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Discussion Topic - Head Coverings.

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I think that people should also take into account the hairstyle that is flattering to their face shape and facial features, as well as they type of hair that they have.


The Bible says women are to have long hair and men are to have short hair. Their style is not the issue here. So long as their hair is long for women or short for men, they can then style it feminine or masculine.

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I think that comes (well, at least, for some people...) thinking that since He was called a Nazarene (from Nazareth) they think He was a Nazarite, which He wasn't (confusion of terms...?). John the Immerser, however, was.

That's my theory, anyway.

She's not being legalistic no matter what your definition of that word is. The Bible clearly teaches women are to have long hair and men short, no matter whether hair is woman's covering or not.
God bless,
Joel ><>.
2 Chronicles 7:14.
How long is long? 4 inches? 5 inches? a foot?
Are not 5 inches longer than 4? Edited by Standing Firm In Christ

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How long is long? 4 inches? 5 inches? a foot?
Are not 5 inches longer than 4?


Since the Scriptures don't give a specific number you are not going to get anyone here to give you a number. They will only give a very vague answer that you can't disprove (or prove for that matter). An answer like: "you'll know it when you see it" or "long is to the collar," etc.

I suspect that if God wanted us to know the specific number, he would have given us instructions like "A woman's hair should be long and a man's hair short. Short hair is anything under a cubit and long hair is over a cubit."

As the specific number isn't given by God, it is up to each person's conviction from the Holy Spirit. Or, you could belong to a Church with a very domineering Pastor who will tell you how to wear your hair. That way is easier in the end. You don't have to pray and seek the Holy Spirit's conviction, you can just settle for the "man of God" to be your decider. I wonder how a Christian answer's to Jesus in that day. "Honest Lord, I followed Pastor Leader and he told me to wear it this way."

Perhaps this wasn't really a big deal to the Lord and thus he didn't give a precise standard? Perhaps it is based upon the accepted cultural norm at any given time? Perhaps this was just guidance from Paul given the local customs (similar to one or two other areas where Paul indicated it was not a command from the Lord)? Edited by trc123

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If a woman's hair isn't obviously long then it's too short. If a man's hair isn't obviously short then it's too long.

Simply following that rule would solve many problems. If we are in doubt as to whether our hair is long or short enough then it isn't.

Besides all this, our hair should not be a matter of what we prefer to call long or short, but as to what gives a proper testimony to others. We are to consider others above ourselves and give no occasion for others to stumble and avoid the appearance of evil. Our hair should be obviously long or short for the sake of others, not only so we can believe our hair is right in our own eyes.

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I think that the point is, we should be able so identify an man and a woman. This also applies to clothes which should easily identify a man or a woman.


So it is a subjective standard, depending upon the one doing the evaluating and not an objective standard?

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IMHO, 1 Cor. 11 is to be interpreted in its cultural context. As are the passages in the old testament which say that a woman is not to wear men's clothing. Many people interpret men's clothing to be pants, but when the passage was written, people were usually all wearing skirts. 1 Cor. 11 says that it is a shame for a woman to be uncovered and a shame for a man to have long hair. Notice it does not say sin, but shame. The point of 1 Cor. 11 and the OT texts on clothing is that women are not to make themselves appear as men and men as women. The covering in 1 Cor. 11 is a sign for angels that the woman is married. Now, why would God's angels need a sign to know someone is married? The angels in this case are pastors, as in Revelation. It is for people to know that this woman is married. In our culture, we have wedding rings for that instead of a cloth over someone's head.

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I've heard so many different (some strange, but most pretty sensible) interpretations of this passage. I think it is pretty obvious from the passage (v. 15) that a woman's hair, which "is given her for a covering," "counts" as a "head-covering." I think it is also obvious that the ancient Corinthian women's custom was to wear an additional covering of some sort (Mideastern-type veil/headdress) to worship. Paul appeals to this sense of custom when he says in verse 13, "Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray to God uncovered?"

I don't think God intends us to agonize over this particular passage...just to do some evaluation. Verse 7 says, "the woman is the glory of the man." Verse 8 goes on to emphasize that the woman was created for the man. If these things are true, then the woman need only consult her husband (assuming he is saved and they worship together) as to how he thinks her hair should look (how long, etc.), as he thinks about this passage. We get so caught up with terms like "long" and "short" that we miss the real message of the passage: that women should show by their appearance that they are in submission to their husbands and church leaders. In ancient times, the distinctive "look" was the wearing of actual head coverings made out of fabric. Today, in American culture, it has more to do with hair (which is given to women as a covering also).

