Do Old Testament laws and restrictions still apply to us today?

Do Old Testament rules about things like tattoos and hair length apply to us today, or were they intended only for their original pre-Christian audience? What do you do when you come across a passage that contains some rules that seem timeless and others that seem specific to the culture of Old Testament Israel?

Here’s how Delve Into Jesus answers that question:

In almost every case, when Paul or another apostle commands us to obey some cultural custom, the goal is to demonstrate to the world that we are children of God and to distance ourselves from the pagans. This was a very serious issue in the 1st century. Many new Christians had been gentiles or pagans and the early Church leaders wanted to ensure that they did not slip back into their old ways. It was also important that they did not have any kind of external appearance which made people think that they were still worshiping their old idols. This is the main reason for the decree that men should not have long hair, tattoos, or body piercings. These were things the pagans did, so any Christians who looked that way might cause others to be concerned.

That principle remains the same thousands of years later. Rightly or wrongly, people judge by appearances. As Christians, we need to avoid doing anything that would cause others to be uncomfortable with the way we look, or would cause them to fail to recognize us as followers of Christ. This is particularly true when we are witnessing to non-Christians.

The essence of the commandments given to us by Paul and Moses thousands of years ago still apply today even though the cultural specifics have changed. We must not give our fellow Christians a reason to think we have slipped into “pagan” ways. Likewise, we must not give unbelievers any reason to judge us and reject us before we have had a chance to present the Good News.

Read the rest of Delve Into Jesus’ answer.

Do you agree that the principles behind these Old Testament regulations still apply? Or have they been completely superseded by the New Testament law of grace?

What do you think?

52 Responses to “Do Old Testament laws and restrictions still apply to us today?”

  • Marlene says:

    Yes I agree we must remain true to the word of God and not appear to be of the world and its ways because the devil can use these things to deceive us.

    • Jeffrey says:

      What about a tattoo of a cross??

      • Jeffrey, I just got a tattoo of a cross with the word “maranatha” below it. Maranatha can be found in the word. I believe it is 1 corinthians 16:22. It means, Our Lord will come. I have an angel below that. I have plans to wait on the best tattoo artist in OKC,OK to put a portrait of Jesus on the same arm (spiritual sleeve), a dove, a lamb, another angel, 7 stars to represent God’s perfect number, a triquestra (represents the Holy Trinity), etc. I want the sleeve to be an unspoken message to everyone who sees it that Christianity is the ONLY way. I like to believe that the Lord would approve. You would have to seek professional Christian counsel to get your answer about right or wrong, but I wanted you to know that you are not alone in wanting to have a cross that the world can see, because we cannot stop to speak to every person we pass on the streets. Also, I believe that it is a test to see if our Christian brothers and sisters will judge us or not, and we know that judgement is wrong. God bless you as you make your decision. Sincerely, Vicki

  • Allan says:

    yes, i agree that the olds testament are still applicable in our days to day, even though some are not applicable in this times, we must not give reasons to devil to inject bad in our mine.

  • Art says:

    I agree that does still apply as far how we are to distinguish our selfs from those that seem to pratice lawlessness, but the reason for the long hair mentioned in corinth in that cultural setting was primarly because those who had long hair in those times were male prostitudes. not just because the hair is long. but rather that’s how these people worshiped in their pagan temple, and everyone knew what they did. which is to say that having long hair now is not relevant in our culture, which now it becomes a conscience issue. and people should not be bound by other people’s conscience. besides there is only one place in the intire bible that you find his portion of scripture and it must be read completely in contex to see what Paul is instructing the corinthians in. Jesus himself said John 17:14-16 (New International Version)
    14I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. We are called to be missionaries in this world and participate in our culture and go as far as we can to reach the lost without sinning. this is exactly what Jesus was praying against.He prayed against two twin errors Secterianism & Syncretism

    Secterianism is fudementalism that says that we restrict ourselves from engaging in society or our culture.

    WE DONT
    Get cable, listen to certain bands, watch certain movies, dress in certain way, we cut our hair in a certain way, drink certain drinks, eat certain foods. speak to non christian. We seperate ourselves with lots of rules and regulations with all this legalism that distinguish us from non christians, with things that are not in the bible, rules that we’ve made, and that’s what jesus prayed against,

    syncretism Reconciliation or fusion of differing systems of belief

    (So here it is a nut shell) don’t leave the world , but don’t be like the world, You can participate in society, knowing that some things are sin, and you have to draw the line in those thing that are sin and you cannot do those things. Love you guys.

    In the name of JESUS.

    • How, if you are separated from culture, can you preach to the people who are amongst the culture?

