Nor Tattoo Yourselves: Bible Verses Against Tattoos
In Leviticus 19:28 it says no tattoos. I know someone is going to say, its in the Old Testament, but the fact that it says, no tattoos should cause someone to think twice about getting a tattoo.
Usually in the New Testament God shows that some things are permissible such as eating pork. There is nothing that even hints that we can get a tattoo in the New Testament.
Also, there are some things that are only brought up in the Old Testament, but we still consider them a sin like Bestiality for example.
1. Leviticus 19:28 You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the Lord.
What Does The Bible Say
The Bible says in Leviticus 19:28, “Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the Lord.”
That seems pretty clear, right? But maybe not.
It’s important to look at the verse in context. This particular passage and the surrounding verses in the book of Leviticus are specifically dealing with the pagan religious rituals of the heathen nations living around the Israelites at that time. God desires to set his people apart from other cultures. The focus here is prohibiting worldly idol worship and witchcraft. God forbids his holy people to engage in idolatrous worship and sorcery which imitates those who are ungodly. He commands against it out of protection and love, because he knows it will lead his people away from the one true God.
It’s interesting to observe Leviticus 19:26: “Do not eat meat that has not been drained of its blood,” and verse 27, “Do not trim off the hair on your temples or trim your beards.” Well, certainly many Christians today eat non-kosher meats, get haircuts, and trim their beards. We don’t accuse them of participating in the forbidden practices of pagans. In ancient times, these customs were associated with pagan rites and rituals. Today they are not.
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Our Bodies Are A Temple
When the Lord created man and woman and placed them in the garden along with His other creations. He spoke these words in Genesis 1:31, And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. When the Lord created the human body, He pronounced that the way He created it was very good. The Lord desires that our bodies be a reflection of His own beauty. When people tattoo their bodies they are tampering with what the Lord said was very good the way He made it. We should never mark our bodies as this is unnatural. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we are admonished not to defile them. Tattoos on ones body is like graffiti on a wall. Having tattoos on our bodies does not glorify God.
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are Gods. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Just because a person has had a tattoo, it will not prevent God from using people to witness, nor keep them from being a minister of God. God looks on the heart and can use different things to testify of Christs love, even tattoos. However, well-meaning people can be deceived in their methods of evangelism. The highest form of testimony is a life lived for Christ before the world.
Tattoos: For The Dead
A popular reason to get a tattoo is in order to honor a loved one who has died. God directed His people to disassociate themselves from Canaanite traditions such as slashing their bodies as a way to mourn their dead. What about designing beautiful markings in honor of loved ones who have passed on?
In Luke 9:60, Jesus said to leave the dead to bury their own dead. Paul wrote, We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope . Christians grieve for their dead, but they do not worship them.
Not only do they have hope of reuniting with lost loved ones who believed in Christ for salvation, but they have been commanded to have no other Gods to worship no idols. Talking to a loved one, keeping a shrine to the deceased, making a shrine of ones body by way of a tattoo: this is idolatry.
David was criticized for breaking his fast after his baby son died, but David replied, Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? .
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Prayer For Cleansing Of Our Hearts
Dear Lord, I come to you in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ and I do want to please you and know the truth about tattoos, as well as any other area in my life that does not agree with the Word of God. I am asking you to reveal to me the truth about this and deliver me from all deceiving lies that I may have embraced by my ignorance of your Word and your commandments. Lord, even as David prayed in the Psalms for You to deliver him of his secret sins which he meant sins that were a secret to him, sins that he did not know he was committing. Lord, only You know my heart and only You can reveal the things in my heart that I need to be set free from, so I ask You to deliver me from any and all sins that are in my heart that I am blinded to and do not see. Forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness so that I might be pure and holy in Your sight. Lord, I know it is not by works of righteousness that I have done, but that my deliverance comes from what You have done on the cross by taking my sin and giving me Your life and Your nature. I want to be like You, Lord, so I am trusting You to cleanse me now and reveal Your truth to me about this matter, as well as any other area in my life that is not pleasing to You, so I can be a good witness for You in this earth. Thank you for Your love, mercy and grace toward me. Amen.
Why Should You Never Get A Tattoo
Many people get tattoos who dont really think about the ramifications of their actions before deciding.
Other reasons not to get a tattoo besides the warnings in the Bible verses concerning tattoos will be briefly discussed with Bible passages to support each one.
i. Do you really know your Tattoo artist?
You have no idea how the tattoo artists health is affected by sharp body piercing tools. A few artists may infect you with HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B and C. It is best to play it safe by not getting tattooed.
ii. Tattoos can be expensive, time-consuming, and painful:
Tattoo removal is expensive, and the more tattoos you have on your body, the longer they will take to remove through laser surgery or other methods because there are so many of them that must be removed. Tattoos can be costly, and they take a long time to apply onto the skin and heal over into your tattoo that you want on your body forever. Lastly, tattoos are most likely not going to make you happy in any way because it is something permanent on your body for life!
iii Tattoo and Pregnancy
Pregnancy may affect the shape and form of your tattoo depends on your tattoos location due to weight gain or loss, which may stretch the tattoo. This may cause your tattoo to look different than the original design you had.
iv Blocking Your Sweat Gland
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Are Your Motives For Getting A Tattoo Truly Pure
I talked to people who said they want a tattoo because it means something, they can use it to share their faith, etc. Im not denying that their motives are not genuine. However, I strongly believe that people will deceive themselves to cover up the real reason that they want a tattoo. The heart is deceitful. Ive talked to people who said that they want to get a name tattoo of their family member. I talked to them and we finally got to the root of the reason.
