Am I seeking to glorify God or draw attention to myself? The Bible makes no specific reference to tattoos as we understand them in modern times. Over 40 Bible Verses About Tattoos Bible Verses For Tattoos. 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. They aren't referring to modern tattoos. God desires to set his people apart from other cultures. 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. The Bible is recognized as the greatest book ever written and for good reason. In Romans 14, God gives us the means to judge our motives and weigh our decisions. Some Christians condemn all tattooing as immoral because God clearly forbids them in Leviticus 19:28. Use these guiding questions to think through your decision. And while artistic self-expression can be OK, our primary motive for anything we do should be to glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31). 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. Also, since tattoos are permanent, be sure to consider the possibility that you could regret your decision in the future. “The origins of tattooing came from ancient magical practices. However, in the New Testament we are even called to a higher law. 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." Message of the Tattoo – What is it about yourself that you want to communicate to the world? 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. The following are guiding questions to help you think through your decision. 7 Points to Consider First. Motive for a Tattoo– Why get a tattoo? Christmas Light Show Set To 'Mary Did You Know', 'Christmas in Heaven' - Scotty McCreery Song for Lost Loved Ones, 3 Reasons the 'Christmas Star' of 2020 Is Bringing So Much Hope, Amazing Children's Choir Sings 'I Can Only Imagine', 10 Things Your Husband Really Doesn't Like, Pentatonix Sings 'Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)' A Cappella, How Couples Can Keep from Growing Apart in Marriage - Crosswalk Couples Devotional - December 9, 10 Ways to Refocus on Jesus This Christmas, Get Back, Satan! God forbids his holy people to engage in idolatrous worship and sorcery which imitates those who are ungodly. Other Christians say this passage no longer applies to us because it is Old Testament law, and not for Christians. ” Leviticus 19:26 ESV Some Christians condemn all tattooing as immoral because God clearly forbids them in Leviticus 19:28. Tattoos often accentuate certain areas of the body and get our thoughts on that body part. There is a right choice for each individual. They have no such associations today, so these passages don’t apply to us. What does the Bible say about tattoos? For a minor to get a tattoo in violation of his or her parents’ wishes is biblically unsupportable. The Bible is ridiculous. 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. Since the word tattoo does appear in this verse in some popular English translations, this … Leviticus 19:28 An Overview - Part 1 of 5 - Duration: 9:36. In the Ne… tattooing. We know our body is not our own, but rather God’s temple (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Now that's pretty clear. 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. Perhaps the correct and most appropriate answer is both yes and no. I am the LORD. The Bible makes no specific reference to tattoos as we understand them in modern times. The focus here is prohibiting worldly idol worship and witchcraft. If you go online to try to answer the tattoo question, you’ll see both approaches and contradictory conclusions. The Bible has a high view of the body as God’s handiwork, which is not to be disfigured. ... What does the Bible say about tattoos / getting a tattoo? We are to have Gods laws written in our hearts. Or Thug Life across your abdomen. 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.”. Marketability – Will employers want to hire you? This article originally appeared in Reach Out, Columbia magazine and is used with permission. With a simple reading of this verse, it appears that tattoos are clearly forbidden in the Bible. These are difficult and controversial questions in the body of Christ and many believers struggle, wondering if getting a tattoo is a sin. Since the word tattoo does appear in this verse in some popular English translations, this argument seems straightforward. Motive for a Tattoo– Why get a tattoo? We don't accuse them of participating in the forbidden practices of pagans. With a simple reading of this verse, it appears that tattoos are clearly forbidden in the Bible. Can we receive the “Mark” by force? Here are some questions to ask yourself: What are my motives for wanting a tattoo? Tattoos born of rebellion are sinful. When we remain close to the Lord and obey Him, He can direct us in things that are not good for us. Since the word tattoo does appear in this verse in some popular English translations, this argument seems straightforward. If the Bible says that tattoo is not good, then we should stay away from it. Modesty – Modesty means not being self-promoting. However, the Bible has also been contracted by those who Manipulated in their favor . Discuss them with mature Christian adults you trust. With such prevalence and rising interest, Christians rightfully ask what the Bible says about tattoos. Is God okay with Christians having tattoos? In defense of tattoos, we now understand that the image of God is a spiritual one conveyed as “salt and light.”