What does the Bible say about Cremation?

What does the Bible say about cremation?

Answer: Cremation is burning a corpse as opposed to burying it. The men of Jabesh-Gilead burned the bodies of Saul and his sons to prevent desecration by the Philistines (1 Sam. 31:12). The bodies of criminals and certain immoral people were to be burned (Gen. 38:24, Lev. 20:14, 21:9, Joshua 7:15, 25). In Amos 2:1, the Lord rebukes Moab for burning the bones of the King of Edom.

The New Testament doesn't mention cremation. First Corinthians 13:3, which says, "…and though I give my body to be burned…" refers to martyrdom, not cremation. The Jewish custom was to honor the deceased by applying ointments and spices to the body. The body of Jesus was honored in this way (Luke 23:56). The early Church fathers preferred burial to cremation, which was practiced in the Roman world.

Our motives are the primary consideration in everything we do. Why are we doing it? Some people cremate because they think it will prevent the resurrection, which it won't. If a person can't afford burial, then cremation might be considered. Generally speaking, what is not forbidden in Scripture is permitted. Although cremation is not specifically forbidden, burial has been the preferred practice for centuries.

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