Is It a Sin to Get a Tattoo?

When working with high school or middle school students I'll typically ask them to write down any questions they may have and then attempt to find a biblical answer and incorporate it into the presentations. This approach goes back to the time when I led small group studies in my home in Salt Lake City. We'd take a news article or item that was in the news at that time and show how the Scripture dealt with it. Then we would then go into whatever book we were studying.

It was my belief that if we could show that the Bible dealt with current topics, then the folks would be more likely to trust whatever we were studying at the time. We had very good success with that approach so we still use it years later. So, over the next few weeks I'll share with you the questions and give you a biblical answer. This week we'll start with the first question that was asked!

"Do you think it is a sin to get a tattoo?"

Talk about a question that will get you in trouble either way that you go! Well, running from tough issues isn't what Christians should do, so here's what I believe the Bible teaches on the topic. Feel free to share your take on it as well.

While doing research on this topic one verse kept coming up in support of not getting a tattoo, Leviticus 19:28: "Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am Jehovah."

The New American Standard makes it even clearer, there it's translated: "nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves."

That was easy enough so let's move on to the next question please! Right? Sorry, not so fast. Whenever studying the Scripture we need to read the passages in context. God makes this very clear by telling us to study to show ourselves approved unto God a workman that isn't ashamed and can rightly divide the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).

[Read the rest of the article at Reasons for Hope.]