Here's What The Bible Really Says About Wearing Jewelry

Some believe that the Bible forbids the wearing of jewelry. And in some passages, this appeared to be true, but the real answer is much more complicated than that. One of the most popular supporting passages for the case for the banning of jewelry comes from the New Testament. In 1 Timothy, chapter 2, verse 9, the Bible states "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest appeal, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;" (The Holy Bible: King James Version, via Bartleby). It's important to note, however, that this chapter is about prayer, not about daily life.

More support for the jewelry ban can be found in another Book from the New Testament, 1 Peter, which gives direct instruction for wives and husbands. Chapter 3, Verse 3 states, "Whose adorning, let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair and of wearing of gold, or putting on of apparel;" That seems like a direct call to skip wearing any bling. But the next verse deepens the intent being expressed here, "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." Taken together, the two verses stress the importance of the inner life of a person, not their outer appearance.

The Book of Exodus offers different ideas about jewelry

In the Old Testament, the issue of jewelry also pops up several times. In the Book of Exodus, God instructs Moses to tell his people to shed their jewelry in chapter 33, verse 5: "I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee" (via BibleAsk). So again it seems a conflict between having worldly possessions, such as "ornaments," and being devoted to God.

In other places in the Book of Exodus, however, God commands the faithful to take ornaments of the Egyptians (via Bible Study). In chapter 3, verses 21-22, "And I will give this people favor in the sight of Egyptians ... every woman shall borrow of her neighbor, and of her that sourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters..." Here God rewards the devoted with jewels and instructs them to wear them. This command about the children of Israel taking the jewelry from the Egyptians appears again in other parts of Exodus, specifically in chapter 11, verse 2, and chapter 12, verse 35. This all begs the question: if jewelry was truly forbidden, why would God give it to the faithful? It seems like the Bible discourages any fixation on worldly goods, such as jewelry, that could impede someone's devotion to God.