We have to face it: "long" and "short" are really comparative terms, and I usually think of those terms in relation to how others compare with me. IOW, my hair falls right at chin length, but I don't think of my hairstyle as a "short" hairstyle, because I've seen plenty of other women whose hair is "shorter" than mine...and mine has body, fullness, and shape, and flips out at the bottom. No one could mistake my hairstyle for a man's hairstyle, although many men I've seen do have longer hair than mine. Not saying my hairstyle is "more godly" than those who wear their hair shorter; those women, like me, can think of women who wear their hair even shorter! etc. Surely there is a point at which it gets ridiculous...and it's my husband's job (mine, too) to see that I don't get to that point.

EDIT: I think that most women in our culture sense the "need" to cover their heads...There's a bit of a difference between male and female cancer patients who have lost their hair due to chemo treatments, and I don't think it's all due to vanity...just cultural expectations. Our culture doesn't consider it "proper" (for lack of a better word) for women to appear in public bald. Every female chemo patient I've known buys either a wig or hats or scarves or something to cover her head. Also, most women under "normal" circumstances do not suffer from hair loss as aging men do. Maybe that's part of what Paul meant when he said that the woman's hair was "given to her" to act as a covering. I know, I'm rambling... Time for bed.

Edited by Annie

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The cultural context is very important in these verses. Temple prostitutes of that day wore their hair short or shaved, and no artificial headcovering. (Short being above the nape of the neck in that day...)

Paul was adjuring the women in the Corinthian church not to appear as temple prostitutes. Verse 6 could have been referring to a veil covering the hair, but it was also definitely the hair length that was in his mind (if we look at the historical context).

As to absolutely needing a scarf or something to cover, this passage is the only one which references any type of covering. Other passages in which women's appearance is mentioned talk about broided hair...I think it would be pretty obvious that if scripture is remarking on not wearing elaborate hair styles: the hair was seen! :runforhills:

John - I realize that you don't agree with my ideas, and that's fine! But the interesting thing is I've since heard there are others who have come to the same conclusion. Absolute standard by which to measure all women? No, but it is something to think about.

Long is long and short is short - but the big debate has always been (at least by many who want to see men with hair below their ears and women with hair above them...) what is long and what is short?

The passage, as Annie pointed out, deals with women being the glory of their men. It deals with submission to our head as well (both male and female). And I think trc hit the nail on the head when he said it was an individual thing: each man is the head of his home, and it is up to him to lead that home in a godly manner. My husband may want my hair longer than, say, Annie's husband. So, my hair would be longer (unless Annie preferred hers longer and her hubby didn't care...).

Testimony is vital - but there would be no real testimony if the heart issue that Paul is addressing here (submission to the proper head) isn't dealt with.

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The cultural context is very important in these verses. Temple prostitutes of that day wore their hair short or shaved, and no artificial headcovering. (Short being above the nape of the neck in that day...)

Paul was adjuring the women in the Corinthian church not to appear as temple prostitutes. Verse 6 could have been referring to a veil covering the hair, but it was also definitely the hair length that was in his mind (if we look at the historical context).

As to absolutely needing a scarf or something to cover, this passage is the only one which references any type of covering. Other passages in which women's appearance is mentioned talk about broided hair...I think it would be pretty obvious that if scripture is remarking on not wearing elaborate hair styles: the hair was seen! :runforhills:

John - I realize that you don't agree with my ideas, and that's fine! But the interesting thing is I've since heard there are others who have come to the same conclusion. Absolute standard by which to measure all women? No, but it is something to think about.

Long is long and short is short - but the big debate has always been (at least by many who want to see men with hair below their ears and women with hair above them...) what is long and what is short?

The passage, as Annie pointed out, deals with women being the glory of their men. It deals with submission to our head as well (both male and female). And I think trc hit the nail on the head when he said it was an individual thing: each man is the head of his home, and it is up to him to lead that home in a godly manner. My husband may want my hair longer than, say, Annie's husband. So, my hair would be longer (unless Annie preferred hers longer and her hubby didn't care...).

Testimony is vital - but there would be no real testimony if the heart issue that Paul is addressing here (submission to the proper head) isn't dealt with.


:thumb::amen:

May I add that while the Scriptures are very clear that our testimony in front of the lost is important, one must remember the following:

1. ******Now listen closely, I am not talking about standards given in the Scriptures, we know to follow those.******

Our testimony is in relation to those that we live among today. Not those that lived 100 or even 2,000 years ago. It does me no good to go hyper on a subjective "standard" that was set many years ago and live my testimony to that, when that is no longer even a recognizable cultural measurement in the current (or contemporary) times.

