I just read the part in the Bible where Jesus’ clothes were found by Peter and the napkin was laid separate from the rest of the clothes. I went on line and it appears that it is a Christian belief that this was part of a Jewish tradition to indicate the master would be returning to the table and the servants were to wait for him to return before cleaning up. Do you know of a source to prove this was a Jewish tradition? I could not find one.
Sadly no. It is a nice story, but several Jewish experts have said that they know of no such story. Others have pointed out that the translations of “napkin” and “folded” may not even be correct.
The good news is, of course, that we know even without this story, that Christ will return. We look forward to that day with great anticipation.
It appears that the napkin story has been circulating since 2007. Its popularity is likely due to not only to its reference of the Second Coming, but with the fascination of symbolism. We are fortunate that there are many symbols used in the scriptures waiting to be discovered. Deseret Book currently offers four books about symbolism to help us in our study of the scriptures. They are:
The Lost Language of Symbolism by Alonzo Gaskill
Gospel Symbolism by Joseph Fielding McConkie
Temples of the Ancient World: Ritual and Symbolism by Donald W. Parry
Symbols in Stone: Symbolism on the Early Temples of the Restoration by Paul Thomas Smith and Matthew B. Brown
There are many treasures in the scriptures just waiting for us to discover them.
**Painting by Walter Rane