A Scriptural Evaluation on the NT Believer’s Use of Tattoos and Body Piercings

Brian "Head" Welch - Christian, ex-guitarist of Korn, author of Save Me From Myself, and Christian musician.

Last semester, (fall semester of my senior year at Maranatha Baptist Bible College), I finally got around to taking Ethics class. In this course, every student was required to write two position papers on a specific moral issue. For my second paper I decided to tackle the issue of the morality the New Testament believer’s use of body piercings and tattoos, which is highly debated within certain Christian circles. My goal in this paper was to analyze the issue strictly from a Biblical perspective.
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Believers as the Temple of God

In verses 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:19, and 2 Corinthians 6:16 Paul uses the Old Testament temple as a metaphor for believers. What this metaphor conveys is the comparison of our New Testament worship to that of the Old Testament. The Levitical law required sacrifices. However, now our worship demands a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1), a sacrifice of our lives. The Old Testament worship was centered on locality and the temple building. However, now worship is in spirit and in truth and no longer based on such externals such as location and buildings (John 4:20-24). And finally, just as the Shekinah glory dwelt within the temple, now the same presence of God, the Holy Spirit, dwells within us (1 Corinthians 6:19). And just as the Shekinah glory was the visible presence of God at the temple or tabernacle, so the presence of God should be visible in our lives (i.e., “the fruit of the Spirit,” Gal 5:22-23).
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