19 Bible Verses about Lying

Go to the Verses about Lying

What Does the Old Testament Say About Lying?

The Old Testament consistently underscores the significance of truthfulness and the perils of deceit. Among the Ten Commandments given to the Israelites, one specifically addresses this: “Exodus 20:16” commands, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”

This law, enshrined at the heart of Israelite society, emphasized the importance of honesty, especially in legal and social matters. The Proverbs, a book of wisdom, frequently speaks against dishonesty. For instance, “Proverbs 12:22” states, “Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.” This sentiment is echoed in numerous other texts, consistently reinforcing that truthfulness is not just a personal virtue but an essential component of a righteous community.

What Does the New Testament Say About Lying?

The New Testament continues to champion truth and condemn falsehood, but it also adds layers of spiritual depth to the understanding of deceit. Jesus Himself identifies the devil as “the father of lies” in “John 8:44“, implying that lying is more than a mere personal failing; it has spiritual implications and connections to evil.

Furthermore, the apostolic letters emphasize honesty as an integral aspect of Christian living. In “Ephesians 4:25“, Paul exhorts the believers: “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor.”

The Apostle John, in his letters, repeatedly associates lying with spiritual darkness and emphasizes the importance of abiding in the truth of Christ

Related article: Screwtape Letters Quotes. The New Testament, therefore, while reiterating the Old Testament’s teachings on truthfulness, also casts lying as a spiritual concern that separates individuals from the light of Christ.

Bible verse about lying

Bible Verses about Lying

Exodus 20:16 (KJV)

“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”

One of the Ten Commandments, this verse emphasizes the importance of honesty, especially in legal matters. God instructs the Israelites not to make false claims or accusations against one another, underlining the significance of truth in maintaining social harmony.

Proverbs 6:16-19 (NIV)

“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: …a lying tongue, …a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” ~ Proverbs 6:16-19

The Proverbs provide a list of behaviors that are abominable to God. Among them, lying and bearing false witness are especially emphasized, indicating just how seriously God views these transgressions.

Leviticus 19:11 (ESV)

“You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another.”

In a list of moral and ethical guidelines, God commands the Israelites to engage with one another in honesty. This involves refraining from theft, deceit, and outright lying, reinforcing the importance of truth in maintaining a righteous community.

Colossians 3:9 (NKJV)

“Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds.”

Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, connects the act of lying with the sinful nature of the “old self.” He encourages believers to discard such behaviors as they have now embraced a new life in Christ.

Psalm 34:13 (NASB)

“Keep your tongue from evil And your lips from speaking deceit.”

The Psalmist provides a straightforward exhortation to refrain from dishonest speech. This command underscores the belief that speech has power, and it should be used righteously.

Ephesians 4:25 (ESV)

“Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.”

Paul encourages the Ephesians to embrace truthfulness in their interactions with each other. By emphasizing their interconnectedness as members of the body of Christ, he suggests that honesty is essential to maintaining the health and unity of the community.

Acts 5:3-4 (NIV)

“But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.'”

In this account, Ananias and his wife Sapphira lie about the amount of money they obtained from selling a property. Peter confronts Ananias, emphasizing that the gravity of his lie is not just deception towards humans but a lie against God Himself.

Proverbs 12:22 (KJV)

“Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.”

This Proverb contrasts the behaviors that are detestable and delightful to God. Lying is clearly defined as an abomination, whereas truthful dealings are seen as actions that bring joy to the Lord.

Zechariah 8:16-17 (ESV)

“These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace; do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, declares the Lord.”

God, through the prophet Zechariah, lays out several directives for righteous living. Central to these commands is the emphasis on truthfulness, both in speech and in action, underscoring its importance in God’s eyes.

1 John 2:21 (NKJV)

“I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.”

John’s epistle reinforces the mutually exclusive nature of truth and falsehood. He reminds the recipients of the letter that they are well-acquainted with the truth, implying that they should distance themselves from lies.

John 8:44 (ESV)

“You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Jesus, speaking to those who opposed Him, drew a direct line between falsehood and the devil. This passage emphasizes the spiritual gravity of dishonesty, presenting Satan as the originator of lies.

Proverbs 19:5 (NIV)

“A false witness will not go unpunished, and whoever pours out lies will not go free.”

The Proverbs, full of wisdom and guidance, emphasize the inevitable consequences of dishonesty. This specific proverb underscores that, even if deceptive individuals think they’re getting away with lies, there’s a divine system of justice in place.

Proverbs 14:5 (KJV)

“A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies.”

This proverb contrasts the behavior of a trustworthy individual with that of a deceitful one. It highlights the inseparability of one’s character from one’s actions and speech.

2 Timothy 3:1-3 (NKJV)

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, …lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,”

Paul, in his letter to Timothy, describes the moral decline that would characterize the last days. Among these negative traits, dishonesty and slander are prominently mentioned, indicating the gravity of deceit in God’s eyes.

Psalm 101:7 (ESV)

“No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes.”

King David, expressing his commitment to righteousness, highlights his intolerance for dishonesty. This verse underscores the principle that deceit and falsehood are incompatible with a life dedicated to God.

Proverbs 26:28 (NIV)

“A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin.”

This proverb offers insight into the consequences of falsehood, suggesting that deceitful speech not only harms the recipient but also reveals the malice of the one who lies.

Revelation 21:8 (NKJV)

“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

In the closing chapters of the Bible, John’s Revelation underscores the dire eternal consequences awaiting those who persist in sin, including liars. It serves as a sobering reminder of the spiritual implications of dishonesty.

Proverbs 21:6 (ESV)

“The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.”

The Proverbs, yet again, emphasize the transitory nature of any gain achieved through deceit. It warns that any benefits derived from dishonesty are not only ephemeral but also carry severe consequences.

Matthew 15:18-20 (NIV)

“But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”

Jesus, in addressing the Pharisees, emphasizes that true defilement comes from the heart and manifests in actions and speech, including lies. This passage reminds believers of the importance of inner purity and integrity.