Is there anything wrong with a man wearing an earring; a woman wearing two earrings in her ear; a person having his/her tongue pierced; and a person having a small tattoo?


Is anything wrong with:  1. A man wearing an earring?  2. A woman wearing Two earrings in her ear?  3. A person having their tongue pierced? (That looks gross)  4. A person having a small tattoo?


I am enclosing a portion of the Christian’s Appearance Bible Course to answer your question. The entire Bible Course Booklet may be viewed at



III. Jewelry.

  1. Men’s jewelry.
  2. When the wayward son came home to his father in Luke 15:20-24, the father said to “bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ________ on his hand, and shoes on his feet.” (vs.22)
  3. Esther 8:2 reveals that “the king took off his ________, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai.”
  4. When God used Joseph to interpret Pharaoh’s dream of the coming famine, Pharaoh then “took off his ________ from his hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand.” (Genesis 41:39-42)

Note: There seems to be nothing wrong with a man wearing a ring, and there are two examples of men wearing gold chains about their necks: Joseph in Genesis 41:42, and Daniel in Daniel 5:29. These were certainly not feminine little gold necklaces, because they symbolized authority. They were obviously large and easily seen.

God has clearly set forth the example that men are not to wear women’s clothes, nor to have have long hair. If God does not want men to look like women in their appearance, then He certainly does not want men wearing feminine-looking jewelry.

At the time of the writing of this booklet, many men and boys are getting their ears pierced, and are wearing earrings.

Where did men ever get the idea to pierce their ears?

They did not get that idea from the Bible. There is only one type of man in the Bible that is told to have a hole put into his ear (and then it says nothing about putting an earring into the hole), and that is in the case of a slave who did not want to leave his master. So they were to bore a hole in his ear showing that he was a slave forever.

  1. Exodus 21:5,6 says, “and his master shall ________ his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever.”

It is obvious that men did not normally have holes in their ears (pierced ears), or this sign or symbol of being a life-long slave would have meant absolutely nothing. Then where did men ever get the idea to pierce their ears?

Men are making the same mistake that Adam did back in the Garden of Eden — they are following the women. Men are piercing their ears, because they are following the women.

  1. Isaiah 3:12 says, “As for my people, children are their oppressors, and __________ rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to ______, and destroy the way of thy paths.”
  2. According to Romans 1:26,27, “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their __________ did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And ________________ also the ______, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.”

Note: Much to many people’s surprise, the sin of sodomy did not start with men, it started with the women. Women first went against nature, and then the men followed them into that sin.

  1. Ezekiel 16:49 shares the same truth, “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister __________, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in ______ and in her __________________, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”

Note: Man is sinning in piercing his ears, because he is following the woman into sin once again. Why it is sin will be dealt with in the next section.

  1. Women’s jewelry.

— Please read Genesis 24:1-47 to find the first mention of jewelry, and answer the following questions.

  1. Abraham asked the “eldest ____________ of his house” to do something. (vs.2)

2 That something was to go unto Abraham’s country and kindred, and “take a ________” for his son Isaac. (vs.4)

  1. When the servant’s prayer was answered, he gave her “a golden ______________,” and “two __________________ for her hands.” (vs.22)
  2. Rebekah was so excited about all of this, that she “______, and told them of her mother’s house these things.” (vs.28)
  3. When her brother looked at her, “he saw the ______________ and __________________ upon his sister’s hands.” (vs.30)
  4. The servant was the one who had “___________ the earring upon her face, and the bracelets upon her hands.” (vs.47)

Note: Evidently Abraham saw nothing wrong with women wearing jewelry, or he would not have allowed such things around his house for the servant to take with him on the trip to find a daughter-in-law.

— Please read Esther 2:1-17, and answer the following questions.

  1. Mordecai “brought up Hadassah, that is, ____________, his uncle’s daughter.” (vs.7)
  2. When each maid took her turn to go in before the king, “whatsoever she ______________ was given her to go with her out of the house of the women unto the king’s house.” (vs.13)

Note: You can imagine the huge selection of fancy clothes and jewelry from which these young ladies had to pick. Many of them probably left that place with diamond earrings as big as chandeliers, and clothes as wild as you can imagine. You give some young ladies an unlimited choice of jewels and clothes, and many would go to the far extreme!

  1. But when Esther’s turn came, “she required ______________” but what the king’s chamberlain appointed. (vs.15)

Note: Esther did not ask for any wild clothes or jewelry, but only what was appointed to her by those in charge. She was not out to impress the king, but to just be her natural self.

  1. The result was that “the king loved Esther above ______ the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than ______ the virgins,” so he set the crown upon her head and made her queen. (vs.17)

Note: Esther proves that it is not clothes and jewels that make the woman, but godliness, meekness, and modesty.

  1. I Peter 3:1-6 talks to wives and tells them not to be adorable just because of the “outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart…,” and “a ________ and __________ spirit.” (vs. 4)

Note: That passage brings up three areas: hair, jewelry, and clothes. None of those are to be the major attraction of a woman. Hair, jewelry, and clothes mean nothing without a godly, meek, and quiet spirit — a personality that will bless you for many, many years.

