symbol of the sinfulness itself (although that doesn't make sense since they were created naked), but important is that it is only a symbol of something happening in Adam and Eve. Before sinning, they are also naked, but not ashamed, because there is nothing to be ashamed of. After sinning, that nakedness is a problem for them.

Adam hides, is called out and has to take responsibility. And then, God does the following:

21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

In the end, God covers their nakedness. Much symbolism and promise in that action, if we take nakedness to symbolize sin. A foreshadow of Revelation 3:5, if you are with me. Either way, God makes clothes for them, so we shouldn't say that clothes themselves are something bad, unwanted, or sinful (or symbolizing sin).

-2

The isssue is one of how cultures express themselves. "God breathed into his nostrils" GEN 2:7. Does God Breath?

The idea espressed in Gen 3:11 of Adam being Naked is not one of lack of clothing. Adam lost his devine sonship, his partacipation in the devine Nature as it was in the beginning. Ideas, such as being clothed in white, have meaning that we can understand as flesh and blood creatures who are subject to the carnal world. However, the idea of the "White Garmet" is something more, it's a return to the divine sonship that God intended for us (intends for Us").

To understand these concepts is is important to understand some basic concepts of Language, especially when investigating the mysteries associated with writings so ancient. It is easy when involved with cross cultural translations and cross cultural customs to find difficulty in understanding these things. This characteristic is far to common in modern interpretations. When you add on to this equation the fact that we are talking about a world that existed 2000 years or more ago, this adds even more complexity to the situation.

I offer the fallowing as help in understanding these distinctions:

Here is a nice article addressed by Dallas Theological Seminary"

https://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/ted_hildebrandt/new_testament_greek/text/metzger-translationproblems03-bs.pdf

other issues include:

Linguistic Hyperbole: Here is a modern article relating to the issue.

http://www.iasj.net/iasj?func=fulltext&aId=63889

limited Vocabulary and it's issues:

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0008_0_08629.html

The Hebrew language is said to only have about 8000 words, this number is attributed to some words being altered so really there is only about 4000 words. This creates a situation where one word means more than one thing. Consider culture norms such as "It was raining cats and dogs" The difficulties are endless.

As to your questions, "Would Angels wear clothes if they were Holy?" I am not sure that it is even a valid questions as the word Holy has nothing really to do with clothes. Things that are Holy or sacred, are things set apart for God and his Glory. Things set apart can be bowls, hats, a people, a mother, a trust, a peice of ground, a nation or a religious rite.

There is a large amount of resources available to understand the difficulties in translating ancient texts, I would encourage anyone who has a more sources to add them to this answer here:

.

  • I can't buy the argument that the Hebrew language has only 8000 words, so we can't understand it. We are only concerned with the one word, "naked." It seems to me that the Hebrew word is clear enough to strip it of all ambiguity. They found they were naked; they covered themselves; then God clothed them. Nothing ambiguous here. – Steve May 2 '15 at 13:52
  • Before the fall, they were "naked and unashamed." Afterward, they "knew they were naked" and were "ashamed." In the case of such parallelism, why would the word "naked" mean such radically different things in the two contexts? – Mr. Bultitude May 2 '15 at 23:14
  • @steve we cannot understand it if we are not guided (Act 8:30-31). How can they preach unless thy are sent (Romans 10:15). The stewards are the apostles and those taught by them, these men had and have the responsibility of preserving the gospel. they have done so, not in the writings but in he preservation of the traditions the writings embrace. The entire book of Genesis is ambiguous, how can it not be. It is the nature of God to give us so much with just the smallest amount of information. – Marc May 3 '15 at 2:10
  • I think what he's getting at is that biblical Hebrew has about 8,500 words from about 4,200 word roots so most words perform multiple duty. Which means there's way, way more breadth in Hebrew than, say, modern English, which is a very precise language. – user32 May 4 '15 at 0:10

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.