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Did Jesus wear Long Hair & Beard?

aymon de albatrus

"Does not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame to him?" (1Co 11:14)

"I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting." (Isa 50:6)


No matter where you look, Jesus and His apostles are always portrayed as having long unkempt greasy hair. Filmmakers are always choosing e feminine man with long hair to portray the figure of Jesus and naturally people believe that, being mass brain washed. To be sure there are NO true pictures or sketches or descriptions on how Jesus looked like, thus these million of portraits of Jesus as ALL LIES, nothing else but fantastications of exalted artists. Furthermore ALL these presumed "true" portraits of the Lord go against the second commandment.  Besides, that concept would make Scripture false for IT says: "Does not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame to him?" (1Co 11:14). BUT we know that Scripture cannot be broken (Joh 10:35), thus if Jesus had long hair that would have been a shameful thing to Him, and surely NO ONE is saying that there was anything shameful in Jesus, the Son of God; the perfect man.

From records we understand that the only time a male Jew was required to have long hair was when he had taken a Nazarite vow. During this vow he could not touch the fruit of the vine, or a dead body, during the days of his separation (Num 6:1-21), his "consecration (separation) of his God is upon his head" (Num 6:7). And, anyway, the vow was temporary and when the days of his vow were accomplished he "shall shave his head" (Num 6:9), which indicates that long hair was not the norm for men.

Jesus was never under such a vow. He did grow up in Nazareth, fulfilling a prophecy that He would be called a Nazarene (Mat 2:23; Mar 1:9; Luk 1:26; Joh 1:45). This is why early Christians were sometimes referred to as Nazarenes. However, neither of these words has anything whatsoever to do with a Nazarite vow. This is a gross misinterpretation that Jesus had taken a Nazarite vow. BUT, Jesus was NOT a Nazarite, He was a Nazerene because He lived at Nazareth. They are two different things.

Those under a Nazarite vow could not drink wine or touch a dead body, BUT Christ did drink wine (Mat 11:19) and, on occasion, touched a dead body (Mat 9:25; Luk 7:11-18). Had He been under a Nazarite vow, He would not have done either of these things.

Moreover, those under this vow grew their hair long as a sign of humiliation and when the time of the vow was over, the man under the vow was to shave his head (Num 6:18) thus ending this shameful period (which normally lasted for 30 days, and rarely beyond 100 days). We know it was shameful for a man to wear long hair because the infallible Word of God tells us so "if a man have long hair, it is a shame to him" (1Co 11:14)

Rebellious men of today who wear their hair long are anything but humble. Rather, they are very proud of their long effeminate locks and go to great lengths to show them off "because they value". It is a sign of pride. It is also a sign of defiance against God and man. It is a mark of satanic confusion, not pertaining to God: "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints." (1Co 14:33)

From the very beginning of the human race God made a clear visible distinction between male and female: "Male and female created He them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created." (Gen 5:2) These clear differences are not only physical but also behavioural with clear difference in roles. When God created man and woman He planted within their genome a clear identification that was intended to respect their respective roles in life, as ordained by God. That identification must be highly visible without any chance of being mistaken, both bodily and in dressing, involving the most prominent part of the anatomy, from the top of the head to the toes.

Long hair was given to woman as a covering depicting her status in creation as a derivative of the man: "But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering." (1Co 11:15) For "the woman is the glory of the man" whilst man is "the image and glory of God" and because of that he "ought not to cover his head " for long hair pertain to woman as a sign of submission to the man, being his glory.

If this is the distinction order of God for mankind would Jesus go against that? Would Jesus wear long hair to resemble a woman? Was He not a Son rather than a daughter? Did He not come to carry out the will of the Father perfectly? "Jesus said to them, My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish his work." (Joh 4:34)

The same differentiative principle applies also to the clothing worn by men and women. "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do such are an abomination unto the LORD thy God" (Deu 22:5). Men and women must also wear different shaped clothes to clearly identify and separate the sexes for He created then "male and female created He them".

