They’ve resulted in severe allergic reactions, infections, unsightly scars, and blood-borne diseases like Hepatitis B and C. Tattooing deliberately opens skin and exposes your blood to unknown bacteria. ", Romans 14: What to Do When the Bible Is Not Clear. Well, certainly many Christians today eat non-kosher meats, get haircuts, and trim their beards. Non-Israelites did not hold this view. Leviticus 19:28 You must not make any cuts in your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. Instead of asking, “Is it okay for a Christian to get a tattoo,” a better question might be, “Is it okay for me to get a tattoo?” All rights reserved. What Does the Bible Say About Divorce and Remarriage? “The origins of tattooing came from ancient magical practices. 6 | Polyester, or any other fabric blends. (NLT). Some people object to using Old Testament scripture as a reference to tattoos since the New Testament doesnt speak of these things. At least nothing definitive. What Does the Bible Say About Paying Taxes? It’s true that the practice was forbidden in the Old Testament Law. Please, think before you ink. Still, the important question remains: Is getting a tattoo a form of pagan, worldly worship forbidden by God today, or is it okay now for Christians to get tattoos? God desires to set his people apart from other cultures. Some Christians condemn all tattooing as immoral because God clearly forbids them in Leviticus 19:28. Over 40 Bible Verses About Tattoos Bible Verses For Tattoos. Will I cause a weaker brother or sister to stumble if I receive a tattoo. Will I still want the tattoo years from now? Tattoos are permanent and clearly forbidden. 5 Tips for Using Scripture as Defense, 7 Ways We Know God Is the Author of Romance, New Podcast from Dan Darling: "The Characters of Christmas", 5 Unexpected Blessings of COVID Christmas, This site is a proud member of the Salem Web Network, a subsidiary of, Copyright © 2020, Crosswalk.com. Some Christians quote Old Testament Scriptures to say that body piercings and tattoos are forbidden and use such verses as Leviticus 19:28 “You shall not … Leviticus 19:28 seems to imply this when it says, “you will not make cuttings in your flesh, for the dead, nor print marks on you.” In light of this information from Egypt and Canaan, it would seem God was forbidding scarification, not tattooing as we know it. It is very important to look at the various verses that talk about the issue of tattoo before deciding whether to get one or not. . You've planned for your future. I am the LORD. “Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. Motive for a Tattoo– Why get a tattoo? Will my tattoo cause someone who is weak in the faith to stumble? The question is not whether a Christian can get a tattoo. There is that verse in Leviticus that speaks against putting marks on your body. Many employers will restrict your tattoos, requiring you to cover them up because they are not socially acceptable from a business standpoint. We know our body is not our own, but rather God’s temple (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). He commands against it out of protection and love, because he knows it will lead his people away from the one true God. There are some Christians who believe it is a sin. That seems pretty clear, right? It's important to look at the verse in context. If it is in rebellion to parents, it is clearly not acceptable … Modification – Since the Bible does not explicitly forbid tattoos, are there any limits? This appears to be what the prophet is condemning, not the modern custom of “esthetic” tattooing – regardless of how distasteful such a practice may be to many people. 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. All three Abrahamic religions have more in com. Tattoos often accentuate certain areas of the body and get our thoughts on that body part. a better question might be, "Is it okay for me to get a tattoo? However, while it’s true that tattoos were forbidden under Levitical law, we must remember that these laws were given to the Nation of Israel, not the Body of Christ. Some say that getting a tattoo is a sin because in Leviticus the Bible forbids placing any type of mark on the body. And while artistic self-expression can be OK, our primary motive for anything we do should be to glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31). Should Christians Get Tattoos? What Does the Bible Say About Burning Sage? A growing experience with tattoos is what has officially been termed, “tattoo regret.” As you mature, you may, like increasing numbers of people, regret your tattoos because you have outgrown their messages and changed your values. With this said, while there may be no clear passage in the Bible addressing tattoos, this is hardly a license for unrestrained tattooing. But, is it forbidden if it's just for decoration and not honouring another god/idolatry? One website, Tattoo Info, says, “In America, you can expect a basic price of $80 to $100 an hour...very few shops will ever touch you for less than $40” (2004-2009). What does the Bible say about tattoos? .” It’s also important to keep in mind that the removal technologies being developed are even more expensive than the cost of getting a tattoo in the first place. With a simple reading of this verse, it appears that tattoos are clearly forbidden in the Bible. 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The Bible is the single authoritative text on morality and good values in the Christian faith - along with the Quran for Islam and the Torah for Judaism. I am the LORD. Elaine Pomeransky Edinburgh February 19, 2020. in response to Chabad.org Staff: It's forbidden to cut yourself or mark yourself in honour of the dead. Nevertheless tattooing may have an eternal consequence that people do not think about. The Bible is recognized as the greatest book ever written and for good reason. Reply. tattooing. Use these guiding questions to think through your decision. Tattoos are generally forbidden in Judaism based on the Torah (Leviticus 19:28): "You shall not make gashes in your flesh for the dead, or incise any marks on yourselves: I am the Lord." ... 