Hello everyone I pray all is well. So the question was asked to me… being that I grew up in an Apostolic doctrine based church on why they teach against jewelry and how the women are not allowed to wear make up and pants. I was going to attempt to answer the question but rather I wanted to get some insight from those who are more experienced with history and customs during the biblical times. I do feel strongly that it’s a misinterpretation of the text but I have a hard time illustrating that. Being familiar with the religion I’m aware of the Scriptures they use to justify the teaching and to believe I’m just trying to find A more sound and logical approach to give a counter response. I want to thank each and every single one of you in advance and may God bless you all.
It probably comes from the scriptures about vanity and internal beauty vs outward appearance, there are several scriptures on that, but it is taken to the extreme by some,and becomes a rule following rather than Jesus following. I used to do hair and had a customer that would not cut her hair ever based on a verse taken out of context, but she would perm it often and so, her hair was very damaged and thin on ends, but her vanity was still there, if that was her focus, her long curly hair. God knows the intent of the heart. Here is a good site with verses on it. https://www.gotquestions.org/women-makeup.html
Thank you! I appreciate the link there and I do agree its more man made than scripture-based theology. God sees the heart.
The two passages come to mind here. The first is I Timothy 2:9-10: “I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God” (NIV).
The second passage is I Peter 3:3-5a: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves.”
Some context is needed to understand these verses properly. First, in the Roman world (as in other societies with high income inequality), wealthy people tended to make their high status known by dressing in the most expensive way they could afford. This might take the form of cosmetics, gold jewelry, precious gems, pearls (this was before pearls were cultured, so pearls were rare and often dangerous to collect), or expensive clothing (fine wool, fine linen, and cotton or silk imports were all labor intensive to produce, and some dyes, like Tyrian purple, were likewise expensive to produce). For women, an additional display of wealth was hair; upper class women might spend hours having servants style their hair in elaborate braids (you can see some example of such hairstyles below).
When all was said and done, a wealthy woman in Roman society could easily spend more on a single outfit than most people made all year, which they did to display wealth an power. Such ostentatious displays were incompatible with the Christian faith, since a Christian’s worth comes from being made in God’s image and redeemed by the blood of Christ. Then too, a Christian filled with the love of Christ should find it unconscionable to waste so much on temporary, self-serving luxury while his fellow brothers and sisters in the faith struggle to put food on the table.
As for pants and cosmetics, those restrictions are more cultural than biblical. Deuteronomy 22:5 forbids women to wear men’s clothing (and vice versa), but what constitutes appropriate clothing for either sex varies widely by culture. Both men and women among ancient Iranian peoples wore pants, while the Romans initially regarded the trousers worn by the Gaulic peoples as barbaric and effeminate. At the time of the holiness movement which birthed the Apostolic and Pentecoastal movements, pants were almost exclusively menswear in the Western world, so women wearing pants was seen as scandalous and rebellious. Most cosmetics were also frowned upon by this point, and women who wore them were thought to be salacious. These views of pants and cosmetics haven’t aged too well in the past century, but conservative viewpoints often care more about the “what” than the “why.”
Thank you . Very well detailed and informative. I will be using this for reference.
Thank you @elietosado for your post. I found it an interesting question and intriguing to research. @MicahB’s reply was an excellent and informative one. The following link may add to your understanding of the Biblical perspective regarding jewelry.
On a slightly different note, the verses from 1 Timothy 2.9-10 and 1 Peter 3.3-5a, have been misinterpreted by some to infer a Biblical endorsement of the subjugation of women and / or that Christianity supports, even sanctions, misogyny and male chauvinism. The following two links (some overlap between them) show that quite the opposite was true.
Thank you again for your post.
Thank you. I appreciate the links, these are also very helpful. It makes it easier for me to dialogue on these concerns when I have a good point of reference such as these