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Submitted on
March 6, 2011
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106 KB


29 (who?)
Luther Rose Tattoo by hrwilliams Luther Rose Tattoo by hrwilliams
Free to use, free to modify. If you get it, please share a photo!


But aren’t tattoos forbidden in the Bible?


In the Hebrew Scriptures, God established a covenant with Abraham (circumcision) and with his descendants after delivering them from Egypt. The Hebrews were in slavery for over 400 years, so it’s safe to assume that they didn’t have any idea how to govern themselves (see the golden calf fiasco). So after establishing the basic moral law of the 10 Commandments, God established Levitical law, which served as a system of government for His newly-emancipated people.

The Old Covenant, however, was never meant to last forever – and not because the Law is too harsh. High standards are the point: The first purpose of the Law is to convict us of sin. The second purpose is to make us despair of saving ourselves, driving us to Christ. The third use of the law is a guide for Christian living. The Christian does not follow the Law because of the threat of hell, but rather out of the joy of salvation and love for Christ.

The New Covenant is not only a Christian idea, but a Jewish one as well. Hundreds of years before Christ, Jeremiah prophesied: “The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.” (Jer. 31:31-34)

The New Testament author of Hebrews interprets this passage, saying, “By calling this covenant ‘new,’ [Jesus] has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.” (Heb. 8:13)

Hebrews illustrates that the Old Covenant “is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.” (Heb. 10:1)

Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matt. 5:17)

He explains the basic reasoning behind every biblical law: ““Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matt. 22:37-40)

Elaborating on this, Paul writes in Romans, “Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” (Romans 13:10)

If you feel that getting a tattoo violates your relationship with God, violates your faith, then it would be unloving for you to get a tattoo. It would violate the greatest commandment.

If getting a tattoo would grieve your parents, then it would be unloving for you to get a tattoo. It would violate the command to love others, particularly honoring your parents.

If tattoos are accepted in your culture, if the tattoo glorifies God/does not affiliate you with Paganism, and if you don’t feel that getting a tattoo is a violation of your faith, then I say go for it.
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LutherMartin1517 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2012
No, the prohibition against tattoos was for the levitical priesthood. Not for everyone. Otherwise you wouldn't be allowed to shave either.
hrwilliams Featured By Owner May 14, 2012
Do you haz, like, something I could read about this?
The only verse that mentions tattoos, "Do not get tattoos or cut yourselves for the dead," implies that it's about pagan rituals. I would imagine that God doesn't want ANY of his people participating in pagan rituals, including the priests. What suggests that the prohibition is only for priests?
theycallmeBoba Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2011  Student General Artist
Man, I love the fact that you're Lutheran, but I believe tattoos are wrong...
Low-Lighter Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2011  Student Filmographer
any possibility I could share this description with my friends on facebook?
hrwilliams Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2011
Sure, go for it! :D
Low-Lighter Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2011  Student Filmographer
done and done, and thanks a ton! :iconthanksplz:
Low-Lighter Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2011  Student Filmographer
too cool, and thank you for the description, it's the best one yet I've heard on that truth. You explained it rather clearly and I think it should definitely be shared. Not everyone understands the new covenant thing, and it's definitely causing a lot of problems in these times. If Christians around the world understood this there would be a lot less sensless arguing over technicalities and more living in the spirit, as one body in Christ. there are hundreds of passages throughout the new testament and old testament alike that stress this point, and yet people miss it somehow.
hrwilliams Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2011
Yeah, it's a shame. I think some people don't like the "new covenant" concept because it challenges their anti-Catholicism or something. I don't really remember, I wasn't paying attention.

Paul made it pretty clear that we should just let people hang onto their silly rules if they want to, as long as they aren't claiming it's necessary for salvation. But I think New Covenant is important for understanding why we give the 10 Commandments priority over the Levitical law. It does look like a contradiction on the surface, don't it? :D

Anyway *is babbling* glad you liked it!
NekoHimeAnny Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2011
I'd like to fave that comment.... may i copy and safe it in a file so that I can show my friends if they want to get a tattoo?
hrwilliams Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2011
Of course, anytime! I'm glad you found it useful.
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