. Will Honeycutt has been a professor of contemporary issues and apologetics at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA, since 1995. The background to this law was that Israel, after being rescued from slavery, was between Egypt and Canaan. The word for marks, also used here alone, has an uncertain root, so we’re not really sure what the word means. That seems pretty clear, right? Recent archeology indicates that, while Egypt did tattoo, it was limited to women. All rights reserved. The subject of tattooing is not mentioned in the New Testament. To Tattoo or Not To? If it is in rebellion to parents, it is clearly not acceptable … I would argue that what god ruled for the children of Israel in those long ago days are not rules for Christians. Will I still want the tattoo years from now? 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. It's important to look at the verse in context. The short answer is...nothing. Nevertheless tattooing may have an eternal consequence that people do not think about. They are nearly permanent and will likely be with you for life. What Does the Bible Say About Forgiveness? . With this said, while there may be no clear passage in the Bible addressing tattoos, this is hardly a license for unrestrained tattooing. 1. 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." “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 ). 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. It depends on who you ask. Tattoos are more popular than ever. 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. The Bible verse you are referring to, Leviticus 19:28 specifically is referring to certain pagan customs popular at the time. Perhaps the correct and most appropriate answer is both yes and no. You've planned for your future. 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. We are responsible to God for how we use our money. Further, the word tattoo did not enter into the English language until the late 1700s. You still need to think before you ink, especially if you’re a Christian. 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. “Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. "'Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. So, this matter is disputable, and should be treated as a Romans 14 issue. There are some Christians who believe it is a sin. I am the LORD. 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. Thinking modestly will lead you to think about, and even limit, the size, number, and locations of tattoos. “You shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it. Our own view is that the Bible has nothing specific to say to Christians on the permissibility of tattoos. But maybe not. 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). Will my tattoo cause someone who is weak in the faith to stumble? Or even, fittingly enough, a cross. ", The Bible says in Leviticus 19:28, "Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. Many employers will restrict your tattoos, requiring you to cover them up because they are not socially acceptable from a business standpoint. The question is not whether a Christian can get a tattoo. Modification – Since the Bible does not explicitly forbid tattoos, are there any limits? Please, think before you ink. If so, the question likely falls into a category that Bible scholars have dubbed "disputable matters" based on Romans 14. Verse 23 states, "...everything that does not come from faith is sin." For example, the NIV reads, “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. 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. 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." Are tattoos forbidden by God? And throughout history, the tattoo has ALWAYS been condemned by Bible Believing Christians. 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. Reading horoscopes and following star signs are forms of fortune telling which are clearly forbidden in the bible. 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? (NLT). 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. On this and many other matters, each person has to … The Mayo Clinic warns, “don’t take tattooing lightly”. He commands against it out of protection and love, because he knows it will lead his people away from the one true God. I am the Lord.”. All three Abrahamic religions have more in com. There is that verse in Leviticus that speaks against putting marks on your body. Yes, they are forbidden. You shall not interpret omens or tell fortunes. Will getting a tattoo cause me to disobey my parents? Numerous companies don’t want your tattoo to be visible, and it can actually prevent you from being hired. Tattoo parlors are not medical clinics, although they are puncturing skin and exposing blood. The Bible makes no specific reference to tattoos as we understand them in modern times. Body piercing and tattooing were forbidden in the Old Testament because they were associated with pagan religious practices. 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 … Tattoos forbidden? I am the LORD. What Does the Bible Say About Eternal Life? 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. 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? Don’t make this decision hastily or rashly. Well, certainly many Christians today eat non-kosher meats, get haircuts, and trim their beards. Now protect it. 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. Take some time to honestly answer these questions and then pray and trust God to show you what to do. 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. 