Over the past decades, tattooing has vastly grown in popularity. It has grown to the point that 36% of adults aged 18-29 flatter their body with at least one tattoo in the US. Tattoos are great because they can help individuals express themselves or honor an important memory. But what does religion have to say about tattooing?
Given that Christianity is the most powerful and dominant religion in the world at the moment, it doesn’t surprise us that many people ask are tattoos a sin in Christianity.
We’re going to answer this question below, and give a thorough explanation and history of tattooing in Christianity. Whether the info you’ll read below will encourage you to take that important step in life and ink a part of your body is on you.
The world is getting more open about tattoos. A lot of companies in the past had a lot of problems with people who were inked, regardless of whether the tattoo is visible or not. Nowadays, companies are getting more open about tattoos and won’t look bad upon those people who are inked. However, the rest of the world yet has to open to tattoos, including religion.
When it comes to Christianity, people are split. While the majority of churches and theologists don’t encourage getting inked and consider it some sort of sin, there are also a lot of Christianity experts who are being accepted on the matter. The truth is somewhere in the middle, and below, we’ll detail everything we know about the tattoos in Christianity and whether they are allowed or not.
Tattoos In Christianity And Bible
In this section, we’re going to look at the particular piece of information that hints that tattoos are against the rules of Christianity. As you may probably know, there are all sorts of people with different hobbies and practices who still worship Jesus and Christianity.
Some of those people may also have tattoos without thinking or believing that they’ve committed a sin or anything of that sort in terms of Christianity.
That said, let’s first look at Bible.
The Holy Bible has two testaments, the Old and the New. The Old Testament refers mainly to the tales and rules associated with Moses and Judaism, while the new testament sheds light on Christianity and the uprising of Jesus Christ.
If we look at the New Testament, no verse speaks badly of tattoos or forbids them in any sense. That said, there’s nothing that could potentially indicate that tattoos are a sin in Christianity and that you shouldn’t practice them.
However, the same can’t be said for the Old Testament, but it surely depends on how you interpret what it’s saying inside of it.
The tattoo is mentioned only once in the Old Testament. However, even that one time could be enough to hint that they are forbidden and considered sinful.
Nevertheless, according to the Christian blog davidservant.com, the word tattoo is mentioned once only in the New American Standard Version of the bible. The older versions of it may not specify the so-called verse that forbids the use of ink for tattooing.
But what does the verse say exactly about the tattoos? Let’s take a look.
In the Old Testament of the Bible in Leviticus 19 there’s a verse that highlights that people shouldn’t make tattoos. That part is highlighted as the Law of Moses. According to Leviticus 19:28, God said “You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead.”
As you know, the process of tattooing includes tattoo needle piercing through the outer layer of your skin to outline your tattoo, and that can be seen as cutting the skin. Additionally, some people often make tattoos to honor someone who died and carry the memory of them on their skin with ink.
The other half of the verse may give more hints of why there’s such prohibition.
According to the same site quoted above, this verse referred to the pagan culture practiced by the civilization in Canaan’s land, where people cut and inked their body after someone would die, to honor them and worship the memory of them. It was a way for those people to mourn their loved ones and express their grief for them.
However, it’s worth noting that Christians aren’t obliged under the Law of Moses, which means that these verses likely don’t apply to them, although some theologists and other experts on the Bible may refer these verses to the inking culture being sinful in Christianity.
People who respected the Law of Moses were respecting it only for the specific timeframe, which lasted in Israel after Jews were able to escape the Ancient Egyptian tyranny and were delivered to the “promised land” by God.
While Christians don’t stick to the Law of Moses, there are still some rules that continued onto Christianity and were named the law of Christ. Those are the basic rules that you may have probably heard of in the Church, such as the moral rules that carried on such as the prohibition to steal, commit adultery, loving your neighbor, and the other.
Is Tattooing A Sin Then?
If you’re frequently visiting the Church, reading the Gospels, and other material on Christianity, no information could hint at tattoos being forbidden or sinful. Even the apostles who carried on the word of Christ didn’t mention anything about cutting and inking your body.
