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Is tattoo practice allowed by Old and New Testaments?

The Old Testament opposes strongly any tattoo practices:

"Do not lacerate your bodies for the dead, and do not tattoo yourselves. I am the LORD." (Lev. 19:28).

The New Testaments speaks more generally about abusing ones body:

"Avoid immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the immoral person sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body." (1 Cor. 6:18-20).

Though The New Testaments is not specific about tattoos, the terminology used regarding the human body, "sins against his own body", "a temple of the holy Spirit", "glorify God in your body", does not leave any doubt about the negative attitude towards tattooing.

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Last updated: June 2013
Copyright 2003-2013 Julian Rubin