Over the past few decades, tattoos have grown significantly in popularity. It has grown to the point that 36% of adults aged 18-29 flatter their bodies with at least one tattoo in the United States. Tattoos are great because they can help individuals express themselves or honor an important memory. But what does religion have to say about tattooing?
Since Christianity is the most powerful and dominant religion in the world right now, it doesn’t surprise us that many people ask if tattoos are a sin in Christianity.
We will answer this question below and give an in-depth explanation and history of tattooing in Christianity. If the information you will read below will encourage you to take this important step in life and if a part of your body is on you.
The world is becoming more open about tattoos. In the past, many companies had a lot of trouble with people being inked whether the tattoo was visible or not. Nowadays, companies are more and more open about tattoos and they won’t hurt people who are inked. However, the rest of the world has yet to open up to tattoos, including religion.
When it comes to Christianity, people are divided. While the majority of churches and theologians do not encourage ink and consider it a kind of sin, there are also many experts in Christianity who are accepted on the matter. The truth is somewhere in the middle, and below we’ll detail everything we know about tattoos in Christianity and whether or not they’re allowed.
Tattoos in Christianity and the Bible
In this section, we are going to look at the particular information that suggests that tattoos are against the rules of Christianity. As you probably know, there are all kinds of people with different hobbies and practices who still worship Jesus and Christianity.
Some of these people may also have tattoos without thinking or believing that they have committed any sin or anything like that in terms of Christianity.
That said, let’s look at the Bible first.
The Holy Bible has two testaments, the old and the new. The Old Testament primarily refers to tales and rules associated with Moses and Judaism, while the New Testament highlights Christianity and the uprising of Jesus Christ.
If we look at the New Testament, there is no verse that speaks badly of tattoos or prohibits them in any way. That said, there’s nothing that could potentially indicate that tattoos are a sin in Christianity and you shouldn’t practice them.
However, the same cannot be said of the Old Testament, but it surely depends on how you interpret what it says within.
The tattoo is only mentioned once in the Old Testament. However, even this one time might be enough to imply that they are forbidden and considered sinful.
However, according to Christian blog davidservant.com, the word tattoo is only mentioned once in the New American Standard Version of the Bible. Older versions of it may not specify the so-called verse that forbids the use of ink for tattooing.
But what exactly does the verse say about tattoos? We’ll take a look.
In the Old Testament of the Bible in Leviticus 19 there is a verse that points out that people should not get tattoos. This part is highlighted as the law of Moses. According to Leviticus 19:28, God said “Thou shalt make no cut in thy body for the dead.”
As you know, the tattooing process includes piercing a tattoo needle through the outer layer of your skin to outline your tattoo, and this can be referred to as skin cutting. Also, some people often get tattoos to honor someone who has passed away and wear the memory of it on their skin with ink.
The other half of the verse may give more clues as to why there is such a prohibition.
According to the same site cited above, this verse referred to the pagan culture practiced by civilization in the land of Canaan, where people would cut and foul their bodies after someone died, to honor them and venerate their memory. It was a way for these people to mourn their loved ones and express their grief for them.
However, it should be noted that Christians are not obligated under the law of Moses, which means that these verses probably do not apply to them, although some theologians and other Bible experts may refer these verses to the fact that the inking culture is sinful in Christianity.
People who kept the law of Moses only kept it for a specific period, which lasted in Israel after the Jews were able to escape the tyranny of ancient Egypt and were delivered to the “promised land” by God.
While Christians do not stick to the law of Moses, there are still rules that have continued on Christianity and have been named the law of Christ. These are the basic rules that you have probably heard of in the Church, such as moral rules that apply such as no stealing, no committing adultery, no loving one’s neighbor and one another.
Is the tattoo then a sin?
If you frequently visit the Church, read the Gospels and other materials on Christianity, there would be no information to suggest that tattoos are forbidden or culpable. Even the apostles who carried the word of Christ did not mention anything about cutting and inking your body.
That said, we believe that tattooing is not a sin and in no way will tattooing your body prevent you from entering the heavenly gates upon your death. We believe it also stems from the fact that getting a tattoo does no harm to others, or does anything sinful.
Christianity teaches us that stealing, disrespecting our loved ones and murdering is a sin, but tattooing your body does not mean that you have committed any of the aforementioned sins.
The Old Testament verse likely refers to the non-practice of what this group of tribes do to honor their deceased member.
Perhaps it was versed in such a way that performing such rituals made people similar to this pride and alienated them from the law of Moses as it is, making their pagan beliefs more important than religion.
However, if this concept is misread and misunderstood, it can lead to the belief that the tattooing process is also a sin for Christians and lead to fear of going to hell to death.
Tattoos aren’t sins, but some symbols might be
Another thing worth mentioning is that the symbols people tattoo should also be religiously relevant. For example, people who tattoo potentially insulting or satanic symbols could be considered sinners because they mark their bodies with symbols that go directly against Christianity.
This is why it is important to ask yourself what the symbol you are trying to ink will represent in your life. For example, if you are going to tattoo a pagan symbol, you are probably getting a tattoo against Christianity, similarly if you are going to tattoo a sign that might hint at witchcraft or glorify another religion.
Ultimately, getting a tattoo with a Christian or other symbol comes down to whether it is your personal preference or not. If you think getting a tattoo goes against your moral beliefs, maybe you shouldn’t get it.
Did Jesus have a tattoo?
In the New Testament there is Revelation 19:16 which states that Jesus has something that looks like a tattoo, although it does not explicitly say so:
“On his robe and on his thigh, he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” While this doesn’t directly state that there is a tattoo on Jesus’ thigh, it does point out that there is something written, and for all we know it could just be figuratively written.
People also ask about tattoos
We have explained the meaning of tattoos in Christianity. While there’s no speculation that Christianity forbids tattoos, there’s also no permission that it’s allowed. Many people like to do an analysis of Bible verses and draw their conclusions, so ultimately the tattoo is an individual choice.
Still, we’ve answered a few more questions about tattooing and Christianity.
Q: Is getting a tattoo a mortal sin?
A: We don’t think tattoos are a mortal sin, as long as they don’t promote some of the mortal sins such as anger, vanity or laziness. The tattoo does not harm you or others, so it is not considered a mortal sin.
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