That said, we believe that tattooing isn’t a sin and that in no way, getting your body inked will prevent you from entering the Heavenly gates when you pass away. We believe it also stems from the fact that tattooing oneself doesn’t do any harm to others, or do something sinful.
Christianity teaches us that stealing, disrespecting our loved ones and murdering is a sin, but tattooing your body doesn’t mean you’ve conducted any of the aforementioned sins.
The verse from the Old Testament likely refers to not practicing what that group of tribes is practicing to honor their dead member.
Perhaps, it was versed in a way that practicing such rituals would make people similar to that pride, and make them step away from the Law of Moses as it is, making their pagan believes more important than the religion.
However, if this concept is read and understood wrong, it can lead to the belief that the tattooing process is sinful for Christians too, and instill fears of going to hell upon death.
Tattoos Aren’t Sin But Some Symbols Could Be
Another thing worth mentioning is that the symbols people tattoo should also be relevant to the religion. For example, people who tattoo potentially insulting or Satanic symbols could be considered sinful, as they are marking their body with symbols that directly go against Christianity.
That’s why it’s important to wonder about what the symbol you’re trying to ink will represent in your life. For example, if you’re going to make a tattoo of a pagan symbol, you’re likely making a tattoo against Christianity, same if you are going to tattoo a sign that potentially hints at witchcraft or glorifying some other religion.
In the end, getting a tattoo with a Christian or some other symbol comes down to whether it’s your personal preference or not. If you think that getting a tattoo goes against your moral beliefs of something else, perhaps you shouldn’t get it.
Did Jesus Have A Tattoo?
In the New Testament, there is Revelation 19:16 that states that Jesus has something that resembles a tattoo, although not explicitly said:
“On His robe and on His thigh, He has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” While this doesn’t directly specify that there’s a tattoo on Jesus’ thigh, it highlights that there’s something written, and for all, we know it could be just figuratively written.
People Also Ask About Tattoos
We explained the meaning of tattoos in Christianity. While there’s no speculation that Christianity forbids tattoos, there’s also no permission saying that it’s permitted. A lot of people like to make an analysis of the Biblical verses and draw their conclusions, so finally, tattooing is an individual choice.
Still, we answered some additional questions about tattooing and Christianity.
Q: Is Getting A Tattoo A Mortal Sin?
A: We don’t think that tattoos are a mortal sin, as long as they don’t promote some of the mortal sins such as wrath, vanity, or sloth. Tattooing does not harm you or others so it’s not considered a mortal sin.
27 thoughts on “Are Tattoos a Sin In Christianity?”
Hi there, are you a believer of Christ?(just asking) i want to have a tattoo but i always step back thinking maybe its a sin but i guess now i’m relieved thanks for making all this and letting us know, i just wanted to ask you guys that i recently got baptized and now i’m thinking to get a tattoo so is it okay if i get one or more than one?
many are always sitting on the fence with this tattoos issues,they wont tell u if its a sin or not,just dont do it,,dont listen to anyone for advise..let the holy spirit guide u on whats rigth or wrong..its not worth it..cant even erase mine..i regret it
Amen and we don’t want too look and live like the world now that we repented and still repenting ask Jesus into our heart come out from among them and separate yourself says the Word of God. Do everything in moderation. People go overboard with those tattoos. One or two but to see all those tattoos in their faces.
Totally agree! Let the Holy Spirit guide you, He will let you know what’s is wrong and what is right. If you have a gut feeling you shouldn’t do it then that is the Holy Spirit Telling you it’s wrong!
I have no tattoos so just so but I love Holy sprit so I have one question … Do you bring this Body with you so what is the regret why make a stumbling block out of some thing that is not even Concerning instead place regret and Drive deep where is more on the love of the father the son and the Holy Spirit Brother you got this bro it is simple and easy
Since this site is heretical and makes fun of the Bible I’d say not to get your advice here
Hello, I agree I believe the Holy Spirit will guide you. I’ve heard if you want one wait a while like 6-12 months. If you have to absolutely have it, then fine. But the desire usually wears off and so then there’s no regret.