      The pharisees built walls around the law, separating themselves as far as they could from what they thought was evil, but it was the complete wrong direction.

      I do not mean to say that this is what you are doing by segregating yourself, but I wish to ask: What is more important, avoiding evil or preaching the good news of salvation despite the evil in the world?

      • Sorry, the name was a type, it’s Widstrand. Feel free to email me for a conversation at Bwidstrand@gmail.com . I would love to hear from you or anyone here.

      • Eldeejay says:

        When the Apostle Paul was in Athens he was greatly disturbed by that city’s worship of false gods. But he maintained his composure, sought a common ground with the people who were there, and went about teaching them how we should only worship our Heavenly Father. He explained the true God to them and made disciples and believers. His only segregation is that he separated himself from becoming like them and engaging in their style of worship, choosing instead to raise them up by teaching them Godly standards.

  • denise says:

    I do think that there where things that pertain to the people of that time, but when it comes to rules that govern the lives of Gods people we should rather stay far from the edge rather than saying how close can i do to the edge without going over. How far does a Christian go before they have compromised their’s and the integrity of God tatoo, piercing, guady hairstyle, certain clothing are merely an indication of the inward war going on reflected on the outside, not to mention the Holy Spirit if the revealer of truth seek God about what he says about you getting a tattoo and why do you want one who are you trying to impress or be like are you modeling God or the fallen one are you watchinng wordly video and you favorite secular artist wearing multiple tattos and wearing wild hair do’s or is your questionable Christian artist is wearing or is compromising what they proclaim to believe. We must know the word of God to stop comparing ourselves by ourselves and pray without ceasing and being still and knowing He is God and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. And learning to delight ourselves in the Lord and he will give us the desires of our heart. We must come out from amongst them and by separate says the Lord and we are not to touch the unclean thing and the unclean thing could be the tarnishing of this world by trying to eliminate moral absolute God is God and he does have standard and he does reward us for going through and selling out totally to HIM.

    • ARex says:

      What if your tattoo, exalts God and is a statement that you are His and love Him alone? What if your tattoo could cost you your life because it is communicating you are a Christian? Just wondering what that communicates. My son has 2 tattoos, I would have preferred for him to have none, one is a wheel in a wheel and it says in Hebrew Elohim alone is God (Elohim, old testament name for the trinity) and the other says in Greek “Servant of all”. He is passionate for Jesus, is in his last year of Bible college, he is actively engaged in ministry with a heart for the homeless and outcast. He felt, with these tattoos, he wanted to make an undeniable statement in his believes. while I would have preferred he didn’t do it, I don’t necessarily believe he is in rebellion against the Lord, supporting darkness or outside of the Lord’s will. These tattoos could some day cost him his life as he wants to go on the mission field. So, I ask again, what if your tattoo, exalts God and is a statement that you are His and love Him alone?

      • Libby says:

        I do think this is okay. I know people with tattoos that have started conversations about God because of their tattoos. I also know people who have led people to Christ because of their tattoos, So it is glorifying God.

  • Chris says:

    No is the answer. The OT laws were not effective,generation after generation has proven this. When Jesus was question about the law 2000 yrs ago he spoke of 2 that really are use as a barometer to determine ones love for his neighbor as well as He and the Father.

  • Rick says:

    This is a partitularly crutial issue to those that try to follow the Way of Jesus. I came out of the the Herbert Armstrong Church of Legalistic Sabbath keeping and Legalistic Holy Days (no Christmas, No Easter.. only Passover and Feast of Tabernacles..)

    But Paul received His entire revelation from Jesus through three years of growing in the Holy Spirit. He stated very clearly what He allowed and didn’t allow in the church. If all the word is God Breathed.. Women will never speak to co-ed groups and never be in authority over a man. But… who are we to judge right? Is Paul for real here or is he culturally speaking that women should never uncover their heads in church?

    Are Tatoos demonic? whether we realize it or not? Can a Christian worship God and demons? We have liberty as we are absolutely perfect in the Spirit within us.. our flesh though is subject to sin and curses.. if the bible says don’t do this or that.. I’d like to reduce the curses and revel in the liberty of Jesus. The new man born again.. the old man passed away..

  • Chris says:

    Only those who want to play games that they can not win with God; and go to hell will fail to obey all the laws of the Bible. Even stories in this Holy book teach positive Do’s and negative Dont’s that must be avoided if our goal is eternal life.

