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  #1  
Old Mar 15, '07, 5:02 am
samhawthorn samhawthorn is offline
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Default The Bible and tattoos!?

What does the bible say about tattoos, and what context is it in?

I have read in Leviticus that you are not supposed to permanently mark your body, but is there a context to this? Where people running round having inverted crosses tattooed on their faces?

(Sorry this is such an open question, my bible knowledge and memory for specific verses isn't great)

Thanks for any help.
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  #2  
Old Mar 15, '07, 5:08 am
Safe Eagle Safe Eagle is offline
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Default Re: The Bible and tattoos!?

Tattoos
(Jimmy Akin)

A correspondent writes:

I was wondering what the church has to say about getting tattoos? The
only reference I've heard of in the bible is from Leviticus:

"Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves.
I am the Lord." - Leviticus 19:28

what does the church have to say about this practice, is it lawful or
not?
The Leviticus passage is part of the Mosaic Law, which is not binding on Christians (or anybody else these days). Originally the Mosaic Law was binding on the Jewish people only; now it is binding on nobody except insofar as it repeats things that are part of the moral law, having been superceded by Christ.
Many of the precepts of the Mosaic Law are ceremonial and do not belong to the moral law. Their purpose, in many cases, is simply to make the Israelites culturally distinct from the Canaanites who surrounded them. This is one such command. The Canaanites cut their bodies for the dead and made tattoos as part of their religious practice, and this command forbids that in order to make the Israelites unable to participate in Canaanite religious practices.

A prohibition on tattooing is not part of the moral law, however. From a moral perspective, there is no reason why one cannot color one's skin, which is what tattooing amounts to. One can apply color to one's skin by make-up (as is common among women), magic markers (as is common among children), press-on tattoos (as are common in Crackerjack boxes), or with real tattoos. The mere fact that the ink goes into the skin in the latter case does not create a fundamental moral difference.

Of course, in doing this there are moral considerations to be factored in: (1) One should not use the tattoo to transmit an immoral message, (2) one should not use an unsafe process to get the tattoo (e.g., dirty tattoo needles that might be carrying who knows what diseases), (3) and one should be generally prudent about getting a tattoo (e.g., what effects will getting this tattoo have on your relationships with others? if you break up with your girlfriend, do you really want her name still on your arm? do you really want a permanent tattoo when they have temporary ones now?). However, the Church doesn't have a problem with tattooing in principle.
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  #3  
Old Mar 15, '07, 5:15 am
samhawthorn samhawthorn is offline
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Default Re: The Bible and tattoos!?

Thanks for your reply. I've been trying to do some research off my own back and have found stuff very similar to what you said.

The part from Leviticus seems to refer to worship of dead ancestors.

The tattoo i have is on my upper right arm and is a cross of nails with a lily over and around it. It was done at a time when i felt incredibly close to God, a time i never wanted to allow myself to forget. It is also a way of reminding myself my body is not my own. The lily and nails that make up the cross remind me why i belong to G-d - Jesus died a horrific for me.
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  #4  
Old Mar 15, '07, 5:19 am
Semper Fi Semper Fi is offline
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Default Re: The Bible and tattoos!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by samhawthorn View Post
What does the bible say about tattoos, and what context is it in?

I have read in Leviticus that you are not supposed to permanently mark your body, but is there a context to this? Where people running round having inverted crosses tattooed on their faces?

(Sorry this is such an open question, my bible knowledge and memory for specific verses isn't great)

Thanks for any help.
I do not believe that the Catholic Church prohibits tattoos specifically, but I could be wrong.

Tattoos in the times of the Israelites were used by pagans in ancestor-worship.

HOWEVER, in the New Testament, Jesus Christ says:

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1 Cor. 3:16-17
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
Also, in the first book of the Bible, Gen. 1:26:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen. 1:26
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
So, based on these references, tattoos don't really seem prudent for a Christian. However, one or two small ones probably shouldn't be a problem but you may want to speak to your priest or spiritual director to see why you want to get one in the first place...
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  #5  
Old Mar 15, '07, 5:25 am
samhawthorn samhawthorn is offline
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Default Re: The Bible and tattoos!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Semper Fi View Post
I do not believe that the Catholic Church prohibits tattoos specifically, but I could be wrong.

Tattoos in the times of the Israelites were used by pagans in ancestor-worship.

HOWEVER, in the New Testament, Jesus Christ says:



Also, in the first book of the Bible, Gen. 1:26:

So, based on these references, tattoos don't really seem prudent for a Christian. However, one or two small ones probably shouldn't be a problem but you may want to speak to your priest or spiritual director to see why you want to get one in the first place...
Thanks for your reply! Though i do think that the 2nd and 3rd pieces of scripture you quoted are very open to interpretation and could be seen as refering to a number of things other than tattooing.
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  #6  
Old Mar 15, '07, 11:14 pm
Semper Fi Semper Fi is offline
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Default Re: The Bible and tattoos!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by samhawthorn View Post
Thanks for your reply! Though i do think that the 2nd and 3rd pieces of scripture you quoted are very open to interpretation and could be seen as refering to a number of things other than tattooing.
No, I don't believe it refers to tattooing itself, but it is something to consider when mutating ones body.
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  #7  
Old Mar 16, '07, 3:56 pm
Daniel Marsh Daniel Marsh is offline
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Default Re: The Bible and tattoos!?

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

The text is not talking about tattoos at all. It is in context talking about putting marks on the outside of your body in the context of "for the dead".

It is not talking about ink under the skin.