You will notice that all jewelry is not forbidden. Abraham obviously allowed it in moderation. Esther did not ask for any jewelry from the king’s house, but neither did she refuse to wear what was appointed to her.

That leaves us with the last passage, I Peter 3. This is a passage which is abused and twisted many times. Some people use this passage as a basis that it is a sin for a woman to set her hair, or to put anything fancy like gold, clips, or ribbons in her hair. They go on further to use this passage to forbid the wearing of any gold — whether it be in rings, earrings, watches, or other jewelry.

If this passage forbids a woman to set her hair

and to put anything in it; and if it forbids her to wear

any gold; then it also forbids her to wear any clothes!

The last phrase says, “or of putting on of apparel.”

It is quickly apparent that they are not interpreting this passage correctly, because that would be neither Scriptural or modest. The truth being taught here is obviously modesty and moderation. Be attractive because of who you are — not because of what you wear.

Question: The question inevitably comes up (as it already has in the men’s section) as to whether it is going too far for a woman to pierce her body for the wearing of jewelry. As of the writing of this booklet, pierced ears, noses, cheeks, tongues, and even eyebrows have all been seen.

God did not make holes in people’s earlobes, eyebrows, tongues, etc., so the flesh must be cut to insert the piece of jewelry. This process has changed over the years. It used to be done by numbing the area where the hole was to be made. Then a large needle-like object would be pushed right through the earlobe. Today, the cut is made so quickly with instruments, that many times the ear (or other body part) is not even numbed (even though there is still sharp pain involved). The earrings are immediately pushed through the hole and fastened on the back side. The earrings cannot be removed for a time, because the body will automatically try and heal the hole which has been made

(which ought to tell you that God does not want the hole there).

  1. I Corinthians 3:16 says, “Know ye not that ye are the ____________ of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”
  2. According to I Corinthians 6:19,20, “your ________ is the temple of the Holy Ghost,” and you are thus to “glorify God in your ________, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

According to these verses, a Christian’s body is not

to be defiled or marred in any fashion like the world,

because our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost.

  1. Leviticus 19:28 says, “Ye shall not make any ________________ in your flesh for the dead, nor print any __________ upon you: I am the LORD.”

Note: God does not forbid us from crying when a loved one dies (even though we do not sorrow as those that have no hope.)

  1. I Thessalonians 4:13 says, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no ________.”
  2. According to John 11:35, Jesus cried when Lazarus died, “Jesus ________.”

Note: Our sorrow is because we miss our loved ones. We do not fear for them when they are saved. We know that they are with the Lord. So it is all right to sorrow in moderation. But God says that it is going too far when a person cuts himself or puts marks on his body to show sorrow.

In the same way, I Peter 3:3,4 teaches that jewelry is okay, in moderation.

If you have to cut your flesh to wear the jewelry,

is that not going beyond moderation?

If it is not — then what is?

It is common to see ladies with two or three pierced earrings in each ear. How much is too much? Are two holes too much? Three holes? Women are also wearing pierced jewelry in their noses. Is that going too far? What about a pierced cheek? What about a pierced tongue?

If you have one hole in your flesh for jewelry,

then you are a hypocrite to condemn

any of these other piercings.

  1. The Bible says in James 2:10, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in ______ point, he is ____________ of ______.”

Note: If you have one hole, then you have broken the principle just as much as the person with several holes. If you have pierced your ears, then you cannot say anything about the person who pierces her nose, or her tongue, or her cheek. You, too, have broken God’s command not to defile the temple of the Holy Ghost.

Illustration: An article appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which quoted Dr. Max Thorner 100 years ago warning of complications from piercing the ears, and also commenting on the barbaric nature of the practice. “And thus it happens that mothers, who would otherwise protect their little ones from every harm and pain, will not shrink from subjecting them to an unnecessary, inexcusable, and painful procedure, only to adorn them with the coveted jewel. This explains why such a barbaric custom as that of piercing the ears could have survived to our present times.”(Journal of the American Medical Association, January 26, 1994)

This doctor called piercing the ears an “unnecessary,

inexcusable, and painful procedure, only to adorn

them with the coveted jewel.” Even the world

admits that pierced jewelry is an

“unnecessary, inexcusable” procedure.

Note: It almost sounds like the doctor thought of pierced jewelry in the same league as idolatry. He called such jewelry the coveted jewel. He might not have been too far off there.

  1. Genesis 35:2-4 says, “Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange ________ that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their ________________ which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.”

Note: Jacob never told them to take off their jewelry — just to put away their gods and be clean. Whatever the case was with their earrings, they felt the need to take them off, and associated them with idolatry.

Why do women in our day long so much for pierced earrings?

No godly woman ever got the idea to pierce her ears

from her reading of the Bible — she got that idea

from watching the women of the world.

  1. I John 2:15 says, “Love ______ the __________, neither the ____________ that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

Note: Many Christians readily admit that tattooing the body is wrong, but they try and justify the pierced jewelry. They go to Leviticus 19:28, which says, “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.” But we have already looked at that verse, and it also forbids the cutting of the flesh.

