Why does Paul tell Timothy that women are not to adorn themselves with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array?
When I begin a study I often check out the meanings of the Greek words in the Received Text. In this case there were no surprises. The words mean just what they appear to mean. :)
Next I look at the passage in context. In this case simply looking at the verse following yielded our answer.
1 Timothy 2:9 – “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.”
This passage tells us that women are not to adorn themselves with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but with good works. Now, you might end up in jail if you walked down the street in your good works. :)
Comparing this passage with Proverbs 31:10-31 reminds us that the virtuous woman made some high quality clothing for herself, her family, and to sell, yet 1 Timothy 2 vs. 9 says she is not to wear costly clothing.
If you read verses nine and ten together you find that Paul is saying that the emphasis is not to be on expensive clothing and jewelry, but on being a woman who does good.
1 Peter 3:3-4 says basically the same thing with a slightly different flavor. In this case a meek and quiet spirit is recommended where good works were in 1 Timothy.
1 Peter 3:3-4 - “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”
When we look at all of these verses together it appears that God does not want our person to be all about expensive clothing and jewelry, but doing good and having a meek and quiet spirit.
To avoid the error of not being concerned about our outward appearance at all, Paul begins with instructing women on what they ARE to wear, and while there were no surprises in the meanings of the Greek words pertaining to this study, there are some in the study of what women ARE to wear–in the words, modest apparel. This has been studied in a previous blog.
*Lisa heads off to work on her inner wardrobe*