Jesus Creed has a nice thread on Christian tattooing, with links to some nice xian tats. The discussion, of course, is around the passage in Leviticus 19:28 that forbids tattooing. Of course, the counterpoint is that this passage must be taken in context (Leviticus 19:26-31), as interpreted below. I have always wanted a tattoo, and actually designed the one to the right for my back (represents my wife and kid – now I have to add another kid), but haven’t done it yet. Also, don’t miss the Sacred Ink flash presentation of xian tats and the testimonies of those who have them.
In this passage God is speaking to his covenant people Israel. He is specifically telling them to stay far from the religious practices of the surrounding people groups. The prohibited religious practices in these verses include eating bloody meat, fortune telling, certain hair cuts related to the priests of false cults, cutting or marking the body for dead relatives, cultic prostitution and consulting psychics. All these practices would lead God’s beloved people away from Him and toward false gods that were not Gods at all. In the midst of this context we find the word translated “tattoo marks” in verse 28. It is important to note here that the context of this passage is not one of body décor but one of marking one’s self in connection with cultic religious worship.