Tattoos: Sinful? My Two Cents On Tattoos And The Bible


So here I am again about to talk (write) about tattoos, I wish this will be the very last time I will be addressing this issue (but if only wishes were horses right?).

Tattoo is one of those things that brings about so much debate when it comes to religion and what the bible says about it. If you have a tattoo you will know the number of times someone gave you a side-eye or frowned at you because of it, talk less of the people who will out rightly tell you that you will end up in hell for marking your body and you get even judged by people living deeply in sins of their own I mean sins that the bible  has warned us again again and again about (yes you guessed right I am talking about sexual immorality).  I am not here to talk about sins and mankind today but in due time I believe I will because one thing is for sure I will not shy away from anything I feel is the truth in this blog even if I am also guilty of it.

I have three tattoos on my body which I will talk about in another blog post and the stories behind each of them too. You will not believe the number of times I have debated this tattoo case both online and in real life and it gets really funny when people can’t actually pinpoint or back up what “the bible says”. So I have decided to break them down one after the other.

First and foremost I want to establish that the laws from the old testament are referred to as the “Old Laws” and the teachings of the new testament the “New Laws”. The old laws were handed down to the people so that the will shun pagan practices and seek the one and only true God and live in accordance to what was right at the time in preparation for Jesus to come.

(Deu 7:6)  For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.

The old laws are outlined in Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy. The children of God really did pick up a lot of false religion and practices from the land of slavery so the had to be this strict laws to set them straight in the ways of God. Now the question is why the “New Laws” I will like to make an earthly example about the laws that were set by man though God is no man just trying to make a point. Remember when the blacks were not allowed to vote? When women didn’t have equal rights? And the were laws that allowed and permitted this but these laws were later amended and changed. Yes the old laws of the bible were incomplete I wont use the word flawed but incomplete.

  • The old laws allows war and retaliation
  • The old laws allows discrimination
  • The old laws doesn’t forgive sins(since only the love of God can do that)
  • The old laws suggests that acting according to the law and written code are the only criteria for peace and eternal life (but grace based on faith is what we need for eternal life as Jesus stated).
  • The old laws relies on fear of punishment rather that the love of God.

The most common example I love using is the forbidding of certain types of “unclean” food in the old law which when Jesus came he declared everything that enters the body (in terms of food) clean.

Mar 7:18  And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;

Mar 7:19  Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?

Mar 7:20  And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.

Mar 7:21  For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

Mar 7:22  Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

Mar 7:23  All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

I would advice you read the whole Mark 7

So the new law came with a lot of things that included loving one’s neighbor, living in peace, turning the other cheek, fornication by lusting in our minds without committing the actual act itself etc etc. However the ultimate thing that comes with the new law salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ who paid the ultimate price for our sins.

Gal 2:21  I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

 This doesn’t mean that the old law is bad. For further reading  on that see Matthew 22:37-40, and Matthew 5.

Back to the main reason we got into the Old Laws and New Laws: TATTOOS…..

Now the context of Leviticus 19:28

Lev 19:28  Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.

The above verse is the backbone of most of the  debate and backlash that tattooed people get. Now let us assume that the new laws don’t exist or apply for a second: the law set down was for the children of God that decided to practice a pagan ritual by marking their bodies, and praying to the dead and God forbade it because it meant that they were going astray from worshipping the one and true God hence the reason behind that particular law. So when you get tattooed ask yourself are you doing it to worship satan or as part of a ritual or cultic initiation? If neither then i do not see a problem with it. Again people fail to read the whole chapter to get the in-depth context, they also fail to see the part that talks about shaving ones beard and hair.

Lev 19:27  Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.

Also the miss the part that talks about the year and time to eat a particular fruit. Which we all do today and which Jesus declared all food clean.

Now let’s get back to the fact that there are new laws that Jesus died for to make perfect.

Heb 8:6  But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

Heb 8:7  For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.

Heb 8:8  For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

Heb 8:9  Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

Heb 8:10  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people

Old laws doesn’t free us from sins but the Grace does.

Gal 5:4  Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

Gal 5:5  For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

Rom 7:6  But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

Now I know what a lot of anti-tattoo people will say “Your body is the temple of the lord”. Now a dear friend of mine used this term with me and I asked where in the bible it was located and she couldn’t tell me, if she had told me I would have asked her if she read the verses before and after that particular verse to see what the main context was. The reason for that verse was SEXUAL PROMISCUITY, sexual lusts and has no relation to tattooing. Let me allow the passage to speak for itself.

1Co 6:16  What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.

1Co 6:17  But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

1Co 6:18  Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

1Co 6:19  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?

1Co 6:20  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

I didn’t intend to make this such a long post I just want to state that God will not send me to hell because I have a tattoo. And I have a passage to all those who are out there judging other people Matthew 7:1-6. Before you first remove dirt from someone else’ eyes please remove from yours first.

Finally I can say that tattoo is NOT a sin, that is what I have learnt from repeatedly studying the word and asking God for direction in this matter (yes before I got my first tattoo I asked God and prayed about it). If you pray and hear a different answer then fine… but don’t judge others. I will leave you with a scripture that I came across when I first started asking God for guidance on this matter. Feel free to comment and visit again.

Mar 7:20  And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.

Mar 7:21  For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

Mar 7:22  Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

Mar 7:23  All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.


5 thoughts on “Tattoos: Sinful? My Two Cents On Tattoos And The Bible

  1. chantelsce says:

    Great read! It’s so refreshing to finally read an explanation of the bible from someone who has dissected, studied, and comprehended the topic they have chosen.

    • micernest says:

      Thank you Sarah, it is a matter/subject I have really taken time to look into and asked for direction. People tend to misquote or misrepresent the bible, they take one context and apply it to entirely something else. They also love reading, quoting and applying the laws comfortable to them and they disregard the others hence why we have fornication appear accepted and overlooked today.

  2. Interesting……..curioser and curioser

  3. I like the John 3:16 ish tho’……

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