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  • Paul's hair cut?

    Reading Acts it jumped out at me the fact it is mentioned in passing at Paul got his hair cut to keep a vow, what vow did he take and what is the significance of the hair cut? I know that Paul being a Pharisee before his calling would have had long curls from the temple of his head, but can someone point me to something in the bible that would explain the hair cut now. I will post the verse that got me thinking about this.

    Acts 18

    18 ¶Paul, having remained many days longer, took leave of the brethren and put out to sea for Syria, and with him were Priscilla and Aquila. In Cenchrea he had his hair cut, for he was keeping a vow.
    I am a Christian man in the Devil's land, spreading the gospel man to man.
    Have you laid your burdens down?


  • #2
    I think that he did it for the benefit of those Jewish hearers. Perhaps he made a vow to not be a stumbling block for them to be able to listen to his message.
    This IGNORE button is by far one of the most useful tools I've used to keep my peace while navigating through some of the madness.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by -SEEKING- View Post
      I think that he did it for the benefit of those Jewish hearers. Perhaps he made a vow to not be a stumbling block for them to be able to listen to his message.
      That is the part I don't get. The mosaic law forbid the cutting of the hair on their temples so for Paul to cut his hair it would be a stumbling block to the Jews.
      I am a Christian man in the Devil's land, spreading the gospel man to man.
      Have you laid your burdens down?

      Comment


      • #4
        Hmm. Yeah that's a good point. I didn't know that applied to all the Jews.
        This IGNORE button is by far one of the most useful tools I've used to keep my peace while navigating through some of the madness.

        Comment


        • #5
          He could have taken the Nazirite vow, such as Samson did in the OT. It is a temporary vow where one doesn't take a razor to the hair, but at the end of the vow he would cut his hair.

          I found these footnotes:

          Acts 18:18 he had his head shaved: Paul had promised to be a "Nazirite" for a while. This meant that for the time of the promise, he could not cut his hair or drink wine. When the time was over, he would have to cut his hair and offer a sacrifice to God.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Desperaux View Post
            He could have taken the Nazirite vow, such as Samson did in the OT. It is a temporary vow where one doesn't take a razor to the hair, but at the end of the vow he would cut his hair.

            I found these footnotes:

            [url="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%2018:18&version=CEV#en-CEV-24143"]
            That is a good possible answer, is there anywhere in scripture that confirms the vow of the Nazirite?

            The other question would be. Wouldn't the Nazirite vow be voided then after Jesus did the work on the cross and instituted grace? After all Paul got all his doctrine directly from revelation by Jesus.
            I am a Christian man in the Devil's land, spreading the gospel man to man.
            Have you laid your burdens down?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TrustingFollower View Post
              That is a good possible answer, is there anywhere in scripture that confirms the vow of the Nazirite?

              The other question would be. Wouldn't the Nazirite vow be voided then after Jesus did the work on the cross and instituted grace? After all Paul got all his doctrine directly from revelation by Jesus.
              There is no scriptural proof that Paul took the Nazirite vow, but Paul certainly approved of the vow and I believe he alluded to the practice in Acts 21:20-24. He also approved of fasting and we are encouraged to fast or to sacrifice some thing to the Lord, and separate ourselves for a time from any manner of things in life to Him and His glory.

              Paul was an extremely wonderful example to us all of personal holiness, and IMO, this vow he made, whether the Nazirite vow or not, was obviously one for personal holiness and dedication to Jesus Christ and His service, and toward the perfecting and refining of his life in Christ.

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              • #8
                I believe it was a nazarite vow. But Acts doesn't specify.

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                • #9
                  I could have been a Nazarite type vow...but also possibly not. Dunno.

                  There were several vows and types of vows a person could/would make. There was one where a person would shave off their beard for humility...and a good reason why the disciples didn't recognize Jesus on the road to Emmaus. Jesus was finally seen without his beard and no one recognized him without it until the blessing and breaking of the bread at dinner.

                  Then the hands of the master would have been recognized as being the standard of which they had followed so dilligently.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Desperaux View Post
                    There is no scriptural proof that Paul took the Nazirite vow, but Paul certainly approved of the vow and I believe he alluded to the practice in Acts 21:20-24. He also approved of fasting and we are encouraged to fast or to sacrifice some thing to the Lord, and separate ourselves for a time from any manner of things in life to Him and His glory.

                    Paul was an extremely wonderful example to us all of personal holiness, and IMO, this vow he made, whether the Nazirite vow or not, was obviously one for personal holiness and dedication to Jesus Christ and His service, and toward the perfecting and refining of his life in Christ.
                    Compare these verses for a moment:

                    (Acts 15:1 [ESV])

                    The Jerusalem Council
                    But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved."

                    Paul made a point to be against FORCiNG the practises and customs of Judaism on Christians as a condition of salvation.

                    (Acts 16:3 [ESV])

                    Timothy Joins Paul and Silas
                    Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.

                    But he still practiced some of the customs... not because they were conditions of salvation. Why? Romans 12-14 might explain it some... To be brief, look at these verses...

                    (Romans 14:5 [ESV])
                    One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

                    (Romans 14:6 [ESV])
                    The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.

