27 When God Lies: He Should Follow His Own Ten Commandments

The Bible forbids lying in the Ten Commandments. The Bible also says, “It is impossible for God to lie.” But is that true? Let’s see what the Good Book says about God lying.

We see it in the first book of the Bible. God warns Adam, “You must not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Adam didn’t die and lived to be 930 years old.

Some argue that “die” meant Adam and Eve were no longer immortal after eating the fruit, but they never were immortal. This is clear because God exiled them from the Garden so they wouldn’t have access to the Tree of Life. The eating of that fruit supposedly conveyed immortality.

God once lied through a prophet. King Ahab of Israel consulted his 400 prophets about an upcoming battle, and they assured him of success. Only one prophet predicted disaster, but he was correct. God wanted Ahab to die and authorized a spirit to cause the other prophets to lie to lure him into the battle.

In the Exodus story, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart to prevent him from releasing the Israelites. The New Testament has God doing the same thing. To those destined for hell, “God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”

The Jewish opponents of Jesus were treated the same way. They saw his miracles. They didn’t believe, but not because the evidence was poor, because they didn’t understand, or because they were stubborn. No, they didn’t believe because God deliberately prevented them from believing. “[God] has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts.” But why harden the hearts of bad people? Were they going to do bad things of their own accord or not?

Perhaps atheists also don’t believe because God hardened their hearts. If so, why do they deserve hell?

Since the Bible shows God as unreliable in the past, we must wonder which of God’s current laws or statements is also a deliberately bad law, a lie, or a test. Billions of Christians expect to go to heaven, but how can they trust God’s promise of salvation? If God lied to us in the past, what’s to stop him from doing it again? Admittedly, an all-powerful god can do whatever he wants, but let’s acknowledge that this one is untrustworthy.

Christian apologists will try to spin God’s lies to salvage some credibility for God, but how can they call him moral when he breaks his own commandment? The “We fallible humans can’t judge God” argument fails here, first because it lacks evidence for God and second because it argues against labeling God as either immoral or moral.

God’s own book convicts him. And if he’s simply moral by definition—as in, “Whatever God does is moral, regardless”—then the claim is meaningless.

Image credit: Michael Rivera (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Wikimedia


“It is impossible for God to lie”: Hebrews 6:18. See also Numbers 23:19.

“You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”: Genesis 2:17.

God once lied through a prophet: 1 Kings 22.

God hardened Pharaoh’s heart: Exodus 9:12.

“God sends them a powerful delusion”: 2 Thessalonians 2:11–12.

“[God] has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts”: John 12:37–40.

He demanded that Abraham sacrifice Isaac: Genesis 22:1–19.