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There is one detail, interesting to me, in the following passage:

John 20:3-8 (NASB)
3 So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. 4 The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; 5 and stooping and looking in, he *saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. 6 And so Simon Peter also *came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he *saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7 and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. 8 So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed.

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John says that the face-cloth was separate from the linen wrappings, rolled up. Does this have a special meaning?

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I'd found some wording differences before between the Young's Literal Translation and other Bibles such as the KJV and NAV. I think it's interesting that the YLT doesn't say "rolled up" but "folded up". biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+20&version=YLT –  John Martin May 13 at 15:06
    
@JohnMartin The Greek word is ἐντετυλιγμένον, from the verb ἐντυλίσσω, which has three occurrences in the New Testament. –  Paul Vargas May 13 at 15:57
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2 Answers 2

This is an interesting question, because of the "internet legend" concerning the "folded napkin"(ie: sign that the Master was returning). Numerous scholars, from both Rabbinic and Christian sources have debunked this; this one, and in this one where the author says, "

In summary, I believe we can concluded that the circuating story about the sigificance of Jesus folding his burial cloth is at best non-biblical, and at worst a fraudulent attempt to provide a spiritualized meaning to an already clear text.

The rest of his remarks, including the Mishneh source which started the confusion are found here.

The Problem that exists however, when you 'de-bunk' a particular erroneous interpretation is "Well then, why DID the author make a point of including a particularly mundane detail in the most important event of Christianity?"

The difficulty stems with understanding vs. 7,

"ouj metaV tw'n ojqonivwn keivmenon ajllaV cwriV" ejntetuligmevnon eij" e{na tovpon *Much dispute and difficulty surrounds the translation of these words. Basically the issue concerns the positioning of the graveclothes as seen by Peter and the other disciple when they entered the tomb. Some have sought to prove that when the disciples saw the graveclothes they were arranged just as they were when around the body, so that when the resurrection took place the resurrected body of Jesus passed through them without rearranging or disturbing them. In this case the reference to the soudavrion being rolled up does not refer to its being folded, but collapsed in the shape it had when wrapped around the head. Sometimes in defense of this view metav (which normally means “with”) is said to mean “like” so that the comparison with the other graveclothes does not involve the location of the soudavrion but rather its condition (rolled up rather than flattened).

In spite of the intriguing nature of such speculations, it seems more probable that the phrase describing the soudavrion should be understood to mean it was separated from the other graveclothes in a different place inside the tomb. This seems consistent with the different conclusions reached by Peter and the Beloved Disciple (verses 8-10). All that the condition of the graveclothes indicated was that the body of Jesus had not been stolen by thieves. Anyone who had come to remove the body (whether the authorities or anyone else) would not have bothered to unwrap it before carrying it off. And even if one could imagine that they had (perhaps in search of valuables such as rings or jewelry still worn by the corpse) they would certainly not have bothered to take time to roll up the facecloth and leave the other wrappings in an orderly fashion!*(taken from https://bible.org/seriespage/exegetical-commentary-john-20)

So there appears to something purposeful and intentional in the "wrapped or folded" 'soudavrion' or headcloth that appeared separately from the graveclothes, as if Christ were telling His followers,"It's Me, I did this, this isn't the work of a charlatan, or grave robber".

Although the practice didn't occur until the Middle Ages, during the Seder, or Passover meal, the "afikoman" was the "hidden matzoh" of the 3 matzohs. It was wrapped in a linen cloth, to be eaten later, at the end of feast. It also has become customary to 'hide' this portion for the children to find, and then return to be eaten in the conclusion of the Seder. I found this comment by a Jewish Rabbi interesting:

But it is toward the Passover of the Future that our memories are directed. The redemption is not over. There is fear and poverty and sickness. There is a trembling on earth. Around us are the plagues of pollution, and images of fiery nuclear explosions in the clouds, not like the cloud of glory and the pillar of fire that led our ancestors through the wilderness. The broken matzah speaks to our times, shakes us by the shoulders and shouts into our hearts, "Do not bury your spirit in his­tory. Do not think it is over, complete, that the Messiah has come and you have nothing to do but to wait, to pray, to believe."(taken from here)

Perhaps this "folded napkin" was a sign to a future nation of Israel that the Messiah would "appear" and fulfill all the Messianic prophecies of a King reigning to Israel.

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John seems to be writing about the great contrast he noticed, between what he found after Jesus' resurrection and what he’d witnessed when Lazarus was brought back to life. He may have even noted the stench from Lazarus, with his needing to be unbound vs. Jesus’ linens and napkin perfectly set as they were.

John 11:44 (NASB)

When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus *said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

With John 20:7 and Jesus’ linen wrappings “lying there”, with the face-cloth separate yet very close to or exactly where Jesus' body had been, it’s as if Jesus’ just slipped out and no human hand could have possibly placed everything so perfectly.

Once Peter arrived and John saw the face-cloth, it seems that finally confirmed everything for John such that he “saw and believed”.

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