Does The Bible Mention Cremation

Does The Bible Mention Cremation?

Cremation is an ancient practice and has been carried out for thousands of years. But does the Bible mention it? To understand what the Bible says about cremation, we must look carefully at the context of the passage.
Cremation is mentioned quite a few times in the Bible, mostly in the Old Testament. In the book of Joshua, it is said that Joshua and the Israelites cremated the bodies of five kings they had slain in battle, burning them on a single stake. This type of cremation was seen as a form of punishment or sacrifice.
A few centuries later, in the book of 2 Kings, King Ahaz of Judah gave instructions to burn his son as an offering to an idol. This act was not accepted by God, and the prophet Isaiah declared a curse upon the house of Ahaz for the horrific act. This goes to show that the Bible does not view cremation as a form of respect.
In the book of Ezekiel, God again condemns the practice of burning the dead. He expressly says that the bodies of dead men should not be burned when they pass away, but buried instead. This type of incineration was a common practice in the ancient world, and despite the fact that the Bible does not condone it, several cultures practiced it until recently.
In the New Testament, Jesus talks about a woman accused of adultery who was about to be stoned to death. He says that if anyone is without fault he should cast the first stone and then the woman could be released. Jesus also raises Lazarus from the dead, providing further evidence that the Bible has a clear preference for burial rather than cremation.
Different religious denominations have varying opinions on the issue of cremation. Some denominations, such as Eastern Orthodoxy, see cremation as a sin and generally discourage it. Others, like some branches of Protestantism and Catholicism, accept it as a legitimate option and allow it as a matter of personal choice.
The bottom line is that while the Bible doesn’t explicitly say cremation is wrong or forbidden, it does suggest that burial is the more appropriate option. This is due to the reverence for the human body and the importance of respecting the dead. In addition, cremation was often associated with pagan practices and thus seen as something that should be avoided.


Many religions observe and honor the tradition of burying the dead. This practice is derived from the belief that human life is of divine origin and thus should be regarded and respected accordingly. In Judaism, for example, there is a strong tradition of burying the dead on the same day or soon after the death has taken place. This is to avoid the disruption and profanation of the body and to ensure that the deceased is treated with respect.
The practice of burial also carries important cultural and spiritual meanings. In traditional communities, it helps to bring closure and healing to those who have experienced loss. It also reinforces spiritual beliefs such as continuity of life and the connection of the deceased to their ancestors.
There are numerous factors that come into play when considering the decision of burial. These include religious beliefs, cultural traditions, and personal values. For example, some people may choose to include a memorial service or a specific funeral gown or headstone in the burial ceremony. Making the decision to bury a loved one can be a difficult one and can evoke a wide range of emotions.

History of Cremation

Cremation is an ancient practice and has been used throughout history as a way to dispose of the body at death. The Hindus were the first known culture to cremate the dead, but its use gradually increased in Europe and North America.
During the late 1800s, cremation became an increasingly popular practice in the West. In 1874, the first crematory opened in America, providing an alternative to the traditional practice of burial. The movement gained momentum in Europe during this time as well and soon became accepted as a legitimate way to manage the body of the deceased.
Today, cremation is a preferred option for some individuals due to its affordability, convenience, and environmental-friendliness. It is also seen as a way to keep the memories of a loved one alive, as some people choose to keep the ashes in an urn or scatter them in a special place.

Arguments for Cremation

Proponents of cremation point to its many benefits, especially in comparison to traditional burial. First, cremation is much more affordable than burial, as it typically costs only a fraction of the price. Second, it is much simpler, requiring less time and paperwork than arranging a full size funeral. Additionally, cremation is seen as an environmentally friendly option, as it helps conserve land and reduce the amount of embalming chemicals used.
One of the main arguments for cremation is that it allows people to keep the memories of their loved ones alive. Having an urn with the ashes can provide comfort and peace of mind to those who have experienced loss. It is also seen as a way of honoring the deceased by memorializing them in a tangible way.

Arguments Against Cremation

On the other hand, there are several arguments against cremation. For example, some people argue that cremation does not provide closure for the bereaved. As the body of the deceased never touches the ground, some argue that it does not allow for the natural process of decomposition and therefore, does not provide the same sense of comfort that burial does.
Others argue that cremation is disrespectful and brings shame and dishonor to the body of the deceased. This argument is most commonly used by religious conservatives and individuals who adhere to the traditional beliefs that burying the dead is the only way to memorialize and honor them.
Finally, some people argue that cremation can be challenging to adequately track and manage, as it is difficult to keep track of the remains on a large scale. As a result, it could lead to some ashes being lost or mismanaged, creating additional challenges for the bereaved.


While the Bible does not explicitly forbid cremation, it does strongly favor burial over incineration. This view is shared by many religions and is anchored in the belief that the human body should be respected and treated with dignity after death. Deciding whether to cremate or bury a loved one is a difficult decision, and each option carries its own set of benefits and challenges. Ultimately, it is a personal choice that should be made with careful consideration and respect for the wishes of the deceased.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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