The Bible contains various verses about hate, detailing circumstances when hate can be justifiable and instances when it is absolutely unacceptable. A few recurring themes about hate also surface in different chapters of the Bible. The discussion of these themes helps to promote a clearer understanding of hate and its place in our lives from a biblical perspective.
What Hate Represents in the Bible
Hate, when mentioned in the Bible, is often depicted as negative, destructive, and undesirable. It is associated with strife, division, and hostility. It is a force that not only destroys relationships but also defiles the bearer. From the Bible’s teachings, hate is seen as a destructive emotion that is contrary to the love that God commands us to show to our neighbors.
Why Certain Forms of Hate Are Deemed Acceptable
There are select instances when the Bible portrays a more nuanced perspective on hate. Therefore, it is crucial to note that the Bible does not always depict hate as entirely negative. In certain instances, hate is viewed as an understandable, even necessary response to evil and sinful actions. Essentially, the Bible cogently affirms that it’s not the facilitation of hate in general that leads one astray, but rather harboring hatred towards the innocent. For instance, the Bible encourages us to hate evil or injustice.
Who the Bible Commands Us to Love
In contrast to its guidance on what we should hate, the Bible offers clear commandments regarding who we should love. It urges followers to love their neighbors, love their enemies, and to even love strangers. Loving others, according to the Bible, allows us to better emulate God’s love for us. This love is expected to be selfless, sacrificial, and unconditional—far removed from any forms of hate.
When the Bible Calls Us to Forgive
In lieu of harboring hatred, the Bible places a great emphasis on forgiveness. It posits that no matter the transgressions done against us, we’re called to forgive just as God forgives our sins. This is especially evident in teachings that discourage nurturing hatred due to anger or revenge, advising instead for forgiveness and love. When faced with instances that might incite hatred, the Bible urges followers to choose forgiveness and alleviate the toxic influence of hate.
How Hate Can Be Overcome in Biblical Teaching
While the Bible acknowledges the potency of hate as a feeling, its teachings encourage followers to overcome this emotion. It indicates that with faith, love, and forgiveness, one can diminish hate and its harmful influence. This empowerment from God enables believers to channel their feelings into a more productive and constructive direction. The Bible advises that a heart filled with love and compassion allows one to live more harmoniously with others and, in turn, closer to God.
Below is our full list of bible verses on hate (King James Version – KJV) provided in ranked order.
Most Popular Bible Verses About Hate
1 John 4:20
“20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?”
“12 Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.”
1 John 3:15
“15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in 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.”
“17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”
“18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.”
“13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.”
“34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
“10 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.”
“18 He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.”
“5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.”
“22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”
“26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”
“24 He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him;25 When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart.26 Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation.”
“7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.”
“5 I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.”
“7 Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”
Related Themes: Attitude
“3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.”
“8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”
“22 Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.”
“8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
“3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.”
“2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.”
“6 I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD.”
“17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.”
“14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”
Related Themes: Persecution
“9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”
“104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.”