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Clement of Alexandria, the first fundamentalist

February 26, 2007

This is priceless.

From The Instructor [Pædagogus] (2.11)

“Neither is it seemly for the clothes to be above the knee, as they say was the case with the Lacedæmonian virgins; nor is it becoming for any part of a woman to be exposed.”

-Clement of Alexandria

7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 27, 2007 1:54 am


    This is a historic and exegetical position, that is, nothing above the knee of a woman should be exposed.

  2. February 27, 2007 9:49 am

    It has never been presented to me as “historical,” but you are obviously right.

    The scriptures obviously speak of modesty and immodesty, but do they ever specifically address a woman exposing the flesh above her knee? I am just curious why you say “exegetical.” I agree that the Scriptures forbid this kind of dress, but I am wondering if they do so specifically.

    I agree with Clement, but I thought it was funny how much he sounded like a “fundamentalistic” Bible college.

  3. Billy Bob permalink
    February 27, 2007 3:37 pm

    “Dyeing of clothes is also to be rejected.” do you wear only white like clement? after all, he says it’s Christ’s pattern from the book of Daniel. all the other colors are devilish.

  4. February 27, 2007 3:55 pm

    Absolutely. From my head to my toe. Only white.

  5. February 27, 2007 5:06 pm

    Isaiah 47:1, 2

  6. Chuck Bumgardner permalink
    February 28, 2007 1:19 am

    I thought the Isaiah passage might be in mind there. Mark Minnick suggested something along the same lines at a conference where he did a session on what amounted to a biblical theology on modesty.

    And as long as we’re on biblical references which might inform our understanding on how the biblical writers viewed modesty and what constituted “nakedness,” Exodus 20:26 is interesting.

  7. Billy Bob permalink
    February 28, 2007 2:59 pm

    you shouldn’t wear a robe that goes all the way to your toes. only the carnal and effeminate athenian and ionian men dress this way.

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