What Does the Bible Say About Cremation?
When I first delved into the topic of “what does the bible say about cremation?”, I was met with a myriad of interpretations and beliefs. The Bible, both the Old and New Testament, doesn’t explicitly mention the practice of cremation as we know it today. Traditional burial was the standard practice, with as we see written in Genesis notable figures like Abraham and Sarah being buried, as mentioned in Genesis.
No verses in the Bible specifically forbid or affirm cremation.
12 Bible Verses About Cremation in the Bible
The Bible doesn’t directly address the modern practice of cremation, but there are several passages that involve the burning of bodies or references to ashes. Here’s a comprehensive list of scriptures that could be related to or interpreted in the context of cremation:
- 1 Samuel 31:8-13 – After Saul and his sons were killed in battle, the Philistines hung their bodies on the walls of Beth Shan. Valiant men from Jabesh Gilead retrieved the bodies, burned them, and then buried the bones under a tamarisk tree.
- Joshua 7:25-26 – Achan, who had taken forbidden items during the conquest of Jericho, was stoned to death along with his family. Afterward, they were burned with fire.
- Amos 2:1 – God’s judgment against Moab is pronounced because the king of Moab burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime.
- 2 Kings 23:16-20 – King Josiah of Judah desecrated pagan places of worship and burned the bones of the pagan priests on their altars.
- Leviticus 20:14 – A man who marries both a woman and her mother is said to be wicked, and both he and the women are to be burned in fire.
- Leviticus 21:9 – The daughter of a priest who becomes a prostitute is to be burned with fire.
- Genesis 3:19 – While not about cremation, this verse contains the famous line, “for dust you are and to dust you will return,” which speaks to the impermanence of the human body.
- Revelation 20:15 – This verse speaks symbolically of the “lake of fire” as the second death, where anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown.
- Genesis 18:27 – Abraham, speaking to God, refers to himself as “but dust and ashes.”
- Job 30:19 – Job laments, saying, “He throws me into the mud, and I am reduced to dust and ashes.”
- Job 42:6 – After God speaks to Job, he repents “in dust and ashes.”
- Ezekiel 28:18 – Referring to the king of Tyre, it is said that God made him a blazing fire and turned him to ashes on the ground.
12 Bible Verse About the Ressurection
It’s important to note that the bible does not prohibit cremation in fact it gives us hope in the face of death. For those who have put their faith in Jesus alone and his finished work on the cross and subsequent resurrection, eternal life is guaranteed no matter the state of your deceased body.
Is Cremation a Sin?
Christians believe in the physical resurrection of their bodies in the future and feel that they might need an intact body for this event. This belief has led some to challenge the idea of cremation. However, it’s essential to note that the Bible does not give direct instructions against cremation. The emphasis in Christian doctrine is not on the method of body disposal but on the assurance of salvation and the hope of resurrection through faith in Jesus Christ. The Bible assures believers that God can bring together whatever has been scattered, regardless of how a body has been disposed of after death.
Are There Any Bible Verses Directly Addressing Cremation?
While there are no Bible verses that address the practice of cremation directly, there are numerous references to burial practices. For instance, Saul and his sons were cremated after being mutilated by the Philistines, as mentioned in 1 Samuel. However, their bones were later retrieved and given a proper burial. This act emphasizes the importance of respecting the deceased, regardless of the method of body disposition.