"Nothing more impressive than an intellectual and spiritual approach to seeking truth and a willingness to embrace it unconditionally."

Friday, December 31, 2010

Long Hair: Cut or Uncut? Part 1

"but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering."
1 Corinthians 11:15 ESV

The issue of the Christian woman and her hair has been a fundamental tenant of separation among Apostolics for many years. While there are many facets of this issue that could be discussed, I have chose to focus on one. What does "long hair" mean? I have chosen to define it in two ways: 1. The Definition of the word itself. 2. Its usage else were in scripture.


Firstly, the Greek word for "long hair" is komaƍ. It means, "to let the hair grow." If one cuts their hair they are not letting it grow. This is evidenced by the fact that if a man has "long hair" it is a shame to him (1 Corinthians 11:14); that is if a man has uncut hair. Long hair on a man is uncut hair; therefore long hair on a woman would also be uncut hair. Uncut hair is a shame to a man and a glory to a woman. As John Gill said, "But if a woman have long hair,.... And wears it, without cutting it, as men do"

Secondly, the way long hair is used elsewhere in scripture would seem to demand the idea of uncut, or not trimmed.
"They shall not shave their heads or let their locks grow long; they shall surely trim the hair of their heads." Ezekiel 44:20
In this verse it is clear that trimming the hair would prevent it from being long. Long hair is untrimmed hair. This is not the only verse that indicates this.
"All the days of his vow of separation, no razor shall touch his head. Until the time is completed for which he separates himself to the LORD, he shall be holy. He shall let the locks of hair of his head grow long." Numbers 6:5 ESV
The command to the one under the Nazirite Vow is: "He shall let the locks of hair of his head grow long." This is set in contrast to, "no razor shall touch his head." Clearly the Nazirite vow prohibited any cutting of the hair. John Gill says, "he might not shave his beard, nor cut off his locks, and shave his head, nor cut short his locks with a pair of scissors, nor any with anything by which the hair may be removed, as Ben Gersom; nor pluck off his hair with his hands, as Maimonides says (x); but let it grow as long as it would during the time of his separation"

The traditional Apostolic view on uncut hair on women is correct and should be taught as doctrine. I am thankful for the Godly ladies in our churches, especially my wife, who honors God and their husbands by not cutting their hair. To all the Godly ladies of Pentecost I say, thank you.


  1. Good teaching.Bro john.Email me youre adress.I just heard one of the best teaching on hair at campmeeting here in virginia.i would like to send you a copy.i think you would really enjoy it.

    1. I would to receive a copy.
      My email is sandraloseby@gmail.com

  2. Hello, I just stumbled on your blog while studying a topic about divorce and remarriage. Subsequently I agree with you with your logic and understanding on divorce and remarriage. Actually I have even used the same proof about the "twain shall be one flesh" scripture to note that the context is cleary speaking of a married person(s) whom has consemated the marriage. But I have to disagree with you on the uncut hair doctrine. Here is my opinion.

    Please consider the following:

    First I would like to point out in the beginning of the chapter Paul lays out the hierarchy of GOD, then JESUS, then Husband, Then Wife. I believe one must look at the point of the chapter and consider what instruction Paul on behalf of God is trying to make here. In my opinion I believe that he is establishing two things.
    1.A man should appear like a man(short Hair)No Gray Area permitted here and a woman to appear as a woman
    2. That is was a shame to a man to grow his hair out in an effeminate manner because he would be shaming who. Christ. Also woman ought to have long hair as a sign of subjection to her husband. Remember the hierarchy above, thinking of the woman if she carried herself with boy short hair(shaven or shorn) it would be as though she is usurping authority over the husband(a shame unto her). And who would she be shaming if her hair was like her husbands? (Her Head, meaning her husband and it rolls uphill from there)
    Please note...
    Acts 18:18
    This verse alone describes the definition of what it means to have shorn hair if the words in questions are shaven and shorn. Shaven being with a razor and Shorn being VERY short. So short in fact it might as well be shaven. Instead of using an outside source to obtain a definition why not use scripture to compare scripture.

    Also when using the logic that a woman must have uncut hair to fulfil the scripture about her hair being a covering, we must consider that this must be used universally equal to a man. If a woman in order to be covered must have uncut hair. Then a man in order to be uncovered or(unashamed)must have cut hair. What if the mans hair was long like a womans ought to be...yet cut. According to that logic is his hair fulfilling that scripture. Yes.

    And finally when you examine the final passage Paul gives on the subject he states "If any man seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God"...

    For example, a woman feels condemned to cut her hair so she burns off the tips, or rips off the tips so that she can have maintained looking hair while still trying to fulfill the uncut rule. It is better for her not to be contentious about it.
    I would agree that it is a safe way to view this scripture about being uncut for the woman. But it doesn't work universally for the husbands. Please note also that this scripture is speaking to married persons and not of children.
    My wife has uncut hair and I have been trying so hard to see the fruits of that and trying to make it fit with that scripture but I struggle to deny the very point that the apostle was trying to make about the man being above the woman and the woman to be into subjection to the man, man to Christ, and Christ to God.

    I am not sure why I felt to post a comment. To be honest this is my very first comment every written on the internet concerning these topics. If you would like to send me an email about the above please feel free to do so. garretjoel22@aol.com

  3. I appreciate what you wrote and that you took the time to comment. I agree with a number of things that you said. I agree with your definition of shorn; however, you did not address the biblical definition of long that I gave.

    Let me shorten it for you, using your definitions of shorn and shaven. Paul is saying: If it is shame for her to be shorn or shaven, then let it be LONG. I think that I provided sufficient evidence that "long hair" in the bible is "uncut hair."

  4. @ garretjoel22@aol.com: Your point that it addressed wives is something that should be considered.

    I think that I would be wisdom for that same symbol of submission, long uncut hair, to be in place to honor her father before she gets married. It would also serve as sign to her husband of the kind of wife she was seeking to be.

  5. I am interested in seeing Part 2. I am a UPC Pastor's wife and am always looking for more insight into this subject. Thanks.

  6. Here are some questions you might want to consider John: