A student asked me this question the other day. I actually really liked it. I guess I’ve been asked similar questions in the past but I don’t think ever quite like this. So, I did what I do – I start rambling until I get some good footing and finally actually answer the question. To organize my response better here, basically I have 4 answers to the question, “Could God be lying when He said He Doesn’t Lie?” All 4 answers are “No” if you want the cliff notes version. But here are the longer answers:
1) No. Because God Has Proven He Doesn’t Lie throughout History
This is the most biblical answer. If I had to sum-up the Old Testament in a sentence I would say, “God makes a promise, then keeps that promise.” The narrative in the Old Testament proves that God doesn’t lie. He consistently tells the truth in every situation, no matter what. If someone tells the truth to you 333 times in a row, wouldn’t you bet that the 334th statement would be true too? At what point do you say they just don’t lie?
2) No. Because God Has Nothing to Lie About
People lie for all sorts of reasons – to get others to like them, to get out of trouble, to get a job, to avoid paying taxes to the IRS, etc, etc. But there’s literally no reason why God would lie. I’m the greatest of all time, so you should like me. True. I own the whole universe, so you better do what I say. True. I can do whatever I want. True. Jesus could say, “My Dad can beat up your dad.” Yep, true. To be serious for half a millisecond, God could say, “I forgive people whenever I feel like it and there’s nothing you can do about it.” If that’s what God said, well then that’s how it would be. Instead, he says that if you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ you will be saved. If that weren’t true there would be no reason for God to say it. Nothing changes for God if He says something different. He has no reasons to lie.
3) No. Because God Is By Definition Not a Liar
God doesn’t say, “I just choose not to lie.” He cannot lie because He’s not a liar. This is the whole “can God make a rock He can’t pick up” thing. Or “can God make a circle with 4 corners?” These are what we call definitional impossibilities. The only reason God can’t do them is because they are by definition, impossible. The rock is too heavy to pick up, so if God picks it up, it’s clearly not too heavy to pick up. Or once God puts corners on a circle it’s not a circle anymore, it’s a square. To be God simply means you can’t be a liar. It’s just a definitional impossibility. Why? Look to the final answer.
4) No. Because God Couldn’t Lie if He Tried
If God says that the circle now has 4 corners, then hundreds of years ago when Euclid or whoever named the shape with 4 corners and even sides, he would have labeled it a “circle.“ Because when God says something it’s just true. When God said light there was light. And if God calls me a 6’5” Asian Women, well then that’s exactly what I am; because He literally can’t lie. If He says Babylon is going to destroy Israel, well then that’s what happens. If He says something different, then that’s what happens. He can’t lie. Whatever He says is true/becomes true/was always true. Trippy.
So no, God can’t be lying about not lying – for these reasons and more. Feel free to pose any other questions in the comments below. Maybe I’ll respond to you there, or maybe I’ll just write about it then give you no credit for your great question like I just did today. Sorry unnamed student. I just don’t want to pay royalties to you if I ever put Google Ads on this site. See. I’m trying this whole, not lying thing too #christlikeness
One thought on “Could God Be Lying when He Said He Doesn’t Lie?”
God IS Truth. Its not just that He always TELLS the truth, He is and defines Truth. So like you said, whatever He declares is true. Well handled Prof.