Can Christian Women Wear Short Hair Is It A Sin To Cut Your Hair
Yes, Christian women can have short hair. The Bible does not condemn cutting hair as a sin. If in your society the woman with short hair is not indecent, then you may have short hair. Hair length is a personal matter.
In the Old Testament, both a man and a woman could make a special vow to God, called the Nazirite vow. Part of that vote was to let your hair grow without cutting for a while. At the end of the vow, the person shaved all his hair and consecrated it to God .
We can learn two things from the Nazarite vow:
In Corinth at the time of Paul, a decent woman wore long hair and a veil. Only prostitutes had short hair. So Paul ordered the women in Corinth to leave their hair long. But in the end he said that church members should analyze the situation and decide among themselves what was acceptable .
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It Is Shameful For Women To Have Short Hair And Men To Have Long Hair
It is as shameful for a woman to have her hair cut short as to have her head shaved completely bald . Every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered . Likewise, it is shameful for a man to have long hair: If a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him .
When Paul speaks of long hair on a man as shameful according to nature he uses the same Greek word that is used in Romans 1:26 to describe the vileness of homosexual practice: God gave them up unto vile affections. Sodomy is vile. It is dishonourable, disgraceful and shameful. In our day sodomy might well be highly esteemed among men, even to the point of being accorded marriage rights, but that does not stop it being abominable in the sight of God .
The same applies to a man having long hair! According to the Word of God, it too is vile, dishonourable, disgraceful and shameful. It was not lost on the ancient Greeks that there was a link between the shameful obliteration of proper gender distinctions in sodomy and the same obliteration in men having long hair, for homosexuals were often depicted on Greek vases with long hair. The word atimia was commonly used by secular writers to denounce long hair on a man as effeminate and degrading.
Middle Ages And Early Modern Era
Until at least the 18th century, the wearing of a head covering, both in the public and while attending church, was regarded as customary for Christian women in Mediterranean, European, Middle Eastern, and African cultures. A woman who did not wear a head covering was interpreted to be “a prostitute or adulteress.” In Europe, law stipulated that married women who uncovered their hair in public was evidence of her infidelity.
In Western Europe and North America at the start of the 20th century, women in some mainstream Christian denominations wore head coverings during church services. These included many Moravian,Anglican,Baptist,Catholic,Lutheran,Methodist,Presbyterian Churches.
, the Protestant Reformer, encouraged wives to wear a veil in public worship. The General Rubrics of the Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America, as contained in “The Lutheran Liturgy”, state in a section titled “Headgear for Women”: “It is laudable custom, based upon a Scriptural injunction , for women to wear an appropriate head covering in Church, especially at the time of divine service.”
John Calvin, the founder of the Reformed Churches and John Knox, the founder of the Presbyterian Church, both called for women to wear head coverings in public worship.John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, held that a woman, “especially in a religious assembly”, should “keep on her veil”.
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If A Woman Is Going To Cut Her Hair She Might As Well Shave It
1 Corinthians 11:5 says every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head. It says it is the same as having her head shaved.
The next verse 1 Corinthians 11:6 continues by saying, if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head.
The New Living Translation for verse 6 puts it this way, If she refuses to wear a head covering, she should cut off all her hair! But since it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut or her head shaved, she should wear a covering.
The chapter ends with verse 16 saying, But if anyone wants to argue about this, I simply say that we have no other custom than this, and neither do Gods other churches. Seems pretty straightforward and clear for all of Gods churches.
What Does The Bible Say About Artificial Hair Or Style
Thanks for your question. The first thing I would say is that the Bible was never meant to give a specific answer to every kind of question . The Old Testament Law of Moses had ten basic commandments and then the application of these commandments was spelled out in greater detail in Deuteronomy and Exodus. Even these ten commandments were summarized in two main points: love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and, love your neighbor as yourself. Thus, the over arching guiding principle for our relationship with men is that of love. And so it is that Paul can write,
8 Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not covet, are summed up in this, Love your neighbor as yourself. 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law .
The Jews of Jesus day sought to create a rule for every particular situation, and thus there were literally hundreds of rules. That is simply not the way God intended it to be.
Whatever we do should be to the glory of God .
Whatever we do should promote/advance the gospel .
Whatever we do should edify others, and not cause them to stumble .
Paul and Peter warn women against seeking the kind of adornment which seeks to gain the attention of others, rather than adorning their husband with the headship God says should be his .
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Women Should Have Long Hair And Men Should Have Short Hair
Pauls words are clear to everyone who is willing to receive them: Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering . As far as hair is concerned, the distinction between a man and a woman is to be shown in the different lengths of their hair. If a mans hair is long, that is a shame and therefore wrong. But if a womans hair is long, that is a glory and therefore right. So, the teaching of the passage is clear enough: men and boys should have short hair women and girls should have long hair. As an article in the November 1927 Free Presbyterian Magazine rightly said: This one passage should suffice for all who wish to please God .
Often those who make a stand on the issue of hair are accused of being Pharasaic and legalistic. But what is legalism? It is when man-made laws are imposed on the people of God without the warrant of Scripture. That is one of the things the Pharisees did, for which the Saviour condemned them: Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition . But long hair on women and short hair on men, this is the commandment of God, not the tradition of men! It comes from the Word of God.
Long Hair Is A Womans Covering
If a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering . The passage speaks a lot about the womans head covering. When writing about head coverings in public worship, he had used the various Greek words related to kalumma . But now that he is dealing with the womans hair as a covering, Paul introduces a different Greek word, the word peribolaion. This shows that he is dealing with two kinds of covering in the passage: head coverings to be put on during public worship and the covering of hair.
