Leviticus 19:28: Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.
I recognize that these commands were given to the people of Israel and not necessarily to Gentiles. If one receives Christ into his heart, he is saved, whether or not he has a tattoo. Some of God*s commandments to the Jews were given to simply put a difference between them and the Gentiles. But some of them were given for scientifically provable health reasons.
I have been told that the people who apply tattoos use sterilized needles. But no one has proven conclusively that the ink is pure. Even if it is free of bacteria it has chemicals in it. This is not scientific but I have known 5 individuals who had hepatitis. Four of them had tattoos. Many have gotten tattoos while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and not in exactly germ-free conditions. When we receive a blood test or injection, medical people always sterilize the skin first. There are reasons why they do that.
We are created in the image of God.
Genesis 1:27: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Getting a tattoo can express dissatisfaction or even hatred for the image of God that He has given us. It can be a slap at the image of God or insulting to the work of God. It can show that people are ignorant of the fact that they are created in God*s image. Before I got saved I enjoyed movies and cartoons that distorted people. Now I am troubled by those things. I do understand that being created in the image of God has more spiritual significance than physical significance and that God is a Spirit. But we should try to keep our appearance from detracting from the image of God in us or His own image. I think of it rather like painting a mustache on an attractive woman. And it would be horrible to try to paint a mustache on God or change Him in any way.
I do understand that some people can be blessed by plastic surgery. I have known some lovely young women, at least one was a Christian, who had features that were physically unattractive and a distraction. It kept many people from getting to know them. Everyone who knew them was happy for them when they could afford to have the unattractive features corrected.
I have heard that tattoos can cost hundreds of dollars. Many of the people that I see with tattoos seem to be poor. Surely there must be wiser things to do with money.
I have most always considered myself rather unattractive, especially before I was saved. I occasionally tell people jokingly that I get better looking when I praise the Lord. But it really is true. When Christians are praising the Lord we forget about their physical imperfections.
Psalm 33:1: Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.
Want to be more comely? Receive Christ, become righteous, become upright, praise the Lord and don*t get a tattoo.
Psalm 96:9: O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.
There is something that is very attractive about doing what God wants us to do that is unaffected by our physical abnormalities.
When I see people with tattoos, I have a sense that they may not be right with God and I usually pray for them. I think I am praying for more people now than before tattoos were so popular.
For me, getting a tattoo would be a sin.