Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Did Jesus Have Long Hair?

by Leonard V. Johnson

“’ YOU SHALL NOT make for yourself a carved image – ANY LIKENESS OF ANYTHING that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath [meaning, of anything or anyone that is buried in the earth], or that is in the water under the earth.’” – Exodus 20:4.

The SECOND COMMANDMENT should be crystal clear to all. NO LIKENESS OF ANY KIND OF THE LORD OUR GOD! And this includes the famous and most popular painting of “Jesus” with long hair and feminine features – “The Head of Christ,” also known as “Sallman Head” painted in 1940 by American artist Warner Sallman (1892–1968).

This early morning I had noticed the issue of Did Jesus Have Long Hair? came up. We receive a great number of “friend” requests from people on Facebook who have pictures of a supposed Jesus with long hair and feminine features. Did our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ have long hair!?

According to art historian Thomas Matthews, it was no accident to depict Him with long hair, it was not random on the part of artists. They chose to portray Him with long hair because the male gods of the Greco-Roman pantheon almost always were depicted with long hair.1

In this Cancel Culture “politically correct” society, a growing number of our peoples are saying, “I just can’t see anything spiritually wrong with a man wearing long hair!” Others reason amongst themselves and say, “1st Corinthians 11:14 is nothing more than apostle Paul’s own personal preference.”

In TRUTH what would be considered short hair on men has been with us far longer than most might think. It was the dominant and accepted mode for men in the time of our Lord Jesus. All one needs do is notice the innumerable accurate personified forms of ancient Roman bust sculptures. All the men are wearing their hair short ON EVERY ONE OF THEM! And in a manner that society today would consider “short.” Like the photo to the left – a statue of the first Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus (63 BC-AD 14) who reigned for 45 years and was ruling during the time of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In FACT – from Caesar Augustus to even Romulus Augustus the Roman emperors wore short hair. And, it was Hadrian that first introduced the wearing of a beard for an emperor. The emperor was most often looked at as the trendsetter during these times.

Before the rise of the Roman Empire, it was the Hellenistic Greek culture that was dominating the Eastern Mediterranean. On pages 15 & 146 of the author, historian, and archaeologist Gaalyahu Cornfeld’s book Daniel to Paul it shows illustration photos of a Greek discus thrower and a marble statuette of “an unidentified man of the Hellenistic period — a time of close contacts between the Jewish and Hellenistic civilizations in thought, art, and everyday life. Whether Jewish or Gentile, he evokes his age and environment.” 2 Both with what is considered short hair.

Also, notice this from Andrew Lainis, who prides himself on being a well-read history enthusiast –
“It was widely known in Ancient and Classical Greece, that Spartan Warriors had long hair, …” but “on the contrary, Athenians favored the clean-shaven head for the Military and young children. It was more healthy, you see. … Athenians and later Macedonians favored a short hair approach.” 3
An argument can be made that the Roman busts of emperors were in a “political” likeness only, not an actual likeness. The likeness still set the trend during these times. Sadly, the Left-leaning Cancel Culturist Wikipedia’s opening statement is from the demented Homer – which states, “In the earliest times the Greeks wore their hair long, and thus Homer constantly calls them long-haired.” 4 

Dr. Herman L. Hoeh writes of Homer in  Compendium of World History, Vol. I  –
“It is not generally admitted. But Homer, the famous epic poet of Greece, was mad. … Homer was not merely an insane poet. He was also a mad historian. Through Homer, Greek history was altered.” 5
“Democritus says that no one can be a great poet without being in a state of frenzy, and Plato says the same thing” writes Cicero. 6 He goes on to say, “Let Plato call it ‘frenzy’ if he will, provided he praises it as it was praised in his Phaedrus.” Meaning, Plato’s definition of divination, is “they have derived from furor, a word meaning ‘frenzy.’ A state of excitement or wild behavior. In a sense saying - no one can be a great poet unless he is crazy.

As for Jewish statutes from the time period of our Lord Jesus, historically, Jews were fairly vehement against public or private displays of statues – so there are very few. But the few there are still show a short hairstyle on men of that period. 7

There are a great many people who mistakenly believe and teach that our Lord Jesus Christ was a Nazarite – meaning, a Jew consecrated to the service of God, under vows to abstain from alcohol, cutting their hair, and avoid defilement by contact with corpses. Our Lord Jesus was not a Nazarite.

