What Does the Bible Say About Tattoos?

Tattoos have become increasingly popular in recent years, and many Christians are wondering what the Bible has to say about them. While there is no clear passage in the Bible that addresses tattooing, there are some guiding questions that can help Christians think through their decision. The Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains defines qa'aqa as “a mark on the skin through an incision, as a non-verbal sign of mourning”. This suggests that tattoos were not uncommon in the ancient Middle East, but the writers of the Hebrew Bible prohibited them.

The Bible warns Christians who are considering getting a tattoo and tries to help them overcome the consequences of those mistakes. It is important to remember that this is not a license to get tattooed without restrictions. The principles of the Bible clearly state that it is wrong to desecrate our bodies with tattoos. I hope this brief study will be a reminder of the dangers of a careless biblical interpretation that is then imposed on others as legalistic demands that God never made.

All quotes from the Scriptures, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Holy Bible, the standard version in English. Visit the Bible online to search for words if you don't know the specific passage you're looking for.

Reginald Thomson
Reginald Thomson

Reverend Thomson is a pastor and Bible scholar with over 10 years of experience in ministry and biblical studies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies, a Master of Divinity degree. As a Bible scholar, Rev Thomson has published numerous articles and books on various topics in biblical studies, including hermeneutics, exegesis, and biblical theology. He is widely respected for his expertise in the original languages of the Bible, and he is frequently invited to speak at conferences and seminars on biblical scholarship. He loves working with his church youth group. He is a frequent guest on the Scripture for Todaypodcast.

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