God Bless You
No Jesus never had a tattoo, The book of Revelation in full of symbolic and figurative language. It also says his robe was dipped in blood and he had a sword coming out of his mouth, this is symbolic. I know what it means but don’t have time to explain. Jesus was Jewish and he obeyed the Jewish law and never sinned.
Jewish Law says-You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the LORD. Lev 19:28
Jesus’s robe was long and it covered his thigh, it was written on his robe. You have to know the style of the writer. Tattoos also cutting the flesh and drawing blood, both forbidden. People who are covered in tattoos can not stop. There is a demonic element to spilling blood over and over and defiling the the temple(your body) of the Holy Spirit.
Diane you do know that all sin except speaking against the Holy Spirit are forgiveable. The fleshly body does not inherit eternal life. Further more you do Not know what if anything is written on Jesus were you there when He hung from the cross? Chuck Andrews
Vexing the Holy Spirit and he also say I chase after you till the end of the age and to me Vexing is when he is there at the end of our age and we turn away for him the final time still he is Gods own heart and he only goal is to love us all everyday till our last God is not Conflicting we are ones that make it conflicting and we don’t truly get it or we have a fruitful conversation tattoo is one of them love is the truly Devine power of God not fire and brimstone sorry to the Southern Baptist out there but the word of life is Love cause Love is perfect we know cause God say over and over Through chapter and books of his living word that he is LOVE So that establishes what love truly is Perfection So the chase after gods love is to chase after perfection
You do know the the natural man and works of the flesh is worldly and is an enemy to God. Right? So do you serve your flesh or your spiritual man? You do realize that our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit, it no longer belongs to us… But to the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore walk in the spirit and you will not fulfilled the lust of the flesh.We are not to follow the ways of man, rather we are to seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness.
The only tattoo that I have is engraved on my heart.
They word oh Lord have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
Amen everything you said is perfect according to the Word of God. I am in agreement with you in Jesus name
Thanks so much I always had a problem when it came to this issue I grew up in church all of my life in a Pentecostal Church and they have a Doctrine so was very confused I’m 51 I don’t have a tattoo but was thinking of getting one just had clear my mind on the issue clearly what it says in the Bible it is what it is it’s clear as day no cutting of your body
So every heavy person is then guilty of glutony? How mach make-up or how short is your dress before it crosses the modesty line and then become sin? When you wear a shirt with a football team on it are you guilty of Idolatry? I also eat pork, i also eat shell fish…….
Pharisees will tell me i am sinning for tattoos and I am good with that.
I am under the new covenant, not the old. I am free
i have scripture, crosses, nails, a dove, a bible….all tattooed on my body, which allows me to have conversations, share my faith and speak truth about convictions so deep that I wear them publicly for all to see, even at the potential of not getting the job or being skipped over because of my outwardly know faith.
I cane here because I see articles about Colonialism having an a determined what affect on our view of tattoos. Lol. Its has nothing to do with it. Christianity and its higher standards have been the factor. We see no evidence of tattoos until European sailors made contact tribes in the Pacific Ocean
You mentioned getting a pagan symbol tattoo is sin, but Christianity is entirely based on paganism. Every holiday is based on the wheel of the year. You’re unknowingly celebrating the earth, and the pagan religion that your ancestors followed, in love and respect of the earth, devoid of fear of sin.
