What does the Bible say about Tattoos?
Today’s Question: What does the
Bible say about tattoos? I found a really awesome image of a cross with
Jesus spelled out as the vertical part and thought it would be a great
tattoo, but wasn't sure what the Bible said about them.
Bible Answer: The main passage that
is used by some Christians to forbid tattoos and body piercing is
Leviticus 19:28: "Do not cut your bodies for the
dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the
Lord.” Sounds like a clear
prohibition, doesn’t it, until you recognize this is part of the Mosaic Law
that the believer is not under obligation to follow. Before one uses this
passage to forbid tattoos, they should take a look at the previous command:
“Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or
clip off the edges of your beard” (Lev 19:27). I haven’t seen many
Christians with uncut beards, have you?
The issue of tattoos and body
piercing falls under the category of disputable matters mentioned in Romans
chapter 14: “Therefore let us stop
passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any
stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way” (v 13). Now simply
because you feel like there is nothing wrong with tattoos is not a reason to
put one on you. I do not personally feel anything is wrong with a
Christ-centered tattoo, however, I know it might offend others for me to
have one, so I refuse to even consider it (of course I hate needles too).
Someone at this point might argue,
“Well, I just think that God is absolutely against us putting tattoos on our
body, because our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.” Well I understand
your position, but remember, according to the Book of Revelation, God will
put his name and number on our foreheads. So even He will put a mark on us.
Marks on bodies have signified for
centuries what kind of person an individual is. In the Book of Revelation
there were some that had the mark of the beast which signified the
kind of people they were, so God counters and gives His mark to His servants
to show the righteous character of His people. In the end, no doubt, a
Christian should only have a Christ-centered tattoo if he is going to have
If you are a teen still under your parent's authority, then you must abide
by their rules against tattoos. It is more important to show obedience to
parents then to get a tattoo, which shows rebellion. The same goes for
members of churches where pastors set rules in this area. If the pastor does
not allow tattoos or body piercing for members who are in places of
authority, then one must abide by the pastor's rules. Don't try to justify
the tattoo by pointing to this article, because I will not back you up. I
believe obedience and submission is more important than getting tattoos and,
thus, causing strife.
Finally, remember a tattoo is permanent, and do
you really want something permanent on your body? It’s like wanting a coat
you see in the store, and buying it with the condition you have to wear it
always. How much do you really like that coat? I offer this advice to people
wanting tattoos; why not put a good, professional, temporary tattoo on your
body instead of a permanent one? After it wears off, you can put a different
one in its place. I am just offering practical advice, not rules.
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