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Is it wrong for a woman to cut her hair? 1 Cor 11

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  • Is it wrong for a woman to cut her hair? 1 Cor 11

    The first part of 1 Cor 11 talks about submitting to authority and gets into men and womens hair as a covering. Does this mean that men cannot have long hair and women cannot cut their hair?

    Some people have told me that is what it means I would like some feedback from some of you...

  • #2
    No it doesn't.

    Paul is explaining the customs of his day in light of the relationship between men to Christ and women to men.

    The KJV makes it difficult to get a clear picture on what's going on. I usually go with the KJV but in this case, it's easier to see it from a more modern version....read this version from the Message....very easy to see the point Paul was making.

    I Corinthians11:2-16
    "All actual authority stems from Christ. In a marriage relationship, there is authority from Christ to husband, and from husband to wife. The authority of Christ is the authority of God. Any man who speaks with God or about God in a way that shows a lack of respect for the authority of Christ, dishonors Christ. In the same way, a wife who speaks with God in a way that shows a lack of respect for the authority of her husband, dishonors her husband. Worse, she dishonors herself—an ugly sight, like a woman with her head shaved. This is basically the origin of these customs we have of women wearing head coverings in worship, while men take their hats off. By these symbolic acts, men and women, who far too often butt heads with each other, submit their "heads" to the Head: God. Don't, by the way, read too much into the differences here between men and women. Neither man nor woman can go it alone or claim priority. Man was created first, as a beautiful shining reflection of God—that is true. But the head on a woman's body clearly outshines in beauty the head of her "head," her husband. The first woman came from man, true—but ever since then, every man comes from a woman! And since virtually everything comes from God anyway, let's quit going through these "who's first" routines. Don't you agree there is something naturally powerful in the symbolism—a woman, her beautiful hair reminiscent of angels, praying in adoration; a man, his head bared in reverence, praying in submission? I hope you're not going to be argumentative about this."

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    • #3
      David Taylor, God has never to my knowledge ever made a commandment in regards to culture or regards to the culture of the times. God's word is just as relevant today as it was back then for man's nature is still the same; sinful.

      Here is an example of a command from God that is still in force today as ever but so few walk in it.

      Deuteronomy 22:5 *¶The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

      I've heard the same argument from lady charismatic preachers who wore pants as well and their hair look like a man from behind as well.

      Tomlane

      Comment


      • #4
        Marriage is sacred, as it is an allusion to the Unity of the Father and His Son (both are described as 'echad', or complex unity) so the definition of man and woman in every respect is essential to the sanctity of God's purpose.
        Those who seek God with all their heart will find Him and be given sight. Those who seek their own agenda will remain blind.

        Comment


        • #5
          If the culture of the time doesn't play a role in things, then what do we do with this verse?

          I Corinthians 15
          29 - Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them?


          Last time I checked only LDS baptize for the dead - so if women shouldn't cut their hair due to what God says being true for all time - we should maybe outta think about baptizing for the dead. No? Hmmmmmm - somehow I thought not.
          I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
          - Mahatma Gandhi



          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Tomlane View Post
            David Taylor, God has never to my knowledge ever made a commandment in regards to culture or regards to the culture of the times. God's word is just as relevant today as it was back then for man's nature is still the same; sinful.

            Here is an example of a command from God that is still in force today as ever but so few walk in it.

            Deuteronomy 22:5 *¶The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

            I've heard the same argument from lady charismatic preachers who wore pants as well and their hair look like a man from behind as well.

            Tomlane
            In regards to the referenced 1 corinthians 11 there is no command in this scripture that I see. Looks like he is trying to settle some marital issues.

            Comment


            • #7
              1 Cor 11 is not about haircuts, but about head covering and taking Christ as our head. I got a haircut yesterday. It is still "long", but shorter than it was obviously. And I still take Christ as my head. 1 Cor 11:5 does indicate that to shave a woman's head is shameful to her, but it does not say getting a trim is bad.
              ...be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man, that Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be full of strength to apprehend with all the saints what the breadth and length and height and depth are and to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God. Eph. 3:16-19

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Tomlane View Post
                David Taylor, God has never to my knowledge ever made a commandment in regards to culture or regards to the culture of the times. God's word is just as relevant today as it was back then for man's nature is still the same; sinful.

                Here is an example of a command from God that is still in force today as ever but so few walk in it.

                Deuteronomy 22:5 *¶The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

                I've heard the same argument from lady charismatic preachers who wore pants as well and their hair look like a man from behind as well.

                Tomlane
                Be careful of trying to be right before God by upholding all the law and the prophets. This can only be done through the Cross of Christ, and not by any works you can do. Paul warned the Galatians of the same thing. There is only one who has been able to keep all the law and prophets and He died on a cross.

                The command we all should be striving to have is love. This is the greatest of all commandments and through it come all the law and prophets.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have neck and back problems ..I would risk injury to my neck to grow my hair very long. Its very thick and heavy and literally throws my neck out in which I am then in alot of pain and dizzy. Kind of hard to function very well like this. I don't have it cut really short by any means, I just cannot have it long like I used too. And David is right...also in these times prostitute shaved their heads..this was a custom and why in the first part of that passage it says its a shame for a women to shave their heads. We don't see too many bald hookers around these days.