2. Many of the external items that we IFBs obsess over (reminder: not talking about Scriptural commands) as being important to our testimony are actually viewed by the lost person as not of any real import or substance concerning whether they view the believer as a bad, marginal or good Christian. They mostly look at how the Christian treats others, conducts their business, family and social dealings, dresses appropriately, has appropriate speech, integrity and such in order to ascertain if the Christian is the "real deal."

Most would think this discussion about the precise definition of long or short hair as being absolutely ridiculous. This would be a testimony to them that Christians are indeed more worried about the wrong things and not concentrating on the matters of the heart and how we treat others. Length of hair has nothing to do with sin in their eyes. They see sin as lying, cheating, adultery, stealing, hatred, being verbally abusive toward others, profanity, etc.

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I can't even count the number of nonbelievers I've heard comment on professing Christian men and women's clothing, their hair length, their mannerisms, the places they go and any number of other "little" things as they explain why they believe Christianity isn't real and why Christians are so fake.

It's actually amazing at how much Scripture some lost folks know. When they see professing Christians not abiding by what they do know this places a stumbling block before them and the testimony of the offending professing Christians is ruined.

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At what point does strict obedience to such rules become legalism? The rules given to Gentile converts in Acts 15 appear to be concerned partly with not giving offence to Jews.

Act 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

The diet direction is quite different from fornication (which should need specific forbidding.) Jesus said, Mat 15:11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. And Paul writes: 1Cr 8:4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol [is] nothing in the world, and that [there is] none other God but one. ..... 10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; 11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?

Jesus was not concerned about offending the scruples of his enemies, & Paul was concerned not to offend the conscience of weaker brethren, & unbelieving hosts.

Men wearing head coverings is forbidden, yet Jews wear their skull-caps.

Were women in Corinth in a situation where offence would be given if their heads were uncovered?

I think we are free not to take offence at a lady without a covering, & should not embarrass one coming into the church. If they feel they should cover, then do so. There are more serious things to concern ourselves with - particularly revealing clothing.

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Men wearing head coverings is forbidden, yet Jews wear their skull-caps.

Was that not for the church? Is there an OT command for the Jews to that effect? 1Co 11:14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? However Samson was not to take a razor to his head as he was to be a nazarite, on the other hand a nazarite was to shave his head. Num 6:18. I am confused.
Were women in Corinth in a situation where offence would be given if their heads were uncovered?

I think we are free not to take offence at a lady without a covering, & should not embarrass one coming into the church. If they feel they should cover, then do so. There are more serious things to concern ourselves with - particularly revealing clothing.


I have visited chapels where there were a number of headscarves hanging in the entrance hall, with a note that any woman without a hat was asked to take one and wear it. Edited by Invicta

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I realize that this thread is almost a year old, but I guess I just had to put in my :twocents: . I get headaches--a lot of headaches-- and if I let my hair get much longer than my shoulders, I get a raging headache that lasts for days.I also get one that won't quit when I wear anything in my hair or on my head. That includes barrettes and scrunchies as well as winter hats.
I have spent a lot of time on this passage in 1 Corinthians because all I want to do is obey God, and I tend to be a literalist about it. If the KJB says to do it, then that's what I want to do.
I know that Paul used different words that were translated as covering. I found that ancient Greek had synonyms. I also know that the hookers in Corinth kept their heads shaved. Therefore, after much study and prayer I decided that I believe in headaches, hookers and synonyms. What it comes down to, for me, is that if God had meant me to have very long hair and keep a veil on, He would have made it possible for me to do it. :D

Only addressing the last sentence. That's not good reasoning. Just because we can't do something easily, without sacrifice or without pain doesn't mean we "can't" do it and it certainly doesn't mean God doesn't mean for us to do it.

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bdlinda - please don't stop posting just because someone disagreed with a statement in your post...as you lurk, you'll see that we all disagree with one another often. :icon_mrgreen:

I agree with John that the "reasoning" behind the last statement in your post might not fit scriptural guidelines, but I do agree with the gist of what you said. While God does often call on us to hard things, I don't believe that wearing ultra-long hair and extra coverings on the head are part of that. There are many women who cannot wear hair down to the middle of their backs or lower, and who cannot wear things on their heads. There is nowhere in scripture that states that said women are to suffer in pain every day of their lives just so their head is "covered" in a way that some man dictates is scriptural (no, I am not in any way fingerpointing at anyone on this forum, so please, men, don't think I am speaking of any of you...I am just speaking in general). If your hair is obviously womanly (and very few people would dispute that hair to the shoulders isn't long!), then you have no need to fear that God is displeased with your hair.