Notice He drank fermented wine –

’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and winebibber [a drunkard], …’ – Matthew 11:19.

He also, on occasion, touched dead bodies –

“ … He went in and took her by the hand [a ruler’s young dead daughter], and the girl arose.” – Matthew 9:25.

Both of these actions were forbidden under a Nazarite vow – cf. Numbers 6:3-6.

The online Jewish Encyclopedia states, “From the Old Testament it may be gathered that it was customary for the men to have their hair cut from time to time. … the hair was cut often.” 8

1st Corinthians 11 –

“Does not even nature [Greek, physis] itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? …” – vs. 14.

Physis (pronounced foo-SIS), meaning “Does not even nature itself teach you?” The apostle Paul is saying, “Does not even NATURAL LAW teach this?” The blending of our sexual identity rebels against God’s Way which was created by the CREATOR both “male and female” – cf. Genesis 1:27.

TRULY the key question is, how does NATURE teach us that it’s a dishonor for a man to have long hair?

The apostle Paul is saying that nature – in other words, NATURAL, intrinsic maleness – inclines a man to feel repulsed and shameful for wearing feminine symbols defined by God – not culture. NATURE – the natural, built-in, God-given, intrinsic maleness – inclines a man to feel repulsed and DISHONORED by wearing defined symbols of a woman as defined by God – not popular culture. In similar fashion, there have been several studies on heterosexual men’s physiological stress response to seeing two men kissing is the same as seeing maggots. IT’S UNNATURAL!

Again, many argue – and sadly, even from a supposed Bible authority – “Back in the time of Paul, society (social nature) considered it a shame for men to have long hair and for women to be bald. Modern society does not. Neither God’s nature nor biological nature considers it a shame.”

BLASPHEMOUS! It is a sin for a man to be effeminate.

And on that note: Homosexuality begins in the home – “The mother—either domineering and contemptuous of the father, or feeling rejected by him—makes her son a substitute for her husband, with a close-binding, overprotective relationship. Thus, she unconsciously demasculinizes the child. If at the same time the father is weakly submissive to his wife or aloof and unconsciously competitive with his son, he reinforces the process. To attain normal sexual development, according to current psychoanalytic theory, a boy should be able to identify with his father's masculine role.” 9

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, NOR EFFEMINATE, nor ABUSERS OF THEMSELVES WITH MANKIND, … shall inherit the kingdom of God.” – 1st Corinthians 6:9-10, KJV.

And even here, many want to debate God’s living word and use their own reasoning, saying, “Not all homosexuals are effeminate.” Again, IT’S UNNATURAL and an ABOMINATION in the eyes of the LORD our God! – cf. Leviticus 20:13.

But, PRAISE THE ALMIGHTY GOD, one can (and SHOULD) repent of such lifestyles - cf. Acts 2:38; 1st Corinthians 6:11.

Nowhere in God’s living word are we to be concerned with what our Lord Jesus Christ looked like as a human being! God’s word gives no description. All we are told, speaking of our Savior Jesus, “ … He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.” – Isaiah 53:2.

Our Lord Jesus looked like any other normal Roman citizen or Jew in the streets of Jerusalem. Judas Iscariot had to use a special sign, a kiss, to point out our Lord Jesus to His enemies.

Men wishing to wear long hair are in error when they claim they are following Jesus Christ. The facts of proper history and of God’s living word speak for themselves. □


1) Matthews, T. The Clash of Gods: A Reinterpretation of Early Christian Art. 1993. pp. 126-127.
2) Cornfeld, G., Daniel to Paul, New York, Macmillian, 1902, pp. 15, 146.
3) How did ancient Greeks view long hair on men? Quora, Lainis, A. - https://www.quora.com/How-did-ancient-Greeks-view-long-hair-on-men. Retrieved 14 June 2022.
4) Greco-Roman hairstyles, Wikipedia, 24 May 2022 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Roman_hairstyle.
5) Hoeh, L.H., Compendium of World History, Vol. I, Chapter XVII, 1962 - http://www.herbert-armstrong.org/Miscellaneous/Compendium%20Vol%201.pdf.
6) Cicero, M.T., De senectute, De amicitra, De divinatione, Harvard University Press; London, Cambridge, Mass., 1964, pg. 313.
7) Ibid, Cornfeld, pg. 287.
9 Time magazine, Essay: The Homosexual In America, January 21, 1966, Retrieved 14 June 2022.

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