Top 10 Bible Verses About Lying

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

What does the Bible say about lying? A lot! Here are what I consider my top 10 Bible verses about lying.

Revelation 21:8 “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

This might seem the most unlikely of all Bible verses that you’d ever select about lying but for me, it is a powerful one because most people who are not born again think they’re a pretty good person and might get to heaven by being good. If you ask them if they’ve ever told a lie, most will admit that they have lied and that makes them, like me, a liar and all liars are headed for the lake of fire. Still they might insist that they’re a pretty good person but the Bible says “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks after God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one” (Rom 3:10-12) so that amounts to “zero” people being good. What all of us have simply earned are the wages of death (Rom 6:23a) but God offers the free gift (Eph 2:8-9) of eternal life in Christ (Rom 6:23b) and this eternal life doesn’t come from being “good.”

Top 10 Bible Verses About Lying

God wants us to always speak the truth, even if it hurts.

Romans 1:25 “because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.”

When people reject God they exchange the truth about God’s existence for a lie and they worship the creation or the creatures (themselves primarily) rather than the Creator who has given them life. It’s not just the idolatry of worshiping images made of wood or stone but the idols of our own heart which may be why Paul wrote that they “became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things” (Rom 1:22b-23).

Proverbs 14:5 “A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness breathes out lies.”

There are many liars in the world today. In fact, the last statistics I read about a few years ago said that eight in ten college student’s lie to their professors on a regular basis and what is worse is one college course I took on ethics years ago where the professor said that sometimes lying is convenient and is necessary. Wow, that was disappointing. Today the secular schools teach that there are such things as “white lies” and that it’s totally acceptable but God’s Word is contrary to that popular opinion (Rev 21:8) so I am going with what God says and not what man thinks. A lie is a lie, white or not, because it’s like saying “I’m a little bit pregnant.”

Proverbs 14:25 “A truthful witness saves lives, but one who breathes out lies is deceitful.”

Here is actual biblical evidence that lying can save lives but deceit (lies) may cost lives. Think about times where someone could have told the truth and didn’t and people paid with their lives for it. One man who was a dam inspector once lied about the Jamestown dam in Pennsylvania and it cost hundreds of lives when the floods came last century.

Proverbs 19:9 “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will perish.”

Anyone that lies in a court of law faces jail or imprisonment because lying under oath is a punishable crime but even if they aren’t caught by man, all of us will have to give an account someday for every idle word (including lies) before God (Matt 12:36; Rom 14:12)

Romans 3:4 “Let God be true though everyone were a liar, as it is written, “That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.”

Every man and every woman has lied and if they say they haven’t, then they’ve just told another one. Only God cannot lie because He is holy and it’s against His nature to lie (Titus 1:2) for it is written “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind” (Num 23:19a) and the fact is its “impossible for God to lie” (Heb 6:18).

John 8:44 “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.”

In one of the most serious rebukes of Jesus’ earthly ministry He tells the Jews that their true father is not Abraham but the Devil and the Devil is their true father and the father of all lies so when we lie we are more like the Devil than we are like God, Who never lies.

Zechariah 10:2 “For the household gods utter nonsense, and the diviners see lies; they tell false dreams and give empty consolation. Therefore the people wander like sheep; they are afflicted for lack of a shepherd.”

Here is a frightening warning about false prophets and those who give false dreams and even the diviners who try to predict the future and this can include tarot card readers, horoscopes, astrology, palm readers and such. No wonder God’s people wandered around like lost sheep because they had no true shepherd who would speak the truth to them. These things are happening with increasing frequency today. I had one man come to me saying “God spoke to me that you’re going to leave your church and become a missionary” which I thought strange. Then I asked him “If I had a friend who wanted to tell me something, why would he tell you to tell me and not talk directly to me!?”

Exodus 20:16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

This list would be incomplete without the actual commandment that God gave that we are not to bear false witness against our neighbor. Lying hurts everyone but maybe the person who lies more than anyone else because lying is an act of cosmic treason against God and lying to neighbors is like lying to God and God hates lying and is one of the so-called “seven deadly sins.”

Proverbs 6:16-20 “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”

As mentioned above lying is called one of the “seven deadly sins”. This passage in Proverbs 6 shows just how seriously God takes lying. It is listed among the seven things that are abominations to God. Included in this list is pride (haughty eyes) and next in order, is lying — but notice, not only is “a lying tongue” mentioned but also “a false witness“. In fact, I believe that lying is caused by pride…we want to protect ourselves so we lie in order to make ourselves look better in the eyes of others. I would say that pride is at the root of all sin and all lies. And what’s right in the middle of pride? “I” am!

Conclusion

God wants us to always speak the truth, even if it hurts. God would rather have us tell the truth and suffer for it than to tell a lie to avoid the consequences but as we have already read, all liars who refuse to repent and trust in Christ are headed for the worst judgment imaginable (Rev 21:8). We all lie but we can all be forgiven (1 John 1:9) and have the righteousness of Christ imputed toward us (2 Cor 5:21) but only for those who repent and believe the gospel (Mark 1:15) and that’s the truth.

Read what else the Bible says here: What Does the Bible Say About Lying?

