Are you thinking about getting a tattoo? We encourage you to take the time and read this article concerning the subject. There are many people with tattoos today and it certainly has been increasing more and more as the “fad” or “thing” to do. It can be found among Christians who tattoo verses all over their body or artwork representing something of the Bible. Is this really a “holy” and acceptable thing to do as a Christian? Before I answer that question you must know that my wife and I are not implying that anyone who has a tattoo is not saved and living in sin because of what they did to their body, nor do we say that Jesus can’t use them by His Spirit to work signs and wonders through, there is forgiveness and grace provided by His work at the cross. However we do believe that tattooing should not be done at all because of what His Word says. It doesn’t matter what culture deems as “cool” or “acceptable”. Many Christians who get tattoos will quote Revelation 19:16 as their reason to get one, in their lack of the full truth and knowledge on the subject they may say “Jesus has a tattoo!” The Word proves, No, He doesn’t. Now let’s take a closer look at this verse to find the real truth.
Revelation 19:15-16 KJV (15) And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. (16) And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING of kings, and LORD of lords.
In our previous blog post I discussed what version of the Bible is one of the most accurate and I stated the reasoning for using the KJV, and I do believe it still remains one of the most accurate translation versions available. However there are a few places that do have translation errors with verbs and such, and this certainly could be one, note that I said “could be”. Let me explain. There are two thoughts about Rev 19:16 that come to reason; 1) is the verse to be taken literal or 2.) is this symbolic? If it is symbolic then it was not a translation error. It’s clear to see that it can’t be literal because Yeshua could not go against what is written in the Word the Torah.
Leviticus 19:28 KJV Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.
Since Jesus Yeshua is the Word of God and the I AM and He is perfectly sinless, He would be in direct conflict with His own Words if He were to have this statement printed or tattooed on His thigh. You may have seen the drawings and paintings of Yeshua returning with His thigh exposed showing the tattoo as He sits on His white horse returning. Did you know in the Jewish roots that someone is considered naked when the thigh is exposed? Would Jesus willingly expose himself all up to His upper thigh? I don’t think so. Think about this: How did the LORD require the priests to dress? They were required to have on a holy white linen coat that flowed downwards to the ground and also linen breeches (trousers) under it covering their legs and thighs. (Lev 16:4) If the covering of the thigh and legs were that important to the LORD for His priests on the earth, then certainly Yeshua Himself, the Word of God, could not nor would not go against that. Tattooing and the very act of what is required to get a tattoo is enough proof by itself to see that it is not a good or healthy thing to do. Take into consideration the poisonous ink that must be injected and put into the skin; and blood is involved and this will most definitely go into the blood stream and could cause sickness in the body. Medical facts prove that people that get tattooed are exposing themselves to many dangers during the process and the afterwards results are most usually regretted especially as the person matures. Does it still sound like something God would do to Himself ? As a believer in Jesus Yeshua you are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. (1Cor 16:19)
Rhonda and I are not judgmental, fault finding, critical, or religious people. Yet we do love the truth and are very concerned when the Church embraces things as though they are alright, but when we expose it to the light and fact of the Word it is not alright with God, nor for their own good or the good of others. We have had the blessing of a very knowledgeable Jewish person that had studied Hebrew and Israeli living traditions to share with us some years ago about this Name of God written on the Lord’s thigh. Here is what was shared with us on the matter. The Greek mindset places a tattoo on the thigh of Jesus when He returns, but the Hebrew mindset sees it differently. The tzit-tzits that are the braids, knots, or tassels of Yeshua’s tallit (prayer shawl) are falling across His thighs when He returns. The letters of the Hebrew alphabet each have a numerical value that they represent and those knots of the tassels on the four corners of the tallit spell the Name of YAHWEH. This makes sense as the tallit is worn it hangs down low, on and over the thigh area of the leg. We know that Yeshua is the High Priest forever after the order of Melchasedec. Truly this is something to think about now isn’t it! In Rev 14:1 it mentions the 144,000 being sealed by the Name of God being written in their foreheads. The forehead is a symbolic of where we make our decisions, and this verse could imply that their minds were fixed on serving God. It could also be hinting at the idea of the names inscribed on the crowns of His people. If He does write on our body’s, be sure to know that it would not be in a worldly tattoo form, but a holy thing unto Him.
Hebrews 10:16 KJV This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
Let’s go back and consider the translation of Rev 19:16 again. Digging once again into the Jewish roots we can find an explanation of how the word “thigh” could have been copied wrong. The book of Revelation, according to some scholars, appears to have been written by John in Hebrew. It is very possible that a tiny error of copying from Hebrew is the cause of using the word thigh in Rev 19:16. In Hebrew the word for “thigh” is ragel and the first letter begins with resh. Yet this could have also been the letter dalet in Hebrew that is very similar in appearance to resh. These Hebrew letters can look nearly identical and because of the close similarities when Rev 19:16 was copied it could have been easy to see the Hebrew letter “d” as “r”, if the “d” was not carefully written. Now bear in mind if it was a “d” then the Hebrew word would be dagel and would have meant “banner”. This does make more understanding than ragel which means “thigh.” So if it originally would have been “banner” then Rev 19:16 would read “And he hath on his vesture and on his banner a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” This would be more in alignment by keeping with Holy Scripture.
There is a calling of holiness that must be walked out and kept, not in doing it because we believe it earns our way to heaven, but it is done in honor, fear, obedience and reverence for His Word and who He is. Jesus Yeshua loves you, and you do not need to tattoo yourself with Christian art to show the world His Love or sacrifice at the cross. Yeshua never compromised His walk of holiness to win the lost, and He certainly did not try to be a “cool” person to fit in with society. He preached the truth with the Love of God and set an example for us to follow. Let us be transformed by His Word and not conformed to the ways of the world.
Romans 12:1-2 KJV I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.