Christian tattoos

“Religious artwork tattoos”

Christian tattoos

Christian tattoos can be a beautiful way to permanently display the wearers faith in God, and serve as a remembrance of the Savior, Jesus Christ, who died for them.

There are many symbols associated with the Christian faith that are regularly incorporated into spiritual tattoos. Christian symbolism is an expansive subject, there are many symbols associated with God, Jesus and the Bible.

These symbols appeared thousands of years ago and since then have served, and still serve, many purposes. Even tattooing of these symbols has a very long history.

As far back as the fifth century it is documented that a monk had a tattoo on his thigh that read: ”Manim, the disciple of Jesus Christ”. The Crusaders as well were known to tattoo a small cross on their hands or arms to indicate they desired a Christian burial.

Most faith-based tattoos include symbols that are immediately recognizable as Christian in nature, however, there are also some symbols that are a bit more obscure but still faith based. These symbols are the most commonly associated to the Christian faith and can be incorporated into your own inspirational tattoo:

religious tattoo

Religious tattoo designs

Ichthus/Ichthys (the fish symbol) – Probably the most well known and important symbols for early Christianity, the fish has a dual meaning. First, it is an acronym for the phrase “Jesus Christ, Son of God Savior” in Greek. Second, it was used as a secret sign for early Christians when they were being persecuted, to recognize each other. It also is a reference to the loaves and fishes miracle.

The Cross – Also one of the most widely recognized and accepted symbols, the cross is also one of the most common Christian tattoos requested. The cross is a symbol of Jesus' suffering and death by crucifixion for mans sin. When the cross is empty it also represents His resurrection and life.

The Dove – The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit of God, with its Biblical history going all the way back to the story of Noah where the dove was the sign to Noah that it was the end of God's judgment. In the New Testament the Holy Spirit descended upon Christ as a dove after He was baptized. The dove is a symbol of peace.

The Rainbow – There are very few people in the world, even among non-Christians, who do not know the story about the rainbow and its significance. The rainbow is a sign of Gods faithfulness, and a reminder that He will never again destroy the world by flood. There is also a rainbow mentioned in Revelation, as being around Gods throne.

crosses tattoo art

Christian tattoo art

These symbols, though less known, are still symbols of the Christian faith and have a spiritual meaning when used in this context:

Crown of Thorns – The crown of thorns was placed on the head of Jesus as a way to mock His Kingship. It is very meaningful when incorporated with other symbols of faith, as a way to honor His suffering for the people of the world.

Symbols of Light – With the Bible placing a great emphasis on Jesus being the “Light of the World”, any image symbolizing light; like candles, flames and lamps can be used to reflect this. Fire and flames were consistently associated with God in the Bible, and can represent His manifest presence in the world.

Alpha & Omega – These are typically done in lettering style with the first and last letter of the Greek alphabet indicating God and Jesus' eternal nature. This is a great design choice for displaying your Christian tattoos if you choose a small area of skin to tattoo.

The Shamrock (Three Leaf Clover) – The three leaves of the shamrock are a symbol for the Trinity. St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Trinity to Irish laypeople the concept of the Trinity being three deities in one.

religious tattoo designs

This is just a short list of the many symbols used in the Christian faith. There are many others that can be combined or used alone to proudly display your faith in God. These tattoos, and tattoos in general, are a subject of debate among people of many faiths, including Christian believers.

We are not attempting to persuade or dissuade anyone here regarding the correctness of getting tattoos, Christian or otherwise. This site is here for informative purposes only regarding tattoos; the process of designing, receiving, changing and removing tattoos. It is up to the individual to make their own decisions about tattoos.

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