                  And men can have long hair too.

                  David Guzik's Commentaries
                  6. (13-16) Appealing to experience, nature, common sense, and apostolic authority.

                  Judge among yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering. But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.

                  a. Judge among yourselves: Paul appeals to something the Corinthian Christians should be able to figure out on their own.

                  b. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? Here, Paul speaks to those Christians who come from a Jewish environment. In the Jewish community, even men would cover their heads while praying. It was therefore inconceivable for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered. Their own experience taught them that women should observe the custom of the head covering when the church meets.

                  c. Does not even nature itself teach: In both Jewish and Greek cultures, short hair was common for men. Therefore it was a dishonor for a man to wear long hair, because it was considered feminine.

                  i. From as long as we have known, women have generally worn their hair longer than men. In some cultures and at some times, men have worn their hair longer than others, but no matter how long men have worn their hair, women have always worn their hair longer.

                  ii. Based on this verse, many people have thought that it is a sin for a man to wear long hair or, at least hair that is considered long by the culture. But long hair in itself can be no sin; after all, Paul apparently had long hair for a time in Corinth as a part of a vow (Acts 18:18). But, the vow would not have meant anything if long hair was the norm; that's what Paul is getting at!

                  iii. While it is true that it is wrong for a man to take the appearance of a woman (Deuteronomy 22:5), longer hair on a man is not necessarily an indication of this. It is far better for most preachers to be concerned about the length of their sermons instead of the length of people's hair!

                  d. Her hair is given to her for a covering: Because women wear their hair longer than men, Paul thinks of this longer hair as "nature's veil. So, if nature has given women long hair as a covering, that in itself points to their need to be covered (according to the ancient Corinthian custom).

                  e. If anyone seem to be contentious, we have no such custom: In this appeal to apostolic authority, Paul is telling the Corinthian Christians to not be contentious especially because the other churches of God have adopted their custom according to God's truth.
                  *********************
                  Women's pants look nothing like men's pants and women's shirts look nothing like men's shirts. So I don't think women wearing pants means they are dressing like men by any means at all actually.

                  God bless
                  "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by thewizster View Post
                    The first part of 1 Cor 11 talks about submitting to authority and gets into men and womens hair as a covering. Does this mean that men cannot have long hair and women cannot cut their hair?

                    Some people have told me that is what it means I would like some feedback from some of you...
                    How long is long? How short is short? Scripture does not say women cannot cut their hair, only that her hair is her glory.

                    While Scripture states that it is a shame for a man to have long hair, it does not define what length is considered as being too long.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What is the heart behind this topic?
                      How can this be about love towards others?

                      What is the spiritual lesson being taught in the physical example of long and short hair?

                      Could the modern trend against such biblical standards have led to today's gender confusion?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Since the Scripture does not give a definite on how long a man's hair could be or how short a woman's hair could be, how does one judge the length?

                        At what length does the hair become a shame on a man or a woman? I find no Biblical definition as to the exact measurement it is supposed to be.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Moonglow,

                          This is my thought as well moonglow. It is not so much an absolute that men's hair be X length, and womans be Y length, as that Paul wanted the Corinthians to be distinct from the worldly population that partook of the mystery religions. It was not uncommon if memory serves for the preistesses in some of these temples to cut their hair during their 'ceremony'.

                          The ultimate point of Paul is that a man and a woman should be distinguishable from each other, which if you go back to leviticus and numbers is what Moses wrote, not that a man should only wear pants, and a woman only dresses, but that they should not dress or groom themselves in such a way so that the may appear as the opposite gender.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by thewizster View Post
                            The first part of 1 Cor 11 talks about submitting to authority and gets into men and womens hair as a covering. Does this mean that men cannot have long hair and women cannot cut their hair?

                            Some people have told me that is what it means I would like some feedback from some of you...
                            As has been brought out in this thread by a few. The scripture is about the customs of Corinth. Paul then ends this description with a verse that so many fail to include when they use this scripture out of context...

                            16 But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.

                            So read in context, NO, we don't conform to these customs where in Corinth it "was" a shame for a man to have long hair or a woman to have short hair.
                            Slug1--out

                            ~"In the turmoil of any chaos, all it takes is that whisper that is heard like thunder over all the noise and the chaos seems to go away, focus returns and we are comforted in knowing that God has listened to our cry for help."~

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bagofseed View Post
                              What is the heart behind this topic?
                              How can this be about love towards others?
                              My intent with starting this thread was to get feedback from others about this issue. I think your right about love toward others. But this issue confuses many because some teach that if a women cuts her hair she is going to hell.

                              At most in this passage I see a man or women having shame. If my wife shaved her head, yes it would be shameful and embarrassing for her. But, shame is a far cry from sin. Jesus even experienced shame on the cross (Heb 12:2) but was spotless concerning sin.

                              Study about the Nazirite vow. Men and women were not allowed to cut there hair during this time. At the end of the vow they were required to shave their head in the outer courtyard of the temple. Also, if it were a sin for a man to have long hair then where would all the Nazirites like Samson stand with God? Any vow which includes sin would never be acceptable before God.
                              Last edited by thewizster; Apr 16th 2009, 01:09 PM. Reason: spelling correction

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