Naked fugitive

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Antonio da Correggio, The Betrayal of Christ, with a soldier in pursuit of Mark the Evangelist, c. 1522 Correggio, giovane che fugge dalla cattura di Cristo.jpg
Antonio da Correggio, The Betrayal of Christ, with a soldier in pursuit of Mark the Evangelist, c. 1522

The naked fugitive (or naked runaway or naked youth) is an unidentified figure mentioned briefly in the Gospel of Mark, immediately after the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and the fleeing of all his disciples:

Gospel of Mark Books of the New Testament

The Gospel According to Mark is one of the four canonical gospels and one of the three synoptic gospels. It tells of the ministry of Jesus from his baptism by John the Baptist to his death and burial and the discovery of the empty tomb – there is no genealogy of Jesus or birth narrative, nor, in the original ending at chapter 16, any post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. It portrays Jesus as a heroic man of action, an exorcist, a healer, and a miracle worker. Jesus is also the Son of God, but he keeps his identity secret, concealing it in parables so that even most of the disciples fail to understand. All this is in keeping with prophecy, which foretold the fate of the messiah as suffering servant. The gospel ends, in its original version, with the discovery of the empty tomb, a promise to meet again in Galilee, and an unheeded instruction to spread the good news of the resurrection.

Arrest of Jesus pivotal event recorded in the canonical gospels

The arrest of Jesus was a pivotal event in Christianity recorded in the canonical gospels. Jesus, a preacher whom Christians believe to be the Son of God, was arrested by the Temple guards of the Sanhedrin in the Garden of Gethsemane. It occurred shortly after the Last Supper, and immediately after the kiss of Judas, which is traditionally said to have been an act of betrayal since Judas made a deal with the chief priests to arrest Jesus. The event ultimately led, in the Gospel accounts, to Jesus' crucifixion.


And a certain young man followed him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth; and they seized him, but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked. [Mk 14:51–52]

The parallel accounts in the other canonical Gospels make no mention of this incident.

The wearing of a single cloth would not have been indecent or extraordinary, and there are many ancient accounts of how easily such garments would come loose, especially with sudden movements. [1]


Since ancient times, many have speculated on the identity of this young man, proposing:

Mark the Evangelist author of the Gospel of Mark and Christian saint; traditionally identified with John Mark

Mark the Evangelist is the traditionally ascribed author of the Gospel of Mark. Mark is said to have founded the Church of Alexandria, one of the most important episcopal sees of early Christianity. His feast day is celebrated on April 25, and his symbol is the winged lion.

Lazarus of Bethany religious figure, died and was brought back to life

Lazarus of Bethany, also known as Saint Lazarus or Lazarus of the Four Days, venerated in the Orthodox Church as (Righteous) Lazarus the Four Days Dead, is the subject of a prominent miracle of Jesus in the Gospel of John, in which Jesus restores him to life four days after his death. The Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions offer varying accounts of the later events of his life.

Many have seen this episode as connected to a later verse in Mark: "And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe," [Mk 16:5] as the word for young man ( νεανίσκος ) occurs in Mark only in these two places. [7]

Neaniskos (νεανίσκος) is the Classical Greek word for "young man." It appears a total of eleven times in five of the books of the Greek New Testament:

The naked fugitive has been speculated to originate in a possible Passion narrative that pre-dates the gospel of Mark. In such an early document, anonymity of the fugitive may protect this individual from official persecution. [8] :Note 8 [1] :184

See also

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Last Supper episode in the New Testament

The Last Supper is the final meal that, in the Gospel accounts, Jesus shared with his Apostles in Jerusalem before his crucifixion. The Last Supper is commemorated by Christians especially on Maundy Thursday. The Last Supper provides the scriptural basis for the Eucharist, also known as "Holy Communion" or "The Lord's Supper".

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Marcan priority

Marcan priority, the hypothesis that the Gospel of Mark was the first-written of the three Synoptic Gospels and was used as a source by the other two is a central element in discussion of the synoptic problem – the question of the documentary relationship among these three Gospels.

