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Uncut hair on women

Submitted: 12/28/2004
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Question: I have been in the apostolic church for about 15 years. I agree completely with what I have read on your web site. These are things I have had questions about for years, because I like to study the Bible and so much of what I was being taught did not line up with the Word of God. I would like to know what you have found in the Bible concerning 'uncut' hair for women. I agree with long hair but cannot see where trimming and keeping it looking nice is wrong. My hair is past my waist and I do trim the ends occasionally but do not cut off inches at a time. Please let me know your findings from the Bible.

Answer: Concerning Paul's teaching on hair found in 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, the question today revolves around how the term 'long' should be defined. Does it simply mean 'long' or does it mean 'uncut.' From a pastoral viewpoint, I have always taught that we must interpret it as meaning 'uncut' since how could we possibly establish a definitive length that constitutes 'long.' Your hair would certainly be considered long by anyone's definition, but suppose you cut twelve inches off, would it still be long? Well, it may still be longer than the hair of some women I know who have never cut their hair at all. Since that is the case, why would it matter if you cut a foot off? But I think you can sense that God would not be pleased with that.

The term 'long' is relative, since not all women's hair grows as long as yours. Therefore, the only consistent definition of 'long' must be 'uncut.' This definition is the equalizer which enables all women to have biblically long hair. By this definition, every women has long hair the moment she commits herself to no longer cutting her hair. Otherwise, some women just getting saved would not be able to pray until after enough time had elapsed for their hair to grow out. I hope you are able to follow my reasoning.