    Can anybody break one of the ten commandments and enter heaven if he/she died unrepented of that sin? Let no man deceive himself, God is not mocked. Whatever one sows he shall definitely reap… Gal 6:7

    The old testament still very much apply. Jesus said he did not come to abolish the law or the Prophets but to fulfil them. Matthew 5: 17-18. He always quoted the Scriptures (Old Testament) to clarify or emphasise instructions.John 5:45 for example. If it was irrelevant Jesus would have discarded it and He would have told us not to bother about it. He brought Grace to help us fulfil all the laws (not the unnecessary Pharisee religious doctrines imposed on people in addtion)

    • Bryan says:

      First of all, the words unrepented and phrase “God is not mocked” indicates the willing commission of sin and a defiant nature. All sin was forgiven in that instant that Jesus died on the cross. Faith in what he did, and a repentant heart are what the bible says guarantees salvation. Asking for forginess is important, and should be done as often as prayer itself, but what I mean to say is that unintentional sins, we might not recognize right away. I have done things that at the time seemed trivial, like doing something I was asked by my parents with an air of irritation. I was obedient, but dishonoring. Had I died doing that task, I would not have been sent to Hell for it. That is totally different from refusing to repent or sinning and thinking, ‘so what? I’ll just repent later.’ Also, repent means to change one’s mind and move on. Don’t go back to it.

      Second, I agree that all the rules outlined in the Bible need to be followed. However it is important to remember that parts of the Bible are literal, and parts are metaphoric. Don’t get overly religious and caught up in customs. Don’t take people’s interperetations of the Bible, look at the scriptures for what they are. Example, people love to quote: “No weapon formed against me will prosper, every tongue that rises against me will be condemned” paraphrase of Isaiah 54:17. Some versions of the bible though, say “…every tongue that rises against you in judgment YOU shall condemn” which changes the entire meaning.

      The most important thing is the relationship with the holy spirit. Ask and He will answer. Pray continually for wisdom. Pray for discernment of the Spirit. And in general, if you feel any uneasiness, or must justify it or ask yourself if it is wrong, it is.

      That wasn’t all aimed at you Chris, just “adding on” I guess you could say.

  • TOILE says:

    YES, I AGREE WE AS CHRISTIANS SHOULD KNOW THE WAY WE APPEAR PEOPLE CAN TELL WHO WE ARE.GOD IS THE SAME YESTERDAY,TODAY AND FOREVER

  • Debbie says:

    Wow! The worldly legalism that most of you buy into! Thanks, Art, for a great answer. Most of you need to come out of this world and enjoy and share the abundant life Jesus wants you to have and wants you to share with all of your brothers and sisters in Christ. Stop looking at he people around you through the eyes of this world. Example: “Oh, he has a tattoo! SINNER!!” Oh, she has short hair! SINNER!!” Jesus blinded Saul (Paul) so that he could SEE. Remember, he was “THE Persecutor”. He condemned people based on the way they acted and the way they looked and what they said they believed. Most of you need to experience scales on your eyes for a while, like Paul did, so that you can eventually see. Imagine you’re what you believe in your opinion to be a “good Christian” – but you’ve been attacked and temporarily blinded, and you’re hurt and lying on the road, like the man the Good Samaritan helped. Now, remember, your blind, so you don’t see a man who comes along and helps you, loves you in a Christian way, helps you up, takes you to get medical attention, pays for it, helps you to be comfortable, and makes sure you’re alright and will be alright in the future. While you’re in the hospital, he reads Scripture to you and helps you feel like you’re not alone, since he reassures you that God loves you. Now, days later, your blindness is gone. You search for and find the man that helped you, but, uh oh, this man has tattoos and long hair and doesn’t dress or live like you do. Do you now condemn him as a sinner because he doesn’t visually fit your bill of a “good Christian”. Wow. All of you need to do some soul searching and remember that ALL of us fall short of the glory of God, and NONE of us deserve the gift of salvation. Remember there is NOW no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Don’t put words into your savior’s mouth. None of these verses say “…oh, yeah, except if they have a tattoo or long hair or… fill in the blank with your judgmental choice of discrimination…” Stop judging people based on outside appearances. Pray for understanding, and try very hard to keep Bible passages in context. I’m praying for you all, as well as myself. Love to all. In the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

  • Jen says:

    I believe that the old testament ‘laws’ are still relevant today, but with many changes. I was unsure as to what to do about a tough decision, something that I thought was right, but it seemed the bible deemed it wrong. nevertheless, I decided to crack open my bible to a random page to see if I could find guidance. The passage I found said that the Lord has written the law in our hearts, and we will know what is right. Well, it sure helped me make my decision!

