According to this exhaustive article on the subject of tattooing in Halachah, there is an important opinion with many ramifications that states that one is only liable for the biblical prohibition of tattooing if one tattoos the name of idolatry on one's skin.

What about an image of idolatry? Would this side of the debate hold that this violates the biblical prohibition, or is it limited to text?

  • By "an image of idolatry" do you mean an image of an object, where that object is worshiped, or do you mean an image of an object, where that image is worshiped? – msh210 Mar 29 '13 at 16:56
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    @msh210 hmm, hadn't thought of that. I assume that if one is creating an image to worship it, that would be a separate prohibition. Let's assume for simplicity's sake that the image is not utilitarian in that way, and it is merely a representation of some object/entity, where that object/entity is worshiped by the person creating and/or bearing the tattoo. – Seth J Mar 29 '13 at 17:00

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