The topic of tattoos and its relationship to the Bible has been a matter of debate and interpretation among Christians for centuries. While the Bible does not explicitly mention tattoos, there are a few verses and stories that are often pointed out as being related to this subject. These passages give us insight into the beliefs and principles that shape the Christian perspective on tattoos.
A scripture frequently referenced is found in Leviticus 19:28, which states, “You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.” This verse is often used to argue against the practice of tattoo
Bible Verse That Talks About Tattoos
In a world where tattoos have become increasingly popular and accepted, many individuals are turning to the Bible for guidance on whether or not getting inked is in line with their faith. While the Bible does not explicitly mention tattoos, there are a few Bible verses that provide insight into this topic. One such verse is found in Leviticus 19:28, which states, “You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.” This verse is part of a larger passage where God gives instructions to the Israelites regarding various laws and regulations.
To understand the context of this verse, we can look at the book of Leviticus as a whole. In this Old Testament book, God provides guidelines to the Israelites to help shape their behavior and maintain their holiness. The verse condemning tattoos is included in a section that prohibits certain practices associated with pagan rituals and worship. In this particular case, tattooing was often linked to the worship of false gods and religious practices that conflicted with the worship of the one true God. Therefore, the prohibition against tattooing was not simply about the physical act itself, but about avoiding any association with idolatry or practices that were contrary to God’s commandments.
While this verse in Leviticus serves as a guideline, it is important to note that Christians are not bound by the entire body of Levitical law as outlined in the Old Testament. Through Jesus Christ, believers are now under the New Covenant, which focuses on faith in Him and love for God and others. As such, Christians may interpret the verse in Leviticus differently and make personal decisions based on their own understanding of biblical principles, cultural context, and personal conviction. Ultimately, the decision to get a tattoo is a matter of personal discernment and should be approached prayerfully and with wisdom.
1. Leviticus 19:28 – “You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.”
This verse from Leviticus highlights God’s commandment against making cuts on the body or tattooing oneself. The purpose behind this commandment is rooted in the concept of honoring and respecting the body as a temple of the Holy Spirit. By prohibiting self-inflicted cuts or tattoos, God emphasizes the importance of treating one’s body as sacred.
The context of this verse is the broader set of laws known as the Mosaic Law, which was given to the Israelites to guide them in righteous living. The specific prohibition against cutting or tattooing oneself is included in a chapter that lists various ethical and moral principles. This verse serves as a reminder for the Israelites to maintain purity and prevent any behavior that disrespects the sanctity of their bodies.
In ancient times, cutting oneself was a common practice among certain cultures as a form of mourning or expressing grief. By forbidding this practice, God aimed to distance the Israelites from such rituals and instead encouraged them to rely on His comfort and solace during times of mourning. Furthermore, tattooing in the ancient Near East was often associated with pagan religious rituals or cult practices. Therefore, God’s prohibition against tattooing aimed to ensure that His people did not assimilate with these idolatrous practices.
From a broader theological perspective, Leviticus 19:28 can also be seen as a symbolic representation of God’s desire for His people to avoid any bodily modification or action that may hinder their relationship with Him. By refraining from cutting or tattooing oneself, individuals can focus on nurturing their spiritual connection with God and living according to His will, rather than prioritizing physical appearances or societal expectations.
It is worth noting that Christians today may interpret this verse differently. Some view it as a commandment that still applies to them, while others understand it as a cultural restriction specific to the Israelites at that time. Ultimately, how believers choose to interpret and apply Leviticus 19:28 may vary depending on their theological beliefs and cultural context.
2. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
1. Leviticus 19:28 states, “You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.” This verse reminds us that our bodies are sacred and should not be defaced or disrespected. The story of Samson in the book of Judges serves as a powerful example of someone who violated this commandment. Samson, known for his strength, made a solemn vow to God to never cut his hair as a symbol of his dedication. However, he allowed his desires to override his commitment and revealed the secret of his strength to Delilah, who then cut off his hair, robbing him of his power. This serves as a cautionary tale, reminding us to cherish and honor our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit.
