“Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.” Leviticus 19:28
Tattoos and the people of Christianity have been at odds for quite some time, especially here in the south. Leviticus 19:28 is the number 1 verse in the bible people love to quote to condemn tattoos. I always find this humorous because chapter 19 also says this:
19 “‘Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed.
“‘Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.
26 “‘Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it.
Leviticus is full of all kinds of commands that Christians do not follow, But Leviticus is not there for us. It was for the Jews to follow. The laws were there awaiting Christ. Romans 10:4 clearly states “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes.” This verse is in reference to Christ being the fulfillment of the law.
verse 27 says “27 “‘Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.” but every single person who has ever quoted verse 28 to me has had short hair and no beard. Funny how that works. People love to pick and choose and/or take things out of context.
Well there is one sect of christianity that has used tattoos to mark their faith in their flesh. Mark, the author of the oldest canonical Gospel, brought Christianity to Egypt during the reign of the Roman emperor Nero in the first century, a dozen of years after the Lord’s ascension. This was the birth of the Coptic Church. The tattoos are said to have begun in the eighth century by monks but is suspected by some to date further back.
Though for many of you it may seem common place to see people with cross tattoos but for many people it could mean death. For many it also provided a new level of community and commitment. It is still common practice for ethiopian Christians to adorn their bodies with Crosses and other symbols to publicly display their faith.