  • Justin says:

    Did Jesus worry about what those around Him thought about Him and His appearance? I’m pretty sure He condemned those type of behaviors. The woman at the well and several others are greatful He did. Myself included.

  • carol says:

    I don’t believe the OT laws apply to us today because when Jesus was crucified and then when he was resurrected that was our redemption and when the New covenant started.

  • Joseph says:

    Leviticus 19-37 says this

    19 ” ‘Keep my decrees.
    ” ‘Do not mate different kinds of animals.
    ” ‘Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed.
    ” ‘Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.

    20 ” ‘If a man sleeps with a woman who is a slave girl promised to another man but who has not been ransomed or given her freedom, there must be due punishment. Yet they are not to be put to death, because she had not been freed. 21 The man, however, must bring a ram to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting for a guilt offering to the LORD. 22 With the ram of the guilt offering the priest is to make atonement for him before the LORD for the sin he has committed, and his sin will be forgiven.

    23 ” ‘When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, regard its fruit as forbidden. [b] For three years you are to consider it forbidden [c] ; it must not be eaten. 24 In the fourth year all its fruit will be holy, an offering of praise to the LORD. 25 But in the fifth year you may eat its fruit. In this way your harvest will be increased. I am the LORD your God.

    26 ” ‘Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it.
    ” ‘Do not practice divination or sorcery.

    27 ” ‘Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.

    28 ” ‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.

    I think sometimes we as Christians pick and choose which one of these applies to others and pass right over the ones that apply to us. The good news is, we are not under the law. There were over 500 laws of Moses, thats a lot of pressure. This is precisely why Jesus came. I believe you are men and women of God and I truly believe you want to help, however, I think you are slightly focused on the wrong thing. If tattoos could send us to hell then Jesus died on the cross in vein. I tell young people not to get tattoos because they are permanent and I wish I had never gotten them. I tell them that this decision can’t be undone easily and they should really think about this before they put something on their bodies that they might later regret. In my experience the threat of going to hell not only makes people mad but they begin to ask questions like” what kind of loving God would send me to hell for putting a cross on my arm or my favorite scripture”. We talk about looking like the world but the truth is most churches use worldly things to bring people in. A three piece suit is worldly, big lights and top notch sound systems are worldly, contemporary music can be considered worldly, nice vehicles are worldly, pool tables, rock climbing machines, the sell of tapes and books in church after service, are all worldly. If the worst thing these people are doing is getting a tattoo then I say praise God. There are people with needles in their veins right now. People that feel like life is not worth living. Young women that are abusing there bodies because they just want to feel needed. I know kids that hate God and church and church people. I know kids that cut themselves because its the only pain they can control, kids that have been raped and discarded as trash. If a young man or women is in love with Jesus and serves him and talks about him and happens to have a tattoo or his ears pierced I say let the Holy Spirit of God convict his heart. We should encourage him to keep seeking after the heart of God and not discourage him or her when its really a debatable issue. Please understand that I don’t think tattoos are a good idea and I don’t believe in getting them in mourning for the dead but I think we should really pick our battles with people. I would sit down and have an honest dialog with them. Let them know you are listening to them. Let them know you are a person they can talk to about anything. Let them know that they made an awesome decision when they gave there lives to Jesus, tell them you are proud of them. After all of that, tell them you talked to the lead singer of Seventh Day Slumber and he said that getting a tattoo is not a good idea. Tell them they can ask me themselves and I will tell them the same thing. I am open to dialog if you want.

    Your brother in Christ
    Joseph

  • Debbie says:

    Right on, Joseph!

  • DM says:

    Yes, the Old Testament still applies, other than the sacrifice of animals for sin. Christ came and was the final sacrifice required.

    I do not know how you can mis interpret or somehow get around this scripture if you believe ALL of the Bible is the inerrant Word of God and it is ALL as relevant as it was 2000 years ago.
    Leviticus 28:19
    ‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.
    You are fooling yourself if you want to tell yourself tattoos and piercings are ok.

  • snarf says:

    if peircing are wrong girls shouldnt have their ears peirced…and if all of that is true then guys shouldnt have beards or long hair…dont apply one and ignore the other…

  • snarf says:

    also not having the aforementioned makes you blend in with non christians just as much as having them

  • Moriah says:

    so, DM, do you, (if you are a male) and all of your male relatives have beards? do you wear all natural clothing that is not made of blended fabrics? do you have a garden with only one kind of plant? have you ever eaten a rare steak? is your dog a mutt? (and yes, i’m totally borrowing from the examples given above…) no one is picking and choosing laws to disobey except the fundamentalists who would say, “oh, well, it blatantly says no piercings or tattoos here!” it also blatantly says a lot of other things that fundamentalists choose not to follow. it is hypocritical to say such things unless you follow every aspect laid down in the books of law like an orthodox jew. you are fooling yourself to believe otherwise.

