Burial vs. Cremation
By Betty Miller
Should a Christian choose cremation as a burial plan? What does the Bible say about cremation? How should a person plan for a Christian funeral? Although the Bible does not specifically speak to the subject of cremation, we do find in the Word of God that only the heathen tribes cremated people (burned their bodies with fire after death), while the Jews always buried bodies in graves in the ground, or entombed their dead in a cave or in an sepulcher, similar to our modern day mausoleums. It was basically a stone room with a stone coffin where a body lies. The word comes from the Latin sepulcrum, which means “burial place”.
Although, the scripture does not forbid cremation; neither does it condone it. Before I go any further, let me say now, that even if you had a loved one cremated or know a Christian who was cremated; it will not affect their eternal destiny. A relationship with Christ or lack of it determines our eternal destinies.
Christian Tradition or Heathen Practices?
However, there are Christian practices and heathen practices and in our day because of a lack of knowledge, some in the church have adopted heathen practices in numerous areas, besides just the practice of cremation. We can clearly see in the Bible the tradition of the Israelites, God’s chosen people, was to always bury their dead and never to burn dead bodies, as the heathen round about them did. This is demonstrated in the Old Testament, as well as the New Testament. Jesus, Himself, was buried in a tomb. Here are scriptures that record how people were buried, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament.