What Does the Bible Say About Tattoos

The Bible references tattoos in Leviticus 19:28, which says, “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.” This Old Testament verse is often cited regarding the biblical stance on tattoos, suggesting a prohibition against them in specific cultural contexts.

The specific wording in Leviticus 19:28 is a prohibition against marking one’s body with tattoos and making cuts on oneself. However, the context suggests that the primary concern was likely about the Israelites adopting rituals and practices of neighboring pagan tribes, especially those associated with mourning or idolatrous worship.

Thus, while the text does mention tattoos, the emphasis is more on avoiding practices that resemble pagan rituals rather than a blanket prohibition on all forms of tattoos as we understand them today.

In today’s buzzing, ever-changing world, tattoos can be beautiful, meaningful, and deeply personal. Just remember to align that ink with what you truly stand for. After all, while tattoos might fade or blur over time, our beliefs and values? Those are forever. So, go on, wear your heart (or your faith) on your sleeve or wherever you choose! Just make sure it’s a reflection of the true you.

The Book of Revelations: A Different Perspective?

First off, the verse

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads

Revelation 13:16

Sounds a bit ominous. But before we jump to any tattoo parlor conclusions, let’s take a breather and really dissect this.

Revelation is chock-full of symbolism. It’s like the ultimate dream sequence in a movie. Things aren’t always as they seem. So, when it talks about a mark on the right hand or forehead, it’s likely not giving you tattoo advice or predicting future fashion trends. Instead, this “mark” is all about allegiance and identity.

Many scholars and theologians agree that the “mark of the beast” is less about literal branding and more about where one’s allegiance lies in the grand cosmic battle between good and evil. It’s not a prophecy about a compulsory cosmic tattoo session but a profound statement on loyalty and conviction.

Further Reading and Exploration

For those seeking to dive deeper into the topic, online resources and books are available.

  • Christian Tattoo Guide by Pastor Hank Mateiko
    • This book dives into the controversies and biblical stands on tattoos, body piercing, body branding, blood-letting rituals, and scarification. It could provide a rich perspective on how these practices are viewed through the lens of Christian doctrine.
  • Should a Christian Get a Tattoo? by Paul Chappell
    • Paul Chappell explores the concept of body and spirituality in this compact book, providing insights into God’s perspective on the matter. It might offer a nuanced view of how Christians might approach the topic of getting a tattoo.

These resources provide more context and perspectives on the subject, helping you make an informed decision based on your faith and convictions.


Is getting a tattoo a sin in the bible?

The Bible doesn’t explicitly label getting a tattoo as a sin. However, Leviticus 19:28, which advises against body markings, is often interpreted as a caution against tattoos.

What does the bible say about piercings?

Following our discussion on tattoos, the Bible does not explicitly reference piercings; interpretations and practices, therefore, vary widely among different groups and individuals.

What does the bible say about tattoos for the dead?

The Bible, in Leviticus 19:28, discourages marking the body of the dead as a sign of mourning.

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