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Are Tattoos A Sin In Christianity?

I wish someone else would have told me this earlier! Book of Leviticus and BEYOND

Are Tattoos Sinful in Christianity?

Tattoos are often seen as a way to express one’s individuality. The decision to get a tattoo is often very personal, but what does the bible say about tattoos? Does the bible say that tattoos are sinful or not sinful?

What does the bible verse such as Leviticus 19:28 and Leviticus 21:5–6 really mean when it comes to tattoos? Let’s explore this question together and see what we can uncover, by reasoning and by a plain reading of the text.

Tattoos in The Bible

In the Old Testament, there are a few scriptures that mention tattoos. One of them is Leviticus 19:28 which says:

Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am Jehovah.

Another scripture where tattoos are mentioned in Leviticus 21:5–6. In this passage, God orders that those who have been touched by leprosy or other skin diseases should be marked with identifying signs.

In both scriptures, the idea of marking oneself with ink is related to dedicating oneself to someone who has died and those who have been cursed by God because of their sinfulness. The implication here is that it’s better not to have tattoos at all because they can be seen as sinful, in the Old Testament.

Christian Beliefs on Tattoos

Some Christians believe that tattoos are sinful because they consider them to be an act of rebellion against God’s creation. Traditional Christian interpretation of Leviticus 19:28 has been viewed as evidence that tattoos are sinful. Leviticus 19:28 states:

Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD” (NIV).

However, Christians vary in their interpretations of this passage. Some say it prohibits all tattoos, while others say it only prohibits tattoos on the body parts which are usually covered up by clothing.

Another common explanation is this; because of Jesus death we are free from the law, Romans 8:2:

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

Beliefs about whether or not getting a tattoo are sinful to come down to what and how the scripture is interpreted, and how these scriptures relate to one’s personal beliefs about God and spirituality, but we have to realize that the Bible interprets itself.

For better understanding, feel free to check out this video, notice that this video is not created by me, it stands as a tool to help people to understand, how bible interprets itself.https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FSXsVxcWENMM%3Ffeature%3Doembed&display_name=YouTube&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DSXsVxcWENMM&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FSXsVxcWENMM%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=a19fcc184b9711e1b4764040d3dc5c07&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

The Bible and Rules about Tattoos

In Leviticus 19:28, it says that “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you.” This verse is telling people not to tattoo themselves, it seems to be forbidden by this rule.

However, this is my interpretation. You might agree with me on this one, so hear me out, in Old Testament, God told his fellow people that they should not be as other gentile nations are, in other words, they had to be unique and special in a certain way, because of their covenant with their Creator, aka God.

But everything changed when Jesus came unto the scene, because of his death we are abolished from the law of sin and death, and therefore one might argue that tattoos are okay, however in the New Testament, in 1 Corinthians 3:16–17, the bible says:

Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

This verse seems to indicate that we should take good care of our temple, nevertheless, the Holy Spirit dwells there, and hence we should keep it clean and holy.


The Bible does not mention the word tattoos directly in the passages, however, it describes tattoos, indeed. Tattoos in Christianity are a topic of debate, while some fellow Christians consider it a sin and others not.

Jesus is the only one who judges the heart and its intention. It is up to the individual to decide if they want a tattoo, and if they do, there will be consequences for every action of ours. That we know for sure while arguing from a biblical perspective of Christian faith.

Guest Author | Nojus Tumenas

Originally published at https://medium.com/@NojusTumenas


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