Long Hair On Men

Q. Re: What Did Jesus Look Like? I was reading your response about what Jesus looked like, and it reminded me of something I’d read elsewhere about Jesus and long hair. The person cited 1 Cor. 11:14-15. “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.”

If men wore their hair long in the 1st century (as I’ve always believed), then why would Paul say that long hair is dishonorable to a man?

A. 1 Cor. 11:14-15 is a relative statement. In Paul’s time women let their hair grow long enough to come down almost to their waist. But men didn’t let their hair grow below their shoulders. Today we think a man with shoulder length hair has very long hair, but in Paul’s day it was the norm. What was dishonoring was for a man to let his hair grow so long it resembled a woman’s hair.

This is similar to the prohibition against women dressing like men and men dressing like women (Deut. 22:5). It was not meant to prevent women from wearing pants to church. Neither sex wore pants in Biblical times. It was a prohibition against “cross dressing”, where women dress to present themselves as men and men dress to present themselves as women.

Share Button