8) James M. Freeman, Manners & Customs of the Bible, Whitaker House, !996, p. 301-302. Women also frequently had imprints of the fertility goddess, Bes, which seems to support this theory. Today they are not. Will my tattoo be a source of contention for my loved ones? At least nothing definitive. Leviticus 19:28 You must not make any cuts in your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. Some people object to using Old Testament scripture as a reference to tattoos since the New Testament doesnt speak of these things. The fact is... Up until a few years ago, virtually everyone, including the most liberal Christian, KNEW the tattoo was clearly forbidden by the Word of God. Let’s tackle the biblical side of your question first. .” He lives in Forest, VA, with his wife of 25 years and their adult daughter, and enjoys teaching college-aged adults in his church. What Does the Bible Say About Divorce and Remarriage? No tattoos. 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. Will my parents and family approve, and/or will my future spouse want me to have this tattoo? When Jesus rose from the dead the nail prints on his skin were evident. ... 13 Getting Tattoos. I am the Lord." Tattoos are powerful messages, automatically conveying what you value. ", Romans 14: What to Do When the Bible Is Not Clear. 6 | Polyester, or any other fabric blends. Do I have freedom in Christ and a clear conscience before the Lord regarding the decision to get a tattoo? Will I cause a weaker brother or sister to stumble if I receive a tattoo. The word “ qa aqa ” means literally “to cut” but taken with the surrounding words indicates a cutting that left a mark imprinted in the skin. Furthermore, the tattoos carried magical significance to the religious bearers. What Does the Bible Say About Paying Taxes? 15 Shocking Things Forbidden In The Bible That We Do Anyway. You are not fulfilling the Great Commission simply because you have a tattoo of a Bible verse. Compare Major Beliefs of 7 Christian Denominations, health risks involved with getting a tattoo, General Biblical Studies, Interdenominational Christian Training Center. What Does the Bible Say About Burning Sage? California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. Article Images Copyright ©. Medical concerns – There are real health risks with tattoos. In ancient times, these customs were associated with pagan rites and rituals. 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. Non-Israelites did not hold this view. 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. Some Christians condemn all tattooing as immoral because God clearly forbids them in Leviticus 19:28. a better question might be, "Is it okay for me to get a tattoo? In matters where the Bible is unclear, we are better off judging ourselves only and leaving the judgment of others to God. 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. Tattoos are permanent and clearly forbidden. 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. I’ve received a lot of questions from people asking what the Bible says about tattoos. Reply. Mary Fairchild is a full-time Christian minister, writer, and editor of two Christian anthologies, including "Stories of Cavalry. It is hard to believe that anyone with a “tramp stamp” (a tattoo on the lower back) is really seeking to direct people’s thoughts toward God. This still is forbidden by God. Not at all. It’s true that the practice was forbidden in the Old Testament Law. Would God Make Me Marry Someone I'm Not Attracted To? Money – Is this the wisest use of money? Today, some have permanently modified their bodies to look more like animals or aliens than humans, who alone are created in his image. If it is in rebellion to parents, it is clearly not acceptable (Ephesians 6:1-3). Here is a self-exam based on the ideas put forth in Romans 14. Although removal is possible, it is more expensive and painful. The Serpent and Forbidden Fruit Tattoo by Toni Donaire is a neo-traditional tattoo design based on the Bible story of Adam and Eve life in the Edem. 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?” Here are some bible verses about tattoo. But, is it forbidden if it's just for decoration and not honouring another god/idolatry? This means seeking to honor and draw attention to him, not ourselves. It's vital to examine your heart and your motives before you make 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. It is in no way a substitute for verbally communicating the gospel. As you grapple with the spiritual questions involved with getting a tattoo, remember to carefully weigh the health risks involved with getting a tattoo. Perhaps that is why in the old testament the cutting/printing of the skin in times of grief was forbidden. Getting a tattoo for purposes of witness may be acceptable, but remember, this is not the primary or most effective way to evangelize. Should Christians Get Tattoos? 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.”. As God's servants, Christians are accountable to the Lord alone. I read in some sorts of the Bible that it is forbidden ; any types of modifications to the body. 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. (3) Since the New Testament does not address the issue of tattooing specifically, one must be guided by principle. As are wearing mixed fabrics, getting divorced, eating pork, eating shrimp, being homosexual and among others. Any forms of fortune telling, consulting with mediums, spirits are all forbidden. Only Voluntary, Permanent Tattooing is Forbidden Are you seeking to direct people’s thoughts toward God or yourself? Entertainers, professional athletes, and even a 2009 version of Barbie, have multiple, and very visible, tattoos. What Does the Bible Say About the Right to Bear Arms? It cannot be denied that the Bible is one of the most remarkable books that exists and unlike any text that is written. Am I passing judgment on a brother or sister because I don't have freedom in Christ to receive a tattoo? Instead of asking, "Is it okay for Christians to get tattoos?" 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