13 Getting Tattoos. If you go online to try to answer the tattoo question, you’ll see both approaches and contradictory conclusions. Marketability – Will employers want to hire you? I am the Lord.”. In this chapter, the apostle Paul urges believers to stop judging one another and disrupting unity in the church over nonessential matters in the Christian life. We are responsible to God for how we use our money. If so, the question likely falls into a category that Bible scholars have dubbed "disputable matters" based on Romans 14. Today, some have permanently modified their bodies to look more like animals or aliens than humans, who alone are created in his image. Leviticus 19:28 You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the LORD. As you grapple with the spiritual questions involved with getting a tattoo, remember to carefully weigh the health risks involved with getting a tattoo. Let’s tackle the biblical side of your question first. This article originally appeared in Reach Out, Columbia magazine and is used with permission. Any forms of fortune telling, consulting with mediums, spirits are all forbidden. Modesty – Modesty means not being self-promoting. Evidence suggests that tattooing the body parts of women associated with fertility (breasts, thighs and abdomen) was believed to be a good luck charm to protect the birthing process. Archeology, backed by biblical texts, indicates the Canaanites would customarily slash their bodies for ritualistic purposes (1 Kings 18:28), especially to mourn their dead and honor their gods. Verse 23 states, "...everything that does not come from faith is sin." Will my tattoo be a source of contention for my loved ones? In fact, “Pope Hadrian banned tattooing, stating that God made man’s body in his image and to deface it in any way was to deface God’s gift.”. Would God Make Me Marry Someone I'm Not Attracted To? But maybe not. Furthermore, the tattoos carried magical significance to the religious bearers. Instead of asking, "Is it okay for Christians to get tattoos?" The background to this law was that Israel, after being rescued from slavery, was between Egypt and Canaan. Since the word tattoo does appear in this verse in some popular English translations, this argument seems straightforward. The verse in the Bible that most Christians make reference to is Leviticus 19:28, which says,"You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord." Tattoo parlors are not medical clinics, although they are puncturing skin and exposing blood. However, in the New Testament we are even called to a higher law. 8) James M. Freeman, Manners & Customs of the Bible, Whitaker House, !996, p. 301-302. We don't accuse them of participating in the forbidden practices of pagans. These are difficult and controversial questions in the body of Christ and many believers struggle, wondering if getting a tattoo is a sin. The focus here is prohibiting worldly idol worship and witchcraft. Here are some bible verses about tattoo. 7 Points to Consider First. Perhaps the correct and most appropriate answer is both yes and no. And throughout history, the tattoo has ALWAYS been condemned by Bible Believing Christians. Or Thug Life across your abdomen. Will getting a tattoo cause me to disobey my parents? I would argue that what god ruled for the children of Israel in those long ago days are not rules for Christians. In Canaan, evidence indicates that instead of marking the body with ink, more extreme scarification measures, like branding, slashing or gashing the skin were used. Yes, they are forbidden. Perhaps that is why in the old testament the cutting/printing of the skin in times of grief was forbidden. To Tattoo or Not To? Further, the word tattoo did not enter into the English language until the late 1700s. Medical concerns – There are real health risks with tattoos. We are to have Gods laws written in our hearts. Some Christians condemn all tattooing as immoral because God clearly forbids them in Leviticus 19:28. This still is forbidden by God. The word for marks, also used here alone, has an uncertain root, so we’re not really sure what the word means. Leviticus 19:28 An Overview - Part 1 of 5 - Duration: 9:36. At such a time it might be appropriate for the [Conservative movement’s] law committee to consider whether removal of tattoos should become a requirement of teshuvah [repentance, or reversion to behavior according to Jewish norms], conversion, or burial. Article Images Copyright ©. In ancient times, these customs were associated with pagan rites and rituals. Tattoos are more popular than ever. Discuss them with mature Christian adults you trust. Compare Major Beliefs of 7 Christian Denominations, health risks involved with getting a tattoo, General Biblical Studies, Interdenominational Christian Training Center. Money – Is this the wisest use of money? Our own view is that the Bible has nothing specific to say to Christians on the permissibility of tattoos. Leviticus 19:28 literally translates, “And a cutting for the dead you will not make in your flesh; and writing marks you will not make on you; I am the Lord.” The word writing refers to inscribed or engraved symbols/words, and is used only here. 1. The Bible is ridiculous. You shall not interpret omens or tell fortunes. However, the Bible has also been contracted by those who Manipulated in their favor . In defense of tattoos, we now understand that the image of God is a spiritual one conveyed as “salt and light.”