Q & R with Greg Albrecht – “Does the Bible condemn cremation? “


Please explain cremation from a biblical, Christian viewpoint. Is there anything wrong with being cremated?


Burial became the Christian practice following its Old Testament roots. Of course, Jesus was buried, but in a tomb, above ground, and in a very different way than our Western custom of burial in a casket. The Bible gives no specific burial practice, customs or traditions that we must follow. For many years, Christian sailors have been buried at sea, for example. God does need for us to be buried in a particular way so that he might resurrect us. Some bodies are so destroyed in accidents or in warfare that burial of the complete body is impossible.

Cremation is opposed by some Christians on the grounds that some “pagans” burn the bodies of their dead. That is true, but people who are not Christians also eat, breathe, marry, have children, etc. There is nothing in the Bible to suggest that cremation is an inferior practice to burial. A case might actually be made forcremation, as it is a much more responsible practice in areas where land is at a premium.  In addition, some simply cannot afford a burial and cremation is the only economically viable option. There is nothing in the Bible that would condemn cremation.

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