In many major religions, the sacred texts discuss tattooing in the context of when they were written. Many people may be familiar with the Jewish and Islamic faith's opinion of tattooing, however, what does the Bible say about tattoos? Would God approve of tattooing today? Let's take a look at one of the most discussed and debated Bible verses of all time in the gallery below, then let us know your perspective on this tattoo debate in the comments section on Facebook.
In the Bible, there are a staggering 23,145 verses in the Old Testament and 7,957 verses in the New Testament. That means that there are 31,102 verses in the Bible total. Of those 31,102, only one of them discusses tattoos. Let's take a look at what the Bible says about tattoos and if God would agree with the tattoo culture of today.
In Leviticus 19:28, the Bible says "You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord.”
If someone were to interpret this verse literally, they might assume that God doesn't want Christians to be tattooed. And I'm sure that there are plenty of Christians out there who take this verse that way. However, it's important to understand context and take a closer look at what this text meant when it was written.
In a video posted to Lifechurch.tv, pastor Craig Groeschel explains that Leviticus 19 discusses the Israelites escaping Egyptian bondage and God told them not to "take on the Pagan practices of the Egyptians."
A common Pagan ritual practiced in Egypt at the time involved the loved ones of a deceased relative cutting into the corpse's skin to let out the "life blood." It was also common for Pagans to tattoo pictures of their deities onto their skin—which directly contrasts one of the ten commandments.
If a person is dead set on interpreting this verse literally, it's important to look at some of the other outdated rules set in place. For example, according to Leviticus 19, you were forbidden from cutting your hair or beard, as well as discouraged from wearing clothes made from different materials. If someone were to take on every rule in the Old Testament, that's all fine and good, however in 2018 it's easier said than done.
Today, many people don't take the Bible's verses at face value, they instead interpret the teachings and messages behind them to make informed choices during their daily lives. Many Christians today are tattoo collectors, with crosses, praying hands, portraits of Jesus and popular proverbs making up a large majority of the designs created throughout the world. Additionally, many pastors today are tattooed, including celebrity figures such as Carl Lentz—who has spiritually advised stars like Justin Bieber, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, and Kevin Durant in the past.
What do you think about this Bible verse? Are you a Christian with tattoos? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section on Facebook.