DOES THE
BIBLE
CONDEMN
TATTOOS?
These are all the verses in the Bible that have anything to say about tattoos, or marks.  As you can see in the pro’s, God
supported the fact that His people would go to such lengths to identify themselves as His, by tattooing on their heads or their
hands so others would know.  Even God Himself has said that He has “inscribed” or “graven” their names in the palms of His
hands – “inscribed,” here, is not analogous to the nail marks that Christ received in His hands during the crucifixion.

As you will see, I have gone to the trouble to represent these scriptures in many different versions to give an accurate picture
of what the Bible says.  Read through the passages and then... KEEP GOING to read the rest of my opinion on this topic.


July 22, 2007
Tattoos…  Are they Biblical… negatively or positively…

PRO:

Isaiah 44:5    

--
King James
Isaiah 44:5  One shall say, I am the Lord's; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe
with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel.

--
New King James
Isaiah 44:5  "One will say, `I am the Lord's'; another will call himself by the name of Jacob; another will write with his hand,
`The Lord's,' and name himself by the name of Israel.

--
American Standard
Isaiah 44:5  One shall say, I am Jehovah's; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe
with his hand unto Jehovah, and surname himself by the name of Israel.

--
Living Bible
Isaiah 44:5  ``I am the Lord's,'' they'll proudly say, or, ``I am a Jew,'' and tattoo upon their hands the name of God or the
honored name of Israel.

--
Revised Standard
Isaiah 44:5  This one will say, 'I am the Lord's,' another will call himself by the name of Jacob, and another will write on his
hand, 'The Lord's,' and surname himself by the name of Israel."  

--
New American Standard
Isaiah 44:5  "This one will say, 'I am the LORD'S'; And that one will call on the name of Jacob; And another will write {on}
his hand, 'Belonging to the LORD,' And will name Israel's name with honor.

--
New Jerusalem with Apocrypha
Isaiah 44:5 One person will say, "I belong to Yahweh,"
another will call himself by Jacob's name.
On his hand another will write "Yahweh's"
and be surnamed "Israel".

--
New American with Apocrypha
Isaiah 44:5 One shall say, "I am the LORD's,"
another shall be named after Jacob,
And this one shall write on his hand, "The LORD's,"
and Israel shall be his surname.

--
New Revised Standard with Apocrypha
Isaiah 44:5 This one will say, "I am the Lord's,"
another will be called by the name of Jacob,
yet another will write on the hand, "The Lord's,"
and adopt the name of Israel.

--
Young's Bible
Isaiah 44:5  This [one] saith, For Jehovah I [am], And this calleth [himself] by the name of Jacob, And this [one] writeth [with]
his hand, 'For Jehovah,' and by the name of Israel surnameth himself.

--
Darby's Bible
Isaiah 44:5  One shall say, I am Jehovah's; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall write with his
hand: I am Jehovah's, and surname himself by the name of Israel.

--
Webster's Bible
Isaiah 44:5  One shall say, I [am] the LORD'S; and another shall call [himself] by the name of Jacob; and another shall
subscribe [with] his hand to the LORD, and surname [himself] by the name of Israel.

--
New Living Translation
Isaiah 44:5  Some will proudly claim, 'I belong to the Lord.' Others will say, 'I am a descendant of Jacob.' Some will write the
Lord's name on their hands and will take the honored name of Israel as their own.



Isaiah 49:16

-- King James
Isaiah 49:16  Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

--
New King James
Isaiah 49:16  See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.

--
American Standard
Isaiah 49:16  Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

--
Living Bible
Isaiah 49:16  See, I have tattooed your name upon my palm and ever before me is a picture of Jerusalem's walls in ruins.

--
Revised Standard
Isaiah 49:16  Behold, I have graven you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.  

--
New American Standard
Isaiah 49:16  "Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms {of My hands;} Your walls are continually before Me.

--
New Jerusalem with Apocrypha
Isaiah 49:16 Look, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands,
your ramparts are ever before me.

--
New American with Apocrypha
Isaiah 49:16 See, upon the palms of my hands I have written your name;
your walls are ever before me.

--
New Revised Standard with Apocrypha
Isaiah 49:16 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me.

--
Young's Bible
Isaiah 49:16  Lo, on the palms of the hand I have graven thee, Thy walls [are] before Me continually.

--
Darby's Bible
Isaiah 49:16  Lo, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

--
Webster's Bible
Isaiah 49:16  Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of [my] hands; thy walls [are] continually before me.

--
New Living Translation
Isaiah 49:16  See, I have written your name on my hand. Ever before me is a picture of Jerusalem's walls in ruins.




CONS:

Leviticus 19:28

-- King James
Leviticus 19:28  Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord.

--
New King James
Leviticus 19:28  `You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord.

--
American Standard
Leviticus 19:28  Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am Jehovah.

--
Living Bible
Leviticus 19:28  You shall not cut yourselves nor put tattoo marks upon yourselves in connection with funeral rites; I am the
Lord.

--
Revised Standard
Leviticus 19:28  You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh on account of the dead or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the
Lord.  

--
New American Standard
Leviticus 19:28  'You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the
LORD.

--
New Jerusalem with Apocrypha
Leviticus 19:28 You will not gash your bodies when someone dies, and you will not tattoo yourselves. I am Yahweh.

--
New American with Apocrypha
Leviticus 19:28 Do not lacerate your bodies for the dead, and do not tattoo yourselves. I am the LORD.