They finally said it was because it looks cool. I believe for many believers the real reason is because it looks cool and everyone else has one and Im going to justify it by saying this. People say, I want a full sleeve to show off God, but instead they show off themselves. They go out of their way for you to see that they have a tattoo. Rarely do people even bring up the topic of faith with tattoos.
Do you desire to bring attention to yourself? Would that be something that you would admit? We can lie to ourselves when we really desire something. Deep down whats the real reason? Is it truly to bring glory to God or is it so you can show off, fit in, look cool, etc.
9. Proverbs 16:2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes but the LORD weigheth the spirits.
10. 1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
Are Tattoos A Sin
No. Getting a tattoo wouldnt be a sin, unless someone feels that it would be a sin and purposely does it anyway.
Jesus brother explains that sin is more simple in its definition. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesnt do it, it is sin for them . But that seems unlikely.
However, someone could feel that after coming to know Jesus, some or all of their tattoos are sinful. If thats the case, I would encourage the person to see their baptism as 2 Corinthians 5|17 tells us:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5|17
Now that they are in Christ those past sins are forgiven. This is a far less painful solution than having the tattoos removedan expensive and incredibly painful process.
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Bearing Fruit For God
Ask that question when you go to get a tattoo: Is it bearing fruit for God? That is the kind of question to ask. Or here is a third question. Is there a counterpart in our experience today to the compromise with the nations around Israel? Is our choice to get a tattoo influenced by the desire to be like the nations who do not love God? A person should seriously ask: Why am I doing this? Do I want to look like the nations who dont love God? Or am I in some way governed and controlled by an alien spirit rather than by the spirit of the gospel? Then the next thing I would do is look to the New Testament teaching on adornment. What is at play in these teachings that Paul gives is that being a follower of Christ makes a difference in how you dress and how you do makeup and how you do hair. It is really plain. In fact, it is plain in the Old Testament, too.
Ask that question when you go to get a tattoo: Is it bearing fruit for God?
The question, then, for women and I think, by implication, for men as well men would come under all these same things with regard to the things that they wear and the jewelry they use and stuff they put in their hair and all kinds of stuff. This is all for men and women, because the principles are the same Is this tattoo an expression of those good works? Is it a heartfelt expression of godliness? Is it part of a gentle and tranquil spirit that is resting in God and is content with Gods goodness to her or him?
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Reasons Not To Get A Tattoo
I believe tattoos are “lawful” for the Christian. It isn’t tattoos that are forbidden in Scripture, but pagan tattoos . Ultimately scripture neither presents the idea that tattoos somehow harm the temple of God or dishonor God. In fact, God uses the idea of a tattoo favorably when he speaks of his remembrance of his people.
However, while tattoos are permissible it is not always wise to get one. In fact there are a number of questions one needs to work through when considering tattoos. Just a few of them are:
Can I do this with a clear conscience, in faith, and honor the Lord? Will tattoos create an unnecessary barrier to my ministry or vocation? What does my spouse think?
When people, especially young people, start talking to me about tattoos I try to talk them out of it. I figure if I can talk them out of it they really have no business getting one.
Here are my top 10 reasons to not get a tattoo.
10. It’s mainstream and unoriginal. Everyone has them, why follow the trend?
09. It stinkin’ hurts.
08. You might regret what you get, what size it is, or where it is placed.
07. It could turn out bad. I mean really bad. You have no idea how many people pay a lot of money for what turns out to be a very ugly tattoo.
06. It’s expensive, can you really justify the cost?
05. It will draw attention. If you don’t like people staring at you this could be a bad decision. If you do like people staring at you there are some heart issues that need to be dealt with. No tattoo for you.
Final Things To Consider
As you grapple with the spiritual questions involved with getting a tattoo, remember to carefully weigh the health risks involved with getting a tattoo. Also, since tattoos are permanent, be sure to consider the possibility that you could regret your decision in the future. Although removal is possible, it is more expensive and painful.
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Tattoos In Christianity And Bible
In this section, were going to look at the particular piece of information that hints that tattoos are against the rules of Christianity. As you may probably know, there are all sorts of people with different hobbies and practices who still worship Jesus and Christianity.
Some of those people may also have tattoos without thinking or believing that theyve committed a sin or anything of that sort in terms of Christianity.
That said, lets first look at Bible.
The Holy Bible has two testaments, the Old and the New. The Old Testament refers mainly to the tales and rules associated with Moses and Judaism, while the new testament sheds light on Christianity and the uprising of Jesus Christ.
If we look at the New Testament, no verse speaks badly of tattoos or forbids them in any sense. That said, theres nothing that could potentially indicate that tattoos are a sin in Christianity and that you shouldnt practice them.
However, the same cant be said for the Old Testament, but it surely depends on how you interpret what its saying inside of it.
The tattoo is mentioned only once in the Old Testament. However, even that one time could be enough to hint that they are forbidden and considered sinful.
Nevertheless, according to the Christian blog davidservant.com, the word tattoo is mentioned once only in the New American Standard Version of the bible. The older versions of it may not specify the so-called verse that forbids the use of ink for tattooing.