Why do pictures portray Jesus with long hair?

Why do pictures portray Jesus with long hair if Paul says, “Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him,” 1 Corinthians 11:14… Jesus would definitely not have had long hair if Paul said that.


One theory I head was that Jesus had a payot and that over time people mistook that for long hair.

shroud of turin?


Is that practice 2000 years old?

Nazarenes made vows to not cut their hair at the time this could last a couple months to years. Although the passage you refer to its important to look at the surrounding context. In those ages long hair most likely ment male prostitution.


Nope. Way before that.

Again, nope. The earliest Jesuses were clean shaven youths with shorter curly hair.

It’s a fun topic to explore. Lots on the internet.

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What’s the synopsis of what the internet has to say?

I’d start with the wiki article and follow the references.


You could also do a simple google image search of “early depictions of Jesus” and find lots of articles that way

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Are you sure that’s long hair? Are you certain you’re not applying 21st century definitions to a 1st century Palestinian context?

As Einstein said, everything’s relative.

(no, he didn’t really say that).

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What if Jesus decided he wanted a mullet, or a mohawk… The world is totally messed up if we have to worry about our hair.


You reposting that is irrelevant to porthos’ comment.

The Bible is basically saying that men (with the possible exception of Nazirites) weren’t supposed to have hair that was long like women’s.
Women didn’t cut their hair, so a woman’s long hair would have likely been shoulder length or longer depending on the genetics of how long her hair grew naturally (could be anywhere from shoulder length to ankle length).

Men cut their hair, but the question is how often did your average poor- to middle-class Jewish man cut his hair? Romans had really short hair, but they also tended to have more money and were probably expected to look a certain way in order to keep their jobs in the government or military. Jewish men just had to keep it short enough to comply with their own culture and law. I can see a guy letting his hair grow out to, say, chin length before he got it cut, which would still be longer than the Romans but wouldn’t look like a woman’s long hair.

We had this thread a while ago and you may use the search function, dear OP.
Basically, my response back then was: the depiction of Jesus with very long hair occured in the migration era and was very popular, as it was the style of the noble men in this era. They depicted jesus in the most honourable way as one of their most noble men.
Romans kept it short in the republic, later longer, but not woman-like long hair was in fashion. Even among jews men didn´t wore very long hair, only ascetic living people often made a commitment to not cut the body hair at all.


Are there two threads on this same topic? i swear I responded to one already

ETA: Why do pictures portray Jesus as having long hair?


Since there were no authentic portraits of Jesus to look to, it can only really be said that Jesus has long hair in artwork because that’s how the painters and sculptors chose to portray him. The finest Renaissance artists always used models for their work. To do justice to an image of Jesus, they chose the best looking ones available. The best and healthiest people at that time were generally of the upper classes, and if long hair happened to be in vogue, then that’s what was used for paintings and sculptures.

Yes. I flagged the other one as a duplicate since it appears same poster is starting multiple threads on the same topic in different categories.

I would say “Yes” .

"Could you give some insight as to the length of the hair the men wore during the time of Christ? This question came up in light of the scripture reference found in I Corinthians 11: 14, 15, where it indicates that nature itself teaches us that it is a shame for a man to have long hair. The image on the Shroud appears to have shoulder length or longer hair… Therefore, it does not seem feasible that Jesus would do something that he did not want his followers to do and give them instruction on how to appear in regards to the grooming of their hair if he wore his hair in direct opposition of the instructions he gave to them.

Once again I asked Rev. Albert “Kim” Dreisbach, a biblical scholar, theologian and Shroud historian to draft the response to this question. Here is his reply:"


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Jesus started being depicted this way after the Shroud was found again in the 6th century

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Numbers 6:1-8 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 Speak to the Israelites and say to them: When either men or women make a special vow, the vow of a nazirite,[a] to separate themselves to the Lord, 3 they shall separate themselves from wine and strong drink; they shall drink no wine vinegar or other vinegar, and shall not drink any grape juice or eat grapes, fresh or dried. 4 All their days as nazirites[b] they shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, not even the seeds or the skins.

5 All the days of their nazirite vow no razor shall come upon the head; until the time is completed for which they separate themselves to the Lord, they shall be holy; they shall let the locks of the head grow long.

6 All the days that they separate themselves to the Lord they shall not go near a corpse. 7 Even if their father or mother, brother or sister, should die, they may not defile themselves; because their consecration to God is upon the head. 8 All their days as nazirites[c] they are holy to the Lord.

Judges 13 The Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of the Philistines forty years.

2 There was a certain man of Zorah, of the tribe of the Danites, whose name was Manoah. His wife was barren, having borne no children. 3 And the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Although you are barren, having borne no children, you shall conceive and bear a son. 4 Now be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, or to eat anything unclean, 5 for you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor is to come on his head, for the boy shall be a nazirite[a] to God from birth. It is he who shall begin to deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines.” 6 Then the woman came and told her husband, “A man of God came to me, and his appearance was like that of an angel[b] of God, most awe-inspiring; I did not ask him where he came from, and he did not tell me his name; 7 but he said to me, ‘You shall conceive and bear a son. So then drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for the boy shall be a nazirite[c] to God from birth to the day of his death.’”

History and culture. They wanted Our Lord Jesus to look like them.

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