What The Bible Says About Lying

What The Bible Says About Lying

Lying is a sin that can have serious consequences in both this life and the life beyond. Although not all forms of lies are considered sinful in the eyes of God, the Bible contains numerous references to lies and deception. This article examines some of the most prominent Biblical passages that discuss lying and explores the implications of these verses for contemporary life.

Biblical Examples of Lying

The most common form of lying discussed in the Bible is the intentional act of deceit. One of the clearest examples of lying can be found in Genesis 27 when Isaac asks his son, Jacob, to deceive him by bringing to him a meal dressed in sheepskin garments in place of freshly-killed game. Later in the New Testament, the Pharisees were accused of misleading both the people and Jesus himself. Jesus called them out, saying “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do” (John 8:44).

The Effects of Lying

The Bible makes clear that lying is a serious offense. It is a sin because it breaks the commandments that instruct believers to tell the truth. When individuals engage in lying, it causes harm both to the person who is being lied to and to the liar’s own soul. In addition, lying can be dangerous to any relationships in which it is found. Since God desires truth and honesty from His children, lying can damage a relationship with Him.

God’s View of Lying

The Bible gives numerous examples of God’s strong distaste for lies. This can be seen in Proverbs 6:16-19, a passage which requires individuals to “Hate what is false” and to “love the truth”. Furthermore, God eschews those who lie and tells them to “never speak a lie” through Jeremiah 9:3-5. The Lord views lies as an affront to His character and as a rejection of His truth. Consequently, God has promised not to forgive those who lie (Revelations 21:8) or those who take part in deception and fraud (Psalm 5:6).

God’s Call for Honesty

Ultimately, as with all of the sins, God wants us to turn from lying and to embrace honesty. He commands us to be truthful, to follow the language of humility and to be sincere in our dealings with others (Ephesians 4:25). This call for honesty is a constant throughout the Bible. Whether it is a plea for the Israelites to live in the truth of the Lord throughout the book of Deuteronomy to a New Testament command to lead honest lives found in Colossians 4, the desire for believers to live truthful lives remains the same.

The Value and Necessity of Honesty

Through these commands and stories, the Bible makes clear that honesty is an essential quality and not just a trait to strive for. Honesty is valued by God as it forms the basis of relationships with Him and with others. Conversely, lying disrupts all of these relationships with its lies and deceptions. As the Bible states “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord” (Proverbs 12:22). Therefore, it is important for us to live life honestly in order to remain in the Lord’s good favor and to be obedient to His word.

The Apparent Exceptions of Lying

An apparent exception to the Biblical rule to live a life of honesty is found in the story of Rahab. A prostitute living in Jericho, Rahab lied and deceived the Israelites about the whereabouts of spies in order to save herself and her family (Joshua 2). While there is certainly more to this account than a simple lie, it can be seen as an indication that God can, in some cases, acknowledge a lie if it is intended to do good. Likewise, in 1 Kings 14:6-8, the prophet Ahijah told King Jeroboam’s wife a lie in order to protect the king’s life. In both of these cases, there was a greater good that was being served by the lie, even if it was, technically, a sin.


The Bible is clear that lying is a serious sin and that it should be avoided. The Bible also gives examples of apparent exceptions to this rule and it is important to consider these exceptions when making decisions about when and how to engage in honest communication. Ultimately, believers should strive to live honest and truthful lives with the understanding that God values this virtue.

Hilda Scott is an avid explorer of the Bible and inteprator of its gospel. She is passionate about researching and uncovering the mysteries that lie in this sacred book. She hopes to use her knowledge and expertise to bring faith and God closer to people all around the world.

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