What Does The Bible Say About Cremation?

Memorial Cremations The Bible

The Bible does not specifically say whether cremation is approved or not. But it does give instances where the prophets in the Old Testament were buried versus burning their bodies after death (see Genesis 23:9, Deuteronomy 34:5-6, and Mark 6:29). As cremation or burial by fire was not called out in the Bible, each individual will need to make the decision for themselves based on their own faith, traditions, needs, and wishes.

I’ve been reading the Bible since a young boy. It is important to have a sturdy set. Here is my favorite Bible set right now.

To be buried or cremated is a big decision. There are practical and serious implications for either path.

The Body Is A Blessing

The human body was made with wonderful creation (see Psalm 139:14). We are all lucky to have such a body to use and take care of in this life. We simply get one body in this life. If we mistreat it or harm it, that will carry with us for our entire mortal existence. It is our duty to make the most of our time on earth.

We will all die eventually (see 1 Corinthians 15:54) so it makes sense that we each do the research and planning ahead of time. There are a variety of options to consider when we die so doing the proper research and planning years ahead will save your family the headache and stress. In the meantime, let us all enjoy our lives.

The Resurrection

According to the Bible, Jesus Christ will come again and His followers will be the first to rise (see 1 Thessalonians 4:16). This verse and the many others related to the Resurrection mentioning the dead rising up at the Second Coming of Christ. God was the creator of the entire world as well as the creator of our bodies. He created our bodies from the dust of the earth. He will not need an entirely intact body in order to resurrect our bodies in the after-life as he was to build our bodies using dust in the first place.

Whether our bodies are spread across the world after our family spread of ashes across the ocean or across the globe, I believe that God will be able to piece us all back together into the Resurrection just fine.

Burial Was Typical in Old Testament

Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried after their death (see Genesis 49:29-31). Also, mentioned in this scripture is Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried after death. These are some examples of how the prophets and their families were treated after death. These scriptures do not appear to require a burial in death but they seem to imply that burial was the most common means of caring for the deceased during the times of the Old Testament.

As a result, burial was the traditions during the Old Testament times.

Jesus Christ Was Entombed In A Sepulchre

When Jesus Christ died he was not buried in a typical manner. He was entombed in a stone sepulchre (seeMark 15:46). By no means does this mean that everyone who is a follower of Christ must also be entombed in a stone sepulcher in the same way at death.

Entombment was just the situation available at the time of Christ’s death and the tradition of His family.

What Are The Traditions Of Our Day?

In the same way that Jesus was buried or entombed in a sepulchre and Abraham was buried, those were both the traditions of their time and their family. There are really two main traditions of our day being the burial or cremation of the body after death.

Cremation is becoming more and more popular around the world. Over the last twenty years, cremation has become a common practice. In fact, according to Google, since 2004 the average consumer is searching for cremation more than two times more often.

Cremations have even become equally as common as a traditional burial.

Why Has Cremation Become So Popular?

As more and more people seek to reduce expenses and costs from their lives, experiences and quality time have become more important. Life is expensive as it is and rising inflation, housing, and other life costs causes us all to take a closer look at our personal finances.

The cost of a cremation is a fraction of the cost of a traditional funeral and burial. In fact, the average cost of direct cremation costs between $1,000 and $2,500. A traditional funeral and burial cost $10,000 to $35,000 or more!

If you are looking for ways to make your family’s dollar stretch farther, a direct cremation will be the best option.

Also, I don’t believe it is just the costs that are driving people to move away from traditional funerals and burials. Funerals are typically so sad. When we have a loved one pass away, it should be a time of rejoicing and memory of the good times with the family. Alternatives to the traditional funeral are taking roots in our society.

Also, with cremation, the loved ones can choose to create their loved one’s ashes into cremation jewelry and cremation diamonds. This can be a great way to commemorate a loved one.

What Christian Religions Do Not Believe In Cremation?


Christians have in the past shied away from cremation because the Bible has a number of instances where the dead were buried. But these scriptures do not imply that cremation is not acceptable, it simply showcases that the Old Testament and even the New Testament did not have a tradition of burning their dead.

Christians today seem to be more open than ever to cremation.

If we were to just look at the trends that are happening in society today, more and more Christians are opting for cremation versus the traditional funeral and burial.

The Catholic Church

Catholics have forbidden cremation for centuries. It was considered to be a terrible sin. In fact, those who took part of cremating a deceased Catholic were excommunicated from the church. That practice has since changed completely.

In 1963, the Catholic church reversed that trend and now supports the cremation of the body. However, there are certain rites and traditions that must be completed after death while the body is still intact. After that funeral service is completed at the Catholic Church, the body can then be processed through cremation. Ideally, the body will still be entombed or buried with the cremated remains together versus a scattering of the ashes.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka Mormons)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (otherwise known as Mormons or Latter Day-Saints) believe that Jesus Christ died for all the sins of mankind and also was resurrected making the path for the rest of mankind to be resurrected as well. The Latter-day Saints are preferred to avoid cremation but the request is not an outright doctrine or requirement of the church members. According to their faith, all mankind will be resurrected despite the condition of their body at death.

In fact, the Book of Mormon, another Testament of Jesus Christ, shares a story of a prophet named Abinadi who was burned to death because he was preaching in a kingdom that did not want to hear his words. As Abinadi was a prophet of God, he was living a life as a follower of Jesus Christ, God would not punish him for being burned to death. Using a similar logic with cremation, a body burned into ash, would not be penalized in the after-life or during the resurrection according to the Latter-day Saints.

Jehovah’s Witness Church

The members of the Jehovah’s Witness church believe that Jesus Christ lived and died for all mankind’s sins. However, they do not believe that  Jesus Christ was resurrected. Consequently, many of the traditional Christian celebrations such as Christmas and Easter are pagan holidays. With these beliefs and others, the Jehovah’s Witness do not have any major beliefs against cremation.

If the family of the deceased decide to have a funeral or a memorial, they would ask that the gathering be a small gathering to avoid the appearance of being a pagan gathering.

How Best To Proceed

Life and death are quite possibly the most complicated and emotional moments are each and every single life. I personally have felt the flow of emotions during the birth of a child. I have also felt the emptiness that results from losing our loved ones.

The most important item to consider in these moments is what are the wishes of the deceased and of the family. If the family has a Christian or belief in the Bible, it is likely that cremation could be a great option for you. But of course, if you want to have a more traditional funeral and burial that is absolutely a wonderful option as well.

The choice of whether to do a cremation or a traditional funeral and burial sometimes is decided upon the finances of the family or the individual who passed away. Funerals are extremely expensive and sometimes prohibit the family from even considering a traditional funeral. Given that cremation is quite simply a fraction of the cost, it will continue to be a popular option and will be growing for many years as a viable option.

Luckily, no matter your religious beliefs, cremation can be a wonderful solution for you or your family during this time of loss. And if you are considering cremation for you loved one, please be sure to consider these affordable cremation ideas.

Be sure to check out our other resources and articles on our home page. If you have any questions or comments, please leave these below so we can get back to you. Thank you for visiting our site.

Cremation Staff

We are a group of cremation and funeral professionals seeking to share our knowledge and help save you some time, some energy, and hopefully some money.

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