Did Jesus Have a Tattoo? Are Tattoos Sinful?

Jesus did not have a tattoo on any part of His body. Some sources claim that he did have a tattoo, and this could be misleading. These people seem to be basing their arguments on the book of Revelation. This verse says that Jesus had clothing and on His thigh and some writing. It is not clear where the writings were on, either on the clothing or directly on Him. This verse seems like a figure of speech.

Jesus did not have a tattoo. He did not need one. Jesus was perfect and without extraneous markings and items. A certain verse in the New Testament hints that He had a mark on Himself, but this scene is describing a dream, so it is unlikely to be literally true. Tattooing is a minor Christian sin.

Some interpreters say that Jesus had a tattoo on His thigh, and this is not true. In another case, the writings could be on His clothing and not directly on him. First of all, Revelation was written with many symbols, and this verse is no different. The purpose of symbolism in many cases is to bring clarity to the readers of the Bible. Jesus also used symbolism in His teachings to help people understand the word and engage His crowds.

Using symbolism helps people relate to God’s word, which will bring you closer to God since you understand His message well. For instance, in Genesis 5:24, we are told that Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him. The walking with God means that Enoch was dedicated to doing God’s work and obeying His teachings. Failing to recognize the similarity in these verses will make you think that God walked physically with Enoch, yet that is not the case. Jesus being a Jew and a tattoo being a taboo as per the Jewish laws, he would not go against the set laws. As we all know, Jesus advocated for abiding by all set laws.

What Did Jesus Say About Tattoos?

Jesus taught on many issues that we get to adhere to today. People try to live a righteous life as suggested in the Bible through Jesus’ teachings. Though as many conclude, Jesus did not specifically address the matter concerning tattoos.

Is it a Sin to Have a Tattoo?

Leviticus is the only verse in the Bible that talks about tattoos. This verse in the book of Leviticus tells people not to cut their flesh for dead people or have any marks on them. This warning directly comes from the Lord. Most people will stick to this verse and claim that it is a sin to have tattoos. That should not be the case because people have failed to abide by some laws in the same chapter of Leviticus. If you quote this verse of tattoos and state that they are sinful, you should also ensure that you abide by the laws in the other verses of Leviticus.

These laws state that you should not eat any flesh with any blood in it, and if you come into a land plant any tree for food, you shall regard its fruit as forbidden for three years and that you should only eat it on the fourth year. We do not follow these laws because most people do not plant their food, and people eat meat, and it has blood either dried or normal blood on it. These laws could also appear to have been given to the Israelites for a certain period and place. God might have given these laws to the Israelites at that time for their well-being because they did not have pesticides to put on their land or even refrigerators to preserve their food.

In another perspective in trying to understand the Bible’s message, maybe God meant that people should not tamper with their bodies for ritual purposes. This verse means that you should not alter your body in a way that will drive you from God. So if you have a tattoo that does not honor God, then that is a sin. There are those tattoos that are not well understood in the Christian domain. If you want to continue to align yourself with Christianity, then have a tattoo that does not have an evil image.

If, as a devoted Christian, you decide to have a tattoo of scripture or across, will that make it a sin to have one? In this situation, the idea of the tattoo is to help you identify with God; therefore, this does not necessarily count as a sinful act. Pointing out how differently people live is not right since we all have different lifestyles; and sin differently. Therefore, we should leave the judgment to God since HE knows what is in our hearts and also our intentions.

Does the Bible Say Not to Get Tattoos?

As we have discussed earlier, the book of Leviticus is the only verse in the Bible that talks about tattoos. In the older days, tattoos were associated with pagans, witchcraft, and criminals. These days tattoos have become a form of personal expression. People have tattoos for beauty purposes, to remember special occasions. People of all ages, races, gender, and religion have tattoos on their bodies. For nearly 2000 years, Christians have been against tattoos. Currently, many Christians have tattoos, and this does not stop them from believing in God. Some people have tattoos to identify themselves with Christianity.

The Bible tells us to have a sober mind and differentiate between what is good, perfect, and acceptable to pleasing God. The Bible also tells us to be set apart from the world in this verse. You should not validate yourself by having tattoos. The reason why God is against cutting on our flesh can be seen as a result of the way people cut themselves in the worship of Baal in 1 Kings 18:28.

Many Christians have tattoos these days, and once you go deep into the Bible, you will find out that the Bible does not have much to talk about tattoos. Basing your argument on modern times, you will find out that the Bible does not specifically quote anything about tattoos. Stating that the Bible does not speak directly about tattoos does not mean that it will be a good idea for you to get a tattoo anyhow. Read the Bible, pray with faith, and God will guide you onto the right path.

Can a Person Go to Heaven With Tattoos?

As we read the Bible, we are promised a new body once we get to Heaven without sin. Therefore this leaves us uncertain of whether if you will go to Heaven with a tattoo. Teenagers get influenced easily, making decisions that they are not proud of in the future. For example, if a teenager gets a tattoo at the age of seventeen, does that mean they will not see Heaven?

Some people tend to judge people with tattoos, and this is not a good thing. A tattoo does not make a person any less of a believer. These are people judging others for sinning differently.

Therefore, it means people with tattoos can go to Heaven as long as they abide by the laws set by God. Before settling for a certain tattoo, you need to ask yourself the purpose of the tattoo, the motives behind it, and if Jesus would endorse tattoos. You should keep in mind that your body is the temple of God and that whatever you do with God’s temple should be of good purpose.

Everything that you do, even eating and drinking, should be to please God. Therefore, you need to ensure if you have a tattoo that it glorifies God. If your tattoos are likely to upset God, then you should repent and ask for forgiveness, and He will surely forgive you, for He is a forgiving God. God tells us that he will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness if we confess.

You always should keep in mind that no tattoo or sin will keep you from receiving the love of Jesus Christ. Despite being unworthy of God’s love, He keeps on looking out for us, for we are His children. We will have new bodies, and therefore, if you have tattoos or not, it will not be a great issue since the new bodies will fit the Heaven surrounding. 


In summary, we are all sinners, and we constantly do things that do not please the Lord. Therefore, you should call on God to send you the Holy Spirit to guide you on the decisions that you are about to make. When it comes to Jesus having a tattoo, we have learned that He did not have one, and also, He did not specifically talk about tattoos. Jesus also expects us to take care of our bodies for God to continue residing in them.

The Bible does not have a broad view of what is expected of us when it comes to getting tattoos, and therefore, we need to ask ourselves what would please the Lord first before doing anything. Many temptations make someone want to sin. Overcoming these temptations is not easy, so we should not judge each other because we all sin, just that we sin differently. People’s fate about going to Heaven when the time comes is in God’s hands.

Gene Botkin

Gene is the director of the Theosis Christian Project. He studied physics and military science before founding the Project. Gene is currently pursuing his doctorate in systems engineering at an engineering college in the Ozarks. The Theosis Christian Project is his attempt to expand Holy Orthodoxy in America.

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