Doctrinal Discussions > Basic Bible Doctrine

Those who preach against beards are liars

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Bro. Steve Winter:
I invite you to watch my video Bible study

Beards Bible Study video by Bro. Steve Winter
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1RdlBfiIK0

Believe it or not I had a man claiming to be a UPC preacher tell me that they teach against beards because I quote "1: we teach that the reason we shave is out of remembrance and respect of Christ because of them plucking his beard."
I wish that he had been joking but he was really that ignorant!

FlamingZword:
Here is an article written by yours truly that hopefully puts away such nonsense.

Bro. Steve Winter:

--- Quote from: FlamingZword on December 17, 2011, 11:06:04 PM ---Here is an article written by yours truly that hopefully puts away such nonsense.
--- End quote ---

That is a good study.  You are welcome to paste the whole study here instead of just the link.

Bro. Winter

FlamingZword:
Thank you bro Here is my article, because of its length I will post it in sections.

IS FACIAL HAIR WRONG?By George Cardenas
There are some churches that teach that wearing a mustache or a beard is wrong, even bordering on sin. But before we label anything as sin let us see what the scriptures say.

OLD TESTAMENT

God gave instructions to Moses about what the Israelites could not do with their beards. (Leviticus 19:27) Then the priests were given the same instructions about what they could not do with their beards (Leviticus 21:5). This means that God expected the Israelites and the priests to have full beards.

The Old Testament makes mention of the beard. Many Israelites wore them, including the High priest Aaron, King David, Mephibosheth, Amasa, Ezra the priest, and Ezekiel the prophet.

Although there are no scriptures to prove it, the ancient Hebrews depicted Adam, Noah, Abraham and the prophets with lush beards

From reading the Old Testament we can see that to the Israelites being shaven was considered a disgrace, a bad thing to happen.

A SIGN OF MOURNING

Shaving the beard was a sign of grief or mourning.  (Iasiah 15:2)

A SIGN OF JUDGEMENT

Ezekiel shaved his head and beard to show the judgement of God. (Ezekiel 5:1-12)

God cursed and brought punishment and shame upon people by predicting that their heads and beards would be shaven (Isaiah 7:20, Isaiah 15:2, Jeremiah 48:37) Shaving the beard was a sign of judgement.

BEING SHAVEN WAS A DISGRACE

So disgraceful it was considered to have the beard cut off, that some of the Orientals would prefer death to such a punishment.

When the enemies of David wanted to show their contempt for David they shaved his servants. It was such a shameful insult that David then sent them unto Jericho to stay there until their beards were grown. Clearly it was such a grievous insult that David declared war against those enemies. (2 Samuel 10:4)

We clearly see in this incident here that shaving their beards was a disgrace for the Israelites, it was so shameful that David's men went into hiding to Jericho.

As we can see beards were seen as something good in Old Testament times. There is no condemnation of it at all; on the contrary there was shame in shaving the beard.

A TYPE OF CHRIST

In the story of Joab and Amasa, the treachery of Joab was made more grievous by his act of grasping Amasa beard. It was a gesture of respect, but Joab used it for treachery. Just like when Judas kissed Jesus when betraying him. (2 Samuel 20:9-13)

THE ORTHODOX JEWS

Although no mention is given about other Old Testament biblical characters wearing beards besides those already mentioned it could safely be said that being good Orthodox Jews they wore beards.

It is well known that throughout history the Orthodox Jews have honored the beard as a badge of manhood. To this day, the orthodox Jews have little respect for clean-shaven men.  During periods of mourning, the ancient Jews allowed their beards to go untrimmed, but ordinarily their beards were trimmed regularly.

To an Orthodox Jew having a beard is a sign of allegiance to God. Jesus without a doubt was a devout Jew.

Although the New Testament never mentions it; it is well known from historical records that at the time of Jesus, the Jews usually wore beards, while the pagan Roman and Greeks went clean shaven. It was a clear and distinguishing characteristic of the Jews. Old carvings show clearly that the Jewish people in contrast to the Babylonians had beards.

