Whether you're a deeply devoted believer or just someone interested in understanding the balance between religion and self-expression, the topic of tattoos has likely crossed your mind. Tattoos have become increasingly popular and accepted within our society, but where does the Bible stand on this issue? As someone who is passionate about exploring the relationship between faith and modern culture, I have gathered 110+ Bible verses about tattoos to help you better understand the biblical views and teachings on this subject.
Tattoos are undeniably an age-old practice spanning across various cultures and faiths. While some cultures have embraced tattooing as an integral part of their traditions, others may oppose body art for religious or personal reasons. This collection of diverse Bible verses will delve into the scriptures and examine the perspectives surrounding tattoos in Christianity. By appreciating these verses, you can make an informed decision based on your faith, personal beliefs, and convictions.
Tattoos: God's Perspective on Adorning Ourselves
1. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies."
2. Romans 12:1
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship."
3. 1 Corinthians 10:31
"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."
4. 1 Peter 3:3-4
"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."
5. 1 Timothy 2:9-10
"I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God."
6. Galatians 5:13
"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love."
7. 1 Peter 2:9
"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."
8. 2 Corinthians 5:17
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"
9. Ephesians 5:29-30
"After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body."
10. John 14:23
"Jesus replied, 'Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.'"
11. Proverbs 3:5-6
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."
12. Romans 6:13
"Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life."
13. Romans 8:1
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus"
14. Philippians 1:20
"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death."
15. Romans 14:8
"If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord."
16. James 1:27
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
17. Proverbs 31:30
"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised."
18. 1 Peter 1:15
"But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;"
19. 1 Thessalonians 5:23
"May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless."
20. Colossians 3:5
"Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry."
Leviticus: Key Verses about Tattoos
21. Leviticus 19:28
"Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord."
22. Leviticus 19:29
"Do not prostitute thy daughter to cause her to be a whore, lest the land fall to whoredom and the land become full of wickedness."
23. Leviticus 21:5
"They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh."
24. Leviticus 19:27
"You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard."
25. Leviticus 10:9
"Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations."
26. Leviticus 11:44
"For I am the LORD your God: Ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy."
27. Leviticus 19:31
"Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God."
28. Leviticus 20:27
"A man or woman who is a medium or a spiritist among you must be put to death."
29. Leviticus 20:13
"If a man lies with a man as with a woman, they have both committed an abomination. They must be put to death; their blood is upon them."
30. Leviticus 19:2
"Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: 'Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.'"
31. Leviticus 20:7
"Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the Lord your God."
32. Leviticus 26:1
"Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the Lord your God."
33. Leviticus 21:1
"The Lord said to Moses, 'Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: A priest must not make himself ceremonially unclean for any of his people who die.'"
34. Leviticus 18:3
"You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices."
35. Leviticus 18:30
"Keep my requirements and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am the Lord your God."
Tattoos and Christian Faith: Understanding Boundaries
36. Romans 14:13
"Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister."
37. 1 Corinthians 8:9
"Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak."
38. Colossians 2:20-22
"Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 'Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!'? These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings."
39. Romans 14:1
"Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters."
40. Romans 14:22
"So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves."
41. 1 Corinthians 10:23-24
"I have the right to do anything,' you say—but not everything is beneficial. 'I have the right to do anything'—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their good, but the good of others."
42. 1 Corinthians 9:19-23
"Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible."
43. Romans 14:15
"So be sensitive and responsive to the needs of those who must live around you. If you persistently snub them, maybe even flaunting your rights under their noses, you flaunt your offenses."
44. 1 Corinthians 8:13
"Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall."
45. 1 Corinthians 6:12
"All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not."
46. Romans 12:2
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."
47. Galatians 5:14
"For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
48. 1 Peter 2:16-17
"Live as free people but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God's slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor."
Tattoos in Life-Changing Verses in the New Testament
49. Matthew 22:37-39
"Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
50. John 3:16
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
51. 2 Corinthians 5:21
"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
52. Romans 5:8
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
53. Ephesians 2:8-9
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast."
54. John 14:6
"Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'"
55. 1 John 1:9
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
56. Acts 4:12
"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved."
57. Romans 10:9
"If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
58. Acts 2:38
"Peter replied, 'Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'"
59. 2 Corinthians 7:10
"Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death."
60. Mark 10:45
"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
61. Hebrews 10:25
"Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
62. Philippians 4:13
"I can do all this through him who gives me strength."
63. Matthew 28:19-20
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."
Old Testament Wisdom: Tattoos and Symbolism
64. Genesis 1:27
"So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them."
65. Psalm 139:13-14
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
66. Exodus 20:4
"You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below."
67. Deuteronomy 4:2
"Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you."
68. Deuteronomy 4:15-19
"You saw no form of any kind the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore, watch yourselves very carefully…"
69. Deuteronomy 5:8
"You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below."
70. Deuteronomy 6:5
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."