2. Building upon the previous verse, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 proclaims, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” This verse emphasizes that our bodies are not our own, but rather belong to God. This truth is demonstrated in the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis. When Joseph was a slave in Potiphar’s house, he resisted the advances of Potiphar’s wife, staying true to his commitment to God. Joseph recognized that his body was a temple of the Holy Spirit and refused to defile it. This verse encourages us to follow Joseph’s example and honor God with our bodies, using them as vessels to bring glory to His name.
3. Romans 14:23 – “But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.”
In Leviticus 19:28, God instructs His people not To make any cuttings or tattoos on their bodies. This verse states, “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord.”
These verses address different aspects of faith and obedience. Romans 14:23 emphasizes the importance of acting in faith, implying that if someone has doubts about whether an action is right or wrong, they should refrain from it. This verse pertains to matters of personal conviction and individual conscience, where faith should guide one’s actions.
On the other hand, Leviticus 19:28 is a specific command given by God to ancient Israel regarding tattoos and cuttings. It falls under the category of specific laws and regulations given to the Israelites, known as the Mosaic Law. This command was given in a particular cultural and historical context, and it was meant to distinguish the Israelites from the surrounding pagan nations.
In Christianity, there is a theological distinction between moral laws, ceremonial laws, and civil laws found in the Old Testament. Moral laws, such as the Ten Commandments, are considered universal and timeless principles that still apply to believers today. Ceremonial and civil laws, however, were specific to the Israelites and their unique situation.
Therefore, while Leviticus 19:28 still holds significance for Jewish believers and may be considered a wise principle against permanent body modifications, it is not explicitly binding on Christians today. The New Testament does not explicitly condemn or forbid tattoos, and believers are instead encouraged to follow the principles of love, faith, and obedience to God’s will.
It is crucial to interpret and apply verses in their appropriate contexts and understand the overall teachings of Scripture.
4. 1 Samuel 16:7 – “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.'”
In Leviticus 19:28, the Lord commands, ”You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.” This verse emphasizes the importance of not defiling our bodies and treating them with respect. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, as stated in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. We must remember that we do not belong to ourselves, but we have been bought with a price, so we should glorify God in our bodies.
Another relevant passage is Romans 14:23, which states, “But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.” Just as God sees beyond our outward appearance, He also sees our hearts and motives. Therefore, it is crucial to live according to our faith and not succumb to actions that go against our beliefs.
1 Samuel 16:7 reminds us that our Lord does not judge based on appearances or stature, but rather on the condition of our hearts. This is echoed in 1 Peter 3:3-4, which encourages us not to prioritize external adornment but to focus on cultivating a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in God’s sight.
Proverbs 16:31 highlights the value of a righteous life and the honor that comes with aging gracefully. It states, “Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.” This verse teaches us to embrace the natural process of aging and understand that true beauty comes from a life lived in righteousness.
As believers, we are called to live in freedom, as mentioned in Galatians 5:1. Christ has set us free, and we should stand firm in that freedom and not submit again to the yoke of slavery. We should strive to let our light shine before others, as stated in Matthew 5:16, so that they may see our good works and give glory to Our Father in heaven.
Overall, these verses remind us to honor and respect our bodies, live according to our faith, prioritize inner beauty over external appearances, embrace the process of aging, and live in the freedom that Christ has given us. By doing so, we can glorify God with our bodies and set an example for others to follow.
5. 1 Peter 3:3-4 – “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”
In Leviticus 19:28, we are reminded that our bodies are sacred and should not be defiled. This verse emphasizes the importance of not making cuts on our bodies or getting tattoos. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Therefore, we should treat them with respect and glorify God through our actions and choices.
Romans 14:23 teaches us that everything we do should be rooted in faith. It warns against participating in anything that causes doubt, for whatever is not done in faith is considered sin. This concept aligns with 1 Samuel 16:7, where God reminds us that He looks beyond our outward appearance and focuses on the condition of our hearts. He values the hidden person within us – the one adorned with a gentle and quiet spirit.
The passage in 1 Peter 3:3-4 serves as a reminder not to place excessive importance on external appearance. It encourages us to prioritize inner beauty over external adornment. This doesn’t mean we should neglect ourselves, but it implies that the state of our hearts is far more crucial than our outward appearance.
Proverbs 16:31 tells us that gray hair is a crown of glory, gained through a righteous life. This verse serves as a reminder that true beauty comes with age and the wisdom and righteousness that accompany it. It encourages us to embrace the natural aging process and value the inner character that develops over time.
