Here are a podcast and notes on Tattoos & Piercings (37 minutes).

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Biblical passages

  • Leviticus 19:28 -- but examine the context (the entire chapter). For sake of comparison, Muhammad forbade giving or receiving tattoos: Hadith al-Bukhari 3.299.
  • New Testament principles
    • Relating to others -- 1 Corinthians 9
    • Avoiding worldliness -- 1 Corinthians 5-6
    • Not insisting on one's rights; being willing to be sensitive to one's brothers -- 1 Corinthians 8:1-11:1
    • Lovers of ourselves (vanity)? -- 2 Timothy 3:2
    • Modesty -- 1 Peter 3:1-5, 1 Timothy 2:9-10
    • Our bodies are not our own! -- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20


  • Don't overstate the case (Leviticus 19:28). This is most immediately an Old Testament principle.
  • Consider others. Romans 14-15 should play into our discussion.
  • Do tattoos, body art, or piercings draw excessive attention to ourselves?
  • While such things may not be inherently sinful, they are not necessarily beneficial.
  • The question to ask before getting a tattoo is: Am I honoring God with my body?