What is really interesting, is that God condemns

the two practices together in the very same verse:

the printing of marks upon your flesh — tattooing;

and the cutting of your flesh — body piercing.

Is that a coincidence? Not hardly, because even the world itself puts pierced jewelry and tattoos in the exact same category, too.

Illustration: In a February 1993 issue of The Grand Rapids Press, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Tom Rademacher had an article entitled, “On the Cutting Edge of Body Adornment.” The article talked about two matters, and guess what two things they considered to be of like nature? That’s right — body piercings for jewelry, and tattooing. Listen to why he covered both in the same article: “Locally, the piercing industry is served by a small handful of practitioners. Most work in conjunction with tattoo shops.” (The Grand Rapids Press, February 1993, Tom Rademacher).

Even the world knows that pierced jewelry

and tattooing is the same thing — cutting the flesh

for adornment.

Question: Did Old Testament believers have pierced ears? Some people insist that could have been the only type of earring at that time. The question has been asked, “Well, if they did not pierce their ears, how do you think they wore earrings back then — with ‘spring-loaded’ clips?” That question is supposed to embarrass the person opposing pierced jewelry, but it really shows the ignorance and evolutionistic thinking of the one asking the question. You see, it is the evolutionists that teach that man was backward and ignorant as he was evolving (you know, the ‘cave man’ days), but the Bible teaches the exact opposite — that man was very intelligent in the beginning, and that the farther he put God out of his life, the more ignorant he became.

How could Abraham’s servant, in Genesis 24 (so early in history), put an earring on Rebekah’s face, if it was not a pierced earring? There are three reasons that that is a foolish question.

            #1 — Because man had tremendous ability in metal-working long before that.

  1. Way back in Genesis 4:22, Tubalcain was “an instructor of every artificer in __________ and ________.” Man had great ability to form many types of metals, and methods of attachment.

#2 — Because all the earrings mentioned were gold. Pure gold is soft, and could be squeezed against the earlobe without having to pierce it. It would be more like a clip-on earring pressing against the earlobe.

#3 — Because no young lady in her right mind would ever let a perfect stranger (Abraham’s servant) come up to her and let him put a hole right through her ear. She would run away screaming!

There is only one reason that God ever told anyone to put a hole in someone’s ear.

  1. Deuteronomy 15:16,17 tells what to do when a servant was free to go from his master, but chose not to do so. “Then thou shalt take an awl, and thrust it through ______ ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant forever. And also unto thy ______________________ thou shalt do likewise.”

Note: Was it a common practice to have pierced ears in the Old Testament? No. If it was, then what would be the sense of putting the hole in the slave’s ear? It would have meant absolutely nothing, if everyone walking around also had pierced ears. The hole was a sign, a symbol, that that person was a “slave for life.”

When a Christian walks around following the world’s customs, does it not show that he/she is a slave to them?

What can you do if you already have pierced

ears, nose, cheek, tongue, etc.?

You may not be able to heal the holes or the scars,

but you can certainly discontinue the practice.

Take the pierced jewelry out, and never wear it again.

Illustration: One missionary wrote to us and said, “I agree that pierced jewelry is wrong. We will not let our daughters get their ears pierced. But my wife already has holes in her ears, so I am going to let her continue to wear pierced earrings.”

Is that real repentance over sin? What will those daughters think one day when they grow up? “Mom wears pierced earrings, but they tell us it is wrong. If it is wrong, then why does Mom still wear them?”

What about all of the girls who will watch the missionaries’ wife in their ministry? When they see her wearing pierced jewelry, will they come up to her and ask her if it is wrong to have pierced ears? No. They will see her wearing them, and they will automatically assume that it is okay.

On the other hand, if they notice that she has holes in her earlobes, but that she never wears pierced earrings, then they will probably ask her about it. Then she can share how she did wrong, but repented of it, and no longer wears them. That is the only way that she can be a good example to the next generation — to take them out and not wear them.

A smoker may have scarred lungs from years of smoking, but the right thing to do is quit smoking.

What if he said, “My lungs are already scarred, so I might as well keep smoking.”? Is that true repentance over sin? No. True repentance results in a change.

Question: If it is not right to cut your flesh, then what about having a surgery? Should the Christian refuse all surgeries?

Surgery is not done to mar the body, but to make it better. Also, after surgery, the body is stitched up so that it will heal. God Himself performed the first surgery.

  1. Genesis 2:21,22 states, “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and ____________ up the __________ instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.”

Note: God opened up Adam’s flesh, and then closed the wound so it would heal. So it is permissible to cut the flesh for the purpose of surgery.



As you can readily see, in God’s eyes, getting pierced jewelry and tattoos is marring the Christian’s body, the temple of the Holy Ghost. It is a shame that Christian young people are getting involved in all of this today. The problem is that Christian parents and leaders will not repent and show these young people the right example. The majority of preachers’ wives themselves have pierced ears. How can the preacher then preach against it, unless those in his own home repent first?