The same OT laws forbids mixing clothes, are you wearing 100 % cotton?

The verse above, tells us how to cut our hair, does anyone today do it that way on purpose?
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  #8  
Old Mar 20, '07, 8:44 pm
Crumpy Crumpy is offline
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Default Re: The Bible and tattoos!?

I still like the stand-up comic on Comedy Central who was explaining how he didn't like tatoos.

He remarked that if he got one, he would have the words "I'm stupid" tatooed on him, so he would remember why he got the tatoo in the first place.

I think the body is beautiful enough as God made it.
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  #9  
Old Mar 20, '07, 9:14 pm
lak611 lak611 is offline
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Default Re: The Bible and tattoos!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Marsh View Post
Leviticus 19:28 (King James Version)
Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.

The text is not talking about tattoos at all. It is in context talking about putting marks on the outside of your body in the context of "for the dead".

It is not talking about ink under the skin.

The same OT laws forbids mixing clothes, are you wearing 100 % cotton?

The verse above, tells us how to cut our hair, does anyone today do it that way on purpose?
All of those examples are Jewish Ceremonial Law, which is not binding on Christians today. It falls into the same category as the dietary laws. If one is to follow the laws you gave as examples, one would also need to eat strictly Kosher foods.
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  #10  
Old Mar 21, '07, 8:30 pm
Valke2 Valke2 is offline
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Default Re: The Bible and tattoos!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by samhawthorn View Post
What does the bible say about tattoos, and what context is it in?

I have read in Leviticus that you are not supposed to permanently mark your body, but is there a context to this? Where people running round having inverted crosses tattooed on their faces?

(Sorry this is such an open question, my bible knowledge and memory for specific verses isn't great)

Thanks for any help.
many who worshipped idols had tattoos as part of their religion. It was probably a common practice in Egypt. I find that a lot of the prohibitions seem to be in place because they were things that were done in Egypt.
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  #11  
Old Mar 23, '07, 12:57 am
cazayoux cazayoux is offline
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Default Re: The Bible and tattoos!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crumpy View Post
I still like the stand-up comic on Comedy Central who was explaining how he didn't like tatoos.

He remarked that if he got one, he would have the words "I'm stupid" tatooed on him, so he would remember why he got the tatoo in the first place.

I think the body is beautiful enough as God made it.
I agree that the body gave us is beautiful.
I also have a tattoo.

We adorn our cathedrals quite a bit.
We adorn our bodies quite a bit, also. (makeup, earrings, clothing, ...) unless you are a mennonite.

I LOVE my tattoo.
I've shown it to my priest and talked to him about it in confession.
Check my profile to see a photo.

I use three nails that look as if they are piercing my skin to represent the Greek letters Chi Rho (XP).

XP is the beginning of the name Christ in Greek: XPISTOS (sorry, didn't know how to do the sigmas for 'S').

the work 'chirho' also means rejoice... and in a manner that is the extreme.

I designed the tattoo over several months and put quite a bit of thought into it.

I think it is artful and faithful.

michel
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  #12  
Old Aug 21, '08, 3:02 am
fmlydskst fmlydskst is offline
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Default Re: The Bible and tattoos!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by samhawthorn View Post
What does the bible say about tattoos, and what context is it in?

I have read in Leviticus that you are not supposed to permanently mark your body, but is there a context to this? Where people running round having inverted crosses tattooed on their faces?

(Sorry this is such an open question, my bible knowledge and memory for specific verses isn't great)

Thanks for any help.
love your body as you will the body of christ! Christ suffured and so shall you. we have the mark of christ or the devil... a brand that shall be carefull to choose.

if you respect the wounds of christ, then you can pay respect by respectfull markings of christ. or markings of a catholic. a tattoo is a marking choose and make your choice wisely if it is in respect then okay if it is for self endoulgence then no because you have to account.
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  #13  
Old Aug 21, '08, 3:02 am
fmlydskst fmlydskst is offline
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Default Re: The Bible and tattoos!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by samhawthorn View Post
What does the bible say about tattoos, and what context is it in?

I have read in Leviticus that you are not supposed to permanently mark your body, but is there a context to this? Where people running round having inverted crosses tattooed on their faces?

(Sorry this is such an open question, my bible knowledge and memory for specific verses isn't great)

Thanks for any help.
love your body as you will the body of christ! Christ suffured and so shall you. we have the mark of christ or the devil... a brand that shall be carefull to choose.

if you respect the wounds of christ, then you can pay respect by respectfull markings of christ. or markings of a catholic. a tattoo is a marking choose and make your choice wisely if it is in respect then okay if it is for self endoulgence then no because you have to account.
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  #14  
Old Aug 21, '08, 3:10 am
fmlydskst fmlydskst is offline
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Join Date: August 21, 2008
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Default Re: The Bible and tattoos!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by samhawthorn View Post
What does the bible say about tattoos, and what context is it in?

I have read in Leviticus that you are not supposed to permanently mark your body, but is there a context to this? Where people running round having inverted crosses tattooed on their faces?

(Sorry this is such an open question, my bible knowledge and memory for specific verses isn't great)

Thanks for any help.
yes there were but that belongs to different religions, remember god has many faces.

branding has many text I would say research. ask a true priest or monk.
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  #15  
Old Aug 21, '08, 4:40 am
PotassiumCl PotassiumCl is offline
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Default Re: The Bible and tattoos!?

So, what if you had tattoos applied prior to the realization of your faith and when you selected them, to you they were merely a "cool" sun?
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