Should Christians Refrain From Getting Tattoos? Here’s What The Bible Says About It

Updated December 5, 2017

Without a doubt, tattoos are becoming more popular every year. People of all ages are getting ink put into their skin. From designs that memoralize a family member that has been lost to simply “cool” pictures and images of skulls and patterns that have no meaning besides the way they look. Tattoos are now a popular past time not just for Americans but for people around the globe. While tattoos used to be associated with criminals, sailors and gang members just a few generations ago, now they have lost that meaning entirely. People are getting them for fun and tattoos are even acceptable in the workplace. But what does the Bible say about tattoos? And should Christians really get them? Here you can find out how Craig Groeschel from LifeChurch.tv interprets the tattoo trend and if Christians should jump on board.

In the video below, Craig discusses tattoos and the Christian community. Although the Bible takes one stance on tattoos – don’t get them – Craig discusses if a more nuanced understanding of tattoos should be applied to modern culture.

As people get more tattoos every year – and many of them include Christian imagery like the cross, the Virgin Mary, and praying hands – is it still a sin to ink the skin?

In the video, Craig Groeschel goes to the source. He takes the camera into a tattoo shop to talk about the issue about Christians and tattooing. Instead of just intellectualizing the concept, he goes to the source of the issue so he can have an intelligent discussion about the art and how it relates to the religion of Christianity.

“Some Christians would say, ‘oh no it’s a dangerous and Satanic practice.’ Others would simply say, ‘It’s a personal expression.’”

While the issue of tattooing and Christianity varies a lot depending on your group, the Bible should be the end source about it.

And according to Groeschel the Bible says “not a whole lot” about tattoos. One verse speaks directly to tattoos.

Leviticus 19:28 says: “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourself. I am the LORD.”

The verse seems pretty clear. But it is taken out of context. When viewed in context, it becomes clear that God was encouraging the people of Egypt not to take on the pagan practices of the Egyptians.

When an Egyptian would die, a person back in that day would cut themselves to let out the “life blood” to honor the deceased. God was telling the people of Israel not to do that because it was a pagan ritual that did not honor him. Other pagans would tattoo pictures of the pagan gods. And this would obviously defy the one true God.

If this verse is taken literally, you also have to take the rest of Leviticus 19 literally. That means you cannot cut your hair or your beard and you cannot wear clothes of different matorrals. Most people do this every day.

Do you think it is okay for Christians to get tattoos?