Passages from the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament)
Genesis 9:20-29: This is the story of Noah becoming intoxicated and lying naked in his tent. He had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japeth. Ham sees his father, and tells his two brothers. The Hebrew word for nakedness is here "ervah," which connotes a display of the genitals. Shem and Japeth then cover their father without looking at him. When Noah wakes up, he engages in evil sorcery: He lays a verbal curse; not on Ham, but on Ham's son Canaan, and all of his descendants. Some conservative theologians interpret this passage to mean that Ham's descendants were cursed because Ham had observed his father naked. This would imply that nudity with a family is forbidden behavior. Others interpret it to mean that Ham ridiculed his father's nakedness and was being punished for his disrespect. That would be more in agreement with Exodus 21:15 and Leviticus 20:9 which calls for a son to be punished if he curses or shames his parent (the Hebrew word is ambiguous). Others reject the passage as profoundly immoral. By today's secular and religious standards, people are not punished for the for the behavior of their parent(s) or other ancestor; individuals are responsible for their own behavior, not for others.
Exodus 32:19-25: At least 3,000 men and an unknown number of women danced while worshiping a golden calf. Various translations of the Bible say that they were "unrestrained", or had "broken loose" or were "committing adultery" or were "running wild." The original Hebrew appears to imply that they were naked. The sons of Levi sided with Moses who disapproved of idol worship and exterminated the worshipers. The worshipers appear to have been punished because they revered the golden calf, not because they were publicly nude.
1 Samuel 18:3-4: "And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt." (NIV) Since people in those days did not wear underwear, Jonathan stripped himself naked in front of David. This is one of many indications in the Bible where David and Jonathan's relationship may have been sexual in nature.
1 Samuel 19:20-24: Saul had sent a group of messengers to capture David. The "Spirit of God" descended on the messengers, and they started to prophesize. Saul sent a second group of messengers, with the same result. Finally Saul went himself and the Spirit descended upon him as well. Verse 24 states: "And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night...." (KJV). The nudity of Saul and his messengers while prophesizing is the first of many similar instances in the Bible.
2 Samuel 6:14: "And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod." (KJV) David engaged in some kind of whirling dance to the accompaniment of music and ritual shouting. An ephod was a type of simple apron that covered his genitals. David was nearly naked. Presumably his genitals would have been exposed as he danced.
2 Samuel 11:2: "...David...went for a stroll on the roof of the palace. As he looked out over the city, he noticed a woman of unusual beauty taking her evening bath." (NIV) David and Bathsheba, wife of Uriah, later engaged in an adulterous affair. Bathsheba became pregnant, David sent her husband into a hopeless military situation so that Uriah was killed. This passage appears to reflect the building design in Palestine at the time. The populace generally had no access to indoor bathtubs, and commonly bathed in public in the river. In Bathsheba's case, she was probably bathing in her courtyard out of sight of passersby, but visible from the roof of the palace. Her nudity was mentioned in passing without comment. That would seem to imply that to be naked in the view of others, or to observe a person naked, are not sinful acts. David was later punished by God, not for gazing on a naked woman, but for committing adultery with her and for being indirectly responsible for arranging the death of her husband.
Isaiah 20:2: "The Lord told Isaiah, the son of Amoz, to take off his clothing, including his shoes, and to walk around naked and barefoot" (NIV) Isaiah's nudity, which was to continue for three years, was symbolic of the Assyrians conquering Egypt and Ethiopia, when they carted their prisoners away naked and barefoot. Isaiah was clearly acting as a naturist, but not necessarily of his own choosing. And God used his nudity to teach others. Many centuries later, St., Francis of Assisi followed Isaiah's behavior. He removed his clothes in the center of the village. He and Brother Rufino later preached nude in church. [1 - 2]
Esther 1:10-11: "...when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded ...the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king, to bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on." (KJV) Ancient rabbinical interpreters suggested that she was ordered to appear naked, wearing only her crown. She refused.
Job 22:6: "For thou hast taken a pledge from thy brother for nought, and stripped the naked of their clothing." (KJV) This is a criticism of unrighteous people who are totally lacking in empathy for other individuals. They are so keen to exploit others that they take from the naked what they do not have: clothes. There is no condemnation for the naked in this passage.
Job 24:7: "They cause the naked to lodge without clothing, that they have no covering in the cold." (KJV) Same comment as above.
Job 24:10: "They cause him to go naked without clothing, and they take away the sheaf from the hungry." (KJV) Not only do the unrighteous take clothing from the naked, they even steal food. Again, there is no condemnation of those who simply are naked.
Isaiah 58:7: "Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-- when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?" (NIV) This is clearly not a command to clothe all naked persons. Rather, it is an instruction to care for the people who are in need of shelter, food and clothes in order to sustain life.
Micah 1:8: "Because of this I will weep and wail; I will go about barefoot and naked" Like Samuel and Isaiah, Micah prophesied while unclad.
"The Little Flowers of St. Francis", Part I, Chapter 30.