                    (Romans 14:7 [ESV])
                    For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.

                    WE are not bound by "Law" but by liberty, and religious observances to honor the Lord is an OPTION we have. The "sin" is binding it on others as a condition of salvation that the Lord Jesus did not bind on us.

                    yes, we do have that liberty...

                    Here are some verses on that...

                    ROM 8:21 that the creature itself also shall be set free from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.

                    1COR 10:29 but conscience, I mean, not thine own, but that of the other: for why is my liberty judged by another conscience?

                    2COR 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, but where the Spirit of [the] Lord [is, there is] liberty.

                    GAL 2:4 and [it was] on account of the false brethren brought in surreptitiously, who came in surreptitiously to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage;

                    GAL 5:13 For *ye* have been called to liberty, brethren; only [do] not [turn] liberty into an opportunity to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

                    HEB 13:23 Know that our brother Timotheus is set at liberty; with whom, if he should come soon, I will see you.

                    JAS 1:25 But *he* that fixes his view on [the] perfect law, that of liberty, and abides in [it], being not a forgetful hearer but a doer of [the] work, *he* shall be blessed in his doing.

                    JAS 2:12 So speak ye, and so act, as those that are to be judged by [the] law of liberty;

                    1PET 2:16 as free, and not as having liberty as a cloak of malice, but as God's bondmen.

                    2PET 2:19 promising them liberty, while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a man is subdued, by him is he also brought into slavery.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by freedmanISA611 View Post
                      Compare these verses for a moment:

                      (Acts 15:1 [ESV])

                      The Jerusalem Council
                      But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved."

                      Paul made a point to be against FORCiNG the practises and customs of Judaism on Christians as a condition of salvation.

                      (Acts 16:3 [ESV])

                      Timothy Joins Paul and Silas
                      Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.

                      But he still practiced some of the customs... not because they were conditions of salvation. Why? Romans 12-14 might explain it some... To be brief, look at these verses...

                      (Romans 14:5 [ESV])
                      One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

                      (Romans 14:6 [ESV])
                      The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.

                      (Romans 14:7 [ESV])
                      For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.

                      WE are not bound by "Law" but by liberty, and religious observances to honor the Lord is an OPTION we have. The "sin" is binding it on others as a condition of salvation that the Lord Jesus did not bind on us.

                      yes, we do have that liberty...

                      Here are some verses on that...

                      ROM 8:21 that the creature itself also shall be set free from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.

                      1COR 10:29 but conscience, I mean, not thine own, but that of the other: for why is my liberty judged by another conscience?

                      2COR 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, but where the Spirit of [the] Lord [is, there is] liberty.

                      GAL 2:4 and [it was] on account of the false brethren brought in surreptitiously, who came in surreptitiously to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage;

                      GAL 5:13 For *ye* have been called to liberty, brethren; only [do] not [turn] liberty into an opportunity to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

                      HEB 13:23 Know that our brother Timotheus is set at liberty; with whom, if he should come soon, I will see you.

                      JAS 1:25 But *he* that fixes his view on [the] perfect law, that of liberty, and abides in [it], being not a forgetful hearer but a doer of [the] work, *he* shall be blessed in his doing.

                      JAS 2:12 So speak ye, and so act, as those that are to be judged by [the] law of liberty;

                      1PET 2:16 as free, and not as having liberty as a cloak of malice, but as God's bondmen.

                      2PET 2:19 promising them liberty, while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a man is subdued, by him is he also brought into slavery.
                      Yep, free indeed!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Not to throw a ---->monkey wrench--->into the mix but many good commentators say that the shoring of the hair refers to Aquila and not Paul. So there --->
                        ♪ Each day may Christ become clearer, His Cross dearer, Our Hope nearer. ♫

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by crossnote View Post
                          Not to throw a ---->monkey wrench--->into the mix but many good commentators say that the shoring of the hair refers to Aquila and not Paul. So there --->
                          I've read that, too!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TrustingFollower View Post
                            That is the part I don't get. The mosaic law forbid the cutting of the hair on their temples so for Paul to cut his hair it would be a stumbling block to the Jews.
                            There's nothing wrong with totally shaving the head, even Nazarites did that eventually (Num6:18). For Jews it was acceptable as a sign of mourning:

                            Job 1:20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.

                            Jews could shave entirely their head, but not partly. It's possible that what Lev19,21, Jer9 refers to is primarily Egyptian styling where certain parts of the hair were left - like a mohican.

                            Leviticus 19:27 You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard.

                            Leviticus 21:5 They shall not make bald patches on their heads, nor shave off the edges of their beards, nor make any cuts on their body.

                            Jeremiah 9:26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, the sons of Ammon, Moab, and all who dwell in the desert who cut the corners of their hair, for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in heart.”


                            ...but difficult to know from ancient pictures as so many Egyptian men shaved their heads, partly, then wore wigs.
                            http://historylink101.net/egypt_1/a-hair_styles.htm

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JohnDB View Post
                              Jesus was finally seen without his beard...
                              Where does it say that Jesus was seen without his beard? It says he appeared in another form but it doesn't mention his beard.

                              After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. (Mark 16:12)

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