  • billy says:

    I am a tattoo artist of eight years now and i was saved about eight months ago.Ive toiled with this whole tattoo thing over and over again with so many different people(pastors, friends, family, clients, other christians, etc…).All I do know is that the Lord gave me the gift of being an artist and for that I am eternally grateful. I believe God has brought me into tattooing to reach those people that your average “christian” wouldnt even consider worth saving. Furthermore, judging someone on appearance alone is just disrespectful. Sure you can have your own opinion, but I surely dont see how you can condemn someone on it.Ultimatelt I believe we should practice loving thy neighbor more judging them.Trusting in God means that you believe He will take care of those Himself that you all claim to be “sinners”. In final I believe: “If art is a crime,may God forgive me…

    God Bless

    and farewell…

  • Yes, it should still apply today. Should be taught more today to the young kids.

  • b. says:

    I agree with Moriah and Snarf. You cannot say “tattoos are wrong” and “we should teach our kids this” if you are not practicing every other written law in the OT. You are picking and choosing based on personal opinion. It isn’t black and white, but NONE of us have the right to pass judgement or force our opinions on anyone.

  • Ken says:

    I have been struggling for the past week now with the issue of tattoos! My niece told me she was getting one (she got it today) as a memorial to her friend that recently died! In my quest for answers, I’ve come to a realization about the laws in Leviticus and throughout the OT. Just as Chris said it, Jesus came to fulfill the laws, not to ABOLISH them!! Does that mean we must honor all OT laws? The fulfilment of laws by Christ means those laws concerned with ceremonial cleansings! The OT laws required sacrifices to cover the stains left by our sins. Jesus fulfilled those laws by shedding HIS blood…the only blood that doesn’t just cover sins, but washes it away. What about the laws concerning tattoos, clothing made of two materials, eating meat, piercings, etc.? Frankly, the only one I know of is the food issue, Jesus said it is not what goes into a man’s mouth that makes him unclean, but what comes out of it! We are told that at that point, Jesus declared all food clean. Therefore I have no problem with people eating meat! The clothing issue to me is not an issue. I have learned that as long as it does not give glory to the world or it’s lord, wear it (i.e. I don’t condone clothes with foul words, pictures in poor taste or glorifies vampires, witches, or anything else macabre or demonic). And no! I do NOT automatically think you are a heathen for wearing stuff like that. I realize that there are christians out there who see nothing wrong with watching Harry Potter or the Twilight movies! It’s a personal preference for me. It does not glorify God, I want nothing to do with it. So what about tattoos? I do not condemn those with tattoos, nor do I judge them ungodly people. I know many who got tattoos before they got saved (some regret it, others don’t!). They all, However say they will not get more because of what the bible says. If the OT laws do not concern ceremonial cleansing or have not been voiced by Christ Himself as no longer applicable (i.e. the meat issue) then I believe they still apply! Am I confident that people who know this and continue get tattoos are going to hell? NO! I don’t know who’s going to hell or heaven…I’m not God! This is a personal conviction! I just pray that I am over-reacting and that my niece is not bringing any condemnation upon herself. But remember this…if we begin to eliminate OT laws as non-applicable for us, how far will we go before we no longer feel any law is applicable? Where do we draw the line? If we justify tattoos, piercings and cutting by saying they no longer apply to today, then we may be overstepping God’s authority. We already live in a society where it is acceptible to be divorced, gay or an adulterer! Where do we draw the line?

    God Bless all of you

    Ken

  • Erik says:

    My question is this. By that verse, did he mean we can get tatttoos, just not ones that mourn the dead? Or did it mean do not get any kind of tattoo? It says Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.

    So the fact that it’s talking about the dead in the same sentance, that makes me think that it’s only talking about tattooing for the dead, but who am I to translate this. Who is anyone to translate it other than God? I think the best we can do is pray for God for guidance to life and to give us meaning to these scriptures. Also I agree that we can’t pick and choose what we believe from the OT. I would personally think that what Jesus said, in the gospels is what we need to live by.

  • KRK says:

    Just finished reading all the input. I left a church of people many of whom looked, dressed and acted the part of christians. However, slander, lies, pride, unforgiveness and jealousy abounded. Which do you think God cares more about the appearance or the HEART?