--
New Revised Standard with Apocrypha
Leviticus 19:28 You shall not make any gashes in your flesh for the dead or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the Lord.

--
Young's Bible
Leviticus 19:28  'And a cutting for the soul ye do not put in your flesh; and a writing, a cross-mark, ye do not put on you; I
[am] Jehovah.

--
Darby's Bible
Leviticus 19:28  And cuttings for a dead person shall ye not make in your flesh, nor put any tattoo writing upon you: I am
Jehovah.

--
Webster's Bible
Leviticus 19:28  Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I [am] the LORD.

--
New Living Translation
Leviticus 19:28  "Never cut your bodies in mourning for the dead or mark your skin with tattoos, for I am the Lord.

Rev. 13:16
16.  He required everyone--great and small, rich and poor, slave and free--to be tattooed with a certain mark on the right
hand or on the forehead.

Rev 14:9-10
9.  Then a third angel followed them shouting, ``Anyone worshiping the Creature from the sea and his statue and accepting his
mark on the forehead or the hand,
10.  must drink the wine of the anger of God; it is poured out undiluted into God's cup of wrath. And they will be tormented
with fire and burning sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb.

Rev 14:11
11.        The smoke of their torture rises forever and ever, and they will have no relief day or night, for they have worshiped
the Creature and his statue, and have been tattooed with the code of his name.

Rev 15:2
2.        Spread out before me was what seemed to be an ocean of fire and glass, and on it stood all those who had been
victorious over the Evil Creature and his statue and his mark and number. All were holding harps of God,

Rev 16:2
2.        So the first angel left the temple and poured out his flask over the earth, and horrible, malignant sores broke out on
everyone who had the mark of the Creature and was worshiping his statue.

Rev 19:20
20.        And the Evil Creature was captured, and with him the False Prophet, who could do mighty miracles when the Evil
Creature was present--miracles that deceived all who had accepted the Evil Creature's mark, and who worshiped his statue.
Both of them--the Evil Creature and his False Prophet--were thrown alive into the Lake of Fire that burns with sulphur.

Rev 20:4
3.        Then I saw thrones, and sitting on them were those who had been given the right to judge. And I saw the souls of
those who had been beheaded for their testimony about Jesus, for proclaiming the Word of God, and who had not worshiped
the Creature or his statue, nor accepted his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They had come to life again and now they
reigned with Christ for a thousand years.




The con’s are not really advocating against the idea of tattooing described in Isaiah.  The verse in Leviticus speaks of the
tattooing in relation to the dead.  If you look at the mandates of God, like the commandments, He separates where things are
not related.  Do not kill (period).  Do not steal (period).  Do not have any other gods before me (period).  But where two
items are different but related, they are not separated but kept together to show their relationship – like the verse Leviticus 19:
28:

-- New King James
Leviticus 19:28  `You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am
the Lord.

-- Living Bible
Leviticus 19:28  You shall not cut yourselves nor put tattoo marks upon yourselves in connection with funeral
rites; I am the Lord.

The remaining verses are all in Revelation and deal with the specific mark of the Beast.


I have been wrestling with the concept of getting a tattoo for the specific objective of promoting a few important things: 1) I
am a servant of God,  2) I must decrease and He must increase,  and
3) How I am supposed to speak to others and the dangers my eyes can experience if I am not uncompromising and
relentless.  

Below is an excerpt from Gray’s Home Bible Study.  I think it’s important to understand what he is saying.  It is the bold and
italicized section to which I am referring.
 

“We learn how communion with God may be hindered or promoted by things otherwise exceedingly small, like eating and
drinking (1 Cor. 10:31), the way we dress, or keep our dwellings, the physical condition of our bodies, and the like.
Indeed
there are many questions of
casuistry, which the full-grown Christian recognizes as essential in order to walk
with God, of which other people know nothing
. Compare (Deut. 14:21; 1 Cor. 2:14; 10:23; Eph. 5:17; 2 Tim. 2:4). The
Christian cannot say: "I may do this for others do it." The "others" may not be redeemed and separated unto God, and hence
he must leave the doubtful things to them "who claim not royal birth," and "come out from among them and be separate" (2
Cor. 6:17, 18).”

Casuistry, according to Webster is:

Main Entry: ca·su·ist·ry  
Pronunciation: 'kazh-w&-strE, 'ka-zh&-
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -ries
1 : a resolving of specific cases of conscience, duty, or conduct through interpretation of ethical principles or religious doctrine
2 : specious argument : RATIONALIZATION



I Peter 3:15 Tells us to be prepared to give an answer to those who ask us about what we believe and why.  Casuistry, by the
definition, is another way of saying – the resolution of conscience or conduct through the interpretation of either ethical
principles or doctrine.  

Gray, in the paragraph above, asserts that the full grown Christian understands this concept and recognizes how it is
ESSENTIAL (not just sometimes appropriate) for walking with God.  

So what am I trying to say?  Just this.  There are a lot of people running around with tattoos on them of a nature and
substance that cannot be rationalized or justified as enhancing their walk with God.  Somehow, and I expect mostly because
of these individuals and their choices of tattoos, the entire concept has become taboo for the Christian.  

I can tell you that I have been praying about this.  I can also tell you that when I sat down this morning, this was a concept that
was very far from my mind.  God brought it to mind and has revealed, through His word and the wisdom of those far more
intelligent than I, that a choice to get a tattoo that will enhance my walk, is not against Biblical truth, doctrinal intelligence or
God’s heart.  

Thank You, Father, for clarifying through Your word.
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