What does the Bible say about pornography? Is it wrong?

xxxby Matt Slick

Even though the Bible does not say anything about pornography, it is still wrong.  Pornography deals with photography and/or illicit paintings and/or cartoons that are designed to arouse sexual passions in the viewer.  It is certainly possible that at the time when the Bible was written that there were various art forms that depicted sexually explicit things. But apparently, this phenomenon was not sufficiently prevalent enough for the subject to be addressed in the Bible. Nevertheless, we can derive an accurate conclusion from scriptures that deal with other issues and apply them to the issue of pornography.

  • Matt. 5:27-28, "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery'; 28 but I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart."
  • 1 Cor. 6:18, "Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body."
  • Col. 3:5, "Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry."

As you can see, the Bible tells us to be sexually pure. This is why Jesus even tells us to guard our minds. Note that He said in Matt. 5:28 that to even look on a woman lustfully is to commit adultery with her. In viewing pornography, nakedness, and explicit sexual displays lust is not only given the opportunity to rise (thereby enticing since) but most often lustful passions and thoughts are triggered in the heart and mind.  This is obviously sinful and clearly demonstrates that pornography is sinful.  Add to this that oftentimes pornography involves viewing sexual intercourse between unmarried people, and/or homosexual and lesbian activities, and we have a very clear case of it being sinful. Even if the pornography does not involve viewing sexual intercourse between two people, it involves the viewing of naked individuals which is properly reserved for a husband and a wife.

Now someone may ask "What about art?  It often portrays the nakedness of men and women. Why isn't that pornographic?" The difference between art and pornography is the difference between beauty and lust.  In art, the nakedness is intended to be a display of beauty and wonder.  Pornography does no such thing. Its intent is to entice a person by arousing the person's lust.  But then, someone may say that they view pornography as an art form and that it is beautiful.  But this is nothing more than an attempt to justify sin.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.