71. Numbers 15:39
"You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by chasing after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes."
72. Judges 8:27
"Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his family."
73. 1 Samuel 16:7
"But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'"
74. Proverbs 16:2
"All a person's ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord."
75. Ecclesiastes 3:11
"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end."
76. Isaiah 44:9-20
"All who make idols are nothing, and the things they treasure are worthless."
77. Jeremiah 10:3
"For the practices of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel."
78. Isaiah 61:3
"To provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair."
79. Psalm 118:22
"The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;"
80. Proverbs 20:9
"Who can say, 'I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin?'"
81. Isaiah 64:6
"All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind, our sins sweep us away."
82. Job 24:13-17
"There are those who rebel against the light, who do not know its ways or stay in its paths."
83. Daniel 2:22
"He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him."
Debating Tattoos: Important Bible Verses to Consider
84. Acts 15:19-20
"It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead, we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, and from the meat of strangled animals and from blood."
85. Acts 17:28
"For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring."
86. 2 Corinthians 3:3
"You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts."
87. Galatians 2:15-16
"We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law because by the works of the law no one will be justified."
88. Galatians 5:1
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."
89. James 2:14-17
"What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, 'Go in peace; keep warm and well-fed,' but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."
90. Ephesians 4:29
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."
91. Colossians 3:8
"But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips."
92. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5
"It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God."
93. Titus 2:11-12
"For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age."
94. 1 Corinthians 11:14-15
"Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering."
95. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10
"The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved."
96. Romans 12:9
"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good."
97. 1 Corinthians 8:4-6
"So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live."
98. Philippians 1:27
"Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel."
Exploring Tattoos: A Reflection on Body Art and Scripture
99. Genesis 17:10-12
"This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you."
100. Exodus 12:43
"The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 'These are the regulations for the Passover meal: No foreigner may eat it.'"
101. Exodus 28:36
"Make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it as on a seal: 'Holy to the Lord.'"
102. Exodus 32:19-20
"When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain."
103. Exodus 33:5
"For the Lord had said to Moses, 'Tell the Israelites, 'You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I might destroy you. Now take off your ornaments and I will decide what to do with you.''"
104. Numbers 5:18
"After the priest has had the woman stand before the Lord, he shall loosen her hair and place in her hands the reminder-offering, the grain offering for jealousy, while he himself holds the bitter water that brings a curse."
105. Deuteronomy 14:1-2
"You are the children of the Lord your God. Do not cut yourselves or shave the front of your heads for the dead, for you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be his treasured possession."
106. Joshua 4:7
"Tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever."
107. Judges 14:14
"Out of the eater, something to eat; out of the strong, something sweet."
108. 1 Chronicles 16:29
"Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness."
109. Proverbs 1:8-9
"Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck."
110. Song of Solomon 8:6
"Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave."
111. Isaiah 29:16
"You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, 'You did not make me'? Can the pot say to the potter, 'You know nothing'?"
112. Jeremiah 13:26
"I will pull up your skirts over your face that your shame may be seen."
113. Ezekiel 16:10
"I clothed you with an embroidered dress and put sandals of fine leather on you. I dressed you in fine linen and covered you with costly garments."
114. Hosea 2:13
"I will punish her for the days she burned incense to the Baals; she decked herself with rings and jewelry, and went after her lovers, but me she forgot,' declares the Lord."
115. Amos 8:10
"I will turn your religious festivals into mourning and all your singing into weeping. I will make all of you wear sackcloth and shave your heads. I will make that time like mourning for an only son and the end of it like a bitter day."
116. Zechariah 11:7
"So I pastured the flock marked for slaughter, particularly the oppressed of the flock. Then I took two staffs and called one Favor and the other Union, and I pastured the flock."
117. Micah 1:16
"Shave your heads in mourning for the children in whom you delight; make yourselves as bald as the vulture, for they will go from you into exile."
118. Malachi 1:11
"My name will be great among the nations, from where the sun rises to where it sets. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to me because my name will be great among the nations," says the Lord Almighty.
The topic of tattoos and their relation to the Bible is a multifaceted and complex issue. From verses in Leviticus addressing explicit markings to the broader context of God's perspective on adornment, understanding the role of tattoos in a Christian's life requires reflection and discernment. It's important to also consider the cultural and historical context of these verses and how they may apply in today's society. As believers, it is our responsibility to navigate these intricate matters with grace, humility, and a sincere desire for God's wisdom.
We must be mindful of the potential impact of our choices on others, and seek to honor the principles of love and unity that Jesus himself emphasized. A balanced approach to tattoos in faith involves examining one's intentions, the potential message a tattoo may convey, and how it may affect our relationship with God and fellow believers. Ultimately, our focus should be on growing in our relationship with Christ and in holiness, both in our hearts and our outward expressions. May our lives, tattooed or not, be a testimony to the love and grace of God.