Is Cremation a Sin in the Bible?

Is Cremation a Sin in the Bible
Written by Christopher Turk

Cremation is not classified as a sinful activity in the Bible. To be honest, the subject is not even included in the exhaustive lists of guidelines for life and dying provided by the Almighty God in the Old and New Testaments.

There is no direct prohibition against cremation in the Bible. Because cremation disregards the idea that God will one day raise our bodies and reconnect them with our spirits, some Christians are opposed to the practice.  (1 Corinthians 15:35-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:16)

What is Cremation, Exactly?

Intense heat is utilized during the funerary process of cremation to reduce the human corpse to its constituent parts. Only the bones are left when the majority of the body, including tissue, is vaporized. Cremains or ashes are the common names for the residual pieces of bone.

The cremation procedure is carried out in the cremation chamber, sometimes referred to as the retort, which is a masonry-lined enclosure. The temperature range of this enclosure is between 1800°F and 2000°F.

The body of the deceased is placed inside the space in a wooden or cardboard coffin. Within a few hours, the corpse is reduced to bone shards and evaporates. The crematory employee removes any metal fragments, such as screws, nails, surgical pins, titanium limbs or joints, by hand or with a magnet, before placing the shards on a table outside the cremation chamber.

The bone is then ground into a fine powder using a specialized processor that is used for this purpose. The cremains is returned to the deceased person’s relatives in a plastic bag and placed in an urn or temporary cremation container.

Why Are Cremations Becoming More Popular?

Saving money on funeral and burial costs is a common reason why more individuals are choosing cremation. While the typical cost of a cremation is $1,500 to $2,500, a traditional funeral can frequently cost between $8,000 and $10,000. The price of purchasing burial sites and digging a grave are additional expenses. Each costs about $1,000.

What Does the Bible Say About Cremation?

The first mention of cremation is in 1 Samuel 31, where Saul and his sons are burned, followed by the burial of their remains.

Amos 2:1 and Amos 6:8–10 are the only additional mentions. Since cremation involves deadly punishment that calls for the culprit to be “burned with fire,” Leviticus 20:14 only alludes to it in passing. However, the Old Testament makes over 200 allusions to burial, indicating that this was the accepted practice at that period. A person’s body was typically buried in a tomb, cave, or ground in ancient Israel (Genesis 23:19; 35:19; 2 Chronicles 16:14; Matthew 27:60-66).

Bottomline

It makes little difference whether a cherished one is cremated, buried, or planted in a pod to grow into a tree. In Job 34:14–15, Job repeated the dying moments of the body, “Dust to dust, ashes to ashes.”

In the event of the second coming, God will raise his people. Funerals are occasions for the living to honor the lives of their departed loved ones. It is an opportunity to reflect on, appreciate, and commemorate their lives. It serves as a reminder that God is ultimately in control of us. He gave us the ability to breathe and the bodies that house our spirits. He will appear to us in person one day with a brand-new body that will last forever.

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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