What Does the Bible Say About Witchcraft: A Concise Analysis

Witchcraft has been a topic of intrigue and concern throughout history. The Bible addresses this subject with cautionary tales and clear warnings.

In its pages, we find numerous references to witchcraft and its associated practices, often elucidating the dangers it poses and the disapproval from God. The Bible also sheds light on the consequences a person inviting witchcraft into their lives may face.

A Concise Analysis
A Concise Analysis

One example of the Bible’s stance on witchcraft comes from Leviticus 20:6, where it states that those who seek mediums and necromancers will face God’s wrath and be cut off from their people. Additionally, 1 Samuel 15:23 equates rebellion with the sin of divination, illuminating the similarities between witchcraft and defiance of God’s ways.

From Genesis to Revelation, the scriptures serve as a guide to understanding the spiritual implications and potential dangers of dabbling in witchcraft.

As we explore the topic of witchcraft in the Bible, it is important to maintain an open mind while also being mindful of our commitment to following God’s guidance. By doing so, we can better understand the complexities of the subject and discern the valuable lessons imparted throughout the scriptures.

Biblical Definition and Views on Witchcraft

what does the bible say about witchcraft
Biblical Definition and Views on Witchcraft

Witchcraft, in general terms, refers to the practice of using and manipulating supernatural or magical powers, often with the intention of influencing events or people. It typically involves practices perceived as supernatural or beyond the realm of ordinary human abilities.

In the Bible, witchcraft and its associated practices like divination, sorcery, and idolatry are considered evil and condemned. In this section, we will explore the biblical definition and views on witchcraft from both the Old and New Testaments.

Old Testament Teachings

In the Old Testament, several passages denounce witchcraft and related practices. For instance, in Deuteronomy 18:9-14, the Israelites are warned against adopting the detestable practices of the nations they were about to enter. This passage specifically mentions practices such as divination, sorcery, and witchcraft as abominations to the Lord.

Another important passage is found in Leviticus 19:26-28, which forbids the Israelites from practicing divination or sorcery. Leviticus 20:6 also states that anyone involved in these practices would be cut off from their people, emphasizing the severity of the consequences.

The story of King Saul consulting the Witch of Endor in 1 Samuel 28 illustrates the negative consequences of engaging in witchcraft. Saul’s disobedience and involvement in witchcraft ultimately led to his downfall.

New Testament Perspectives

The New Testament continues to emphasize the negative view of witchcraft, associating it with darkness and the works of the devil. For example, sorcery is listed among the “works of the flesh” in Galatians 5:19-21, along with other sins like idolatry and strife. Those who practice such things are said not to inherit the kingdom of God.

In Acts 8:9-24, we find the account of Simon the Sorcerer, who practiced magic in Samaria and claimed to be someone great. After Simon heard the preaching of the Apostle Philip, he believed and was baptized. However, when he tried to buy the power of the Holy Spirit, his motives were exposed, and he severely rebuked by the Apostle Peter.

In Acts 19:19, we see new believers in Ephesus renouncing their magical practices by burning their scrolls and books related to witchcraft. This act demonstrated their commitment to leaving their old ways behind and living a life in accordance with the teachings of Christ.

Condemnation of Witchcraft and Related Practices

Condemnation of Witchcraft and Related Practices
Condemnation of Witchcraft and Related Practices

Witchcraft as Rebellion Against God

The Bible consistently condemns witchcraft and related practices as rebellion against God. In Galatians 5:19-20, it lists witchcraft, among other sinful acts, which are considered works of the flesh, thus distancing them from the fruits of the Spirit 1. Leviticus 19:26 expressly forbids dabbling into witchcraft, divination, and sorcery2.

This strong disapproval is rooted in the belief that these practices lead us away from God’s guidance and righteousness, turning us towards evil forces.

In 2 Chronicles 33:6, the Bible provides a clear example of devotion to detestable practices, including witchcraft3. The story of King Manasseh is a cautionary tale about a ruler who indulged in detestable practices, leading his people into sin which ultimately brought severe consequence upon his kingdom.

Punishments for Witchcraft in the Bible

The Bible doesn’t shy away from prescribing punishments for those engaging in witchcraft and similar practices. In Deuteronomy 18:10-12, it describes people who practice divination, sorcery, or consult with the dead as “detestable to the Lord”4.

These practices were not mere superstitions in biblical times but were considered dangerously sinful, wielding power that could bring disaster to individuals and communities.

Here are some examples of punishments for witchcraft mentioned in the Bible:

  • Exodus 22:18 – “Do not allow a sorceress to live”5.
  • Leviticus 20:27 – “A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death”6.
  • 1 Samuel 28:9 – “Saul has cut off those who are mediums and spiritists”7.