  • Sylvvia says:

    To tattoo, body piercing, or anything that defaces the body permanently just in the natural doesn’t make good common sense. Now on the spiritual
    side, we as Christians, are suspose to not conform with the world but set an Godly example. Many who engage in these practices do so because they are practicing in ungodly life styles. Therefore, as Christians we have to make sure that we do not conform to things that are not pleasing to God. Additionaly, health wise tattoos and body piercing could cause a health situation if the instruments used were not sterile. Needless to say, nothing replacs common sense.

  • Emsy says:

    hmm….im 16, have been pondering on getting a tattoo since i was ten, i havent changed my mind yet, and i was saved officially wen i was 6 or 7, of course ive had my ups and downs :) , i just wanted to comment on this because i am unsure whether or not it is a sin to get a tattoo. i realise there is scripture ie. one verse saying about not to get tattoos, but i agree with someones’ comment about the fact that God mentioned the dead in the same sentence as tattoos. i believe that it all depends on your motives for getting the tattoo, what the tattoo is, where it is and whether it is for praising God or ignoring Him as such. i personally would like one of a ladybird, because i believe it shows the wonder of His creation in the little things, i want it on my ankle because i wouldnt show it much, except when i decide, and where its appropriate. i am waiting til im at least 18 to get the tattoo, and i think it would make a good conversation starter about God, someone asks me about my tattoo, i tell them how glorious god is with the little things and it starts a healthy conversation hopefully for the glory of God. whereas usually i might find it hard to approach the subject, something which i pray about will come easier but i think a tattoo might help, and its not like Jesus will love me any less, and i dont believe it makes me more of a sinner, i like how the tattoo artist has a gift of tattooing may i remind those avid persons against tattoos, that it is a God-given gift, and should be used for his glory. personally i think it depends on your motives, because its a sin, isnt it?, to give to charity for your own glory, but giving to charity is right, i think in a similar way so is tattooing, if you get a tattoo for your own glory its wrong, but if its to honour God (i dont mean trying to improve on your body like it says your body is a temple, and God made it perfect etc) then i dont see a problem. im not saying that levi. is wrong but i think that was there to distinguish them in those days, because that was very important to them, their outward appearance. surely our God looks at the heart not on the outward appearance, and its what Gods thinks thats important when it comes to matters of our spiritually and relationship with our Father, and also its seemed wrong and unethical to judge those on their looks, same principle applies i think.
    anyway i know some people will think im being a naive 16 kid, but i honestly do believe that its not a sin, though im open to the suggestion by God (hopefully) that it may be, but for now im content in my argument, but i will pray!

    • Shy Girl says:

      Um..I feel that point blank the verse as you read it says not to put tattoos on your body. The fact that you want it is making you hope the verse means something else but it is pretty clear. I can relate to you but I am now a bit older and accept that I was in denial and hoping that God had an exception on the matter but no it is what it say in his word. His word does not change.

  • Shy Girl says:

    To all of us who’s opinion or beliefe is yes to the question of “Do OT laws apply to us today” What about keeping the sabeth. As we know the sabeth is saterday so why do you go to church and worship on sunday instead. You are not keeping the OT laws or even the 10 commendments which were writen no just for the OT people but as the laws of Gods people.

  • Michael Gentile says:

    there are 613 ways to die (the Hebrew rabbinic law)
    and
    1 way to live (the Lord Jesus’ command to love the Lord God with all your heart, mind spirit and strength and to love each other as you love yourself)

  • Chris says:

    Jesus loves me and my tattoo.

  • Kara says:

    I know that anything that is not for the glory of our Lord is not accepted by him. Honestly, I think all of us have had that moment where we think we need to have a Christian like look, but we fail alot because the world has changed although God has never changed and never will. We wear jeans to church now,etc.., but I doubt im going to hell for that. Alot of the those laws in the OT was in place for that time. If whatever we do we keep in mind that GOD IS FIRST, then why worry about it?

  • Janice says:

    Please covenants are legal documents, written in legal form. Where in the NT do you see the covenant written out? You don’t, He renewed the prior broken covenant, that was written down, Mosiac, Davidic. He was speaking to people who knew the covenant so it didn’t need written down again; He simply restored the prior. He said He renewed the covenant with the HOuse of Israel and the House of Judah, it was broken in 721 BC. Many of the 613 commands are for High Priest,Priests, men and some for women and some for children. You follow what’s applicable for you.
    Jesus is bigger than a tattoe, and we are not held accountable for what we did not know; God is love, he doesn’t not love; regardless of tattoes or not. This is not a salvation issue; it’s a lifestyle issue.

