Nakedness. There is a fundamental contradiction here: God created Adam and Eve and woman naked in the Garden of Eden. God itself made them perfect - and naked. Therefore, nakedness is a state of perfection. But once Adam and Eve finally learned good and evil through their scrumping adventure, they knew that nakedness was bad. So they covered themselves. So God made them perfect and naked, but, nakedness is also bad. God then made them clothes out of skins (Genesis 3:21) which was a boost for modesty, but a bit of a poor blow for animal welfare. I'm afraid that this kind of inconsistency in the Bible's 3rd chapter wasn't a good indicator of the reliability of the Bible in general.
"Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material", sternly warns Leviticus 19:19. This is by far one of God's most important rules, and it is hard to see how anyone can make fun of it, although very few Christians are aware of it, and even fewer abide by it. Deuteronomy 22:11 says the same, but is less generic: "Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together". Although that's how the KJV wrongly translates Leviticus 19:19 too so don't be fooled into thinking both verses say the same thing - they don't. Some have tried to explain this verse as having something to do with a theorised superstition amongst magicians1. But to use that argument is to admit that the Bible is so poorly written that even direct and clear commandments might actually be unclear and disposable.
No tattoos - Leviticus 19:28.
No cross-dressing or sharing clothes (not even coats): Deuteronomy 22:5: "A woman shall not wear a man's garment, nor shall a man put on a woman's cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God". So much for the chivalrous male who would give a girl his coat on a cold night.
Make tassels on the four corners of your coat. Deuteronomy 22:12 cannot be ignored, for those godless heathens who fail to have tassled cloaks are clearly immoral monsters. You are to place one set on the front, one on the back, and one on each side.
No jewellery or accessories for women. In Isaiah 3:16-25 God starts off being angry about women wearing anklets or having tingling footwear. The punishment for "making a tinkling with their feet" is that God "will smite with a scab the crown of the head". The NIV translates the crime more usefully as "ornaments jingling on their ankles". God is also mad about these items:
- their finery:
- the bangles and
- headbands and
- crescent necklaces,
- the earrings and
- bracelets and
- the headdresses and
- anklets and
- the perfume bottles and
- the signet rings and
- nose rings,
- the fine robes and
- the capes and
- the purses and
- mirrors, and
- the linen garments and
- tiaras and
This all only applies to women - blokes can have as many nose rings and mirrors as they want. These heinous items of feminizing decoration deserve different types of punishment. And because God is perfect and its actions are perfectly moral, all these replacements therefore make the world a better place, so, to be holy and good, women everywhere ought to adopt the same measures:
“Instead of fragrance there will be a stench; instead of a sash, a rope; instead of well-dressed hair, baldness; instead of fine clothing, sackcloth; instead of beauty, branding.”
Although it is ironic that god chooses to replace beauty with branding, because in Leviticus 19:28 God clearly says that tattoos are bad. So I guess God's actions are not always for the better!
Do not wear foreign attire. Zephaniah 1:8 says "I will punish ... all who array themselves in foreign attire". This not only spells doom for the Chinese and Indonesian clothing export markets, but it probably plays havoc with our wardrobes in all kinds of unexpected ways. For example, who knew that the humble neck tie was invented in its modern form by the Croatians? Christians anywhere outside of Croatia better make sure that they avoid such foreign attire. Thankfully God's glorious message, recorded eternally in the Bible, warns us of such sins. If only anyone listened!
No braided hair, no nice clothes, no gold jewellery: 1 Timothy 2:9 has forgotten the long list found in Isaiah and simply says women should dress modestly and not have braided hair, nor wear gold or pearls or costly clothes. 1 Peter 3:3-4 also says something negative about women having braided hair, wearing gold jewellery or having fine clothes (verse 3). But verse 4 says it is more important to have inner beauty - a legalistic readers could infer that once you have inner beauty, then, it seems these verses are irrelevant and you can wear what you want.
This humorous verse could be read to mean that we shouldn't wear any clothes at all! Romans 13:14: "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires". In reality, it means to say don't pursue enjoyable things - good food, comfortable surroundings, etc. Be a monk!
