Are Dogs Evil In The Bible

The Bible has long been a touchstone for those seeking moral direction. Nowhere is the subject of morality more contentious than when looking at the issue of whether or not dogs are evil according to Biblical teachings. Through an examination of Scripture, comparisons with other faiths, and analysis of ancient culture, we can explore the fascinating debate around what the Bible says about dogs.

In terms of a direct commandment about dogs, there does not appear to be much in the Bible. The only explicit dog-related declaration is in Proverbs 26:11, which states that ‘As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.’ This is a moral teaching rather than a proclamation as to the nature of dogs.

In the Old Testament, references to dogs are generally negative. In the book of Exodus, Moses is commanded to drown any female dogs which have ‘whelped’ or given birth while the Hebrews were wandering in the wilderness. This was seen as a means of preventing the spread of diseases and protecting the camp from external threats.

In the New Testament, however, the attitude towards dogs is a little more benign. The parable of the Good Samaritan mentions that a wounded traveler was set on by ‘dogs,’ but this does not appear to be a moral judgement. The Gospel of Mark mentions dogs as an acceptable recipient of miracle healing. Furthermore, Jesus tells the story of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son, which implies that those who are ‘lost’ can be restored.

The passages in the Bible which mention dogs are often interpreted as reflections of the culture at the time. In the ancient world, dogs had not yet been domesticated and were generally viewed as wild animals. Therefore, two of the most common interpretations of dog-related passages in the Bible are that they reflect an aversion to animals which were seen as unclean and untrustworthy, and that they demonstrate a metaphor for people who are spiritually lost.

Comparing the Bible to Other Faiths

In terms of the Bible’s stance on dogs compared to other faiths, some similarities can be found. Other Abrahamic religions, such as Islam and Judaism, describe dogs in much the same way as the Bible does: as unclean animals which should still be protected from harm. However, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Shintoism generally have a more positive view of dogs, seeing them as companions, guardians, and protectors.

It is important to consider that views of dogs throughout history have changed dramatically in certain cultures. One example of this is Ancient Egypt, which venerated certain dogs as deities and saw them as protectors of the dead. Even today there are certain regions of the world in which dogs are seen as sacred. The continued veneration of animals in some cultures is a reminder that the Bible’s views on animals should not be taken as absolute.

Analyzing the Bible’s treatment of Animals

When attempting to assess the Bible’s treatment of dogs, it is important to consider the context in which it was written. This is a period in history when the care and well-being of animals was not at the same level of priority that it is in modern times. Furthermore, some of the beliefs expressed in Scripture reflect the ancient world’s views on topics such as health and hygiene.

Therefore, while the Bible can be interpreted as viewing animals negatively, it should not be seen as absolute truth. The Bible contains many examples of mercy and compassion towards animals, such as in the story of Noah and his ark. Thus, considering the context in which it was written, the Bible’s view of dogs should generally be interpreted as a reflection of the culture at the time.

The Role of Dogs in Modern Society

Today, dogs occupy a significant part of our lives. They are seen as beloved companions, protectors of our homes, and loyal friends. In addition, numerous studies have shown that dogs provide a wide range of benefits to their owners, such as physical and mental health advantages.

The idea that dogs can be viewed as evil is alien to the majority of people living in contemporary culture. Today, dogs are generally seen as loving companions and it is uncommon to hear of dogs being directly associated with evil. This change reflects the great cultural shift which has taken place in the way that dogs are viewed throughout history.

Biblical Principles Applied to Dogs in Modern Times

The Bible is filled with accounts of mercy, compassion, and justice. In line with these tenets of faith, there are certain principles which should be applied to our modern relationship with dogs. For instance, treating them with respect and understanding, providing proper care and nutrition, and protecting them from harm.

In practical terms, this means ensuring that dogs are given the same rights, care, and dignity which we give to other family members. Furthermore, it is crucial that all dogs are given proper exercise, nutrition, and when necessary, veterinary care. These activities may seem simple but represent an important part of demonstrating mercy and understanding towards our animal friends.


While the Bible’s stance on dogs is ambiguous, it is clear that the majority of passages reflect the views of the culture at the time. Furthermore, looking at the role of dogs in modern society, it is apparent that we no longer view them as wild animals but rather as beloved companions. As such, it is important to apply the Bible’s core teachings of mercy and justice to our treatment of dogs, ensuring that we provide them with the rights and care that they deserve.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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