Bible Question:

At what age are children responsible for their sins?

Bible Answer:

God never tells us at what age is a child responsible for his or her sins. Many teach that we are not responsible at a young age. But there are no passages in scripture which support this idea other than David’s comments about his dead child. In 2 Samuel 11:27 we discover that David’s new wife Bathsheba gave birth to a little baby boy. At some later time, God disciplined David by taking the life of the baby (2 Sam. 12:15-16). After the baby dies, King David says this about the child,

And he said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows, the LORD may be gracious to me, that the child may live.’ But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.” (NASB) 2 Samuel 12:22-23

David says that he will see his child in heaven some day. This means that God did not hold the infant responsible for his/her sins. We are all born sinners. We sin because we are sinners.

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me. (NASB) Ps 51:5

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men . . . (NASB) Rom. 5:12


By nature we are born sinners and so we deserve death. If David will see his child some day, this means that God did not hold the child responsible for his sins. How old was the child? We do not know, but he must have been in the first or early years of his life (2 Samuel 12:15-23).