The practice of tattooing has nearly always been rejected in Christian tradition. The usual proof text is Leviticus 19:28: “You shall not make any gashes in your flesh for the dead or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the Lord.” That verse has been regarded as an injunction against pagan rituals, but also as a call to honor God’s good creation as it is manifested in our bodies.
Support the Christian Century
The Century's work relies primarily on subscriptions and donations. Thank you for supporting nonprofit journalism.