The Bible teachings about crime vary from stories of individuals struggling with moral choices, to laws on how societies should deal with criminals. Nonetheless, the central theme remains—crime is viewed as a deviation from God’s principles and teachings.
What The Bible Says About Crime
The Bible acknowledges the existence of crime, often linking it to sin and violations of God’s laws. It also discusses the consequences of such actions. Throughout the Old and New Testaments, it gives readers an understanding of crime by illustrating the sad outcomes and penalties that come with wrongdoing. In its stories, it frequently contrasts the actions of the righteous against those of the wicked, offering guiding principles for just behavior.
Why Crime is Condemned in the Bible
The Bible denounces crime because it primarily goes against love—love for God and for our fellow human being. It disrupts communal harmony, victimizes innocent individuals, and is essentially an expression of defiance against God’s commands. The Bible consistently upholds the sanctity of justice, teaching that those who adhere to laws and God’s will not only avoid crime, but also live a more prosperous and fulfilling life.
Where Crime Takes Place in The Bible’s Narratives
The Bible portrays crime happening in a myriad of settings—from individual households to entire nations. The stories inside it demonstrate that no place is immune to crime if individuals and societies choose to defy God’s laws. Most notably, high-profile figures such as kings and leaders are not exempt from crime. As mentioned in the Bible, the actions of these individuals often lead to the downfall of whole communities, thereby reaffirming the pervasiveness and destructive potential of crime.
Who should be held accountable for Crime according to the Bible
In the eyes of the Bible, every individual is accountable for their actions since each person is given free will. Crimes committed are not inherited, but the responsibility of the individual who commits them. This concept promotes personal responsibility and ethical behavior towards oneself and others. For leaders and those in power, the Bible places a greater burden of accountability. It teaches that those with power should use their positions to deliver justice, not exploit the weak.
When the Bible suggests responding to Crime
The Bible emphasizes the importance of swift justice as a way of curbing crime and maintaining societal harmony. According to its stories, delaying or denying justice may lead to escalating wrongdoing. Furthermore, it outlines the notion of corrective justice—the idea of ‘an eye for an eye’—showing that punishments should be proportionate to the crime. However, at the same time, the Bible highlights the themes of mercy, forgiveness, and redemption as crucial elements in responding to crime. This underlines a clear preference for restorative justice, rather than solely punitive measures.
Below is the full list of bible verses on crime (King James Version – KJV). The list is ranked in order of popularity and we hope you find the inspiration you need.
Most Popular Bible Verses About Crime
“4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”
“24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,25 Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”
“19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
“38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”
“1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”
“13 Thou shalt not kill.”
“6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.”
“15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
“5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man.6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.”
“5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.”
“26 A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.”
“20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”
“16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”
“5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
“28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
“11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.”
1 Kings 16:15-18
“15 In the twenty and seventh year of Asa king of Judah did Zimri reign seven days in Tirzah. And the people were encamped against Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines.16 And the people that were encamped heard say, Zimri hath conspired, and hath also slain the king: wherefore all Israel made Omri, the captain of the host, king over Israel that day in the camp.17 And Omri went up from Gibbethon, and all Israel with him, and they besieged Tirzah.18 And it came to pass, when Zimri saw that the city was taken, that he went into the palace of the king’s house, and burnt the king’s house over him with fire, and died,”
1 Timothy 5:8
“8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
“21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:”
“23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
“8 They chose new gods; then was war in the gates: was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel?”
Related Themes: Self-Defense
“17 Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.”
Related Themes: Abomination
“39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
“3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
2 Kings 11:1-3
“1 And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal.2 But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king’s sons which were slain; and they hid him, even him and his nurse, in the bedchamber from Athaliah, so that he was not slain.3 And he was with her hid in the house of the LORD six years. And Athaliah did reign over the land.”
2 Chronicles 22:10-12
“10 But when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal of the house of Judah.11 But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king’s sons that were slain, and put him and his nurse in a bedchamber. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of king Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest, (for she was the sister of Ahaziah,) hid him from Athaliah, so that she slew him not.12 And he was with them hid in the house of God six years: and Athaliah reigned over the land.”
“52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?”
“19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
“6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.”
“26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”