Men with long hair (by default effeminate) come under the judgement of God, for He says that "neither...adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind... shall inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 6:9).

God is very severe and strict with His creation to keep the differences, for example when the "sons of God" (the fallen angels) "left their first estate...even as Sodom...in like manner" (Jud 1:6-7),"took wives of all that they chose" (Gen 6:1-4), God "cast them down to hell" (2Pe 2:4). They had crossed the boundaries set by God for relationships and came under the terrible immediate judgement from God with no ‘second chance’. "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (Heb 10:31)

To the waywardly effeminate men and masculine women of today we say that God commands men to be men, to behave like men, and to look like men and similarly women to be women, to act like women, and to look like women: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap." (Gal 6:7)

Jesus would have looked like any other Jewish man of His time. He would have been a normal, healthy, masculine looking man. As a carpenter, He spent most of His life working outdoors (Mar 6:3) and certainly would not have had long ‘beautiful’ overflowing hair interfering with his dusty, hard sweaty job. He did not look like an effeminate weakling with long hair. Isaiah many centuries before Christ prophetically describes Him as an ordinary man in appearance: "For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he has no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him." (Isa 53:2) No ‘beautiful’ flowing blond long hair with golden locks on our Lord.

On a number of occasions, He was able to blend into a crowd because He looked just like everyone else (Luk 4:30; Joh 8:59; 10:39). If Jesus had long hair, contrary to the accepted style of the time, it would have been unnecessary for Judas to use a special sign, a kiss, to point Him out to His enemies. Christ would have stood out from the crowd and all that Judas would had to do was to tell the Pharisees "look, it is that guy with beautiful long flowing hair with locks" without having need to go near to Jesus, exposing himself, to accuse Him.

But when the idea of imagining Christ with long hair started?

In the fourth century it became common for many Gentile peoples throughout the Roman Empire (who had long worshiped pagan idols) to begin identifying their deities of old with the new comers: Jesus, Mary, and the Apostles and other personalities from the Old and New Testaments. One particular deity that seemed to blend together the attributes of several gods into a unified portrayal of deity was the Egyptian god "Serapis". This god had been famous for 600 years in Egypt and now his worship was found all over the Roman Empire. He was equated with the Greek Zeus as early Christian images seem to show

Serapis (Sarapis) may have finally had certain ties with the early Christian community. There were certainly some similarities between Serapis and the Hebrew God. Serapis was a supreme god, and it seems that some early worshippers of Christ amongst the Gentiles could have possibly worshipped Serapis either purposefully, or confusing him with Christ, possibly due to the resemblance of the words Chrestus (Christus).

A correspondence of Emperor Hadrian refers to Alexandrian worshippers of Serapis calling themselves Bishops of Christ is of interest:

"Egypt, which you commended to me, my dearest Servianus, I have found to be wholly fickle and inconsistent, and continually wafted about by every breath of fame. The worshipers of Serapis (here) are called Christians, and those who are devoted to the god Serapis (I find), call themselves Bishops of Christ."  Hadrian to Servianus, 134 A.D.

Nevertheless, how great confusion between Serapis and Christ could have existed is really somewhat questionable. In 68 AD, a mob of pagans is said to have formed at the Serapis Temple in Alexandria, who then descended on the Christians who were celebrating Easter at Baucalis. There, they sized St. Mark, dragging him through the streets, before throwing him in prison. Clearly those worshippers of Serapis and Christ were aware of each other and the differences within their religions, though perhaps at a later date, some amongst the worshippers could have decided to leave the two options open seeing the similitude of the names.

Chrestus (Christus) was another name for the Egyptian god, Serapis. Chrestus may be translated as "Messiah", though the term need not apply to any specific Messiah, such as Jesus. It therefore could have simply been applied to "Lord Serapis", so that in fact, the connection between the Christians and the worshippers of Serapis seem slender.

