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What Does the Bible Say About Getting Tattoos?
Christian Post ^ | 10/22/2018 | Brandon Showalter

Posted on 10/22/2018 12:51:44 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

Among the contested issues within churches today is what the Bible says and means as it pertains to tattoos, a topic that proves challenging given that they have become normalized in culture.

The most explicit scriptural condemnation of tattoos appears in Leviticus 19:28 which reads: "Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD."

Some read that passage as God expressed a desire for His people to be set apart for Himself, as tattoos were tied to occult practices like sorcery and other pagan religious practices.

The surrounding verses reveal that forbidding tattoos is but one of many things associated with pagan peoples that the God of Israel prohibits such as making daughters into prostitutes, and turning to mediums and necromancers.

"Anyone getting a tattoo really needs to ask themselves, why am I getting this and what is the meaning of this tattoo? Is the tattoo an expression of witchcraft, idolatry or pagan symbolism?" asked Jay Haizlip, pastor of The Sanctuary Church in Orange County, California, in a 2013 Huffington Post essay.

"I lean toward the belief that it is not forbidding all expressions of tattoos. Culturally and specifically here in the US, tattoos, over the last 20 years, have become more socially acceptable," he said, referencing Pew research claiming approximately 40 percent of millennials have tattoos.

Writing at Crosswalk.com, Liberty University Professor of Apologetics Will Honeycutt explained that injecting ink underneath the skin to make pictures is materially different than the kinds of tattoos referred to in the Old Testament. The passage in Leviticus, he said, is literally translated "And a cutting for the dead you will not make in your flesh; and writing marks you will not make on you; I am the Lord."

The word "writing" refers to inscribed or engraved symbols or words and it is the only time in Scripture where it is used, and the work "marks" — also used here alone — has an uncertain root, leaving its meaning uncertain, Honeycutt continued, noting that "tattoo" did not enter into the English language until the late 1700s.

"This is probably why the KJV, written in the early 1600s, is closer to the literal translation saying, 'ye shall not ... print marks upon you.'"

The cultural backdrop against which this divine prohibition was given was when Israel, after being rescued from slavery, was situated between Egypt and Canaan, he went on to say.

Archaeological findings show that Egypt routinely marked its women on the breasts, thighs and abdomen, which was thought to be a good luck charm of sorts to protect the birthing process.

Women were frequently tattooed of the pagan fertility goddess, Bes, which lends credence to this theory, Honeycutt said.

So while it is not expressly condemned, he urged Christians to think hard about their motives for getting tattoos.

"If it is in rebellion to parents, it is clearly not acceptable," he said, citing Ephesians 6:1-3, a New Testament's reiteration of the Fifth Commandment.

"And while artistic self-expression can be OK, our primary motive for anything we do should be to glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31). This means seeking to honor and draw attention to him, not ourselves.

"Getting a tattoo for purposes of witness may be acceptable, but remember, this is not the primary or most effective way to evangelize. It is in no way a substitute for verbally communicating the gospel. You are not fulfilling the Great Commission simply because you have a tattoo of a Bible verse."


TOPICS: Moral Issues; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: bible; biblicalneedles; busybodies; pearlclutchers; tattooparlorbible; tattoos
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1 posted on 10/22/2018 12:51:44 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Nothing projects a strong professional image quite like sleeve tattoos...especially on women/sarc.


2 posted on 10/22/2018 12:55:03 PM PDT by Catmom (We're all gonna get the punishment only some of us deserve.r)
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To: SeekAndFind
The last 20 years ....

40% of Millenials ....

That's all anyone needs.

3 posted on 10/22/2018 12:55:20 PM PDT by knarf
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To: SeekAndFind

Does the Bible say anyting about “monkey see, monkey do?”


4 posted on 10/22/2018 12:56:11 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Democracy dies when Democrats refuse to accept the result of a democratic election they didn't win.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Getting a tattoo for purposes of witness may be acceptable

Witness Sucked, nobody got tats of them.


5 posted on 10/22/2018 12:56:40 PM PDT by humblegunner
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To: SeekAndFind

Easy to get into trouble on this one. But for international mission opportunities, there are many cultures that still consider a tattoo to be a religious expression, not decorative.


6 posted on 10/22/2018 12:56:58 PM PDT by Mrs.Z (Donald Trump... the guy who makes all the right people angry.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Your skin is an organ not a blank canvas.


7 posted on 10/22/2018 12:57:15 PM PDT by excalibur21
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To: Mrs.Z

Easy to get into trouble on this one. But for international mission opportunities, there are many cultures that still consider a tattoo to be a religious expression, not decorative.

><

You are correct. Don’t be so PC about getting into trouble.


8 posted on 10/22/2018 12:58:59 PM PDT by laplata (The Left/Progressives have diseased minds.)
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To: knarf

It used to be you got a tattoo to stick out.

Now you get one to fit in.


9 posted on 10/22/2018 12:59:11 PM PDT by dfwgator (Endut! Hoch Hech!)
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To: Catmom
Second only to neck tattoos!
 
10 posted on 10/22/2018 12:59:32 PM PDT by Governor Dinwiddie (Nuke the Caravan!)
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To: SeekAndFind
p14
11 posted on 10/22/2018 1:02:16 PM PDT by Snickering Hound
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To: SeekAndFind

Some call them Tattoos I call them scars.


12 posted on 10/22/2018 1:02:24 PM PDT by IC Ken (Stop making stupid people famous)
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To: SeekAndFind

I’ve never understood the urge of some people to mutilate their body with tattoos. They are universally disgusting. And living here in Reno now, occasionally visiting Las Vegas, I see quite a number of older people with tattoos. Scary. If my kids or a friend wanted to get a tattoo, just walking a few blocks downtown will cure them of it quickly.


13 posted on 10/22/2018 1:03:51 PM PDT by Reno89519 (No Amnesty! No Catch-and-Release! Just Say No to All Illegal Aliens! Arrest & Deport!y)
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To: SeekAndFind

No tats on me. I think it’s all about what you’re expressing, what attitude you’re projecting.


14 posted on 10/22/2018 1:04:07 PM PDT by Tell It Right (1st Thessalonians 5:21 - put everything to the test, hold fast to that which is true)
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To: SeekAndFind

Besides being extraordinarily tacky and attention craving, tattoos express a form of rebellion. The worst form of rebellion because they are permanent marring of God’s temple.


15 posted on 10/22/2018 1:04:22 PM PDT by fwdude (Forget the Catechism, the RCC's real doctrine is what they allow with impunity.)
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To: Snickering Hound

No Regerts


16 posted on 10/22/2018 1:04:23 PM PDT by Califreak (Take Me Back To Constantinople)
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To: SeekAndFind

I remember reading the following saying a few years back: “A tattoo is a permanent expression of a temporary feeling.”


17 posted on 10/22/2018 1:04:30 PM PDT by GreenHornet
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To: SeekAndFind

18 posted on 10/22/2018 1:04:32 PM PDT by Fido969 (In!)
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To: humblegunner

“Getting a tattoo for purposes of witness may be acceptable”

“Witness Sucked, nobody got tats of them.”

Heh.
But no doubt there are likely those who thought “get a tramp stamp for Jesus” was way cooler than wearing a “WWJD” sticker on their backpack.


19 posted on 10/22/2018 1:04:36 PM PDT by LouieFisk
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To: SeekAndFind

I got a monarch butterfly on my back shoulder this summer. I got it in honor and remembrance of my mother. The morning she died the monarchs were so thick you you could barely see to drive.

I think God will understand.


20 posted on 10/22/2018 1:05:28 PM PDT by Danette
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