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Tynesha July 13, 2015 at 9:09 am

Well said, I hate the phrase “white lie”. A lie is a lie

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Jack Wellman July 13, 2015 at 9:11 am

Amen sister…so true. Thank you.

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lisa Bartholomew July 14, 2015 at 8:25 am

Thank you writing this without sugar coating tiny lies. I just shared this with my 11 year old. This seems to be an issue lately. Lord bless you.

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Jack Wellman July 14, 2015 at 8:43 am

Thank you Mrs./Ms. Bartholomew for your kind words. The truth is the truth. I appreciate the encouragement.

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David February 18, 2016 at 5:53 am

I got questions :
1.What about if a man to say to his woman, ” You are the most beautiful women on earth?” which is not true….It’s a lie or not?
2.When Israelites attack Jericho, the woman “LIED” to the guards about their whereabouts? is it the wrong thing to do?
3.What is the different between “Lie and Denial”?

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Jack Wellman February 18, 2016 at 8:48 am

Thank you David. To me, my wife is the most beautiful woman in the world. It’s not a lie. If a man doesn’t believe that, he shouldn’t say ” You are the most beautiful women on earth” but you are so beautiful. Denial is suppressing the truth which is also sin, like lying but they’re not the same. As for Rahab lying about hiding the Israelites, only those who deserve the truth should receive it, for example if you were hiding Jews during WW 2, to lie to protect human life is a higher principle than telling the truth and having the Jews all die.

It is also possible to be a person who fears the Lord, walks by faith and yet feels constrained in extreme, life-threatening situations to oppose evil by lying. There are several stories in the Bible where this is exactly what happened. Having recognized that lying may be acceptable in rare situations, we should now consider the overwhelming biblical emphasis condemning falsehood. If you have to lie to protect human life, isn’t it better to do that than to have someone die?

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Jack Wellman January 31, 2017 at 6:11 pm

Rahab lied to save the spies of Israel’s life and she will be in the kingdom, but this should never give us permission to sin as she did because we will all have to give an account for our own lives.

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David Mattches April 12, 2017 at 12:50 am

My son is getting divorced for his wife’s adultery and she is telling all manner of lies about him, yet it appears that God does nothing, as of yet…

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Rayborn Dunnam July 11, 2017 at 1:15 pm

Why is it necessary for family member to lie about the truth. They know that they are wrong and do worry about something. Yet they tell you to your face “I DON”T WORRY ABOUT NOTHING”. You know them because they are your children. The wife of one man will not put boundaries around them. I think they can not or don’t want where they stand because they are comfortable where they are knowing that they are living in a world of sin. They like the people around them and now they don’t know how to get out of it because they said they were taught by their mother that the man was the head of the house even tho he wrong.. My daughter is that person. Pray for her.

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Jack Wellman July 11, 2017 at 3:10 pm

Prayers for sure Mr. Dunnam.

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Brian August 18, 2017 at 6:03 pm

Well if a “white lie” saves someone from torture and murder, I’m sure God would forgive.

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Jack Wellman August 19, 2017 at 9:20 am

I believe that life is more important than telling a lie, so yes sir, I agree with you Brian.

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Why May 24, 2018 at 3:15 pm

You’ve made contradictory comments on here; one saying it wasn’t okay to lie to save lives and another saying it would be okay to save lives. Also, is it impossible for God to lie or does God just not lie out of choice. After all, what is impossible for God?

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Jack Wellman May 24, 2018 at 4:14 pm

Thank you “Why.” Yes, we know lying is wrong, and of course, we know God cannot lie but all men are liars, so says the Scripture, but I don’t see the contradiction at all, so you are wrong. Perhaps you’re confused where I wrote, “Here is actual biblical evidence that lying can save lives but deceit (lies) may cost lives. Think about times where someone could have told the truth and didn’t and people paid with their lives for it. One man who was a dam inspector once lied about the Jamestown dam in Pennsylvania and it cost hundreds of lives when the floods came last century.” We must tell the truth, but if you and your family were going to die but telling them a lie would save them, what would you do? I’m not sure what I’d do, and it’s easy to say, “What is impossible for God,” NOW, but in the heat of the moment, who knows what any of us would do, including you “Why.”

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Brenda Johnson July 17, 2018 at 12:26 pm

Lie or not to lie? Ask God. Every situation is unique to heart and motive. Those that are led of the Spirit are the sons of God. What is done by Faith does not get judged (1Cor.2:15,16). We walk by Faith in our relationship with God. It’s not black and white rule keeping. The letter of the law kills but the Spirit gives Life. Don’t look to man for all your answers. Look to God. He knows us individually and corporately. As we acknowledge Him in all our ways, He will direct our paths! He Promised!

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Jack Wellman July 17, 2018 at 12:35 pm

Hello Brenda. The Bible teaches we should not lie but the verse you quoted about the law kills but the Spirit gives life doesn’t mean the law is bad. Paul declared the law holy, just, and good, so even though the Spirit gives us life in Christ, we must obey Christ and tell the truth. I don’t look to man for answers but to God, so not sure why you said that but thank you for your comment anyway.

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