The word peribolaion signifies literally to throw all around like a mantle or veil. It therefore refers to something copious that wraps about a person. This gives the indication that a womans long hair must be of some copious length. People will want to ask, sometimes implicitly disputing with the words of inspiration, the sufficiency of Scripture and the wisdom of God, How long is long then?. But there is an evident difference between long and short. They are relative. Medium is another relative term in measuring length. These things are clear enough for those that categorise hairstyles according to length for women in glossy magazines, and surely they are clear enough for those who wish to follow the Word of God.
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The Phrase A Womans Hair Is Her Crown And Glory Has Biblical Roots
Have you ever wondered where the phrase A womans hair is her crown and glory comes from? Apart from the fact that I agree with the statement based on my own feelings toward my hair, there are biblical roots to the phrase that many of us forget.
If you are a Christian then you may have noticed the verse from first Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 11:15But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
That verse has been open to a lot of differing interpretations from women believing that only long hair is glory to the woman who has it. However other opinions state that it simply means that if you have long hair then it is Glory to you.
Then there is this verse:
The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.
And my personal favourite:
Song of Solomon 5:11His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven.
I am particularly partial to this one because the description fits my hair perfectly, bushy, cottony and black as a raven!
There is one more hair reference, one which when I was a child I always made a point to remember because it meant I was safe even when I was scared.
Luke 12:7But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Bible Verses About Womans Hair
Bible verses related to Womans Hair from the King James Version by Relevance
1 Corinthians 11:15 – But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.Luke 7:38 – And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.1 Corinthians 11:1-34 – Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Proverbs 16:31 – The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.1 Corinthians 11:5 – But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.1 Timothy 2:9-10 – In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array Numbers 6:1-5 – And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
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A Womans Covering Is An Anointing
A mantle is a biblical covering , usually made from hair. The covering represents authority, power, responsibility, as well as the office of a prophet. In other words, a person occupies the position of prophet because of a particular anointing. If a woman prophecies without her covering then she would be disgraced because the authority of that prophet has been taken from her. And why would a prophet speak unless it is with authority given to her by God?
A mantle or covering symbolically represents the Holy Spirit setting a person apart for a particular work. John the Baptist wore a mantle made out of camels hair. Esau had so much red hair covering his body that he was said to have a hairy mantel . Elijah, the prophet, had a powerful mantle and Joseph was envied and hated because of his beautiful long mantle:
Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground. 2 Kings 2:8
Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his children, because he was the son of his old age and he had made him a long robe with sleeves. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him. Gen. 37:34
We speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual. 1 Cor. 2:13
Respect Protection And Modesty
We exited onto a back alley. Men were sitting around smoking and joking as Julie and I uncomfortably walked by. As we passed they began to make the most vulgar, inappropriate and crude sexual offers of what they wanted to do with Julie. I remember thinking, “Don’t they understand that she is with me. I am here to protect her. They ignored me and continued their sexual assaults on Julie.
We were running a gauntlet. When we exited Julie went immediately to a street vendor and bought a scarf. All comments and innuendoes ceased as we continued shopping with her head covered.
Sir William Ramsey explains it like this: “In Oriental lands the veil is the power and honor and dignity of the woman. With a veil on her head she can go anywhere in security and profound respect.” On the other hand, without the veil a woman’s authority and dignity vanish.
Just like men, women need respect, protection and modesty. Wearing the veil in public provides all three.
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When Locks Flow Loose
Now remember that verse I was telling you about. The one that illuminated me in regards to the symbolic purpose of hair. Well, its found in the story of Jael.
Do you remember Jael? Shes the one who won the war for the Israelites when she drove a tent peg through Siseras skull. There she is to the left, busy at work in a painting by Jacopo Amigoni.
Now Jaels story goes like this: the Judge Deborah and her loyal general, Barak, unite and go after General Sisera and his Canaanite army. Barak completely destroys the army, but Sisera escapes. Sisera, according to Deborah , has a fate different from that of his army. Siseras life lies in the hands of an unassuming, rather pleasant yet bold woman named Jael
Jael came out to meet Sisera, and said to him, Turn aside, my lord, turn aside to me have no fear. So he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug. Then he said to her, Please give me a little water to drink for I am thirsty. So she opened a skin of milk and gave him a drink and covered him. He said to her, Stand at the entrance of the tent, and if anybody comes and asks you, Is anyone here? say, No.
Then Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang on that day, saying:When locks are long in Israel,when the people offer themselves willinglybless the LORD! Jdg 4:185:2, bold added
The New Jerusalem Bible puts the verse this way
The New King James Version puts it this way
The Message says it this way
Nature Teaches Long Hair For Women And Short Hair For Men
Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering .
The word nature in Scripture is always used to refer to creation ordinances. Paul constantly uses it to refer to the created order, what God has ordained from creation onwards. So Paul is speaking of the universal innate judgement that short hair is naturally becoming for a man and long hair is naturally the glory of the woman. Therefore short hair on women and girls is unnatural. It is a clear violation of Gods law relating to maintaining the God-ordained difference between the sexes established at creation. It is rebellion against the creation work of God, for male and female created He them . Secular writers of Pauls time such as Epictetus and Dio Chrysostom condemned long hair in men in exactly the same terms: as being against nature.
The argument in this passage clearly runs that short hair is masculine and not feminine. Paul states that nature teaches this distinction. It is something that applies in all cultures in all places at all times. Nature here altogether excludes the idea of a mere local custom, specific to Corinth in the first century.
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