I have a tattoo and I’m a Christian. In fact, I was a Christian when I got the tattoo. I’ve been told a tattoo is sinful because it’s marking the body. Did I commit a sin and is my tattoo sinful?
Is getting a tattoo a sin and is your tattoo a sin? There are many faithful Christians with tattoos, and there are a lot of Christians with strong feelings, pro, and con, about tattoos.
With a simple reading of this verse, it appears that tattoos are clearly forbidden in the Bible. However, while it’s true that tattoos were forbidden under Levitical law, we must remember that these laws were given to the Nation of Israel, not the Body of Christ. As Christians, not all of the laws given to Israel apply to us. In the Old Testament, God gave moral, civil and ceremonial laws.
The prohibition for tattoos in Leviticus 19 falls under the ceremonial laws given to the Nation of Israel. The body markings, tattoos, during that time were symbols of pagan worship or identification with other gods and nations. Israel was clearly told to avoid such markings of their flesh, but there is no such prohibition given to Christians.
So, Is It a Sin to Get a Tattoo?
The simple answer is…it depends. It depends on the motivation behind the decision to get a tattoo, the image of the tattoo, and what it might “say” to others. So the answer is really not very simple at all. This is a question that requires personal discernment using biblical instruction. A Christian knows that they have liberty in Christ Jesus (Galatians 5:1), but with this liberty comes great responsibility.