Tattoos, their meaning, and are they biblical?

Tattoos are making a comeback in the United States.  Is it just a trend, or are people looking for something to hold onto? Is it both?

People, in general, are apt to go with a particular trend as they want to fit into a group or bond in some way with another individual.  Sometimes, it’s more so if it’s on the edgy side.  This gives them a sense of having an adventure, being edgy themselves, saying yes to a dare, or, in some ways, taking a risk that doesn’t require scaling a cliff or jumping out of an airplane.

In these instances listed above, I would say it isn’t the wisest choice to get a tattoo as a person will probably regret it, or the choice of the tattoo will not be the right pick.  Often, there is no meaning to their tattoo other than wanting to feel something through ink.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling. People should feel more and let things out instead of holding them in or trying to find a substitute to make them feel better such as a tattoo.

We know, like everything in life, people have differences of opinion. Although I do not have a tattoo, I’ve wondered about getting one and have had people ask what I think. In an issue like this, I tend to speak the truth from a higher source.

What does the bible say?  The Bible is and always has been interpreted in different ways concerning tattoos.  There are multiple verses in which people translate it as being okay (Genesis 4:15)  (Song of Solomon 8:6), “tattoo God’s word on your heart.”  In my opinion, God is not speaking about actually tattooing your heart.  He implies that we should remember, cherish, and imprint God’s word on our hearts in a way we will never forget—an internal reminder, not an external one.

cross tattoo on arm

People will also argue that they want a reminder of a lost or loved one.  Here is a verse that points to what God says about that (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.”

So what about the marking of a cross or the fish symbol stating that you are a Christian? Well, if we read the Bible, God says not to use pagan customs of creating patterns with pagan religious meanings. Is the cross and fish a pagan symbol? These are questions that are good to ask ourselves.

In circumstances like this, where tattoos are the topic, I think it is essential to go back to the intention of one’s heart. Why do you want to get one? Who will it promote? Who is it honoring?

As quoted by: Beyond Today.  It appears to be provable from this verse whether tattooing is forbidden only in terms of particular pagan practice or more generally. For that reason, it seems best for individuals to treat the prohibition as a general one to avoid possible violation here. In doubtful matters, any actions a person takes must be done in full confidence of faith that it’s allowed by God. Even when something is actually acceptable in God’s eyes, if one thinks it might not be permissible and does it anyway, that would be a sin for that person (Romans 14:23).

There is, in other words, a fine line in marking God’s holy temple (your body) with ink.  We must look at the heart of the matter and why you think you should have a tattoo.  Remember, God sees the interior and exterior of all.

What about people who already have a tattoo?  If they have tattooed their bodies before understanding or knowing the Lord or even understanding what the Lord says, it is not our job to judge them.  After all, Jesus came that we All might be saved.  I don’t believe they need to have their markings removed.  

Many people have used their past mistakes to relate to and help others.  Again, it is all about the intention of the heart.  Do not look down on them because of their markings or differences.  All of us have markings of some kind. The difference, perhaps, is not all are visible.  “Let anyone of you who is without sin throw the first stone at her.” (John 8:7).

In short, whether you have a tattoo already or are thinking about getting one. Use your story to be a witness and look within. Sometimes, you need a friend to talk to and not a tattoo. In most cases, people are crying out and using their bodies as their voices. People will always find a way of being heard. So, make sure this is how you want your voice to show.

Remember you are loved, and if you feel comfortable, share in the comments your stories of why you have one, what you think about the topic, and if you are thinking about getting one, why?


Heather Earles

Is the owner of H&E Literary Works LLC, writes for a local newspaper, and has written several books, including A Busy Morning On The Farm and an upcoming thriller/drama series called “Prisoner Within.” She is a Print Specialist for Pufferprint and writes a blog on healthy living to aid and inspire. She has a podcast called Herb ‘N Wisdom™ and enjoys country living, God, and her family. “I love helping people heal and feel better about life.”


  1. Niel said:

    Hi Heather,
    You are a woman after my heart and I want to commend you for taking a stance on this issue. It is quite a moment of joy to realize there is still people like you.
    I love your blog, the health, wellness, the fruit dehydrating ect.
    Keep it up it is awesome!

    November 29, 2016
    • Thank you Niel for your comment!!! It is encouraging to me also knowing there are like minded people out there. I will keep writing what’s on my heart and hope you and others will keep enjoying it. Hope to hear from you again.
      Heather Earles

      December 2, 2016

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