Tattoos are NOT biblical **

Click the link to listen to a short message on John 4:24 Radio below on tattoo's.
once there use control f and type tattoos to find it....


                                   Tattoo's are NOT Biblical

Note: the American culture and world is becoming ever more accepting of tattoos and it is alarming how it is over taking the so called Christian places! The man pictures is a claimed Christian yet he continues to add to his thousands of tatto's. ( see Jacob exposed as a very unbiblical man for many reasons at the end of this post ) 

One topic in our current culture that often comes up is the practice of placing tattoos on one's body.  In this age of art and self expression tattoo's have grown in popularity for sure. 

First off, some are going to try and claim that tattooing was not done in the past and it is a new thing and the word comes up in the 1700's.  They say the OT pagans were cutting and marking themselves, not tattooing. That may be true but for the sake of this article, I do not think a cut, a mark or tattoo printing makes any difference as you will see as you read on. They all are sinful. 

Both Christians and unbelievers alike will either ask or state that they can or that one cannot have them on their bodies. It is a very divided issue. Let us take a biblical look at this topic and see what God's Word has to say about it for us today.

Note: This teaching on tattoos is for born again believers desiring to serve Christ in obedience not the lost people of the world or for those un-regenerated false converts still in man made religion.

In order to have a proper understanding of how we are to live today for Christ as New Testament believers we can look to the Old Testament to help us have a solid foundation in the Holy Word and its instruction in righteousness. While many of the laws/customs given to Israel were binding only to them for that time, we can look for commands that are shadowed or echoed in the Old and then again in the NT Word that we must then also obey as truth for us in our time. (this is called studying the Word and truth in context)

In the Old Testament of God's Word we see a clear instruction to the people of Israel to be NOT like the heathens (ungodly) around them.  One such verse is Jeremiah 10:2

Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen

We do know that NOT putting cutting, markings or lets just say tattoos on their bodies would have been included as it was a pagan practice in that time never instructed to be done by God. So does God's Word give any instruction on tattoos for the Israelites? Yes it does and it can be found in the book of Leviticus 19:28

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

Now if we all were Israelite's back in the Old Testament we could have the issue settle right there... no cutting or marking or tattoos is the command. They are all the same thing really as it is marking up your body. But since we are NOT Israelite's in Israel, can we use this verse and apply it to us today as a command or guide in righteousness for our time?  We see that we can use it as a guiding scripture and truth for today. We can test it with the New Testament ways that we have been given to tell us how to live and what to NOT do with our bodies. Let us explain how we do that.

Israel was the model and forerunner of God's people. He gave them many rules and laws to make them stand out as holy (be set apart) and to be Holy vs the many pagan nations around them. Having NO tattoos was one of those many commands/laws as we clearly saw in Leviticus 19. ( it also mentions witchcraft and such as well there ) Today as Christians; since Christ has come and called a people to Himself (the ekklesia body) we must now consider what we know from the OT Word given to Israel and compare it to what God gave us today as instruction in the NT Word. Has God told us in the NT Word how to be His holy (set apart) people today regarding our bodies and He has given us examples to follow? 

The answer is yes He has! Paul said imitate me as I imitate Christ
1 Cor 11. Did either of them use tattoo's? NO.... not at all!

 Before we go there let's ask some key questions. What is a tattoo really for? Is it a vital need for survival or making a living or protecting your family in the world today? The answer is no it is not. What it really has become (other then the marking of animals for indentification or other commerical uses and such) is artwork and expression of one's own self. In truth many have come to know it also as a rebellion way against whatever you desire to rebel against in the culture. Knowing our own past carnal selves and seeing or knowing of many people who get tattoos; may we suggest that getting a tattoo really entails the following things:

status symbol to the culture
public sexual attraction
art expression 
attention to one's self
glory to man ( both the artist and the one who wears a tattoo) 
fitting into the culture and customs 
seeking approval of the world to witness

If we look at the following reasons above you will be hard pressed top find ANY bible scriptures Old or New Testament  that speaks well of any of those words or actions above for the true believer/follower of Christ. None at all! We think pride (showing off a look or attitude) can often best sums up the reasons a person would get a tattoo and the bible says this about pride:

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.  
Proverbs 16:18

Moving on, we now know that God said NO to tattoos in the OT Word for His people and that the reason for getting one are not good nor is it pure vs the Word of God either. Phil 4;8 
We need to then add here that this topic really came up to us when a man recently who teaches the bible on the internet made a challenge to others by saying; 
show me one scripture verse in the NT Word that says you can't have any tattoos? 

