Tuesday, April 10, 2007


When I was a kid, in the 1920’s, my mother and sisters all wore their hair long. I didn’t think much about it, until one day Bernice had one of the Stemper boys (closest neighbors down the road) do a “bob job” on her head.

When Papa got home from the fields that day, he “went into orbit” BIG TIME. I didn’t get to see all of it, for I was still in the age of “protection” from the crises of the family.

But, a family crisis it was, of major proportions, for Papa and Mama were desperately determined to be pleasing in the sight of the Lord.

I never was told what the solution was determined to be, but I did know that there was a considerable amount of extra Bible reading done for several day after that.

When I became older, and married, I became concerned about being right in the sight of God. I wanted to be sure that I directed my family in the way that was right, according to the Scriptures. I have often wished I had asked Papa how he resolved the issue in his own mind, but I regrettably neglected to do it until it was too late.

As I studied the main spot in the New Testament where it gives instruction about women having long hair , (1 Cor 11) I would give up in despair, for it was so hard to understand why God would be so concerned about such things.

I could not see the correlation between 1Cor 11 and the place where it said that “In Christ there is not male, female, bond or free, etc, (Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.)

Which is correct? Surely there is a valid explanation if I can find it. But I had to repeatedly return it to the “shelf” for lack of understanding. I have done that many times on different subjects while seeking for an answer to knotty problems.

The Lord has never failed me yet. He has always answered my questions if I would wait patiently on Him for the answer. One day He gave me the beginning of the explanation about long hair for women.

He said to my spirit, “It was a Jewish custom that was carried over into the Church by Jewish men who came to know Jesus. It was NEVER a COMMAND OF GOD.

Could I believe my “spiritual ears”? Was it really from the Lord, or had I heard another voice?

It was ONLY a beginning, for there were many unanswered questions. Some pastors were making a real issue of long hair for women—even to the point of making it a SIN to not have it.

I was definitely “bucking the current” of opinion in certain Pentecostal circles. I figured the best thing I could do was to “keep my neck drawn in” and not say too much. That approach was definitely contrary to my usual modus operandi, for if I knew something, I wanted to tell everyone I saw about it. In my heart there was a smattering of contempt for anyone who knew something, but would not preach or teach it for fear it would not be accepted, or that “the people were not ready for it yet.”

Then, one day recently, I was re-reading 1Cor 11, and I had a hard time getting past one word. The word “ORDINANCES” captured my attention, and wouldn’t “let go”. What is an ordinance, in Bible language?

1Co 11:2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ORDINANCES, as I delivered them to you.
I was shocked by what I found in the E-sword Bible program on my computer. The Hebrew/Greek portion gives the definition of the original words, and where they are used in the different ways in the King James Version of the Bible.

paradosis (Definition, in part: “Specifically the Jewish Traditionary Law”) MF.
Total KJV Occurrences: 13
tradition, 10
Mat_15:2-3 (2), Mat_15:6, Mar_7:3, Mar_7:5, Mar_7:8-9 (2), Mar_7:13, Col_2:8, 2Th_3:6
traditions, 2
Gal_1:14, 2Th_2:15
ordinances, 1

You can look them up yourself, but please note that in no instance is the word “COMMAND” or “OF GOD” used. Fact is, in MOST of the places where the word is used it is CONTRASTING the TRADITIONS OF MEN with the COMMANDS OF GOD.

Let’s look at some of them. The words are marked with a *---*

Mat 15:1 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,
Mat 15:2 WHY DO THY DISCIPLES TRANSGRESS THE *TRADITION*of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
Mat 15:3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye ALSO TRANSGRESS THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD BY YOUR *TRADITION*?
Mat 15:4 For God commanded, saying, Honor thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
Mat 15:5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;
Mat 15:6 And honor not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the COMMANDMENT OF GOD OF NONE EFFECT BY YOUR *TRADITION*.

Mar 7:2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.
Mar 7:3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, HOLDING THE *TRADITION* OF THE ELDERS.

Mar 7:4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, WHICH THEY HAVE RECEIVED TO HOLD, as the washing of cups, and pots, brazen vessels, and of tables.
Mar 7:5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples ACCORDING TO THE *TRADITION* OF THE ELDERS, but eat bread with unwashen hands?
Mar 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
Mar 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, TEACHING FOR DOCTRINES THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN.
Mar 7:8 FOR LAYING ASIDE THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD, YE HOLD THE *TRADITION* OF MEN, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

Mar 7:13 MAKING THE WORD OF GOD OF NONE EFFECT THROUGH YOUR *TRADITION*, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, AFTER THE *TRADITION* OF MEN, AFTER THE RUDIMENTS OF THE WORLD, AND NOT AFTER CHRIST.

2Th 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and NOT AFTER THE *TRADITION* WHICH HE RECEIVED OF US.

Gal 1:14 And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, BEING MORE EXCEEDINGLY ZEALOUS OF THE * TRADITIONS* OF MY FATHERS.


1Co 11:2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, AND KEEP THE *ORDINANCES*, AS I DELIVERED THEM TO YOU.

I had, then, heard the Spirit correctly when He explained to me in earlier years, that the teachings of Paul to the Corinthians were the JEWISH CUSTOMS adapted to the Church of the Living God. THEY WERE NOT THE COMMANDS OF GOD!

We see the same influence of the Jewish traditions in the first epistle to Timothy.

They were classic cases of Missionaries establishing the customs of their native country in the Churches and lives of the folks they win to Jesus Christ from different cultures. They won’t always fit.
Pentecost has some very wonderful Truths, and we rejoice in them. Pentecost also has some hurtful traditions (customs) that were brought in by the people who came in from other denominations. Unfortunately, some of those traditions are becoming established as DIVINE EDICTS in some areas of the Christian Community.

They will produce nothing but confusion and sorrow down the road a bit farther.

When we understand the intense displeasure of the high ranking Jews (Paul had been one of them) toward the female gender, we can readily perceive what his thinking had been.

My understanding of Jewish theology is that they blamed Eve for ALL of the problems of the human race. Women were necessary, but they were also basically evil. They COULD BE, and SHOULD BE treated with utmost disrespect. A Jewish man MUST at all costs, keep his woman under control. He could beat her for the slightest mistake. He could also divorce her for any reason that was handy. The teaching of Jesus was causing some difficulty to that custom. Hence: Mat 19:3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

I read somewhere that the VERY RELIGIOUS Jewish men had such disdain for their “necessary, but evil” wife that they would not even look at her body while using it for their own gratification.

That would help us to understand some of Paul’s writings. I am glad he was honest enough to never say they were commands from God. THEY ARE NOT!

Ti 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.
1Ti 2:10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
1Ti 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
1Ti 2:12 But I (Paul) suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
1Ti 2:13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
1Ti 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
1Ti 2:15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

Oh, By the way! The term “Long Hair” comes from the Greek word that means “Tressed”, or “Ringlets”—Curled, if you please.

It doesn’t give any other definition, like Centimeters, Inches, etc..

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