This may very well be the origin of painting depicting Jesus with long flowing hair; but whatever the case may be, the resemblance between the paintings of Serapis and those of Jesus are rather striking.

What does long hair mean today?

A radical subversive rebel of our time correctly said: "Young kids identify short hair with authority, discipline, unhappiness, boredom, rigidity hatred of life; and long hair with letting go and do what you want, where and when you want to. Wherever we go, our hair tells people where we stand on Vietnam, Iraq, Wallace, Campus disruption, dope. We're living TV commercials for the revolution . . . Long hair is the beginning of our liberation from sexual oppression that underlies the whole military society."

Parents who allow a son to grow and wear long hair are contributing to a rebellion against God and against our society and it is a sure way to loose control of a child. Preachers and Churches who compromise on this subject, hoping to reach more young people, are actually fighting against God and filling the church with rebellious unconverted kids.

No doubt if true Christian young men were taught the truth, they will want to wear their hair short. Informed Christian's will not want to be identified with the "SHAME" or revolutionary revolt that long hair symbolizes.

By all account there seems to be little doubt that our Lord Jesus Christ had short hair, like a man should have. And it would have been neatly trimmed and kept. As the perfect Son of God, Jesus always set the right example, no disorder and rebellion in His behaviour.

Did Jesus wear a beard?

Some modern scholars using purported drawings of Jesus with a clean-shaven face believe that He did not wear a beard (if indeed these were really portraits of our Lord). But this is most unlikely for we have the sure testimony of the inerrant Scripture: "I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting." (Isa 50:6)

Besides that even a little reasoning will suffice: "why did God gave the beard to the man and not to the woman?" For the reason as stated above, He wants a clear difference between man and woman for "Male and female created He them". Clearly everything that God creates has a useful function for He is the perfect God, and beard does not seem to have any function other than to differentiate between man and woman. So men that every morning shave themselves in front of a mirror, what are they actually saying to God?: "Look mate, you did not do a proper job on my face, let me correct your mistake, for I know better!"

To the men that want to resemble women by shaving their God given beards, we say: "look! if you want to be like a woman, then do a good job, also cut off what you have in between your legs!"  (Gal 5:12)

Jesus was a Jew and as a good Jew did not follow the Roman and Greek pattern of shaving His beard off, He would have had a beard like all the other Jews, including the Apostles.

Moreover, for a Jew not to have a beard was a shame, have a look at this: "4 And Hanun took David’s servants and shaved off half of their beards, and cut off their long robes in the center, to their buttocks; and he sent them away. 5 And they told David, and he sent to meet them; for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, Remain in Jericho until your beard grows; then you shall return." (2Sa 10:4-5) The Ammonite Hanun was upset with King David and so he put his ambassadors to shame by cutting off their long beards in half (vertically). King David then instructed his servants to wait in Jericho until their shaven half beard had regrown for it would have been a shame to return without the beard. (the robe would have been replaced pronto). Clearly we see here how important was the beard for a man, the beard that God has given to the human males.

According to Oriental sentiment a greater indignity could not have been put upon the ambassadors of David. The beard is considered a symbol of manhood, and, in some places, of freedom - slaves being compelled to shave their beards in token of servitude. By shaving half their beard Hanun not only treated David's ambassadors with contempt, but made them objects of ridicule. So disgraceful is it considered to have the beard cut off, that some of the Orientals would prefer death to such a punishment. They cared for their God given beards.

In Eastern lands a smooth face carries with it the suggestion of effeminacy. Among the Jews, as among most Oriental peoples, the beard was especially cherished as a symbol of virility; to cut off another man's beard was an outrage as we have seen above.

In conclusion, and no one is absolutely sure on this, our reasoning and the evidence we have shows that Jesus had short hair and a beard as every other Jew of his time, in obedience to God’s pattern. As Christ followed His Father, we ought to follow and copy our Master and Lord Jesus in ALL His ways and behaviours.

Command me Lord, here i am.