What The Bible Say About Cremation

The Basics of Cremation In The Bible

The Bible is one of the oldest spiritual texts known to man and offers valuable insight into the practice of cremation. Throughout history, there has been much debate surrounding the issue of cremation and whether it is a permissible practice according to the teachings of the Bible.
Many believe that the practice of cremation is widely accepted in the Bible, while some feel that it is prohibited. The truth is that both views can be supported according to scripture. Therefore, it is important to look at the Bible in its entirety to gain a true understanding of what it has to say about cremation.

The Old Testament

The Old Testament does not explicitly address the issue of cremation. However, there are references to the burning of the dead in a long line of examples. For example, when Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son Isaac, the Bible states that he was to “also take the wood for the burnt offering, and lay it on Isaac his son” (Genesis 22:6). This would indicate that even in the absence of explicit texts regarding cremation, the burning of the dead was a common practice during Biblical times.
Additionally, many of the Biblical heroes were cremated. After the death of Moses, for example, his body was placed on a funeral pyre and it was burned according to the command of God (Deuteronomy 34:6). This demonstrates that burning the dead was deemed an acceptable practice even by the direct command of God.

The New Testament

Like the Old Testament, the New Testament does not explicitly discuss the issue of cremation. However, in contrast to the Old Testament, the New Testament does contain references to the burning of the dead in both a positive and negative light.
For example, in the book of Revelation, it is stated that those who follow God will have their bodies burned in order to ascend to heaven (Revelation 19:20). On the other hand, those who reject God will have their bodies burned in fire in order to punish them for their sins (Revelation 20:15). This indicates that burning of the body was a sign of either divine reward or punishment, depending on the individual’s choices.
Additionally, in the book of Acts, it is stated that those who believe in Jesus Christ must be buried rather than cremated in order for their souls to pass into heaven (Acts 2:29-31). Therefore, it appears that there is a divide within the New Testament regarding the issue of cremation, with some passages suggesting that it is a permissible practice and others against it.

The Church’s Views on Cremation

The Roman Catholic Church has consistently held a negative view on the practice of cremation. The Church’s Code of Canon Law states that “the Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burial be retained” and forbids cremation. In addition, the Church maintains that the burning of remains is a sign of desecration and denies the sacred dignity of the human body.
However, during the 20th century, the Catholic Church softened its stance on cremation and later accepted it, provided that a burial service does not accompany the cremation. As a result, cremation is now permissible in the eyes of the Catholic Church and can be performed without fear of reprisal.

Cremation in Modern Times

With the passing of time, the practice of cremation has become increasingly popular in modern societies. As a result, a number of alternatives to traditional burial have arisen. These include chemical and mineral cremation, direct cremation, and alkaline hydrolysis. Each of these methods has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on the individual’s needs and preferences.
In recent years, cremation has become a much more viable option for individuals who do not want to undergo the cost and hassle of a traditional burial. Additionally, cremation is seen as a way to reduce the environmental impact of a burial, as it does not require the use of toxic chemicals or the transport of a body over long distances. As a result, cremation is becoming an increasingly popular choice for those who wish to have a burial service.

Cremation as a Form of Final Tribute

The practice of cremation allows a person to pay final tribute to the deceased in a more personal way. As the body is reduced to ashes, it can be interred in an urn, kept in a special place, or scattered in a meaningful place. This provides an intimate, private memorial service and allows the deceased’s family and friends to honor their loved one in a special way.
Additionally, cremations services often include a celebration of the deceased’s life with fewer restrictions than traditional funerals. This can include special music, certain readings, and other aspects that are meaningful to the deceased and their family.

The Cost of Cremation

The cost of cremation varies depending on the type of cremation that is chosen and the services that accompany it. Generally speaking, direct cremation is the most affordable option, as there are very few associated costs. On the other hand, a full-service cremation with a memorial service and burial of the ashes will be much more expensive.
It is important to keep in mind that the final cost of cremation is not just the cost of the cremation itself, but also the cost of any services that accompany it. This includes the costs of the crematory itself, the urn, and any special requests that the deceased may have. As a result, it is important to consider the total cost before making any final decisions.

The Different Types of Cremation

There are several different types of cremation available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Traditional cremation is the most commonly used method, as it requires the use of a high temperature flame to reduce the body to its ashes. Modern alternatives to traditional cremation include chemical and mineral cremation, direct cremation, and alkaline hydrolysis.
Chemical cremation uses a combination of potassium and sodium hydroxide to reduce the body to its ashes. Direct cremation, on the other hand, is a simple, low-cost process that does not require a traditional funeral service or burial. Finally, alkaline hydrolysis uses a combination of heat and pressure to reduce the body to its ashes without producing smoke or odors.


In conclusion, the Bible does not offer an explicit answer to whether or not the practice of cremation is permissible. However, the Biblical stories and passages offer insight into the fact that the burning of the dead was a common practice in Biblical times and, in some cases, even commanded by God. Additionally, the views of the Catholic Church have evolved over time, and cremation is now accepted as a viable option.
Modern societies have embraced the practice of cremation and several alternatives to traditional cremation have arisen, each with its own costs, advantages, and disadvantages. Regardless of the type of cremation chosen, it can be an intimate way to give final tribute to a loved one and honor their memory in a special way.

Hilda Scott is an avid explorer of the Bible and inteprator of its gospel. She is passionate about researching and uncovering the mysteries that lie in this sacred book. She hopes to use her knowledge and expertise to bring faith and God closer to people all around the world.

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