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Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, (1 Corinthians 11:14)

Why is Jesus often depicted in paintings with long hair, if it's disgraceful for men?

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"Long" would be relative to a cultural standard at the very least. Also, we really do not know whether or not Jesus had long hair. Finally, the Nazarite vow included never shaving one's hair. Samson's hair was supposed to never be cut. – Narnian Jan 8 '14 at 18:38
History channel once made a serie about the real face of Jesus. They think Jesus had actually short hair. However, I am not really sure about how trustworthy this serie is... – 2pietjuh2 Jan 8 '14 at 18:51
We have no way of knowing even what Jesus looked like let alone whether or not he had long hair, but one thing is for sure any idea that Jesus had about long hair or short hair had a lot more authority to it than any precept of man. In short which ever Jesus chose it was the right decision. – BYE Jan 8 '14 at 18:53
Years ago, I had let my hair get long, and my grandmother expressed her displeasure. I said to her, "You know, Grandma, Jesus had long hair." To which she replied, "Yes, but it looked good on him." – Ben Miller Jan 8 '14 at 23:09
wait a minute, @Narnian, Jesus was not a Nazrite and the contrast between Jesus and John the Baptist was explicit. Jesus drank wine. – robert bristow-johnson Jan 10 '14 at 1:08

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Even if the premise that Christ had longer hair is true, it would not matter as that is not the point of this passage. If it is read in context i.e. read the chapter before and after, it is clear that Paul is talking about how Jewish customs and how even though they are no longer necessary due to Christ's sacrifice, they should still be observed if you are causing your brother to stumble:

"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the Church of God" - 1 Corinthians 10: 31-32

Then he goes on in the start of Chapter 11 to talk about the custom of women covering their head to worship and men uncovering their head to worship and why that custom was in place: because angels needed to cover their head out of reverence to God. I'm not a Jewish custom expert but I do know that the point of this passage was not to show that it is disgraceful for men to have long hair but to show that you must respect the customs of the people you are around in church. This is shown by the ending phrase of that section:

"If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice [of head covering], nor do the churches of God. - 1 Corintians 11:16

It is important to always read God's word in context as it was meant or else you run the danger of missing the point.

Hope this helps :)

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Thanks so much for your answer. You're right, I should have read it in more context. – user1477388 Jan 9 '14 at 21:20

Being as there is no image of Jesus that has any historical credibility, the question is based on a faulty premise. We simply do not know what Jesus' hair looked like.

The paintings to which you allude tend to be those painted by the European masters in the 16th & 17th Centuries. At the time, it was fashionable for men to have longer hair, and thus it was not "a disgrace".

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The question also asks, "why is he always depicted in paintings with long hair?" – user1477388 Jan 8 '14 at 23:22
Welcome to the site. As you're a new visitor, I'd like to recommend the following posts, which are meant to help newcomers "learn the ropes": help page, How we are different than other sites? – David Jan 8 '14 at 23:43
@DavidStratton Thank you for the warm welcome. You know those posts really are helpful! (Sadly, it's just me - hadn't noticed I wasn't logged in on my phone. I'm not really sock-puppeting here. Promise!) – Affable Geek Jan 9 '14 at 0:35
I wondered why a new user was using your pic. – David Jan 9 '14 at 1:15

It is important to remember that Jesus is God's Word in the flesh, thus an eternal being. Although He entered into human consciousness during a period in history, He did not live in that period alone. The Son of God was always present even before the foundations of the earth and forevermore. If Jesus were portrayed with a certain haircut, it would put Him in a period. The portrait of Jesus cannot be presented with a hair-style or a haircut because He is an eternal being: the same reason why angels always have long hair.

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Welcome to Stack Exchange, we are glad you are here. Please consider registering an account to fully take advantage of what this site has to offer. Also, be sure to check out the site tour and in particular what constitutes a good answer. Your answer is not bad, but would be significantly improved by adding references to show this is a common Christian belief (which is on-topic), not just your own opinion (which is off-topic). – ThaddeusB Sep 24 at 3:04

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