Galatians 5 :22-23 teaches us about the fruits of the Spirit, which include love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These qualities are far more valuable than any external adornment or physical beauty. They reflect the character of Christ within us and should be our focus in our pursuit of true beauty.
Overall, these verses remind us to prioritize inner beauty, character, and the state of our hearts over external appearance. They emphasize the importance of living a life rooted in faith and seeking to grow in the fruits of the Spirit. By doing so, we can honor and glorify God through our actions and choices, and find true beauty that is imperishable in His sight.
6. Proverbs 16:31 – “Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.”
In the Bible, gray hair is referred to as a crown of glory, symbolizing wisdom and honor acquired through a righteous life. This verse reminds us that as we grow older and our hair turns gray, it is not something to be ashamed of, but rather a badge of honor to be celebrated. It speaks of the years of experience, knowledge, and understanding that come with Aging and the value that they bring to our lives.
The phrase “crown of glory” also implies a sense of dignity and respect that comes with age. Just as a crown is a symbol of authority and honor, gray hair represents the wisdom and maturity that comes with a righteous life. It is a sign of someone who has lived a life guided by moral and ethical principles, making wise choices and seeking to do what is right.
The verse suggests that gray hair is not something to be feared or hidden, but rather embraced and celebrated. It encourages us to value and respect the elderly, recognizing the wisdom and knowledge they possess. It also serves as a reminder to honor and learn from those who have lived longer and have gained valuable life experience.
Furthermore, this verse can be seen as a reminder to live a righteous life. It implies that the accumulation of gray hair is not just a natural process of aging, but also a result of a life well-lived according to godly principles. It encourages us to strive for righteousness, knowing that it will ultimately lead to a life of honor and wisdom.
Overall, Proverbs 16:31 reminds us to respect and value the wisdom and experience that come with age. It encourages us to embrace the gray hair as a symbol of the righteousness and honor acquired through a life well-lived.
7. Galatians 5:1 – “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
This verse from Galatians reminds us of the immense freedom we have through Christ. Jesus came to set us free from the bondage of sin and the Consequences that come with it. As believers in Christ, we are no longer under the burden of the law or enslaved to our past sins.
The phrase ”stand firm therefore” emphasizes the need to actively maintain our freedom in Christ. It is not enough to simply accept this freedom, but we must also guard it and protect it from anything that seeks to diminish or take it away from us.
The phrase “do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” serves as a warning against falling back into old patterns of sin or legalism. It reminds us that we have been set free, and we should not willingly put ourselves back under the bondage that Christ has already freed us from.
In our daily lives, this verse encourages us to choose the freedom that Christ has provided for us. It challenges us to live in the grace and liberty that Christ has given, rather than being burdened by guilt, shame, or legalistic rules.
As believers, we can find comfort and strength in knowing that through Christ, we have been set free. This freedom allows us to confidently live out our faith, knowing that we are not held captive by our past or by the expectations of others. We can embrace the fullness of life that comes from following Christ and walking in His freedom.
8. Matthew 5:16 – “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
When we read Matthew 5:16, we are reminded of the importance of being a positive influence in the world and reflecting the goodness of God through our actions. This verse calls us to let our light shine before others, so that they may witness our good works and ultimately give glory to our heavenly Father.
In Leviticus 19:28, God instructs His people not to make cuts on their bodies or tattoo themselves. This verse highlights the importance of honoring our bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit, as emphasized in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. We are not our own, but rather, we have been bought with a price. Therefore, we are called to glorify God in our bodies.
Romans 14:23 reminds us of the significance of acting in faith. Everything we do should be rooted in faith, for anything that does not come from faith is considered sin. Similarly, 1 Samuel 16:7 cautions us against judging others based on outward appearances. Instead, God looks at the heart. It is essential that our actions and motivations align with the goodness and righteousness of God.
In 1 Peter 3:3-4, we are encouraged to focus on the inner beauty of our hearts rather than emphasizing external adornments. Our gentle and quiet spirit is precious in the sight of God. Proverbs 16:31 reinforces the idea that true beauty comes from a righteous life. The gray hair obtained through a life well-lived is indeed a crown of glory.
