Sunday, January 12, 2020


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

Hello dearly beloved. Greetings to you from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. This is a controversial topic and discussion among many in the world today, asking if getting a tattoo is a sin. Well, let's read through the Scriptures and see what we will find. Okay. God is with you.

In an attempt to give explanation to our opening Bible verse, I find it important to show it to you in the Message Bible Translation for the sake of clarity and lucidity;

'Don't gash your bodies on behalf of the dead.'

You see, in those days, the gentiles had a tradition/custom of printing marks on their bodies when they were mourning someone that had passed away, and the Children of Israel were learning that way. God saw it and stopped them not to imprint marks on their bodies for the dead as the gentiles did. The word mark or cut or gash as used in different translations of the Bible is the word "tattoo". Some other translation uses the word "Tattoo", example, the Good News Bible Translation;

'Do not ... tattoo yourselves or cut gashes in your body to mourn for the dead. I am the Lord.'

You see it? Okay.

So God wasn't against the literal deed of tattoo, but He was against tattooing the dead on their body because it represented contact with the dead, which was uncleanness in those days. Also, the gentiles in those days also tattooed the images of their idols on their flesh, and since God hates idolatry, He stopped Israel from committing idolatry through tattoos, and not because He was against tattoo in itself, but the idolatry they committed with it. - Please think deeply

Okay let's see another Bible passage on this;

'Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.' - Deuteronomy 14 vs 1 {KJV}

Did you notice the word "for the dead"? You see, God wasn't against tattoo literally, but He was against a particular sin they committed using the instrumentality of tattoo, so He told them not to draw tattoos of the dead on their body, and we will get to see what that sin was. He didn't tell them not to get tattoos, but that they should not draw tattoos of the dead on their body. I believe it's getting clear to you.

Okay see this;

'He that toucheth the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven days.' - Numbers 19 vs 11 {KJV}

There was a custom in Israel according to the Law of Moses that if anyone touches a dead body, he was unclean. So by them drawing tattoos of the dead on their body, they were coming in contact with the dead, and by that, they were unclean. You get it now? so God stopped them from drawing tattoos of the dead on their bodies, and not that He was against tattoos literally. Please keep reading. You will understand this topic completely.
So let's see the Good News Translation of the previous Bible passage we read above;

'You are the people of the Lord your God. So when you mourn for the dead, don't gash yourselves or shave the front of your head, as other people do.'

You see it clearly now! Take note of the words I made bold in that passage. He was telling them not to have tattoos of the dead on their skin when they were mourning the dead, and not that they should not have tattoos at all. Do you know that the Bible implies that God has a tattoo? Let me show you;

'Jerusalem, I can never forget you! I have written your name on the palms of my hands.' - Jeremiah 49 vs 16 {Good News Bible Translation}

This is tattoo. Many people write things on their hands. For example, someone writes, "God Helped my Life" on his hand, that's cul. It's no sin. Our God did it, why can't we. It's very important you understand what God was talking about concerning the children of Israel concerning tattoo, He was not dealing with tattoo literally, He was dealing with uncleanness through contact with the dead by means of tattooing the image of the dead on their body. You get it? - Selah

'Behold, I have engraved you upon the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.' - Isaiah 49 vs 16 {KJV}

The word "engraved" as used there, is there Hebrew word "châqaq", and that speaks of "to cut into something, to print; that's tattoo. Tattoo is printing an image or text on your skin. See these;

'Can’t you see? I have carved your name on the palms of my hands! Your walls are always my concern.' - {The Passion Translation}

You see that?

'Indeed, I have inscribed [a picture of] you on the palms of My hands; Your city walls [Zion] are continually before Me.' - {AMPLIFIED BIBLE TRANSLATION}

You see it?

So by that word of God, we accept that God has tattoos on His both hands; why can't we? - Selah. You see, God spoke against the sin of uncleanness through contact with the dead by tattoos and not tattoo literally. - You see that?

'Both the great and the small shall die in this land: they shall not be buried, neither shall men lament for them, nor cut themselves, nor make themselves bald for them...' - Jeremiah 16 vs 6 {King James Version}

You see that? It was a matter of tattooing the dead on their bodies [which was uncleanness according to the Law], and not tattoo literally. 

Finally, when you look at the way the King James Version puts our opening Bible passage, you almost immediately assume that it meant we should not put tattoos on ourselves at all. Take a look at it how it is put in the King James Version;

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

You see, the KJV rendering makes it look as though getting tattoos for the dead is one aspect, and having a tattoo generally is another aspect. But no, that's simply the King James style of communication. That's why if you will be a good Bible student, you must study the Bible from different renderings and translations to get a good and balanced understanding of what you're studying. For example, let's look at Hebrews 13 vs 5 in the KJV;

'Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee'

You see, if you are to literally interpret this passage, you will take the word "conversation" used there to mean verbal dialogue; but no! This Bible passage is not talking about verbal dialogue, but the word "conversation" as used there is old English Language for "Manner of Life". You see... Another example of the King James Version style of communication is seen in John 3 vs 5;

'Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.'

If you take meaning from this Bible passage literally, you will assume that the Lord meant that a man must be born of water and the Spirit as two (2) different and separate entities. But no, the Lord never meant you must be born of water (1) and the Spirit (2) to enter into the Kingdom of God. Before I show you how it is put in the Greek Translation, let's see another Bible Translation that's close to the Greek rendering of it, that's the Contemporary English Version;

'Jesus answered: I tell you for certain that before you can get into God's kingdom, you must be born not only by water, but by the Spirit.'

You see, remember that the Lord Jesus was talking to someone in this scenario, and the man was Nicodemus who came to the Lord by night, and Nicodemus was a Pharisee who only knew the baptism of John (Water Baptism). So the Lord is telling him here that if you must enter into the KINGDOM, it's not just by this water baptism which you know, but by the baptism of the Spirit. In other words, the Lord said that baptism in water is not enough to save a man, but the baptism of the Spirit which He brought. Now let me ask you, the man who was hung on the cross by the side of the precious Lord Jesus, on that day when he asked the Lord to remember him in Paradise, and the Lord said to him "Today thou shalt be with Me in Paradise" {Luke 23 vs 43}. Question, did that man get baptized in water to receive that Salvation? no! You see, because baptism in water is not what holds Salvation, but faith in the name of Jesus. - Selah. If you have the opportunity to be baptized in water, do! It's a Christian sacrament and practice; nevertheless, that's not what gives you your Salvation, but your faith in Christ Jesus. God is with you.

So you see, by studying only with the King James Version, you might never come to this understanding, because of the fact that the KJV uses old style of communication, it would be risky to take certain King James Statements literally. You see... So if we would see that same Passage in the another translation, we get an emphasized rendering;

'Don't gash your bodies on behalf of the dead.' - {MSG}

You see, it's clear now that God was talking strictly about making tattoos for the dead, and He was not speaking about tattoos generally. Don't forget, He got one!

Stay blessed.

God has blessed you.
- Jenning U. Angel

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