April 22, 2005

Women Wearing Clothes?

Category: Bible - NT - 1 Peter :: Permalink

1 Peter 3:3 is sometimes taken as forbidding Christian women to have fancy hairstyles or to wear jewelry, fine clothes, or (by extension) even makeup. But a proper translation of the text ought to dispel that notion.

Many versions of the Bible supply a word before the word for clothing. So, for example, the NKJV has Peter talking about “fine apparel.” The RSV and the NIV are similar. The word “fine” doesn’t appear in the original Greek, however. There is, in fact, no adjective modifying the word “clothing.”

What Peter says here is literally this: “Let your adornment not be external, consisting in braiding of hair and wearing of gold and putting on of clothes.” As Wayne Grudem says,

It is incorrect, therefore, to use this text to prohibit women from braiding their hair or wearing gold jewelry, for by the same reasoning one would have to prohibit “putting on of clothing.”

Put another way, if Peter is banning gold jewelry, he’s also banning clothes.

Posted by John Barach @ 9:08 pm | Discuss (0)

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