Galatians 5:1 reminds us that Christ has set us free. We are free from the yoke of slavery and called to stand firm in our freedom. We are no longer bound by rules and regulations but are guided by the Spirit of God. This freedom empowers us to let our light shine and bring glory to God through our good works.
Ultimately, as 1 Corinthians 10:31 states, every aspect of our lives should be lived To bring glory to God. Whether in our actions, speech, or even our physical appearance, we should strive to let our light shine and reflect the goodness and righteousness of our heavenly Father. As we live in faith and honor our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit, we can inspire others to see the beauty of a life lived for God. Let us embrace the freedom we have been given in Christ and use it as an opportunity to positively impact the world around us.
9. 1 Corinthians 10:31 – “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
1. Leviticus 19:28 – “You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.”
In this verse, God instructs His people not to engage in practices such as cutting Their bodies or tattooing themselves for the dead. This is because these actions were often associated with pagan rituals and worship of false gods.
In the context of 1 Corinthians 10:31, the verse emphasizes the principle of doing everything to the glory of God. This means that in our daily actions, whether it be eating, drinking, or any other activity, we should strive to honor and bring glory to God. This verse encourages believers to live with a mindset of seeking to please and honor God in all aspects of their lives.
Therefore, while Leviticus 19:28 specifically addresses the issue of cutting and tattooing for the dead, it does not contradict the principle of doing all things for the glory of God. As Christians, we are guided by the teachings of the New Testament, including 1 Corinthians 10:31, which calls us to live in a way that reflects God’s glory and honors Him in all our actions.
10. Colossians 3:17 – ”And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him
1. Leviticus 19:28 emphasizes the importance of honoring our bodies as holy and not engaging in self-harm or permanently marking our bodies through tattoos. This verse reminds us that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and we should treat them with reverence and respect.
In the story of Samson, we see a clear example of how one’s hair and outward appearance can hold significance in God’s plan. Samson’s long hair symbolized his dedication to God and the source of his strength. When Samson’s hair was cut, he lost his strength, emphasizing the importance of our outward appearance reflecting our inner commitment to God.
2. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 reminds us that our bodies are not our own but are temples of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we should glorify God in how we treat and care for our physical bodies. Our bodies are a gift from God, and it is our responsibility to nurture and maintain them in a way that honors Him.
In the story of Daniel and his three friends, we see their commitment to honoring their bodies and glorifying God. When faced with the choice of defiling themselves with the king’s food, they chose to eat only what was permissible according to God’s laws. Their obedience and dedication to honoring their bodies as temples of God resulted in their physical and spiritual well-being.
3. Romans 14:23 reminds us that a key aspect of living a life pleasing to God is having faith in all that we do. This verse highlights the importance of aligning our actions with our beliefs and desires to ensure that our motives and intentions are rooted in faith.
In the story of Noah, we witness his unwavering faith in obeying God’s command to build the ark. Despite facing ridicule from others and having no evidence of a flood, Noah trusted in God’s word and faithfully carried out his instructions. His faith guided his actions, leading to the preservation of his family and the animal kingdom.
4. In 1 Samuel 16:7, we are reminded that God looks beyond our outward appearance and focuses on the condition of our hearts. This verse teaches us the significance of cultivating a Heart that is pleasing to God, rather than placing excessive importance on our physical appearance.
In the story of David, we see this principle at work. When Samuel was tasked with anointing a new king, he initially focused on the outward appearance of David’s brothers. However, God reminded Samuel that He looks at the heart, and ultimately chose David, who had a heart after God’s own heart. David’s humility, faith, and devotion to God made him a great king, despite not fitting society’s expectations of what a king should look like.
5. Proverbs 31:30 emphasizes the value of inner beauty and character over outward appearance. This verse serves as a reminder that true beauty comes from a woman who fears the Lord and has a gentle and kind heart.
In the story of Ruth, we witness the beauty of her character and her loyalty to her mother-in-law, Naomi. Despite facing difficult circumstances, Ruth demonstrated selflessness, loyalty, and humility. These qualities far outweighed any physical beauty she may have possessed, and they ultimately led to her being greatly blessed by God.
These Biblical passages and stories provide valuable lessons about the importance of honoring our bodies as temples and focusing on inner beauty and character. They teach us to prioritize our relationship with God, have faith in all that we do, and cultivate hearts that are pleasing to Him.