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lighthouse (Peggy's Cove, east coast Canada).
What Does the bible Say About … TATTOOS AND PIERCINGS? Part 2

As a youth leader, I get a lot of questions, but one that has really puzzled me is the following: Are tattoos and body piercings wrong?

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It is so good to see that you are a youth leader. That my friend is a very difficult ministry in the Lord, but it also the most fulfilling.

The teens are so impressive and they feel that they have captured the answers to the whole world, but, in fact they are insecure and continually seek reassurance.

Given today’s dress style, a teen that does not have a tattoo or their body pierced is considered “different.” Personally, I do not approve of tongue, eye brow, nose, lip, and navel piercing basically on the health reasons alone. I have worked in the medical field for many years, and have seen many teens loose a part of their body due to infection and unsanitary cleansing conditions.

The teens might feel that their tattoo is in style, but then again I have cared for geriatric gentlemen whose tattoos have sagged, faded and well some are absolutely unbearable to look at.

It is more painful to remove a tattoo than it is to have it applied. There has been more risk with laser burns in removing the tattoos. And an unsanitary “Tattoo Parlor” can also be the leading factor in Hepatitis B&C, which will ruin the liver and kidneys.

Mario, just on this advice alone, I suspect the teens will tell you that they already heard all the warnings. But try this:

1Corinthians 3:16-17 “Do you not see that you are God’s holy house, and that the Spirit of God has his place in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.”

Leviticus 19:28 “You may not make cuts in your flesh in respect for the dead, or have marks printed on your bodies: I am the Lord.”

3 John 1:11 “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.”

When I was the girl’s youth ministry leader many, many years ago, I told the girls that if they are easy to accept the tattoo or even a stamp mark on the back of their hands and not wince, how much easier would it be to accept the Mark of the Beast.

Revelations 13:16-17 “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

Please pray on the leading of the Lord in which way you should go with the teens. I know that with a sincere heart and a caring spirit these children will respect and listen to you.

Sue Ramsey

Associate Director Bible Questions


The Old Testament law has one verse that is speaking of the practice of cutting and tattooing as a sign on mourning for the dead.

Le 19:28 “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.”

The New Testament speaks of the taking of the sign of the beast in the forehead and the hand.

Revelation 14:9-11 “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”

I do not think either of these verses can be kept in context and be used to say tattooing and body piercings are wrong. To use these verses in that way would be wrong, but there is another way to consider the question.

Look at these verses.

2 Corinthians 5:12 “For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to [answer] them which glory in appearance, and not in heart. {in appearance: Gr. In the face}”

2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

1 Corinthians 10:31 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

If someone were to ask my advice on the getting of tattoos or piercing I would ask them if they thought they could do this to the glory of God.

The scripture teaches us that if we are truly saved the Holy Sprit will lead us to all truth.

Jesus said;

John 16:13 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”

Now that which I am about to say will with out a doubt infuriate some readers, but they have the same right to answer this question as I.

I believe if a professing Christian would be able to do these things, then he or she is not truly saved or is very shallow in their walk with the Lord. If based on the scripture the Holy Spirit will lead us to all truth, then I do not believe He will lead us to tattoo or receive body piercing !

The real question here is not just about the tattoo or body piercing, but it is about, does the Holy Spirit truly live within us and does He have the control of us?

Why would a Christian wish to take marks on their bodies?

Is it to be like the world?

This verse speaks of the child of God

2Corinthians 6:17 “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you.”

This verse speaks of the Son of God

Hebrews 7:26 “For such an high priest became us, [who is] holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.”

If we are to be different than the world, and to be imitators of Christ, then why would we wish to imitate the world?

Let me tell you how a born again man dealt with tattoos received before his salvation.

There was an elderly man in my home church that had gotten a tattoo of a totally graphic nude woman on each forearm and when he was saved he looked into having them removed. The cost was much more than he could afford. He wore long sleeve shirts every time he stepped out of his home, because he was ashamed to have these signs of his sin to be witnessed by anyone. He made one more trip to the tattoo artist and the next time I saw him those ladies had the longest dresses you can imagine from there chin to past their toes.

Beloved that is where the Holy Spirit leads a born again child of God. He does not lead them to display the signs of this sin infested world.

Friends all I ask is that you sincerely seek Gods leadership before you take the trimmings of this world, whether tattoos, body piercing or even the style of your daily clothing.

James Avery
Associate Director of Bible Questions


Leviticus 19:28 states: “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.”

It is my understanding that these marks were part of a pagan ritual to express extreme grief for the dead and not for the purpose of mere decoration as tattoos and piercing seem to be today. However, many Bible verses admonish us to not emulate unbelievers and to not be overly concerned with our bodies. The setting up of the human body as an object of extreme importance falls over into every area of our society today.

1 Corinthians 10:23 “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. A believer should first answer the question, “why?” when considering a tattoo. Why do I want a tattoo or piercing? Why do I need a tattoo or piercing? What purpose does it serve?

For the unbeliever, the greater question is “What must I do to be saved?” Discussions about tattoos are irrelevant until a person’s spiritual condition is established.

Sandra McGarrity


I would like to respond to the question on tattoo marks.

The Scriptures clearly forbid these, as illustrated:

Lev 19:28 “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks, upon you: I am the LORD.”

The Hebrew word for ‘marks’ means “letter or mark branded on the skin”. The NIV actually uses the word “tattoo”.

I hope this clears up the matter.

Yours in Christ,

Millicent Wallace


The body piercings are wrong because: God said doing these things are an abomination to Him. That’s because devil worshippers and idol worshippers do this to get more power from Satan or their imagined idol god. They get power because doing these things gives the devil a spiritual legal right to put demons in to their bodies-hence the power. It’s in the Old Testament, I think Deuteronomy, but I could be mistaken.

Philipians 1: 9 “and this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”

Robert Shike


I have been in youth ministry for over 25 years and this question comes up. The response I give is: Who’s body is it anyway. Also, if your parents say no then you would not be honoring your parents. Also, I have lived through a few generations and each one has its fads. They go away in time but in the case of tattoos, they don’t and then you have to live with them. The tribal band tattoos are already old and not popular but the people who got them will have them forever. “We have been bought with a price and we are not our own.” The issue is the glory and praise of God.



Yes I believe that tattoos an body piercing is wrong because it is harmful to some degree to our bodies. The scriptures say that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit an anything that is harmful to our bodies is a sin. I think that body piercing an tattoos to some degree is harmful to our bodies, Not considering the message it portrays to other people about our own personal character. I personally don’t think it is a very good Christian testimony for the world to see.

Johnny Richardson.


Yes I think so, but remember there is things told in the Bible about such. Maybe the first tattoo was placed by God. Genesis, chapter 4 verse 15 “And the Lord set a mark upon Cain.” We read in Exodus. Chapter 21 verse 6 “His master shall bore his ear with an awl, and he shall serve him forever.” I believe there are texts about nose rings, earrings elsewhere.

I think no one can say that they have never drawn something on their arm or leg, but that washed off. I don’t care to see tattoos that will last forever on anyone myself. I would think after some time would go by, that person might wish it had never happened. I see nothing wrong if the girl gets an earring, but men, no. Still there it is in the Bible, men with some kind of earring.

Bill Walker