  • Janice says:

    There is no sending to hell for tattoos or dishonorable attitudes with parents. Jesus guarantees entrance to Heaven; what we are talking about is your walk or lifestyle on the earth as part of His Kingdom people. You are ambassadors of Christ (that’s not His name by the way it’s a title, Messiah or Annointe One) do these things, walk out the covenant, and you’ll be blessed, fail to do and you’ll be cursed (which simply means suffer lack, be depressed, loss wealth, opportunities, get sick) And failure to do so and not change means it’s passed down to your children’s children to the 7th generation. By walking in God’s teaching (OT) you pass down a good heritage to your children. Failure to do so passes down family dysfunction. Look how rapant divorce is. Columbine was said as result of “bullying” lack of honor and respect of others and no prayers are said in schools, no protection from Almighty for the institution.

  • mike says:

    There are many great opinions listed here about how we should walk in Christ. the thing I would add is this. we are told to remain in Him and study His word so that we may be able to discern the will of God in our lives. I believe that is exactly what is required in this situation. neither you or I will land firmly without reserve on this. I believe we must ask God in prayer and meditation what we are to do in each specific issue that troubles us. sin is in the heart so we must allow God to teach us to dissect the motives of our own heart. There are things that may be sin for you and not for me SO i don’t think we can broad brush this. it was wrong to work on the sabbath but jesus indicated that there was more to it than just the surface of the commandment. which of you will pull his animal out if it falls into the ditch? the question is and remains… is it wrong for you? if you want to know, ask Him. He will show you!

  • Jeffrey says:

    I agree on some levels but not in all. I currently have no tattoos on my body but have been seeking to get one. I believe that it will be okay for me to get one if i honored God with it. For example a cross. Or even if it was to honor the passing of my two year old son. However i do not think it is okay to get a tattoo if it has no meaning to the Lord

  • Betty says:

    What about Acts 15? Instead of requiring the new Gentile believers to get circumcised and fulfill the law the early church council said: It seems good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and fron sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Acts 15:28 These seem to all have to do with the body. Then Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and Love your neighbor as yourself seems to have to do with our relationships. So if loving the Lord entails keeping a Sabbath for you, keep a Sabbath. If loving your neighbor as yourself entails honoring your parents then honor your parents. Can’t love your neighbor and hate or kill him. I think Jesus wrapped it up pretty nicely. I have a cross tattoo with a music bar of “Be Thou My Vision” surrounded by a heart and I love it!!! Looking forward to a nice design with my hubby’s name in it. May the grace and peace of our Lord be with you.

  • Betty says:

    Oh – after “do not cut yourselves . . .” in Deuteronomy 14 is “The pig is also unclean . . . You are not to eat their meat…” “Of all creatures living in the water, you may eat any that has fins and scales. But anything that does not have fins and scales you may not eat; for you it is unclean.” No shellfish. Just a thought.

    • DC says:

      I have tattoos. I eat pork and catfish (fins, no scales). I am a Freemason. I have a beard that is trimmed. I am divorced, and remarried to a divorced woman. We were both married to drunkards. We got together before we were divorced.
      It is our belief that we were both in abusive, unhappy relationships and decided to find happiness together.
      Christ is our Saviour. That says it all to me.

  • Maz says:

    Well- if you really think about it- the laws given by God are not without reason. I’m personally a believer in the ancient astronaut theory of who God is/was. I know this is controversial to most but so is evolution. The food laws were do to lack of technology. There was no refrigeration so pork, shell fish, and many other such forbidden meats would need to stay off the table.

    God would want all His people to be equal so I’m pretty sure fabrics woven from two fabrics would be expensive. This creates an equal field. Tattoos and cutting – well – we are Gods property. Like it or not He will mark us with His seal when He chooses.

    I always thought that when we make any decision in life we need to look at a cup of coffee. There is the content and the cup- which one is more important? You need both (it’s really hard to drink hot coffee in your open hand). Balance is key to forgiveness. The soul and spirit are two different things. You are a soul with spirit. We need to try to keep both clean- but when we fail – lets not throw one away without having use for the other.

  • Chris says:

    I have to disagree with the thought that tattoos and piercings are ok but the idea behind my reason is from the New Testament. The reason being that even though we are no longer under the law our bodies are still a temple of the Holy Spirit. In placing a tattoo on your body you are in this case defacing a perfect temple God created for administering His Holy Spirit. The same would go for piercing’s or any other ornamentation. God didn’t create Adam and Eve with a tattoo did he? He didn’t pierce Eve’s ears and adorn them with gold rings. He made us perfect in His image. I have been writing a book on this and this is part of one of the chapters about abortion. It seems it would apply here as well.

