attoos have been around for thousands of years. But how did they start? What were they used for? And did Jesus ever get a tattoo? Let's explore this topic in-depth!

Did Jesus Have a Tattoo?

Firstly, Jesus never had a tattoo. Why? Because he was Jewish and the Jews do not have tattoos—the Torah forbids them. In addition to being Jewish, Jesus was also a carpenter by trade; this means that he worked with tools such as hammers and nails on a daily basis. It's safe to say that Jesus' hands would have been covered in calluses, making it impossible for him to get any tattoos without enduring extreme pain or injury.

Lastly, while Christians may argue otherwise (and they certainly will), there is no evidence that Jesus ever had any tattoos at all! The idea that he did comes from some mistaken interpretations of certain biblical passages - specifically one passage where people are described as having "names written" on their foreheads rather than "marks" (Ephesians 1:14). This could mean anything from writing down a person's name on paper or simply drawing letters onto someone's face.

Additionally, some people claim their tattoos are "Jesus" due to coincidence but this type of reasoning ignores the fact that most common names today share similar meanings when translated into different languages; so does having a tattooed word which happens to sound like another name make sense? No! The bottom line here is simple: no one knows whether or not "Jesus" was actually written somewhere else besides our hearts!

Where Do Tattoos Come From?

Tattoos were created and used in the Middle East around 2100 B.C., with the first tattoos being created by the Egyptians. The Egyptians used tattoos to identify slaves, who were tattooed on their foreheads and shoulders so that they could be easily identified as slaves when they were outside of their work area. The earliest forms of tattooing involved using a needle to puncture the skin and create semi-permanent dark marks on human skin.

What Does the Bible Say About Tattoos

The Bible does contain a passage that appears to speak against tattoos, Leviticus 19:28. The passage states, "Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord."

However, there are several important issues with this interpretation:

  • First of all, this verse is part of an entire section in Leviticus 19 that deals with how we should treat others. In other words, while it may seem like this verse promotes self-respect and body autonomy by saying "do not cut your bodies" it is actually just repeating what's already been said elsewhere in the chapter (and even earlier).
  • Second of all, in order to get around this issue some Christians have argued that Jesus' actions were somehow different than those described above because he wasn't doing what was being condemned here—he wasn't cutting himself or putting tattoos on himself—but rather marking his body with scars instead! However when we look at Luke 9:22-23 where Peter asks Jesus if he can build three tabernacles for their upcoming journey into Israel we see another example of someone getting a scar from Jesus' hand on their forehead which could very easily be interpreted as them getting a tattoo from him too!

For a more in depth look at a tattoos in the Bible, read more here. I wrote a whole article talking about if have a tattoos can keep you out of heaven.

Are tattoos banned in the Bible?

No, tattoos are not banned in the Bible. In fact, you'll find no prohibition of tattoos at all in the Old Testament or New Testament.

However, there is one verse that has been used as evidence to say that it's wrong to have a tattoo: Leviticus 19:28 states, "Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord." This verse is referring to pagan practices of worshipping dead people by cutting themselves and making marks on their bodies—practices which God did not want His people engaging in.

The ancient Hebrews had a cultural aversion to tattoos because they believed that if someone got one, they'd be cursed with leprosy. But this practice predates Moses and Joshua by thousands of years—the first recorded case of someone having a mark removed from their skin happened way back in 2400 B.C., long before anyone started writing down laws about what was allowed or forbidden.

What did the man in Revelation 19:16 do with his tattoos?

The man with the tattoos in Revelation 19:16 removed them.

This is a subtle but important distinction to make, because it suggests that the man didn't have any choice in whether or not he got his tattoos removed. It wasn't like he was just sitting there, thinking "I wonder if I should remove my tattoos?" and then decided to do so.

The removal of the tattoos was an act done by God, not by the man himself—and this is vital to understanding how all of these passages should be interpreted.


Jesus never had a tattoo in the Bible or the New Testament, nor does he appear to have ever received one. The Old Testament also does not mention Jesus getting a tattoo. And the Torah has nothing to say about whether or not Jesus had tattoos on his body either.

Jesus was a Jewish man who lived in the first century. The Bible makes it clear that tattoos were banned to Jews at the time, so it’s unlikely that Jesus had one. We know that Jesus was perfect and followed all of God's laws, so it would make sense if he didn't have any tattoos on his body as well—especially since they're forbidden by Leviticus 19:28!


Jan 7, 2023

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