‘Are Tattoos Sinful?’ Powerful Discussion From a Biblical Perspective

Author and podcast host Jefferson Bethke touched upon another topic that is often highly controversial and can lead to heated disagreements in Christian circles: tattoos.

Tattoos in society have become much more mainstream in the last several years. It’s reached the point where nearly everyone you encounter has some form of tattooing. Now, some Christians believe that having the body inked up with tattoos is wrong and sinful. However, others take a wholly different view, believing nothing is wrong with them.

Jefferson tackles this somewhat controversial topic by first admitting that he’s firmly on the side and of the belief that tattoos are not sinful. He has two tattoos and raises his arms to display the tattoos on his wrists. He then mentions the verse in Leviticus that those against tattoos always bring up.

“You may not make cuts in your flesh in respect for the dead, or have marks printed on your bodies. I am the Lord.” – Leviticus 19:28

However, he claims that people bring that verse up out of context. He states that the verse is among other commands from the Lord to the Israelites on how to live, carry and protect themselves at that time. 

A few verses before God’s mention of tattoos and markings on the body come directives from Him about how and when to eat fruit and meat.

“If you’re the person quoting to me that I can’t get tattoos, then you, hopefully, also are the person not eating any fruit or vegetables that has not been cultivated for at least three years, and on top of that, you don’t eat any meat,” he said.

In the end, Jefferson states that it all boils down to giving glory to the Lord.

“So, I say, can we turn this issue to the heart? Can we understand in context what those verses mean? And can we say that it’s all about giving glory to God, whether that’s in art, whether that’s in tattoos, whether that’s in piano, music, politics? It’s all about using whatever we have to point to Him.”

Revelation 19:16 “And on his robe and on his leg is a name, ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.’”


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