We gladly take that challenge....

 This wont be very hard really.
As you will yourself see, the NT Word tell us what to do or not do with our bodies. Indeed it does. 
Open your bibles (or electronic devices) to 1 Peter 3:2-4

While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 

 Adornment ...(kosmeos in Greek) clearly  means to decorate
So ask yourself... don't people decorate (adorn) their skin with tattoos? Of course they do and many times in over the top and shameful excessive ways.

 May we suggest to you after reading that verse....we are clearly commanded in the NT Word to NOT "adorn ourselves" at all on the outside but focus on being godly. Is this not just a echo of the OT law to not tattoo your skin? Clearly the Israelite's then and ourselves today have the command: no decorating/cutting/marking your skin with tattoos. ( we are not to even decorate our clothing per the bible as that is adorning that draws attention to us and our bodies ) 

Need more convincing? 
Does this verse help you in the tattoos debate?

Did you know your body is the Temple of the Holy spirit?  
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 
1 Cor 6:19  

Did you realize that you are NOT your own but God owns your temple via Christ's death?  A sobering thought indeed!

You body is God's so you cant do as you please with it.

Lets ask ourselves, is there not risks to your health and body in getting tattoos? Should we risk our God given health and temple just for fun, pride and decoration? 

Also ask yourself, if God gave you a special temple/building to go and meet Him and worship Him in today; would you really cover it with graffiti (tattoos) spray paint or receive it and cherish it just as He gave it to you? In the OT God ordained how the temple would be decorated exactly, NOT man! 

You have NO biblicaly authority to decorate your temple folks!!!

Need a verse that comes with a warning?

1 Corinthians 3:17

If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

Lets all remind ourselves of this important point: 
the purpose of life after conversion is too grow in our holiness and sanctification process to become more like Christ every day. 
Getting tattoos.... is not part of that process is it? Again; did Jesus get tattoos or did Paul or any other NT holy saints? No.....

Note: some point ot this verse in Revelation and it does NOT mean Jesus has a tattoo.

On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
Rev 19:16

Since he was a fully obedient Israelite, he did NOT have a tattoo or any body markings! It is more likely a sash or a sword scabbard with words on it that covered the thigh. You see nobles often wore such to show their royalty.  

Lastly, we must note that tattoos are often a cultural practice and people do them because they are popular and they desire to fit in with the world around them. Today I get so tired of hearing my tattoo's make witnessing more possible. If that is true and ok; then we all should walk around with beer cans, pot joints and ladies in bikinis too. No that is sinful and this is very problem pragmetic theology that is a terrible sin against a Holy Holy Holy God. The gospel and the Spirit is what we need to use in reaching others, not tattoos to evangelize. ( if tattoo's really draw them they are fleshly people headed to be false converts! ) 

Tattoo's are indeed poijting you to be like the fallen world. 
What does God's Word say about His people fitting into the worlds ways?

Romans 12:2
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 

James 4;4 says friendship with the world is to be God's enemy

We could go on with more scripture but it is clear; the case has been made strong against tattooing " if " you cling to and desire to OBEY God's Word fully without excuse. Do not adorn your body with ink and artwork as it is NOT godly to do so nor did any of the saints before us use them. 

If you have made this mistake in the past to tattoo yourself but now regret it based on God's Word, He is faithful and just to forgive you if you repent of it for His glory. Hopefully you can cover them up with clothing or possibly bandages. If not; getting a procedure to blend them into more like birthmarks or something may be another option. Drastic measures should be taken to cleanse your witness as God's glory and your testimony is on the line.

Come out and be HOLY... 1 Peter 1;15 / do not be like pagans or worldly lost people in your conduct!

Repent and obey the gospel.......

See the tattoo'd man Jacob Ekelman exposed here:

Please go to this article on adorning that goes into greater detail on that topic: 

Please go here and listen to the saving gospel message:

God be praised

See all of our biblical resources below; let us know how 
we can help you?