pictures we have of Christ do not derive from any physical description
we have of him in the Bible, because there is none. The basic image
comes from a long artistic and iconographic tradition—influenced, among
other things, by the Shroud of Turin. However, this tradition does not
contradict the Bible.
Part of the problem in discussing hair length is how long is long? 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.