Teaching Pages

Page display options: 1-column; 3-columns

Tattoos and the Christian

Previous Part

Part 2: Questions Answered


A visitor sent this email note:

"I am considering getting a tattoo to mark myself as God's follower."

(Content of this section: Reflecting on what marks us out as followers of God)


I think I ought to point out at this that it is not some ink marking as in a tattoo, sticker or even badge that should be needed by a Christian to mark him or her out as a follower of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul gave us a marvellous and clear description of how it should be with believers in regard to how the world around us should be reading us. He said,

"Clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written NOT WITH INK but be the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on the tablets of flesh, that is, of THE HEART."

2Cor.3:3 - NKJV


Jesus also gave us counsel on this. He said,

"Let your LIGHT shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."

Mat.5:16 - NKJV


A visitor sent this email note:

"If a tattoo glorifies God, in that it raises His profile, depicts Him in a positive light, and makes people interested to know more, then isn't it a useful evangelical tool?"

(Content of this section: Considering whether a tattoo is an effective or appropriate way of promoting Jesus)


Could a tattoo do all that for Jesus? I find it very doubtful. However, instead of debating that I'll approach this matter from a different angle.

From what I can see in the Bible Jesus never calls for the kind of publicity a tattoo might provide. I go along with Paul who was keen on the publicity given by people who were and had an "epistle" written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God on their hearts! 2Cor.3:3.

Who needs a tattoo to promote Jesus if he or she is so living in Christ that his or her whole life is a testimony to Him?


My wife, children and myself have no physical badges, symbols or signs telling people that we know Jesus but everyone who has any kind of contact with us knows we live for Jesus - the way we are and the words we speak tell them. Jesus is promoted in our lives because people see the peace and blessings of God on our lives and they know from what we say where it comes from.

This is a superficial Christianity that a person has who needs a tattoo to draw people's attention (and even his or her own attention!!) to the One they have accepted in their life.


A visitor sent this email note:

"The reason God put this in here and didn't use it as a witnessing tool for heathen nations is because he wanted Israel to be visibly different. Back then, you could tell who was a Jew just by what they looked like. Under the New Covenant we have no such distinction of appearance."

(Content of this section: Looking at what makes us visibly different from those around us in the absence of tattoos)


Haven't you ever seen a Christian countenance? Born again, Spirit-filled, Word-filled Christians have a very different countenance to those around them. Like Moses their faces shine - see 2 Corinthians 3:9-13. Clothing maybe gave a distinction of appearance to the Jews in ancient Israel but today the countenance of Christians gives people a clear indication of their faith and lifestyle.


A visitor sent this email note:

"In the Bible in Revelation (not sure where at) but it states that Jesus has on his robe and marked on his thigh 'King of Kings and Lord of Lords' "


It is really stretching it to try to make Revelation 19:16 indicate that Jesus had a tattoo! Here's what the scripture says,

"And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS."

Rev.19:16 - NKJV

(Content of this section: Examining a New Testament scripture some say refers to a tattoo or tattoos)


Notice what the grammatical subject of the sentence is here. It is "on His robe and on His thigh". What has been done to this subject? A name has been written. The indication is therefore that a single act (not two acts different in character) was done on both robe and thigh.

John Wesley wrote the following about this verse in his "Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible":

"And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh - That is, on the part of his vesture which is upon his thigh. A name written - It was usual of old, for great personages in the eastern countries, to have magnificent titles affixed to their garments."

Rev.19:16 -


A visitor sent this email note:

"About the subject of Christian Tattoos. You need to read Gal 6:17 then write me back and let me know your thoughts."


You're suggesting these marks were tattoos?! This phrase "the marks of the Lord Jesus" is used figuratively to refer to the scars of services. See Strong's Concordance and it's dictionary of the New Testament.

Related pages

Use the links below to get to other pages on this site that have a similar subject to that which you've read about above.

Suggested eBooks

The following ebooks have been found by some readers of this web page to be potentially helpful to them:

Double Your Church Attendance Teach The Bible To Change Lives Building A House Of Worship