I was wondering about 1Tim2:9-10 and its relation to 1 Peter 3:3-4. I do
not understand whether it means we are forbidden to wear pearls, gold
and/or have our hair braided, or whether it is just a lesson that our
obvious beauty should be of good deeds, etc. What do your think God is
teaching us here?

This is an interesting question for a Christian evidences web
site! I will do my best. One rule of interpretation of scripture is that
it is helpful to understand the social/cultural context. The fact is that
in the context of the Greek world, the wearing of pearls, gold and braided
hair was associated with prostitution or a sexually loose life in
general. In our own context, the wearing of braided hair is definitely
not associated with prostitution. Neither is wearing gold or pearl
earrings. In 1 Tim 2:9,10 Paul is giving specific advice which we should
not take as a rule but as a principle. I believe your question hints at a
reasonable interpretation. Christian women should dress in a way which
does not draw unhealthy attention to their sexuality. This passage is not
about braids but about modesty in dress. I teach at a college where many
of the female students definitely disobey this passage, and it has nothing
to do with braids or jewelry. I will not describe the specifics.

I will assume that the one asking this question is female. My
advice to you is that when you dress yourself, consider whether your
outfit is likely to arouse the interest of men. You should not be
paranoid about this. Current fashions determine what will be distracting
to us men. You do not need to wear a veil or cover yourself head-to-toe.
If you are in the bottom half or third of sexually suggestive clothes, you
are probably OK. Probably in a Western context, you do not need to worry
too much about your jewelry, but perhaps you should consider the tightness
of your clothes and having certain parts of your body reasonably well
covered. If you do so, you will be obedient to these passages and you
will also help out us sinful guys to focus on you as a person, not a sex

John Oakes

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