According to the Jesus Institute. In the first century most Jews were fairly small in stature, light-skinned but tanned from the sun. Most had black or brown hair worn long, and most men wore beards.

According to Rabbi Berel Wein. In the first century, the Greeks and the Romans when men, especially nobility, were clean-shaven. The observant traditional Jewish males wore beards. Beards are seen as a mark of Jewish identity and as a physical link to Jewish tradition, lifestyle and its history.

According to Unger's Bible Dictionary: Among the Hebrews the beard was considered an ornament and was not shaved, only trimmed.

Jews wore beards. Their hair reached down to the shoulders on men while the women wore hair down to the waist.

The Talmud regards the beard as "the adornment of a man's face" (BM 84a); a man without a beard was compared to a eunuch (Yev. 80b; Shab. 152a).

Young priests whose beards had not yet grown were not permitted to bless the people (TJ, Suk. 3:14, 54a).

Rabbinical authorities permitted only those who had frequent dealings with the Roman authorities to clip their beard with forceps (kom; BK 83a). Objection to the removal of the beard was on the ground that God gave it to man to distinguish him from woman; to shave it, was therefore an offense against nature (see Abarbanel to Lev. 19:27).

JESUS

Even Jesus our Lord and example had a beard. Being an Orthodox Jew he would keep the Levitical commandments. Jesus kept all the commandments of the law and one of them was to have a beard. Would Jesus go around disregarding a clear commandment from God?

Jesus was our high priest and the high priest was explicitly commanded to have a beard, as such he too like Aaron had a beard.

Moreover Isaiah 50:6 is a clear prophecy of Jesus speaking for himself. Unless you deny that the following is not a prophecy about him, this should settle this argument forever.

Isaiah 50:6 I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.
New International Version (NIV)

Isaiah 50:6 I <*1> gave My back to those who strike Me, And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.
Matt 26:67; 27:30; Mark 14:65; 15:19; Luke 22:63
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Isaiah 50:6 I gave my back to those who struck me and my cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide my face from shame and spitting.
New King James Version (NKJV)

Isaiah 50:6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

The Description of Publius Lentullus, one of the earliest descriptions of Jesus says this about him. "His beard thickish, in colour like His hair, not very long, but forked;"

The letter from Pontius Pilate to Tiberius Caesar "His golden colored hair and beard gave to his appearance a celestial aspect. He appeared to be about 30 years of age"

The Emerald of Caesar. A very early painting has Jesus with a beard.

The Acts of the Holy Apostles ascribe to him an olive complexion, a beautiful beard, and flashing eyes.

A letter to the Emperor Theophilus describes Jesus as having a prominent nose, curling hair and a black beard.

Nicephorus Callistus gives a description of Jesus as having a brown beard of moderate length.

Some have contended that some of the early depictions of the crucified Christ have him as a clean shaven man. The explanation for this is very simple, the Romans knew that being shaven was an insult to the Jews, so it was not unusual for criminals Jews to be shaven before execution, as an added insult upon the individual.

FlamingZword:
Part 2 of article on facial hair written by Evangelist George Cardenas

BADGE OF MANHOOD

Man was created in the image of God, and having a beard is a part of that image. Men fight against that image every time that they destroy their facial hair.

God made man and women, but only man has the ability to grow a beard. Facial hair clearly distinguishes a man from a woman. In this "unisex" world you can clearly tell from far away a man that has a beard from a woman. God gave facial hair to men as a special gift.

Men have to shave everyday in order to remove a feature that clearly marks them as men, they are removing a sign of their masculinity, and they are purposely trying to erase a characteristic that distinguishes a man from a woman.

MARKER OF ADULTHOOD

Facial hair also serves another function. It sets apart men as men, and boys as boys!
The beard is a sign of maturity. It gives authority to men as having reached a certain age of maturity. It is a distinct marker of adulthood.

