Doesn’t Matthew 6:17 tell us to anoint ourselves?



I am a member of the church in Indiana. I was studying this morning about fasting and like always, I drifted off into another topic (I'm sure this happens to you also and many Christians). That's one reason why God's Word is so good because you can never have enough.

As I stated, I was studying fasting under "Should Christians fast?" on your website. There, you referenced Matthew 6:16-18.

Matthew 6:17 states to "anoint your head and wash your face."  That's when a whistle blew in my head. I know we don't practice anointing in the church of Christ.

So I drifted off to the top of anointing on your site and you have only one question and answer on the topic. There, you answered the person's question and ended the answer by saying, "there is no passage saying we are to anoint ourselves."

I know that the person asking about anointing mentioned "eightfold anointing." I'm just asking in general.

I am just seeking clarity and understanding.

Thank you.


I made the answer "Have you heard of "self-anointing?" " clearer by pointing that I was talking in terms of religious practice. "Anointing" just means to oil something, typically in the sense of putting on perfume or cologne. Fragrances in the old days were oil-based. Therefore, "But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face" (Matthew 6:17), means to your normal daily toiletry: wash your face perfume your hair with oil. Fasting wasn't for show or to make yourself look haggard. You don't do it to get other people's sympathy or to have people think you are religious. Thus, the anointing in this passage was not a religious practice -- doing it would not make you stand out as religious.

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