Mark 16 Gospel according to Mark, chapter 16

Mark 16 is the final chapter of the Gospel of Mark in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It begins with the discovery of the empty tomb by Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome. There they encounter a young man dressed in white who announces the Resurrection of Jesus. The two oldest manuscripts of Mark 16 then conclude with verse 8, which ends with the women fleeing from the empty tomb, and saying "nothing to anyone, because they were too frightened."

Synoptic Gospels

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Empty tomb tomb of Jesus that was found to be empty by the Myrrhbearers

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Secret Gospel of Mark A longer version of the Gospel of Mark

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John 20:7

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Mark 14 Gospel according to Mark, chapter 14

Mark 14 is the fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of Mark in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It contains the plot to kill Jesus, his anointing by a woman, the Last Supper, and his predictions of his betrayal and Peter's three denials of him. It then begins the Passion, with the garden of Gethsemane, Judas' betrayal and Jesus' arrest, followed by Jesus' trial before the Sanhedrin and Peter's three denials of Jesus.

Matthew 5:1–2

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On the issue of the sexuality of Jesus, the traditional understanding of Christian churches is that Jesus did not marry and remained celibate until his death. That has not prevented speculation about alternative theories of his sexuality. The Gospels and the New Testament reveal little on the subject.

Matthew 27:59

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Matthew 27:57

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Simon the Leper person mentioned in the Gospels according to Matthew (26:6–13) and Mark (14:3–9); sometimes identified with Simon the Pharisee

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In Orthodox Christian tradition the Myrrhbearers are the individuals mentioned in the New Testament who were directly involved in the burial or who discovered the empty tomb following the resurrection of Jesus. The term traditionally refers to the women with myrrh who came to the tomb of Christ early in the morning to find it empty. In Western Christianity, the two women at the tomb, Three Marys or other variants are the terms normally used. Also included are Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, who took the body of Jesus down from the cross, embalmed it with myrrh and aloes, wrapped it in clean linen, and placed it in a new tomb..

Burial of Jesus event in the New Testament

The burial of Jesus refers to the burial of the body of Jesus after crucifixion, described in the New Testament. According to the canonical gospel accounts, he was placed in a tomb by a man named Joseph of Arimathea. In art, it is often called the Entombment of Christ.

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Healing the ear of a servant is one of the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels. Even though the incident of the servant's ear being cut off is recorded in all four gospels, Matthew 26:51; Mark 14:47; Luke 22:51; and John 18:10–11; the servant and the disciple are named as Malchus and Simon Peter only in John. Only Luke records that Jesus healed the servant.

New Testament people named John

The name John is prominent in the New Testament and occurs numerous times. Among Jews of this period, the name was one of the most popular, borne by about five percent of men. Thus, it has long been debated which Johns are to be identified with which.


  1. 1 2 Bauckham, Richard (2017). Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony. Wm. B. Eerdmans. ISBN   978-1-4674-4680-8.
  2. Epiphanius of Salamis, Panarion 78.13.2
  3. Ambrose, Exp. Ps. 36 60.
  4. Chrysologus, Peter (2005). "Sermon 78". Selected Sermons. CUA Press. pp. 31–. ISBN   978-0-8132-0110-8.
  5. Allen, Rupert (2008). "Mark 14,51-52 and Coptic Hagiography" (PDF). Biblica. 89 (2): 265–268. JSTOR   42614826. Allen studies the origins of this theory and finds it first mentioned in a 13th-century manuscript.
  6. Haren, M. J. (1998). "The naked young man: a historian's hypothesis on Mark 14,51-52". Biblica. 79 (4): 525–531. JSTOR   42614166.
  7. Jackson, Howard M. (1997). "Why the Youth Shed His Cloak and Fled Naked: The Meaning and Purpose of Mark 14:51-52". Journal of Biblical Literature. 116 (2): 273–289. doi:10.2307/3266224. JSTOR   3266224.
  8. Cook, Michael J. (1978). Mark's Treatment of the Jewish Leaders. Brill. p. 54. ISBN   90-04-05785-4.