Violence is a topic that has been covered extensively in the Bible. The holy book does not shy away from addressing the reality of violent actions in the world. While violence is never promoted, it is certainly discussed and depicted in various contexts, providing readers with spiritual insights and lessons on how to navigate a world plagued by violence.
What the Bible Says About Violence
The Bible has many verses that touch on violence. In its pages, violence is presented as a fact of life, an unfortunate consequence of human failings and sin. The Bible portrays violence as destructive and contrary to the intentions of God for humanity.
Among the verses, one thing is certain, God’s stance on violence is clear – it is something that is unequivocally condemned and discouraged. Peaceful conflict resolution, understanding, kindness, and love are advocated instead.
Why Violence is Condemned in the Bible
Many reasons are provided in the Bible for its strong condemnation of violence. Principal among these is the value that God places on human life. As creators in the image of God, humans are endowed with an intrinsic value that violence, characterized by physical harm or the taking of life, directly violates.
Violence also contradicts God’s nature as a being of love, peace and justice. From a Biblical perspective, violence undermines divine love, violates peace amongst humanity, and derails the dispensation of justice.
When the Bible Discusses Violence
The Bible opens discussions on violence at various points. From the Old Testament to the New Testament, different stories of violence are narrated, imparting moral lessons about human actions and consequences. Such stories are not to glorify violence, but to use it as a tool to teach humanity about the virtues of peace, love, and reconciliation.
While specific instances in the narratives might depict violent acts, they are often interwoven with the broader tapestry of God’s redemptive plan. The ultimate aim is not to endorse violence, but to underscore the importance of turning away from violent behaviors and seeking peaceful means of resolving conflicts.
Who Are Taught to Oppose Violence According to the Bible
According to the Bible, all believers are called to oppose violence. This begins with the individual and extends to families, communities, and societies. The Bible teaches that every person, irrespective of their role, age, or status, has a responsibility to promote peace and avoid violence.
Faith leaders, parents, government officials, and every other person should use their influence to combat violence. The Bible advises that the focus should not be purely on avoiding physical harm, but also on preventing violent thoughts, words, and actions.
Where The Bible Advocates for Peace Over Violence
Everywhere in its teachings, the Bible advocates for peace over violence. The creation narrative depicts a peaceful beginning, and the prophetic messages highlight a future devoid of violence and full of peace. Numerous teachings throughout the book emphasize that peace and love should supersede hatred and violence.
In essence, the Bible provides a blueprint for a peaceful existence. It exhorts its followers to live in harmony with one another, to forgive, and to love. Confrontations and conflicts are a part of life, but the Bible invariably points towards a peaceful resolution instead of a violent response.
Below is the full list of bible verses on violence (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 Violence
“5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.”
“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?”
“31 Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.”
Related Themes: Envy And Jealousy
“18 Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.”
“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.”
“2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.”
1 Timothy 3:3
“3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;”
“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.”
“30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.”
“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.”
“1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.”
“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.”
“1 A Psalm of David. Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:”
“29 Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.”
“10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.”
“15 Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.”
“11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.”
“1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”
“3 Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place.”
“14 He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight.”
Related Themes: Abuse
“17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.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.20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”
“1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man;”
“11 The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.”
Related Themes: Abuse
“2 By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.”
“2 A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.”
“7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”
“9 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute judgment and justice, take away your exactions from my people, saith the Lord GOD.”
Related Themes: Justice
“9 In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold, which fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit.”
Related Themes: Abuse
“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:”
“6 Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment.”
Related Themes: Pride