What does the Bible say about pedophilia?

Question: "What does the Bible say about pedophilia?"

There is no direct mention in the Bible about pedophilia but that does not mean that this is something that we cannot address with timeless principles that come out of Scripture. One concept that we could look to is the sin of "fornication" and this word has the same idea in both the Hebrew and the Greek. The Greek word is "porneia" and we get the English word "porno" from this word and one can recognize that it is the basis for the word "pornography." The word in Scripture refers to any illicit sexual activity and therefore this would include the abhorrent acts of a pedophile, including the gathering and trading of graphic sexual pictures of young children. People who involve themselves in this type of activity usually graduate from looking to actual actions that bring harm to children. Fornication is something that is present on the lists of the "lusts of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16-21) and also on the list of the evil things that come out of the heart of man apart from God (Mark 7:21-23).

Pedophiles are people who fall under the characteristic of one "without natural affection." (Romans 1:31; 2 Timothy 3:2). The phrase "without natural affection" is translated from one Greek word and it means inhuman, unloving and unsociable or one who acts in ways that are against the social norm. This would certainly describe a pedophile.

In addition, there is a principle that can be taken from Jesus' words about children. Jesus used a child to teach His disciples that child like faith is what is necessary for entrance into the kingdom of heaven and that the Father has concern for all of His "little ones" (Matthew 18:1-14). Although the faith as of a child is the context of the following verse, it is not a stretch to use it as a basis for a principle about the treatment of children. "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matthew 18:10, King James Version). The word "offend" in the Greek has the idea of causing one to stumble, to put a stumbling block or impediment in the way, upon which another may trip and fall, to entice to sin, to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey, to cause to fall away, to cause one displeasure at a thing, or to make indignant.

These definitions of the word "offend" can easily be applied to the actions of a practicing pedophile. The fact that an offence against a child is seen as something that is so serious also lends weight to this application. Of course this principle can be applied to a wide range of child abusive actions and it seems to really make the case against any one who would bring harm to a child.

Recommended Resource: Overcoming Sin and Temptation by John Owen.

Related Topics:

What is the unpardonable sin / unforgivable sin?

What does the Bible say about pornography?

Can a Christian be a nudist?

What does the Bible say about sex before marriage / premarital sex?

What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Is homosexuality a sin?

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What does the Bible say about pedophilia?