  1. https://www.bibleanalysis.org/what-does-the-bible-say-about-witchcraft-and-witches/
  2. https://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/bible-verses-about-witchcraft/
  3. https://www.christianity.com/wiki/holidays/what-does-the-bible-say-about-witchcraft.html
  4. https://www.openbible.info/topics/witchcraft
  5. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%2022%3A18&version=NIV
  6. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Leviticus%2020%3A27&version=NIV
  7. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Samuel%2028%3A9&version=NIV

Comparison to Righteous Living

what does the bible say about witchcraft
Comparison to Righteous Living

Acts of the Flesh Versus Fruits of the Spirit

The Bible contrasts the practices of witchcraft, sorcery, and other occult activities with righteous living, especially in the New Testament. In Galatians 5:19-21, we find a list of acts of the flesh, which includes witchcraft.

19 – The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 

20 – idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 

21 – and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

In contrast, the fruits of the Spirit are listed in Galatians 5:22-23, which encompass love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These qualities are what believers ought to cultivate in their lives, as they are aligned with the nature and work of the Holy Spirit.

Christians’ Response to Occult Practices

As Christians, our response to witchcraft and other occult practices should be guided by biblical teachings. We must recognize that these practices are rooted in evil and must be rejected. Instead of seeking knowledge, power, or control through witchcraft, spiritists, or mediums, we should rely on the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Some believers may fear the power of witchcraft or other occult practices. However, we must remember that, as Christians, greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). We should not fear evil, but rather, we must stand firm in our faith, embracing the truth and power of God’s Word.

When someone engages in occult practices, they must ultimately repent and turn away from them wholeheartedly. Embracing Christ and receiving new life in Him is the key to overcoming the bondage of witchcraft and other dark practices.

Examples of Witchcraft in Biblical Narratives

Examples of Witchcraft in Biblical Narratives
Examples of Witchcraft in Biblical Narratives

Saul and the Witch of Endor

One well-known example of witchcraft in the Bible is the story of Saul and the Witch of Endor. In 1 Samuel 28, Saul seeks the advice of a medium, known as the Witch of Endor, to communicate with the spirit of the deceased prophet Samuel. This action was considered an act of disobedience against God since consulting the dead was strictly forbidden in the Bible.

In 1 Samuel 15:23, the prophet Samuel warns Saul that “Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.” By choosing to seek guidance through witchcraft, Saul further distances himself from God’s favor, leading to his eventual downfall.

Simon the Magician

Another example of witchcraft mentioned in the Bible is the story of Simon the Magician, found in the book of Acts (Acts 8:9-24). Simon was a sorcerer who practiced magical arts and amazed the people of Samaria with his abilities, leading them to believe that he had divine power.

When Simon encounters the Apostle Peter and sees the miracles performed in the name of Jesus Christ, he attempts to buy the ability to bestow the Holy Spirit on others. Peter rebukes him, saying, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!” (Acts 8:20). This story serves as a reminder of the dangers of seeking power through sorcery and the importance of adhering to God’s teachings.

In the Bible, witchcraft and its various forms are considered acts of the flesh and are strongly condemned as sinful behaviors. These examples in the Bible show the consequences of engaging in witchcraft and serve as warnings for believers to steer clear of such practices.

Modern Interpretations and Applications

what does the bible say about witchcraft
Modern Interpretations and Applications

Witchcraft and Contemporary Christian Beliefs

In today’s world, the practice of witchcraft has evolved and taken on different forms. However, it still involves the manipulation of supernatural or magical powers, often with the intent to influence events or people1.

Within Christianity, there are varying perspectives on modern witchcraft. Some view it as a direct opposition to their faith, while others draw comparisons and contrasts between witchcraft and their religious beliefs2.

It’s important to note that the Bible condemns all forms of witchcraft, associating it with idolatry and Satan3. We must approach this topic with caution and keep our focus on spiritual practices endorsed by our faith.

Avoiding Modern Occult Influences

As Christians, we should be aware of the potential dangers of modern occult influences. For example, fortune-telling and necromancy are counterfeits of holy spirituality4.

Delving into practices that communicate with evil spirits can lead us astray from our relationship with God5.

To avoid these influences, we can:

  • Educate ourselves: Learn the core teachings of Christianity, and discern the deceptive aspects of occult practices.
  • Stay vigilant: Be aware of popular culture, trends, and media that may incorporate or promote occult elements.
  • Pray: Seek spiritual guidance and protection from God through prayer.

By doing so, we can build a strong foundation in our faith and reject any attempts to be swayed by occult practices.


  1. Christianity.com – What Does the Bible Say about Witchcraft?
  2. Equip.org – Modern Witchcraft: It May Not Be What You Think
  3. GotQuestions.org – What does the Bible say about witchcraft / witches?
  4. Bible Study Tools – What the Witch of Endor Warns Us about Modern Witchcraft
  5. Bible Resources – What the Bible Says About Witchcraft

Frequently Asked Questions

what does the bible say about witchcraft
Frequently Asked Questions

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top