It look I’m not here to have unfruitful conversations it’s not who I am but I do love Holy Spirit with everything I have and he is there for me until the end of the age and I will be there for him the reason why were split it’s because of unfruitful conversations in our own self righteousness once we give that up and throw that at the cross then will be able To look at differences and see what their truly all about how we can overcome those stumbling blocks and Recognize if they’re even really worth it For the father to help us through that he will no matter what because what’s important to us is also important to him simplicity of the father is the intimacy with him the love he has for us and has for everyone Jesus made one request more like a demand before he left go out and speak of the kingdom to everyone a lot of us don’t live that life even Mia times I don’t live that life but if that was Jesus‘s last words to humanity at the time before you send it into heaven How important are they truly and if And what if they were tattooed on your body would it be sin For some stuck in an old testament maybe But once we start understanding that the old in the new are all one then we’re together and as one and as such we can make it more meaningful and powerful display in March of what Christ Last said Instead of who’s right and who’s wrong because no one wins that the true Christian understand that so that was me using the sword to not does she open anyone Because the living word is a two edged sword doesn’t just cut in one way also cuts coming out And hey doesn’t love covers a multitude of sin Right simple and easy don’t make it hard ❤️
Also this was told to me by an old testament Southern Baptist preacher that got away from fire and brimstone preaching Any Christian starting now he said Should read read read the New Testament until it becomes a part of them a visualize it they see every bit of it every aspect of it and understand it then go back and read the Old Testament and you’ll see Christ all over it!!! God bless you all to you all Unmarked or Mark My hope is to see you all in heaven Love y’all!!!
Paul states that your body is a Temple. Clean and Holy. All in the New Testament. I would never tattoo my HOLY Temple
I wasn’t awared about piercing tattoes will be a big issue in christian life,i have tattoes on my body and no one ever taught me not to do so.what am i suppose to do now ? Should i stop serving God ? Or i am not worth serving God ?
All i know is that my pass has gone and now everything in me is new,no matter what i did those days,i confess my sin and ask Our Heavenly Father to forgive my sins,so if we keep counting on our pass life then we are still in a sinfull life.Let’s not stuck with this thoughts guys,Finally i got myself clearence that i can’t peel out my skin to be holy neither i have lots of money to remove my tattoes again but i will move on to do good to others and serve Our God with whole my heart.
There are MANY ways each day we defile our body as a holy temple….foul language and hurtful speech out of our mouths, lust and the actions thereafter, overeating, drugs, anger….this list goes on. Are women sinning when they put on makeup every day? That is a way they are altering their bodies. Yes it’s not permanent, but it’s done every single day. I believe very few would consider that sinful. I think this article and Joshua’s comments say it best. God the Father sent His Son Jesus to be the fulfillment of the law. We are under a new Covenant with Jesus. His sacrifice gives you direct access to the Father. Yes, the Ten Commandments still apply, but all the laws/rules that gave people then access to God were replaced by the New Covenant. If the tattoo you get is not of something sinful (as the article states), then how can the act of tattooing be?
I am a Christian women who has multiple tattoos. I am conflicted now, as I had gotten them during some dark times in my life and now want a fresh start. The tattoos themselves are not inappropriate, but I now want them gone and no longer wish to see these reminders every day. What should I do? What is your advice?
If you had accepted Jesus as our Lord, you should learn to forget your pass and be born anew in Christ. IF you felt troubled every time you saw the tattoo because of your past then it means you’re not fully moved on yet, accept it, the tattoo makes what you’re today, make it become your little reminder of not sinning anymore. See for an easy example, all Jesus scars because of beating after beating and before He got crucified had made Him what He is today. That scars that saves our life, so your’s too can become something that saves you, make it a reminder to yourself to be grateful to God, not to sin anymore, be kind to others and be Christ. Remember this “One same thing can become diamond or dirt, it totally depends on yourselves , on how you look at it, on how you comprehend it , on how you can receive it, on how you can be grateful for it”
Oh my goodness… Are you ever full of it. Trying to justify your sinful nature to fit in with your spiritual natural. You cannot mix the two. We are called to come out from among them and to be separated from them. Do you not realized that if any man be a friend to this world, is an enemy to God. If you have tattoos, then I would highly suggest that you stop getting more. Repent of what you already have and start walking after the spirit… Not the flesh. Because those who are serving their own pleasures are trying to justify their own righteousness. It cannot be done. You either serve God or your flesh… You can’t have both.
This is informative, Thanks for sharing! I think getting a tattoo doesn’t make people a sinner. It’s just an art and a way to express oneself. I even got Christian temporary tattoos and it looks cool. I’m checking at: https://wannabeink.com/collections/christian
Tattoo is a sin period.