Should Christian Women Have Long Hair?

Should women have short hair? Can Christians cut their hair?

I do not cut my hair because I believe the bible says not to. This may seem silly, but I would like to style my hair by putting lots of layers but keeping it looking long. I am 54 and look 20 years older with long hair but feel like it is wrong to cut it in any way. I know one Pastor says never ever cut your hair and others just do not care one way or the other. What do you think? Thank you for your help and God Bless.

Doreen

Doreen:

Thanks for writing! Clearly, your question isn’t exactly about hair, but about how to understand what the Bible teaches. I commend you for wanting to do the right thing, and hope that I can clarify the situation for you.

It’s important to ask the simplest questions first: does the Bible teach that women shouldn’t have short hair? Certainly not. If we look at Numbers 6, we’ll see the following:

“If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of dedication to the Lord as a Nazirite…no razor may be used on their head. They must be holy until the period of their dedication to the Lord is over; they must let their hair grow long…when the period of their dedication is over…they are to be brought to the entrance to the tent of meeting. Then at the entrance to the tent of meeting, the Nazirite must shave off the hair that symbolizes their dedication. They are to take the hair and put it in the fire that is under the sacrifice of the fellowship offering.” (vv. 2, 5, 13, 18)

As you can see, both men and women made this vow. They grew their hair as a symbol of their dedication to God, then shaved it all off. If women aren’t supposed to cut their hair, they could never take part in the Nazirite vows. Women took the Nazirite vow and shaved their heads, and that was good. In case anyone thinks that this is an ‘Old Testament vs New Testament’ thing, I refer you to Acts 21 .

If women shaving their heads to take part in an important vow to God was good, why would it be bad for you (or any other woman) to cut your hair?

Those who teach that it’s wrong for Christian women to cut their hair generally refer to several verses in 1 Corinthians 11 . “every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head – it is the same as having her head shaved.” (v.5)

If Paul’s words to the Christians in Corinth weren’t about the length of a woman’s hair, what was he talking about? Look at v5: a woman was expected to cover her head during prayer, or when she prophesied. Paul likens a woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered to one who has her head shaved. The Greek word used is KEIRO…the same word use to describe the shearing of sheep.

Paul’s instructions had nothing to do with cutting your hair, and everything to do with living in Corinth. Corinth was a city where many pagan gods were worshipped, including Dionysus. One of the names used in ancient Macedonia (Greece) for Dionysus was “Pseudanor”. It means “false man”, as in “effeminate man”. He was pictured in art from that time as a beardless, sensuous, naked or half-naked androgynous youth. Literature described him as womanly or “man-womanish”. Because of this, worshippers of Dionysus would often engage in cross-dressing, where men would grow their hair and wear women’s clothing…and women would cut their hair and dress in men’s clothing. These women were known, for hundreds of years prior to Paul’s letter, as “imitators of men”.

That is why women having short hair was a big deal in Corinth: everybody would assume that they worshipped Dionysus instead of worshipping Jesus Christ.

Paul didn’t teach that women should have long hair. He taught, as was the custom of the day, that women should cover their heads while praying or prophesying. Keeping their heads uncovered at those times would have been considered shameful…as shameful as having people assume you worshipped a pagan god.

I don’t know where you live, but it’s unlikely that cutting your hair will confuse your neighbors and convince them that you worship Dionysus, or make you look like a man. That’s what Paul was saying, clearly…so please feel free to cut and style your hair.

While you’re at it, you might take a moment to read another article: Should Christians Separate from the World?. From where I stand, those who teach that you shouldn’t cut your hair are guilty of misrepresenting God, making it harder for others to trust Him.

Were Cain and Abel Twins?

Were Cain and Abel twins?

I have heard that Cain and Abel were twins. If this is true, how would I find this in the bible? Thank you.

Doreen

That’s an interesting question. The Bible doesn’t specifically say either way. Cain was born first, and Abel after…but Genesis 4:1-2 doesn’t tell us how long after: Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.

The Hebrew word used in the text is YACAPH, which has more than one meaning. One meaning is ‘to do again’ and another is ‘to add’. It could be that Abel was born in a separate pregnancy, or that the one pregnancy had two births. Without more information from Scripture (which we don’t have), we simply don’t know.

Why Trust the Gospels? – Peter J. Williams

How to understand Revelation? Is Jesus coming back? What is the mark of the beast? Is Hell real?

I never get tired of hearing about the historical evidence for the people and events in the Bible. Here Peter J. Williams gives a fairly brief explanation of why the four Gospels should be considered trustworthy.

I recommend it highly!

Tell me about the Bible

Is the Bible true? Are Bible translations bad? What language is the Bible?

What I’m about to say about the Bible might shock you. In fact, I’ve never heard it taught in any church…ever. When you read it, take a moment to let it sink in:

The Old Testament is primarily about Judaism.
The New Testament is about Christianity.

Shocking, right?

Jews don’t live by the New Testament because they don’t believe that Jesus is the Messiah they’ve been waiting for. That makes sense. Christians don’t live by the Old Testament because they believe that Jesus IS that Messiah. That belief includes the idea that Judaism is incomplete, and that Christianity is its fulfillment. That makes sense too.

Both Testaments are part of God’s plan, of course…but for Christians, confusing the two causes all kinds of trouble.

Are you a Christian? If so, how much of Judaism are you trying to live by? Your relationship with God will be incomplete if you try to live by an incomplete understanding of what He wants, what He’s taught, and what that means.

