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JW Tattoos?

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The Librarian -
Ann O'Maly -

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Does the Bible clearly show Jehovah's view? Yes, it does.

Could others seeing our tattoos be stumbled or affected negatively? Yes, it's possible.

The rest lays in the heart of each individual. It's easy for us older ones. However, may as many younger brothers and sisters as possible see Eoin's timely post. And, thank you for posting. lenjomc

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I noticed in the links that Eoin Joyce provided,  the Bible references never mention a tattoo in them. It did give reference to obeying your parents (Colossians 3:20), which I can see that, but no mention of not getting a tattoo once an adult.

1 Peter 3:3&4, these are speaking about a wife and how she should be submissive to their husband throughout the first 6 verses. In fact it is specifically addressed in verse 5. Again, nothing about tattoo's. This applies also to 1 Timothy 2:9 as it is stated again about submissiveness and reinforced at verse 11.

Romans 12:1, this is the only verse that can actually pertain to the subject, however it still does not mention tattoo's. Romans 12:1&2 speak to us about how we are to live in these bodies as a living sacrifice, acceptable to God. We are to live for God, this would apply to smoking, drinking in excess, fornication, slandering and even over eating as these have been mentioned in other scriptures, but does it really apply to tattoo's? I think not. 

There is only one mention of tattoo's in the Bible. Leviticus 19:28. However, the WT accepts that this is not binding to anyone but the Jews. 

    Hello guest!

" While the Law given to Israel is not binding on Christians, the principle underpinning this law is worth serious consideration. "

Worth consideration does not equate to absolute NO. 

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(Leviticus 19:28) “‘You must not make cuts in your flesh for a dead person, and you must not make tattoo markings on yourselves. I am Jehovah.

(Deuteronomy 18:10-12) There should not be found in you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, anyone who employs divination, anyone practicing magic, anyone who looks for omens, a sorcerer, 11 anyone binding others with a spell, anyone who consults a spirit medium or a fortune-teller, or anyone who inquires of the dead. 12 For whoever does these things is detestable to Jehovah, and on account of these detestable practices Jehovah your God is driving them away from before you.

(Proverbs 6:16-19) 16 There are six things that Jehovah hates; Yes, seven things that he detests: 17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart plotting wicked schemes, and feet that run quickly to evil, 19 A false witness who lies with every breath, And anyone sowing contentions among brothers.

(Revelation 22:15) 15 Outside are the dogs and those who practice spiritism and the fornicators and the murderers and the idolaters and everyone liking and carrying on a lie.’

(Malachi 3:6)For I am Jehovah; I do not change. And you are sons of Jacob; you have not yet come to your finish.

(James 1:16, 17) 16 Do not be misled, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect present is from above, coming down from the Father of the celestial lights, who does not vary or change like the shifting shadows. . .

(John 17:3) This means everlasting life, their coming to know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.

We have to be consistent. Above is a sample of some of the things Jehovah hates.  When we know Jehovah's personality we know his likes and dislikes. We are privileged to have this knowledge as shown in the scriptures above, revealed by Him himself.  Jehovah does not change.    All these scriptures apply to us.

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*** g95 10/8 p. 30 From Our Readers ***

"Fads In your article “Young People Ask . . . Fads—Should I Jump on the Bandwagon?” (December 8, 1994), you mentioned tattooing. I was surprised that you did not make reference to the command at Leviticus 19:28: “You must not put tattoo marking upon yourselves.”

L. D., United States

These words do indeed give a measure of insight into God’s thinking on this matter. Of course, Christians are not under the Mosaic Law. (Colossians 2:14) Still, individuals would do well to bear this scripture in mind when deciding what to do in this regard. The reported health risks and the impression wearing a tattoo might give to others are additional factors that a Christian should weigh very seriously.—ED.


Six months ago I jumped on the fad bandwagon and hopped off with a tattoo on my ankle. Every time I look at my ankle, I am reminded of my decision. I can only wonder what doubts others might now have about my character. I also worry if I might be a cause for stumbling to others in the congregation. I’ll think more carefully next time the fad bandwagon pulls around.

S. C., United States"


See comments from Readers to Awake article above. Note one person is worried that he/she might have furnished a cause for stumbling by getting a tattoo.  One also thinks Lev 19:28 should have been cited in the answer.  The following scriptures also have a say on it.

If we stop jumping on the bandwagon and stop being fashioned according to the system of things we will do well. It is clear that those who disfigure their skin and complexion with tattoos don't think they are wonderfully made. They are not using their powers of reason either, for most of the time the message or feeling in the tattoos becomes obsolete.

(Romans 12:1) Therefore, I appeal to you by the compassions of God, brothers, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, a sacred service with your power of reason.

(1 Corinthians 10:32, 33) 32 Keep from becoming causes for stumbling to Jews as well as Greeks and to the congregation of God, 33 just as I am trying to please all people in all things, not seeking my own advantage, but that of the many, so that they may be saved.

(Psalm 139:14) I praise you because in an awe-inspiring way I am wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, I know this very well.

(Romans 12:2) And stop being molded by this system of things, but be transformed by making your mind over, so that you may prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

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Melinda, While I appreciate your additional thoughts on the matter, the fact still remains that there is no scriptural support against tattoos with the exception of for the dead. I do agree that there is better ways to express our individuality rather than a tattoo, but to put it on par with eating pork for example (a stumbling to a Jew) is going beyond what is written. Fashion called for women to adorn themselves with earrings, but you don't make the same argument against that. This "system of things" has influenced many people by means of fashion, hair color, painted nails, nose rings, etc. This is just another way to add rules, like the Jews did with the Sabbath, to people who will blindly follow them. Logic and freedom have been taken away when things are added to God's word that were not there, just to keep a group isolated. 


I also want to mention that  Deuteronomy 18:10-12  has nothing to do with tattoos, it has to do with spirit mediums. Either you are trying to tie "things Jehovah hates" to tattoos by means of what you were taught, or you think tattoos are magical. Again  Proverbs 6:16-19 has nothing to do with the topic at hand, other than to try and (weakly) support your idea of "things Jehovah hates",   Revelation 22:15Malachi 3:6James 1:16, 17 and  John 17:3 , I have no idea why these were even referenced, no baring on the topic at all. Don't get me wrong, the whole Bible is relevant to us, but not when taken out of context to support a group instead of God. I've already addressed Romans 12:1&2. 


Questions of readers????? You know that those are made up right? 


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To consider Isa. 49:16 Look, I have inscribed your name

    Hello guest!
  on my palms; (it is about Zion). Or:


    Hello guest!
 One will say: “I belong to Jehovah.”
    Hello guest!
Another will call himself by the name of Jacob, And yet another will write on his hand: “Belonging to Jehovah.”And he will adopt the name of Israel.’

None of the Greek / OT scriptures make any reference to writing on bodies. I surely believe it is a personal choice. Like with clothes, hair dress, jewelry, or anything else one can use as a means to dress or decorate him/herself.

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