Watching the trailer for Ator: The Fighting Eagle, I have to say there's one thing that really sticks out. And I mean LITERALLY sticks out. I'm talking about, of course, that great mass of teased and sprayed glory that is Miles O'Keefe's hair. It's a thing of wonder. But that's how we liked our savages and barbarians in the 1980s, with a giant sword in one hand and a huge can of Aqua Net in the other. As more evidence I offer you this. Now, despite how it looks, this is not the latest video from one of those freaky Call To Action liturgies. No, this is a clip from the rock group Scandal featuring Patty Smyth shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang! Bang!
Speaking of firing off shots, if you ever want to start a holy war without actually resorting to bloodshed, then just log on to any religious discussion forum on the Internet and ask this simple question, "Did Jesus really have long hair?" Oh, the humanity! By the time the smoke clears the electronic landscape will be littered with virtual corpses.
Most of the controversy centers around 1 Corinthians 11:14 in which Paul states that, "Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears his hair long it is a disgrace to him?" That sure makes it sound like all of those old paintings are misleading us, doesn't it? Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. Maybe the image of the Hollywood hippie Jesus is spot on, or maybe he actually looked more like the clean cut Leave It To Beaver Jesus in the text books the Free Will Baptists gave me when I was in middle school.
"Part of the problem in discussing hair length is how long is long?" notes the folks at Catholic Answers. "We know from archeological materials such as Middle Eastern carvings and Egyptian tomb paintings that Jews wore what we would consider today as long hair and beards. Hair reached down to the shoulders on men. Women wore hair down to the waist. Paul was telling Corinthian men that wearing hair down to the waist as women did would be effeminate and contrary to what natural law would suggest, especially considering the physical demands of many first-century male occupations. It is easy for us today to assume the length and cut of a Jewish man’s hair in the first century to be as it is for most men today, but that’s a misconception that can result in our misreading Paul."
Basically, we'll never know for sure what hair style Jesus really wore simply because the Bible never tells us. And I for one am relieved. It's hard enough trying to conform my inner being to the "image" of Jesus without having to do the same with my physical appearance. Can you imagine if Christianity not only involved all that praying and soul-searching, but also included an hour in front of the mirror with a blow dryer and a jar of Dippity Do?