The Bible offers a lot of insight into the way to live one’s life according to God, and warns against what you shouldn’t do if you want to be seen in his favor and get into Heaven. Sins are the bigges...

Are Tattoos a Sin?

The Bible offers a lot of insight into the way to live one’s life according to God, and warns against what you shouldn’t do if you want to be seen in his favor and get into Heaven. Sins are the biggest concern of many Christians, and are moral rules that are to be staunchly avoided. One question that comes up again and again is that of tattoos – are they a sin? We looked into this a little but to help you make a decision on whether or not getting a new tattoo would be against your religion or not.

What the Bible Says

The most typically quoted verse in the Bible that is often used as an argument that tattoos are a sin is that of Leviticus 19:28 which says: “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourself”. The literal translation of this text says “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”, but there’s one problem with interpreting this literally – it’s not clear what kind of mark, exactly, is being referred to. It’s very much up to interpretation here.

Cross and Bible Tattoo

Another commonly quoted verse against tattoos is that of 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies”. Essentially this quote is saying that you do not own your body, God does, so you aren’t to make any changes to it. Even this quote, though, doesn’t directly address the concept of tattoos, especially those in the modern sense.

If we’re judging only by the words used in these quotes, it could be assumed that the Bible refers to scarification and cutting on the flesh, as opposed to adding artwork in the form of tattoos.

Modern Interpretations

The verses and stories in the Bible have always been up for interpretation, especially in modern day culture. To take every instruction in the bible literally to this day would be unrealistic. For instance, in Leviticus, there are verses that forbid people from doing things that many people do on a daily basis. Verse 26 forbids people from eating meat, while verse 27 forbids the trimming of hair, but almost everybody cuts their hair, or eats meat at least once a day.

The time in which these verses were written was a very different time and culture than we’re living in now. At that time, the goal of written scripture was to steer people away from pagan culture and witchcrafty rituals, so things that were done in these cults were seen in negative regard. It’s safe to say that modern interpretations on the use of the word tattoo in the Bible are being seen a little different as well.

So, Are Tattoos a Sin?

Not really. Many Christians and people of other religions that involve scripture supposedly forbidding tattoos sport ink, especially those that pay tribute to their faith and love of God. Like most of the Bible, the verses about tattoos are up for interpretation, and if your personal interpretation is that God wouldn’t mind some artwork which reinforces your religion, or makes you feel good in your body, then it’s fair game to get a tattoo. Even Jesus himself apparently had a tattoo, if Revelation 19:16 is to be believed, “And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS”.

The decision to get a tattoo isn’t one to be taken lightly, especially if you’re concerned that doing so may go against your religious beliefs. Ask yourself a few questions, talk to your friends, or ask your church. If you aren’t satisfied that it’s okay to get inked, then don’t. But from the research we’ve done, we don’t think tattoos are as forbidden as some think.

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