Bible verses for all occasions.

bible verses about tattoos

Bible Verses About Tattoos

When it comes to the topic of tattoos, opinions and beliefs vary greatly among Christians. Some view tattoos as a form of self-expression, while others consider them to be a violation of the body as God’s temple. The Bible does mention tattoos in a few different instances, providing some guidance and insight on the matter. Let us explore these verses and their significance in relation to the topic of tattoos.

Leviticus 19:28 (NIV)

“Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.”

This verse from Leviticus is often cited as a prohibition against tattoos. However, it is important to understand the context in which this verse was written. In ancient times, tattooing was associated with pagan rituals and idolatrous practices. God’s commandment here was meant to separate the Israelites from these practices and keep them holy. It is worth noting that this verse is part of the ceremonial law, which was fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

This verse reminds us that as Christians, our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. It encourages us to honor and respect our bodies as vessels for God’s presence. While tattoos can be a form of self-expression, we should consider whether they align with our role as stewards of God’s creation.

1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'”

While this verse does not directly mention tattoos, it emphasizes the importance of the heart over external appearances. Our relationship with God is not determined by our physical appearance or any markings on our bodies. He looks at our hearts and our inner character.

Galatians 5:16-17 (NIV)

“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.”

This verse teaches us about the battle between our fleshly desires and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It encourages us to live in accordance with the Spirit and not to fulfill the desires of the flesh. When considering getting a tattoo, it is important to discern whether it is driven by worldly desires or a genuine expression of faith and love for God.

Isaiah 44:5 (NIV)

“One will say, ‘I belong to the Lord’; another will call himself by the name of Jacob; still another will write on his hand, ‘The Lord’s,’ and will take the name Israel.”

In this verse, we see a mention of writing on one’s hand with the name of the Lord. While it does not explicitly refer to tattoos, it illustrates the idea of marking oneself as belonging to God. However, it is important to note that this verse is metaphorical and does not necessarily endorse physical tattoos.

Jeremiah 31:33 (NIV)

“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

God’s promise in this verse is to write His law on the hearts and minds of His people. It emphasizes the internal transformation that takes place within believers. While tattoos may reflect personal convictions or reminders of faith, they should not replace the indwelling presence of God’s Word in our hearts.

1 Peter 3:3-4 (NIV)

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

This verse reminds us that true beauty comes from within, rather than external adornments. While tattoos can be seen as a form of adornment, they should not be the primary focus of our identity or source of self-worth. Our true beauty lies in our character and the inner transformation we experience through our relationship with God.

Deuteronomy 14:1 (NIV)

“You are the children of the Lord your God. Do not cut yourselves or shave the front of your heads for the dead.”

Similar to the verse in Leviticus, this verse prohibits the cutting of oneself. It is important to remember that these commands were given to distinguish the Israelites from pagan practices. While tattoos involve cutting the skin, it is crucial to consider the cultural and historical context before applying these verses directly to modern-day tattooing.

Psalm 139:14 (NIV)

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

This verse celebrates the wonder of God’s creation and affirms the value and uniqueness of each individual. It reminds us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. While tattoos can be a form of self-expression, they should not detract from the inherent beauty and value that God has bestowed upon us.

1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV)

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

This verse reminds us that our actions should ultimately bring glory to God. When considering getting a tattoo, it is important to examine our motivations and intentions. If the tattoo serves as a means of glorifying God or sharing our faith, it can be seen as an expression of devotion and worship.


As we have explored these Bible verses, it becomes clear that the topic of tattoos is not explicitly addressed in a definitive manner. However, the underlying principles of honoring our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit, prioritizing inner transformation over external appearance, and seeking to bring glory to God in all things should guide our decision-making process. Ultimately, whether or not to get a tattoo remains a personal conviction and should be approached with prayer, discernment, and a deep understanding of one’s own faith journey.

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