These verses in Genesis form part of the introduction to the story of The Flood, where God drowns all nearly living beings on Earth (Genesis chapters 6, 7 and 8). See: Noah, the Ark and the Flood, from the Bible Book of Genesis.
1 Corinthians 11:4-10 (KJV)
4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head.
7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.
9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels."
13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?
14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
Genesis 6:1-2,4 mentions how the "Sons of God" fall for beautiful human daughters, and "took them wives of all which they chose" [KJV]. Verse 4 is actually a repeat of verses 1 and 2, but, only mentions giants and not the mysterious "Sons of God". It was Hebrew tradition to call angels "Sons of God", and, there was another tradition that these angels took hold of lovely women by their hair, hence "the Rabbis ... accordingly warned women to cover their heads in public, so that the angels might not get possession of them"2. Many have noticed St Paul's reference to this myth when he commands that women keep their hair covered (their 'crowning glory') in 1 Corinthians 11:10,15.
“According to the custom of those days a veil on the head was a token of respect to superiors; hence for a woman to lay aside her veil was to affect authority over the man. The shaving of the head was a disgraceful punishment inflicted on women of bad repute; it not only deprived them of a great beauty, but also of the badge of virtue and honor.”
Some Christians argue that women do not have to cover their hair, as it can be read that the "covering" of St Paul is the hair, and, that when he says "every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head" it means that women with shaved heads are a disgrace. However, as we have seen, there was clear Rabbinical instruction, from those who understood the Hebrew much better than we do, that Genesis 6 means women do have to cover their hair. Only in this context does St Paul's phrase "because of the angels" make sense.
Most modern forms of Christianity accept the Old Testament and the New Testament. Where the two collections contradict each other many believe that the New Testament overrides the Old: this goes for parts that disagree directly on legalities (dietary codes, etc), and, the feel of God in the New Testament is accepted whereas the short-tempered and smiting god of the Old Testament is generally forgotten.
Some Christians argue that the "you" in Old Testament Law only refers to Jews. But they do not follow through with the line of logic, and they do not argue that the sins and new laws mentioned in the New Testament only apply to you Christians. And they also do not apply this logic to all of the Old Testament - just to the bits that they don't like. Also, there are New Testament verses (such as 2 Peter 3:1-2) which also state that the OT laws should be kept. So the reasoning against not having to obey the OT laws is inconsistent.
There are lots of verses in the Bible that imply that the Old Testament laws no longer need to be followed. But there are also a greater number of verses in the Bible that are very clear that all of God's laws are eternal and unchangeable, and apply "forever". So no matter which side of the argument you take, your actions and beliefs are not in accordance with what the Bible says. So, many preachers and teachers will select which set of verses they are going to quote from, and they manage to discount some of the opposing verses, and often, completely ignore the ones that they can't discount. Such confusing contradictions occur because the Bible was written by many different people, who all had different ideas and vested interests, and who wrote at different times and in different places. So on some theological points, such as whether or not everyone has to follow all the rules in the Bible or just the nice ones, there is no consistent message in the Bible.
|All Laws Have to be Obeyed Forever||Old Testament Laws No Longer Apply|
Verses from the New Testament are also in harmony with all of the above verses from the Old Testament:
The number of verses and arguments that show that all the Old Testament Laws still have to be obeyed somewhat outweigh the verses that indicate otherwise.
The Bible (NIV). The NIV is the best translation for accuracy whilst maintaining readability. Multiple authors, a compendium of multiple previously published books. I prefer to take quotes from the NIV but where I quote the Bible en masse I must quote from the KJV because it is not copyrighted, whilst the NIV is. Book Review.
McFadyen, John Edgar. (1870-1933)
(1905) Introduction to the Old Testament. E-book. Amazon Kindle digital edition.
Stanton, Elizabeth C.. (1815-1902)
(1898) The Woman's Bible. E-book. Amazon Kindle digital edition produced by Carrie Lorenz and John B. Hare.