Are Tattoos a Sin In The Bible?

Tattoos and the Bible
Written by Christopher Turk

Are tattoos sinful? There is no definitive answer, as the Bible does not specifically address tattoos. However, some Christians take issue with tattoos, believing that they are associated with paganism or other forms of idolatry.

What Does The Bible Say About Tattoos?

“You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:28)

This verse is often cited as evidence that tattoos are a sin. However, it’s important to understand the context in which this verse was written. In ancient Israel, tattooing was often done as part of pagan worship practices. As such, this verse is likely more concerned with forbidding the idolatrous practice of tattooing oneself for the dead, rather than condemning all tattoos outright.

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

This verse reminds us that our bodies are not our own, but are temples of the Holy Spirit. As such, we should take care to glorify God in our bodies and not dishonor them with things like tattoos.

Tattoos Symbols That Could Be Sin

Bible considers certain tattoo symbols that could be associated with pagan worship or other sinful practices. These include:

  • Crosses
  • Pentagrams
  • Ankh crosses
  • Images of Jesus or other religious figures
  • Swastikas

If you’re considering getting a tattoo, it’s important to ensure that the symbol you choose doesn’t have any negative associations.

What Christians can do if they are considering getting a tattoo

If you’re a Christian who is considering getting a tattoo, there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, you should prayerfully seek guidance from God. Ask him if getting a tattoo is something that would honor or dishonor him.

You should also consult with your church community about whether or not they think getting a tattoo would be appropriate for you. It’s important to get input from people you trust and who know you well before making any decisions.

Finally, if you do decide to get a tattoo, be sure to choose a design and placement that will be respectful of your body as a temple of the Holy Spirit.

Alternatives to getting a tattoo if you want to show your faith

There are many ways to show your faith without getting a tattoo. Here are a few ideas:

  • Get involved in ministry or service opportunities at your church.
  • Witness to others about your faith in Jesus Christ.
  • Display Christian symbols or artwork in your home.
  • Wear Christian jewelry or clothing.
  • Pray for those who are considering getting a tattoo

Tattoos and Jesus

Jesus was a Jew, and the Jewish Law warns against tattooing oneself. As an obedient follower of God’s commandment in Mosaic law to not cut our bodies for dead or put tattoos on ourselves (Lev 19:28), it would be improper if Jesus did so himself today because He fulfilled this particular requirement when walking among humans as His spirit dwelled within them until judgment day came at last.

Although it does not seem as though Jesus had an actual tattoo, there is a possibility that he might be pictured wearing the “banner or sash” which extends from shoulder to thigh and on this banner King of “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” is written. However, we cannot confirm the truth until after his return when war wages against those who have taken mark beast’s name.

What Pastors Say About Tattoos?

Some pastors take a middle ground approach, saying that while there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with getting a tattoo, Christians should be thoughtful about what they choose to put on their bodies.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to get a tattoo is a personal one and should be made after prayerfully considering all factors involved.

Bottom Line

The Bible doesn’t explicitly forbid tattoos, but it does warn against certain activities that are often associated with tattooing, such as idolatry and sexual immorality. If you are considering getting a tattoo, prayerfully seek guidance from God and wise counsel from mature Christians who know you well. Be sure to choose a design and placement that will be respectful of your body as a temple of the Holy Spirit. Finally, remember that there are many ways to show your faith without getting a tattoo.

About the author

Christopher Turk

Christopher is the lead elder/pastor of the local Christian church in Penticton, British Columbia. He has a dedication to serving his Lord's church and a pulpit competence that honors the legacy of his predecessor. Christopher is a passionate visionary for the Lord and His Kingdom! His church ministry background spans over 30 years of full-time service.

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