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10 Christian Tattoos That Aren’t Crosses

If you’re anything like me, then you’re into ink. Of course, critics of the tattoo movement say it’s like destroying the temple your body is, but temples are adorned with beauty and embellishments and decoration. So, I will continue to decorate my body, thank you very much.

Deciding what tattoo to get can be an event in and of itself, too. I knew early on I wanted all my tattoos to have spiritual meaning, but every time I would look up tatts on Pinterest, all the Christian ones involved a cross.

I mean, it makes sense. I get it: the cross is literally the symbol of our faith. People who have cross tattoos still have just as cool of ink as the rest of us, but, for people like me, there are other symbols of our faith that can be just as powerful. Read on below to see some awesome ink ideas!

1. Whale

Photo Courtesy of Tattoo Blog

A whale tatt is a great alternative to something like a cross. The entire book of Jonah focuses on a man getting trapped in the belly of a whale (or sea monster, whichever you prefer). The whale tatt is perfect for the person who connects well the with story of Jonah and the Whale.

2. Mountains

Photo courtesy of Tattoo Bloq

Mountains can be seen as cliche for some people. For me, it’s less about the idea of faith moving mountains. Jesus’s infamous sermon was — you guessed it — on a mountain, and the Sermon on the Mount is my favorite chapter of Matthew to read.

3. Mustard Seed

Photo Courtesy of Ok Mag

I love everything about this tattoo. From the line work to the pop of yellow on the pale skin tone to the placement, it’s amazing. The mustard seed was often used as a reference by Jesus for strong faith — why not get a tattoo of it?

4. Lightbulb

Photo Courtesy of @evantattoo

Lightbulb tattoos are the best (I would know, seeing as I have one myself). There are so many references in the Word about us being light, God being light, spreading light to others… light is just so important. I absolutely love these tattoos (mine has leaves sprouting from the center to make it super unique).

5. Footprints

Photo Courtesy of Babble

The awesome thing about footprints is that they can mean something biblical (you know, walking by faith), but some people even get their kids’ footprints tattooed onto them. I loved the placement of this tatt because it’s literally on the arm instead of on the foot!

6. Dove

Photo Courtesy of Sortra

If there’s one symbol that’s just as well recognized as being Christian other than the cross, it’s the dove. It’s so versatile because you can add olive branches, other birds, flowers, etc — you can do so much with this tattoo, but the dove can stand on its own, too.

7. Scales of Justice

Photo Courtesy of Pinterest

Now, you might not get why the scales of justice are on my list of Christian tattoos. But, there are a lot of references to justice in the Bible, whether it’s a reminder for us to seek justice for those who are oppressed or it’s that the Lord will deliver justice to the enemy. Justice scales are perfect imagery to represent that.

8. Crown

Photo Courtesy of This is Tattoo

Crown tatts are also pretty amazing (I would know, because I have one of these, too). The ideas that we are children of the King, Lord reigns over all, etc. are all present and repeated throughout the Bible.

9. Olive branch

Photo Courtesy of Tattoo Bloq

Moses & the Ark, anyone? The olive branch is a huge symbol in an important event in the Word: The Flood. It was the item brought back by the dove (oooh, see the connection between this and tatt idea #6??) to indicate that The Flood was over.

10. Bow & Arrow

Photo Courtesy of Pinterest

The bow & arrow is also very important in the Bible. References to warriors, strength, resilience… a bow & arrow tattoo is perfect for the person who identifies with all those things.

No matter what, choose a tattoo that you want — one that represents who you are and what you like. The possibilities are endless!

You can categorize Royall as either Leslie Knope when she has her color-coded binders: or Hyde whenever Jackie comes into a room before they start dating: There is no in-between.  Royall recently graduated with her B.A. in Sociology & Anthropology from CNU and now studies Government & International Relations at Regent University. She also serves as the Victim Advocate and Community Outreach Coordinator for Isle of Wight Co., VA in Victim Witness Services. Within Her Campus, she served as a Chapter Writer for CNU for one year, a Campus Expansion Assistant for a semester, Campus Correspondent for two years, and is in the middle of her second semester as a Chapter Advisor.  You can find her in the corner of a subway-tiled coffee shop somewhere, investigating identity experiences of members of Black Greek Letter Organizations at Primarily White Institutions as well as public perceptions of migrants and refugees. Or fantasizing about ziplining arcoss the French Alps. 
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