. The word translated tattoo in our English Bibles is the Hebrew word “qa aqa”, this word appears only one time in the Bible, here in this passage Leviticus. Now protect it. When Jesus rose from the dead the nail prints on his skin were evident. Will my parents and family approve, and/or will my future spouse want me to have this tattoo? The Bible has a high view of the body as God’s handiwork, which is not to be disfigured. Only Voluntary, Permanent Tattooing is Forbidden He lives in Forest, VA, with his wife of 25 years and their adult daughter, and enjoys teaching college-aged adults in his church. If it is in rebellion to parents, it is clearly not acceptable (Ephesians 6:1-3). It depends on who you ask. Message of the Tattoo – What is it about yourself that you want to communicate to the world? “Outward adornment” is not as important as the development of the “inner self” and should not be the focus of a Christian ( 1 Peter 3:3–4 ). The surrounding verses reveal that forbidding tattoos is but one of many things associated with pagan peoples that the God of Israel prohibits such as making daughters into prostitutes, and turning to mediums and necromancers. Also, since tattoos are permanent, be sure to consider the possibility that you could regret your decision in the future. Do I have freedom in Christ and a clear conscience before the Lord regarding the decision to get a tattoo? We must ask ourselves how much we can modify our bodies to suit our desires while not disfiguring the beauty of the human form as God made it. California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. Thinking modestly will lead you to think about, and even limit, the size, number, and locations of tattoos. The Bible makes no specific reference to tattoos as we understand them in modern times. Not at all. I am the Lord." Getting a tattoo for purposes of witness may be acceptable, but remember, this is not the primary or most effective way to evangelize. With such prevalence and rising interest, Christians rightfully ask what the Bible says about tattoos. Take some time to honestly answer these questions and then pray and trust God to show you what to do. Or even, fittingly enough, a cross. This is probably why the KJV, written in the early 1600s, is closer to the literal translation saying, “ye shall not...print marks upon you.”. Am I seeking to glorify God or draw attention to myself? The short answer is...nothing. Leviticus 19:28 reads, “You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the Lord.” Not even a little butterfly on your ankle. I’ve received a lot of questions from people asking what the Bible says about tattoos. So, this matter is disputable, and should be treated as a Romans 14 issue. Reading horoscopes and following star signs are forms of fortune telling which are clearly forbidden in the bible. 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." The Bible verse you are referring to, Leviticus 19:28 specifically is referring to certain pagan customs popular at the time. What Does the Bible Say About the Right to Bear Arms? The Mayo Clinic warns, “don’t take tattooing lightly”. Since the word tattoo does appear in this verse in some popular English translations, this … Will Honeycutt has been a professor of contemporary issues and apologetics at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA, since 1995. 15 Shocking Things Forbidden In The Bible That We Do Anyway. Although removal is possible, it is more expensive and painful. God forbids his holy people to engage in idolatrous worship and sorcery which imitates those who are ungodly. I read in some sorts of the Bible that it is forbidden ; any types of modifications to the body. With a simple reading of this verse, it appears that tattoos are clearly forbidden in the Bible. Recent archeology indicates that, while Egypt did tattoo, it was limited to women. This means seeking to honor and draw attention to him, not ourselves. In matters where the Bible is unclear, we are better off judging ourselves only and leaving the judgment of others to God. Here are some questions to ask yourself: What are my motives for wanting a tattoo? Both of these approaches, however, are misleading because, as we will see, the answer to the tattoo question is that the Bible has nothing clearly to say about the practice of injecting ink under the skin to form permanent pictures, patterns or messages—a.k.a. (3) Since the New Testament does not address the issue of tattooing specifically, one must be guided by principle. They aren't referring to modern tattoos. "'Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. As are wearing mixed fabrics, getting divorced, eating pork, eating shrimp, being homosexual and among others. In the Ne… Women also frequently had imprints of the fertility goddess, Bes, which seems to support this theory. “You shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it. Since the word tattoo does appear in this verse in some popular English translations, this argument seems straightforward. Now that's pretty clear. Currently one in five U.S. adults has at least one tattoo (21percent) which is up from the 16 percent and 14 percent who reported having a tattoo in 2003 and 2008, respectively, by the Harris Poll. Motive for a Tattoo– Why get a tattoo? What Does the Bible Say About Forgiveness? Is God okay with Christians having tattoos? These questions will help you decide whether or not getting a tattoo is a sin for you: Ultimately, the decision to get a tattoo is between you and God. Still, the important question remains: Is getting a tattoo a form of pagan, worldly worship forbidden by God today, or is it okay now for Christians to get tattoos? ", The Bible says in Leviticus 19:28, "Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. For example although the Bible does not say, Thou shalt not smoke or Drug addiction is bad for you; we know that these things are destructive to the human body. For a minor to get a tattoo in violation of his or her parents’ wishes is biblically unsupportable. Entertainers, professional athletes, and even a 2009 version of Barbie, have multiple, and very visible, tattoos. As God's servants, Christians are accountable to the Lord alone. They are nearly permanent and will likely be with you for life. Tattoos forbidden? The Bible makes no specific reference to tattoos as we understand them in modern times. Numerous companies don’t want your tattoo to be visible, and it can actually prevent you from being hired. ... What does the Bible say about tattoos / getting a tattoo?