Its absence clearly indicates that a boy is not yet mature. He is not ready to assume leadership roles. Its presence indicates that it is time for the young man to start putting away childish things.

It is almost a cliché in Hollywood that the old wise man, in the movie has to have a beard, they recognize that an old person has gone through many experiences that the young haven't and that experience makes a person wise. What better represents wisdom? An old bearded man.

IT IS NATURAL

The beard is natural; man does not have to do anything to grow a beard. It is an intrinsicall part of his nature.

Many blacks and some curly-haired whites can not shave because they have a medical problem known as pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB), or "beard bumps," and it resembles acne. The tiny beard hairs curl back and reenter the skin. Doctors call such hairs "bucket handles." The simplest cure is to grow a beard.

In nature God shows the beard as belonging to the male, just take a look at the lion, which wears a majestic and full mane, but the female lacks it. If you look around nature you will notice that the male of every species is distinct from the female by different physical characteristics.

HISTORY

For thousands of years a man's beard was a sign of his royalty, wisdom, courage, and strength. Those with assertive, bushy beards were traditionally respected.  Having a beard was considered the normal state of a man in most ancient cultures. Even kings were depicted in ancient carvings with beards. Until a few centuries ago, men swore by their beards

In Nineveh men wore them curled and oiled, and often hardened them with perfumed gum and resin. Persians wove golden threads into them.

In ancient Egypt, as well as Turkey and India, the beard was regarded as a sign of dignity and wisdom.

In ancient Egypt, Egyptian kings wore the longest ones in their society, and high-ranking men and women would don fake beards of gold or silver for special festivals and celebrations.  Queen Hatshepsut wore false beards as an equal of kings, and child kings wore fake golden beards.

However later the Egyptians rejected hair as a bad thing. Their pagan priests used to shave their beards and their heads; they even shaved their bodies.  They became different from other cultures in this aspect.

THE GREEKS

The Greeks at first were a culture that accepted beards; in fact a certain prominent Greek was defeated for office because his opponent had a more neatly trimmed beard. The Greeks despised clean shaven men, Diogenes mockingly asked the shaven, "What sex are you?" The Spartans punished the cowards by shaving half their hair and half their beard off.

Statues of Zeus the greatest of all the Greek gods show him with a beard, so was Poseidon the God of the sea, and many of their other gods.

The Greek philosophers were distinguished by their long beards as a sort of badge, and hence the term which Persius applies to Socrates "magister barbatus". The Homeric heroes were bearded men.

"There are two kinds of people in this world that go around beardless—boys and women, and I am neither one".
—Greek saying.
 
In ancient Greek society, the growth of a beard marked the end of the stage when a boy might legitimately be the object of sexual advances from an older man. Many pictures in Attic vases show bearded man courting and giving presents to beardless young boys

It was not unusual for homosexuals to shave their beard in order to continue their sexual lifestyle. A beard was also the distinction between the two major categories of performers, the juniors and the adults, in the Games

The Greek changed with Alexander the great who shaved his beard, and also gave the order that his troops shaved so that the enemy could not grab their beards in battle. At first the ancient Greeks were shocked when Alexander the great shaved of his entire beard, but soon many other Greeks followed Alexander's examples, and shaving soon became popular among the Greeks.

OTHER HISTORICAL FACTS

In the Middle Ages beards marked a man's profession. A minister wore a style known as Cathedral, for instance, and a soldier had a beard called a Spade

In 1535, England’s Henry VIII, who himself wore a beard imposed a beard tax.

The practice of wearing a beard was common in Europe until about the 18th century, many kings and nobles used to wear them.

When Peter the Great ordered his nobles to shave, it was shocking to the Russians. Later realizing the Jews would never shave, he imposed a tax on wearing a beard, so he could get some of their money. Yet some non-Jewish Russians were so attached to their beards they preferred to pay the special tax, rather than shave their beards.

Every US president from Grant through Cleveland had facial hair.

Some of the greatest men in history have worn facial hair, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Albert Schweitzer, Albert Einstein and many others.

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