    “1 Corinthians 6:19

    19: Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

    I’m very curious and cautious of what words really mean especially when it comes to the Bible. I looked up the definition of “temple” on Webster’s dictionary online.

    One definition was “sacred precinct”. To be sure about the exact meaning of the word “precinct” I looked up the definition.

    “1: a part of a territory with definite bounds or functions often established for administrative purposes.”

    From a biblical view, a human body is a sacred territory with definite bounds or functions established for administrative purposes. What is being administrated? The Holy Spirit. God’s Holy Spirit.

    Someone who performs an abortion is in an essence destroying a sacred defined territory (a human body), which God created to administer his Holy Spirit!”

    If we tattoo and deface our bodies (piercings, etc) we are in an essence defacing a temple of God’s Holy Spirit.

    Paul also warns about how special our bodies are. He goes on to talk about destroying the temple that is a person’s body. Defacing it may not be as bad but it sure seems that God places quite a value on our bodies.

    “1 Corinthians 3:16-18

    16Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.”

    Remember God still loves us all no matter what we have done.

  • Stephen says:

    The whole OT has been made obsolete thanks to Jesus (cf. Heb. 8:13, Col. 2:14). We are to follow the NT and the NT only by rule of spiritual law. The OT serves its purpose as a schoolmaster (cf. Gal. 3:19-25), one that we are no longer under. But it does teach us history and truths about God and how He deals with His people. It gives us prophecy to prove Jesus is the Messiah. It’s still very useful for the Christian today, but not as a rule of law.

  • Elise says:

    The OT was pretty clear on the circumcision issue. In fact, it’s addressed many more times than the issue of tattooing. Not only were the men to be circumcised, but the infant boys, the slaves, and any prospective sons-in-law were all supposed to undergo the procedure. But in the NT it is made clear that circumcision- that mark of belonging- was no longer a requirement. Paul even said that he wished those who made an issue of such things would go the whole way and cut off their genitalia!

    I can’t help but see the tattoo issue the same way. And you could look at it a couple of ways; first, Paul’s stance on circumcision was “come as you are.” If you’re circumcised, that’s fine. If you’re not circumcised, that’s fine too. Neither is superior to the other. Applied to tattoos, if you have one when you become a believer, it doesn’t disqualify you in any way from any of the benefits of belonging to the Family of God. If you don’t have one then… Maybe you should not get one? By the same token, maybe you should not have your son circumcised, since the NT says not to submit to circumcision… but in the U.S. most people still do.

    On the other hand, if one way is as good as the other when it comes to circumcision, then perhaps it’s the same with tattoos. Maybe being tattooed is nothing and being untattooed is nothing. Maybe it’s the heart that counts, just as with the circumcision issue. Maybe God sees the inward- HUH! Radical idea!- and isn’t so concerned with the outside. Maybe “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself, for on this hang all the law and the prophets” means that if an act doesn’t show contempt for God or your neighbor then it’s not worth squabbling over… since squabbling among neighbors isn’t very… loving…

    Maybe if I were to scrawl my adoration for my Savior on my body, He would see the heart full of love that compelled me to do it, rather than smack me down for not obeying one Old Testament law outside of context…

    Maybe, if my mom saw my good intentions in the picture I drew for her on furniture in red permanent marker when I was three, our Heavenly Father could even appreciate the beauty of body art that was intended to show love for Him and witness to others.

    I’m just thinking out loud, so to speak.

    I’ve contemplated getting a tattoo, kind of as a personal reminder of my relationship with Christ, kind of as a modern-day approach to Deuteronomy 11:18: “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.” I haven’t gotten a tattoo yet, because I haven’t really pursued the issue with God, and since I belong to Him body and soul, I want to be sure not to proceed without His permission. However, I have a total of seven holes in my ears, all of which I got without ever considering that it might be prohibited. Now that I realize that it is quite possible that ear piercing would fall under this OT prohibition, I still feel no conviction NOT to wear earrings. Nobody has EVER questioned my Christianity because of my earrings. Just makes me wonder.

    Someday I am going to stand before my Heavenly Father and answer for many things. If I had a tattoo, it would be low on my list of concerns; I’m just saying. Somehow I have a hard time picturing this scenario:

    “YES,” Jesus says, “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. BUT you got a TATTOO of a CROSS on your arm… Sorry, kid.”

    I could be wrong, but I think God’s priorities are a little higher than that.

  • tubbykitty says:

    Hey all I think as long as the tattoo isnt vulger or nasty it is ok… God looks on the inside not the outside anyways… As long as you are a Christian and ask God to forgive you of your sins that you are going to Heaven….