What Does The Bible Say About Cremation?
The Bible does not clearly define about cremation as a means to dispose of the dead. However, there is no scriptural prohibition of cremation in the New Testament. The Bible neither favors nor forbids the process of cremation.
Nevertheless, many Christians believe that their bodies would be ineligible for resurrection if they are cremated. This argument, though, is refuted by others on the basis of the fact that the body still decomposes over time after burial.
Moreover, as God is known to be all-powerful, it should not be impossible for Him to resurrect someone even after cremation.
Besides, there are individuals who do not bother about burial as well as cremation because it is the spiritual body that is allowed to enter Heaven, not the physical body.
1 Corinthians 15:35-55
“It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.”
There have been examples of burning the body, like in the case of Saul and Jonathan. Their bodies had been mutilated by the Philistines. Thus, they were cremated and their bones were buried to protect them from ridicule from the enemy.
In another instance, Achan and his family were stoned to death and then cremated when Achan deliberated committed the sin of taking the spoil of the battle of Jericho.
In general, the practice of cremation was taken more as a punishment than honor in the Bible. In fact, most people who were burned in the Bible were cursed.
Furthermore, the pagan belief emphasizes that burning tends to purify the spirit. Plus, it wards off evil entities and prevents the possible return of a ghost.
According to the Old Testament and New Testament, burial is definitely the standard practice adopted for disposing of a dead body.
So, it comes down to your personal choice as to whether you want to be buried or cremated. It is more of a cultural and philosophical issue rather than a biblical one.
Here’s a video explaining about burial and cremation as per the Bible.
Given below are a few Bible verses about cremation
“By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
1 Corinthians 13:3
“And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.”
1 Samuel 31, verses 11-13
“And when the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead heard of that which the Philistines had done to Saul; All the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Bethshan, and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there. And they took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.”
“And Joshua said, ‘Why have you troubled us? The Lord will trouble you this day.’ And all Israel stoned them with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones.”
2 Kings 23:15-20
“Moreover, the altar at Bethel, the high place erected by Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, that altar with the high place he pulled down and burned, reducing it to dust. He also burned the Asherah. And as Josiah turned, he saw the tombs there on the mount. And he sent and took the bones out of the tombs and burned them on the altar and defiled it, according to the word of the Lord that the man of God proclaimed, who had predicted these things. Then he said, “What is that monument that I see?” And the men of the city told him, “It is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and predicted these things that you have done against the altar at Bethel.” And he said, “Let him be; let no man move his bones.” So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet who came out of Samaria. And Josiah removed all the shrines also of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which kings of Israel had made, provoking the Lord to anger. He did to them according to all that he had done at Bethel. And he sacrificed all the priests of the high places who were there, on the altars, and burned human bones on them. Then he returned to Jerusalem.”