I'm sorry you can't even wear barrettes, etc. In the summer, I have to wear my hair up in a bun because it is just so hot!!!

Invicta, being a Nazarite was a special case. Vows were taken (by both men and women) to be separated to God during the duration of the vow. Nothing from the vine was to be ingested (that would include grapes, raisins, wine - whether fermented or not, and even grape leaves [some countries cook with grape leaves]), no dead body was to be touched, and no razor was to touch the hair until the vow ended.

In Samson's case, he was a Nazarite from the womb. So, all of his life was to be lived under this vow. Long hair was the outward sign to others that a person was under the Nazarite vow. The Bible gives clear instruction to handling the ending of the vow as well. At the end of it, the hair is to be shaved off completely and burned in the fire. That was for both men and women. (For men, long hair during the vow made them stand out. For women, shaved heads afterward did. Both things God does not want in people today.) When Samson allowed Delilah to cut his hair, he went against the vow. Now, he personally did not take the vow - it was put on him from before birth. But he was to be held to it. And so, God's blessing of super strength was taken from him. (But in reading the story, it appears that this wasn't the only way he disobeyed the vow: he scooped honey out of the dead lion's body, and he went near a vineyard more than once...granted, that isn't the same as partaking of the fruit of the vine, but that, along with the feasting done at his wedding, kind of gives the idea that Samson wasn't too worried about living out his vow).

The vow was basically ended, by his actions. But it wasn't ended in the way God said it should be (of course, with Samson, it was supposed to be lifelong - Samuel was another lifer). After he sought forgiveness, God granted it. His hair began to grow again; the vow was in full force and many Philistines died.

It seems strange to us that God would have men grow their hair long as a sign of separation, or that He would have women shave their heads as a sign of completion of a vow. But the idea was that it was to be noticeable to everyone. Many people try to say standards of outward appearance aren't important to God because He said God looks on the heart, man looks on the outward. But what He meant there wasn't that our outward wasn't important. It was that our outward is to give men (and women) indication of where our spiritual loyalties lie. With God, in obedience to His Word, or with the philosophy and culture of the world.

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It seems strange to us that God would have men grow their hair long as a sign of separation, or that He would have women shave their heads as a sign of completion of a vow. But the idea was that it was to be noticeable to everyone. Many people try to say standards of outward appearance aren't important to God because He said God looks on the heart, man looks on the outward. But what He meant there wasn't that our outward wasn't important. It was that our outward is to give men (and women) indication of where our spiritual loyalties lie. With God, in obedience to His Word, or with the philosophy and culture of the world.

:amen: Well said!

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Thank you for your kind words. I realize that my last statement sounded flippant. That's just my way of boiling things down to something easy to keep in mind quickly. I really did spend a lot of time on this. I'm sorry I came across badly. I also don't want to cause any problems, especially those that might get me in trouble with the mods.
Linda

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Thank you for your kind words. I realize that my last statement sounded flippant. That's just my way of boiling things down to something easy to keep in mind quickly. I really did spend a lot of time on this. I'm sorry I came across badly. I also don't want to cause any problems, especially those that might get me in trouble with the mods.
Linda

Never fear, you didn't come across badly at all, nor cause any problems!

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Never fear, you didn't come across badly at all, nor cause any problems!

I agree. There's a lot of debate on this forum, which helps me understand why I believe what I do and, conversely, helps me understand more fully the reasoning behind any opposing viewpoints. I do hope you will feel comfortable continuing to participate in these forums. :icon_smile:

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I agree. There's a lot of debate on this forum, which helps me understand why I believe what I do and, conversely, helps me understand more fully the reasoning behind any opposing viewpoints. I do hope you will feel comfortable continuing to participate in these forums. :icon_smile:

I'm in agreement with both of these ladies and I'm looking forward to reading more of your postings.

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..
It seems strange to us that God would have men grow their hair long as a sign of separation, or that He would have women shave their heads as a sign of completion of a vow. But the idea was that it was to be noticeable to everyone. Many people try to say standards of outward appearance aren't important to God because He said God looks on the heart, man looks on the outward. But what He meant there wasn't that our outward wasn't important. It was that our outward is to give men (and women) indication of where our spiritual loyalties lie. With God, in obedience to His Word, or with the philosophy and culture of the world.


Happy Christian:

I guess also it goes to show that, since there are some things in Scripture which may seem unusual to us from a dispensational point of view, we need not be quick to make assumptions about people who may be coming from a different angle from ours.

Blessings.

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