Q: The Bible doesn’t expressly mention masturbation, how do we know it is sinful?


It is true the bible did not expressly mention masturbation or says if or how sinful it is. However, the bible pointed to the story of Onan in Genesis 38:9-10.

“Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother’s wife, he wasted his seed on the ground in order not to give offspring to his brother”

But some say that the sin here isn’t really that Onan wasted his seed but that he failed in fulfilling his duties of providing an heir for his brother. The passage, and i agree, isn’t about masturbation per se, it is mostly about fulfiling family duties.

Also, some people quote Matthew 5:27-30, where Christ spoke about “cutting off your right hand” if it makes you sin. But Jesus was clearly not pointing particularly to masturbation here either.


Even though one may argue that masturbation is not expressly spoken of in the Bible and therefore not sinful, but it is clear that the actions that accompany and lead to masturbation are sinful: pornographic images, videos and the likes, lustful thoughts and stimulation are all grave sins.

Christ has told us that commiting a sexual act isn’t only sinful, but even looking at a woman lustfully suffces as a grave sin. How one can conclude that having all kinds of sexual fantacies whilst stimulating oneself can possibly pass the test of those words eludes my understanding. There is need for a Christian to adhere not only to the words of Christ on purity, but also to that of St Paul who said these:

“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people” – Ephesians 5:3

How can one exclude masturbation from the above? St Paul admonishes the Church to desist from EVERY KIND of impurity. Also:

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” – Ephesians 5:3

Going by this principle, everything a Christian does is supposed to give glory to God, and chances are that whatever one does that does not give God glory or that in some way does not reflect God is sinful or at least wrong to do. Masturbation does not in any way give God glory or even in any way show communal love. It is an act geared towards selfish self gratification.

There are many other passages that show that one ought to treat their bodies with respect and care afterall “our bodies are God’s temples”.

Let everyone struggle to lead a life that gives God glory and utilize every gift God has given with care and gratitude. Those who are addicted to masturbation should pray hard and seek ways to break free. God ultimately gives their struggle the reward of success !

God bless you, remember to share this post and contribute your thoughts !

Read: How to Stop masturbation addiction.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Michael Jacobs says:

    Thank you for the article. I would have thought that a case would have been made for not committing adultery. Your spouse (future or existing) shouldn’t be cheated on, (even if it is them you are fantasizing about).

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