1. What does the Bible have to say about Tattoos?

What does the Bible have to say about Tattoos?skull tattoo

There’s been a lot of debate among Christians in regard to the topic of tattoos. What does the bible actually have to say about this subject?  Is it a sin?  What if you already had a tattoo prior to becoming a Christian?  Does the bible talk about tattoos in both the Old Testament and New Testament?  If it’s only in the Old Testament, why try to impose those outdated rules on me now?  Should I remove tattoos I currently have?  and more….

To the unbeliever, even bringing up this question is stupid and a waste of time.  I understand their reasoning. But to them, everything in the bible is foolish.

1 Corinthians 1:18
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

However, this series of articles is not directed to them, who by their own volition refuse to live under God’s commands or biblical instructions. It is being written to those who call themselves Christians, so as to provide insight on what the bible has to say about it. If you desire that your life be pleasing to God, that you, with the Holy Spirit’s help, try to be obedient to His Word, then you do well to consider how the following applies to you and your personal walk with the Lord.

cross tattooLet’s face it. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to be a Christian in today’s culture. Much of this web site provides countless examples of how Christianity is being marginalized and attacked.  The more the world rejects God and his laws, the greater sin and its effect becomes prevalent in our society.  What God calls sin, the ungodly has redefined as good and acceptable. Christians who reject this new definition of morality are excoriated and labeled as intolerant, hateful, or bigots.

Isaiah 5:20
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

The difficult challenge for Christians in this type of environment is to stay pure and not engage, adapt, participate, or be involved in the behavior, thoughts, attitudes, or actions of that which God calls wrong.  Clearly, adhering to biblical principles has not been on the top of the list for many Christians today.

Many in the church, particularly young people, have embraced (either intentionally or through ignorance) that which God calls sin or wrong, in favor of what the world says is right.  They have bought the message from the secular/progressive left that homosexuality is a legitimate or alternative lifestyle.  So as not to be perceived as too judgmental, they might say, “I don’t care to live that lifestyle, but it doesn’t bother me that he/she does.”

Let me interpret what they are really saying, “It’s more important to me that I’m not  labeled  a homophobe, intolerant or a bigot than to stand for righteousness and call wrong – wrong!”  This type of “Christian” (and I use the word loosely) is more concerned what man thinks than what God thinks.

Compromises in one area of your life lead to comprises in other areas. Many young people who have grown up in the church (who identify themselves as Christians) find no problem moving in (or shack’n up) together (outside of marriage) with someone of the opposite sex.  Once again, they reject God’s commands against this in favor of sin.

As Christians, we should be very careful as to how we live our lives. When we live as the world does (in behavior, thoughts, attitudes, or actions), we show ourselves to be no different than those without Christ.

2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruits of it. Test and prove yourselves [not Christ]. Do you not yourselves realize and know [thoroughly by an ever-increasing experience] that Jesus Christ is in you—unless you are [counterfeits] disapproved on trial and rejected?


This leads us into the discussion of tattoos. This paragraph from Wikipedia caught my attention:

“Since the 1970s, tattoos have become a mainstream part of Western fashion, common among both sexes, to all economic classes, and to age groups from the later teen years to middle age. For many young Americans, the tattoo has taken on a decidedly different meaning than for previous generations. The tattoo has “undergone dramatic redefinition” and has shifted from a form of deviance to an acceptable form of expression.” 3

If a majority of people say that it’s acceptable now, does that make it right?  Is truth measured by what the ‘majority’ declares it to be or as seen in the absolute immutable word of God?

In case you failed to recognize the name of this web site, it is called Incrementalist.com.  In other words, the purpose of the web site is to examine and expose how the left, ungodly, secularist, or progressives incrementally change over a period of time that which God calls wrong, to be right.  Or, as Wikipedia so succinctly states, that which has “undergone dramatic redefinition” and has shifted from a form of deviance to an acceptable form of expression.”

As I stated in my movie review on Avatar, “In order to accomplish this goal…your current beliefs, values, etc. need to be changed so as to embrace this move rather than reject it.   Change takes time.  That requires that all areas of your life (political beliefs, social perspective, religious values, educational training, etc.) needs to be “adjusted” (perhaps a better word is desensitized).”

As a Christian, our life is not defined by what man says is acceptable, but by what God says.

Following is an in-depth series that covers a biblical perspective regarding tattoos. It is written by Terry Watkins who runs a ministry called Dial-the-Truth Ministries which can be found at http://www.av1611.org.

Terry presents one of the most detailed and researched articles, about the subject from the Christian perspective, that I have read. He has given me permission to reprint the articles here on this web site.

NOTE: It is strongly recommended to carefully read all the different sections, in order, as each section compliments the previous.



2 Responses to 1. What does the Bible have to say about Tattoos?

  • Wayne:

    I enjoyed your perspective on the subject of tattoos. Most importantly, I enjoyed the following:“Let me interpret what they are really saying: It’s more important to me that I’m not labeled a homophobe, intolerant or a bigot than to stand for righteousness and call wrong – wrong!” This type of “Christian” (and I use the word loosely) is more concerned what man thinks than what God thinks.” …”Compromises in one area of your life lead to comprises in other areas.” These two statements speak loudly about the perspective of many Christian which deeply saddens me. I would hope that in our interpretation of the Bible, we would not try and find our own roadmap, but God’s roadmap. It is difficult to see the destruction of the basic principles and laws God has set forth. Thanks for the message, it is much appreciated.


  • It has been eight months since I provided my insight about the subject of tattoos. Since then many have fallen to the side of Jesus Christ. It seems people need more than what they were offered at birth. Drawing pictures on your body is there nothing else people need to do or have to do with their time. Instead of labeling and name calling, shouldn’t we thank God for who we are and what we have become since our first day on this heavenly planet? I was talking to a friend the other day about God and what He wants us to accomplish on our short time on earth. It is real simple, “He wants us to love Him.” Read the Ten Commandments if you have any doubt about what he wants from us. He doesn’t want us to be robots, He wants us to be as Human(ly) as possible. Anyone can lay on a table and have colorful pictures put on their bodies, it doesn’t take any effort. However, it does take an effort to get off our rear-ends and go tell the world about Jesus Christ who came to earth as a physical man and saved us from sin. Yes, He saved us from all sin and evil. It takes work to stop and tell others about Him. No, not everyone will lay along side the pool and wait for Jesus to come save them. Yes, they will pick-up their mat, walk and follow Him, until we open our hearts to His strength and love. So which pain do you want in your life, walking for miles and sharing the good Word or laying on a table, then having someone stick needles into your precious body? It seems to me, that most of us would want to spread the good Word and ask Jesus for protection against all evil and anything which darkens the Light we pray for daily. Wayne, thanks for the good Word, people read the passages and scripture which will bring you peace, happiness, and love. Remember, the Word never changes; it is the same today, as it was yesterday and will be the same tomorrow.

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