Can you guess what this article is going to be about?! Let me give you a hint, it isn’t aboutâ€¦ unicorns or tithing or Christmas. Well, maybe there is a connection with Christ or something like that. :)
For starters, the Bible doesn’t say a whole lot about tattoos. There is one verse and then there are verses which affirm this verse and the validity of it’s position.
So we will start with the one verse:
Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.
I would say that is pretty straight forwardâ€¦ strangely enough people like to argue the validity of the verse. I have read a lot about this subject. I have seen lots of peoples opinions about it, most of the time I see them try to explain it away. We will cover a few of those things here.
Breaking down the verse:
“Ye shall not”
I hope this sounds super familiar. Maybe “Thou shalt not” will ring bells a little better. There is something called the Ten Commandments of which several of those ten say “Thou shalt not”, most people are familiar with this saying. Just as a point of reference, “Ye” and “Thou” are interchangeable, so is “shall” and “shalt”.
“make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead”
This is straight forward as well, cuttings or “cuts” in the flesh “for the dead”. I seriously don’t think anyone does this anymore, yet it must have been necessary to be written in the law.
“nor print any marks upon you”
Equally as straight forward as the other parts of the verse. “Nor” is a negative conjunction in accordance with the word “not”. And “print any marks upon you” this isn’t in conjunction with “for the dead” it is just in conjunction with the “not”.
“I am the LORD”
Can everyone agree with me, this is a straight forward verse? The Lord is speaking, therefore he states who he is in this fashion.
The verse is laid out as plainly as it can get. It is laid out in the same fashion as some of the ten commandments.
Some people want to argue with this verse, others will agree with it and do what God said according to it.
So the main questions we need to ask is: Who was this for? We will answer this question in. :)
Who was Leviticus 19:28 for?
This question is answered most simply with a verse in Hebrews.
If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
The book of Leviticus and the Levitical priesthood go hand in hand. The law was delivered to the people, by the levitical priesthood. We know this law was for all of the people of Israel, not just the levitical priesthood, according to this verse.
Now, all of the people of Israel needed to keep this law.
You may say, ok so then it isn’t for us todayâ€¦ Well, wait just a minute thereâ€¦
Are you not one who received the promise of Abraham? Were you not grafted in according to that promise?
That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
If you aren’t any of this, then I would agree with you. None of the stuff I am writing about here has anything to do with you! You are just getting a lot of knowledge right now. :D
Butâ€¦ if you do consider yourself part of the promise, then you are part of the seed of Abraham. You are a Jew, so these laws do need to be considered under the premise I just gave.
Now, I know thus far this won’t sway many people to “not get a tattoo (or tattoos)”, but I am not really trying to sway anyone either. This is about what the Bible says about tattoos. So far, getting one doesn’t look good according to the old testment.
But a lot of times people don’t like the laws of the old testament and say “not all of them are relevant”. That’s fine, a lot of it can be debated, so we will move on to the new testament stuff.
What can you do?
Walk in the Spirit
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
This doesn’t seem as straight forward as the last one… but it is totally relevant…
The flesh wants things that are against the Spirit and the Spirit wants things that are against the flesh.
They are enemies.
What does the tattoo have to do with the Spirit? Absolutely nothing. It is something that goes on the flesh, it would then be a fleshly desire. Everything about a tattoo has to do with the flesh. The thing that is against the Spirit.
Therefore, it is not of the Spirit.
Are we going to do things contrary to the Spirit? Yes, eating food is not of the Spirit, it is of the flesh. But even then, we are supposed to fast.
If you are considering a tattoo, then be sure to talk to God about it, because your body belongs to God. God is that Spirit in Galatians 5, I think he may be contrary to it, if I had to guess :)
19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
To sum it up
If you walk in the Spirit, then you won’t want to get a tattoo to satisfy the lust of the flesh.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
1 John 2:16
If we were keeping tallies, there are more verses “against” it than there are “for” it. (I think I counted 0 “for” it)
In all things, Let the Lord be magnified :)