Are you a Christian? If so, how much of the New Testament are you trying to live by?

What is the Bible Basically About?

Is the Bible true? Are Bible translations bad? What language is the Bible?

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. Luke 24:27

What is the Bible really about?

Is the Bible basically about me and what I must do, or is it basically about Jesus and what He has done? When you read in Luke and Acts how Jesus, in those 40 days, got His disciples together 40 days before He ascended, after He was raised, what was He doing? Basically, He was saying “Everything in the Old Testament is about me.” He says “The reason you didn’t understand what I was about was you didn’t realize that everything in the Prophets and the Psalms and the Law was pointing to me.”

Do you believe the Bible is basically about you, or basically about Him? Is David and Goliath basically about you, and how you can be like David and Goliath, or basically about Him, the one who really took on the only giants that can really kill us? An so His victory is imputed to us. Who is it really about? That’s the fundamental question. And when that happens, then you start to read the Bible anew, you know.

Jesus is the true and better Adam, who passed the test in the garden…His garden, a much tougher garden, and whose obedience is imputed to us.

Jesus is the true and better Abel who, though innocently slain, has blood that cries out, not for our condemnation, but for our acquittal.

Jesus is the true and better Abraham, who answered the call of God to leave all of the comfortable and familiar and go into the void, not knowing whither He went.

Jesus is the true and better Isaac, who was not just offered up by His father on the mount, but was truly sacrificed for us all while God said to Abraham, “Now I know you love me, because you did not withhold your son, your only son, whom you love, from me”. Now we, at the foot of the cross, can say to God, “Now we know that you love me, because you did not withhold your Son, your only Son, whom you love, from me”.

Jesus is the true and better Jacob, who wrestled and took the blow of justice we deserve so we, like Jacob, only receive the wound of grace that wakes us up in discipline.

Jesus is the true and better Joseph, who was at the right hand of the King, and forgives those who betrayed and sold Him, and uses His power to save them.

Jesus is the true and better Moses, who stands in the gap between the people and the Lord, and mediates a New Covenant.

Jesus is the true and better rock of Moses who, struck with the rod of God’s justice, now gives us water in the desert.

Jesus is the true and better Job. He is the truly innocent sufferer, who then intercedes for and saves His friends.

Jesus is the true and better David, whose victory becomes His peoples’ victory though they never lifted a stone to accomplish it themselves.

Jesus is the true and better Esther, who didn’t just risk losing an eartly palace but lost the ultimate heavenly one, who didn’t just risk His life but gave His life, who didn’t just say “If I perish, I perish” but says “When I perish, I’ll perish for them, to save my people”.

Jesus is the true and better Jonah, who was cast out into the storm so we could be brought in.

He’s the real Passover Lamb. He’s the true Temple, the true Prophet, the true Priest, the true King, the true Sacrifice, the true Lamb, the true Light, the true Bread.

The Bible is not about you. It is primarily about Jesus.

Do We Worship the Bible?

Is the Bible true? Are Bible translations bad? What language is the Bible?

I ran across this post today, and had to ask myself a tough question or two. I have a tendency to think that God can best be understood by reading His written revelation. That’s not accurate, of course. God can best be understood by experiencing Him. I have a tendency to equate knowing the Bible with knowing God. I’m sure you can see the danger in that.

Do we worship the Bible, or do we worship the God of the Bible?

I thought you might like to read the article as well.

Does the Bible condone slavery?

Does the Bible condone slavery? Is slavery in the Bible? Is slavery wrong?

In a word, no.

Of course, slavery is mentioned in the Bible, so let’s look at the context. There were three kinds of slavery in vogue at that time:

  • Involuntary Slaves
  • Indentured Servants
  • Bondservants

The Bible never condones the taking of slaves.

However, since slavery in one form or another was a fact of life for many, the proper treatment of slaves is addressed. The language of the New Testament can be difficult in this situation. As an example, let’s look at the Greek word DOULOS: it can be translated either “slave/servant” or “brother”, depending on the context in which it’s used. The servanthood model in Scripture sometimes makes it difficult to differentiate between service rendered as you or I would do it, and servitude as rendered between a “master” and a “slave/servant”.

Either way, you won’t find a passage where slavery is promoted…and the passages where slavery is mentioned treat it not as preferable, but as a simple fact of life.

Along those lines, Matthew 10:24-25 is interesting: “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master.” In this case it appears that the slave is likened to an apprentice. Matthew 18:26 shows a slave claiming to be able to repay a debt…something that true slaves would be unlikely to do. They probably wouldn’t be in debt unless they made money, and wouldn’t be able to repay a debt without income, either. The same passage shows that slaves had the freedom to roam about.

Matthew 24 shows that slaves weren’t simple laborers, but were often put in charge of a master’s entire household. Matthew 25 speaks of throwing out a worthless slave…suggesting that it was the slave who lost the benefit of the relationship, not the master. Luke 12:37 shows a master serving his slaves…an odd relationship indeed, if you make the mistake of assuming that they were held against their will in the manner of modern slavery. Luke 19 shows a master giving money to slaves and leaving on a trip, telling them to “do business” with the money. In John 15:15 Jesus tells His disciples that He no longer would call them slaves, but friends. I could go on and on, but there’s no need.

Clearly, slavery of the type occurring in our era was not condoned in Scripture…but servitude was a fact of the day, and appears to have been beneficial to both parties. Combined with the fact of translation that can confuse “brothers” with “slaves”, it’s easy to make the mistake of believing that the Bible condones slavery when it clearly does not.