Bible Question:

1) What does the Bible have to say about masturbation? I believe that masturbation (the act only, not the lust associated with it) is not a sin. The Bible seems completely silent about the topic, although it talks elaborately about sexual sins like fornication, adultery, incest, etc. Also the verse 1 Corinthians 6:20 seems to support my belief. 2) What does the Bible say about interpreting it in the wrong way? I'm not talking about the various English translations. I'm talking about “The Bible Code”. There must be some verse about such interpretations of the Scriptures, just like there are verses condemning sorcery.

Bible Answer:

The Bible is completely silent about masturbation. The Bible does not use the word and does not discuss the situation. But the Bible is also silent about pornography, copyright violations, and privacy rights. It never explicitly says anything about abortion either. Because the Bible is silent about a subject does not mean that we have liberty to do as we want. We must examine biblical principles in order to answer the question. You might be interested in a previous question and answer about masturbation, “Is Masturbation a Sin?” We are very careful not to call masturbation sin. We are also very careful not to say that it is okay either.

Second Question

Your second question connects with your first question. When one does not know the Bible, it is easy to become confused by what one reads and end up with a wrong conclusion. It is common for people to open their Bible and misunderstand what they read. The Greek words are not always translated well and historical information helps us to understand a passage. Some passages are just difficult to understand as the Apostle Peter admits in the following passage when he comments on the writings of the Apostle Paul.

. . . our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. (NASB) 2 Peter 3:15-16

The book “The Bible Code” is another issue, however. It just ignores the Bible and distorts its meaning because it has another goal. It causes some people to be confused about the meaning of the Bible. Wrong interpretations and such confusing books make the Bible look as if its interpretation is open to manipulation. The Bible appears to be arbitrary. That is why the Apostle Paul wrote these words.

As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. (NASB) 1 Timothy 1:3-4

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. (NASB) 2 Timothy 2:15

The Bible’s teaching about masturbation can be distorted too! When the Bible does not explicitly use the word “masturbation” we need to ask ourselves, “What principles in the Bible apply? A previous question and answer “Is Masturbation a Sin?” provides some guidelines to consider.

1 Corinthians 6:20

It is not clear how 1 Corinthians 6:20 supports your viewpoint that masturbation is not a sin since the verses that come before it are a warning to flee immorality.

Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? (NASB) 1 Corinthians 6:18-19

Then the following verse, which is verse 20, is an encouragement to holy conduct when it says,

. . . therefore glorify God in your body. (NASB) 1 Corinthians 6:20

It would appear that you have concluded that masturbation helps you avoid sin, but the passage says nothing about masturbation. Now if masturbation is a sin, then what is the benefit of sinning in order to avoid another sin? You are encouraged to read “Is masturbation a sin if I control my thoughts?” In the answer to that question, it is explained that masturbation may not be a sin under certain circumstances.


God calls us to live holy lives. May the Lord bless you.

Suggested Links:

Is masturbation a sin?
Is masturbation a sin in marriage?
Is masturbation a sin if I control my thoughts?
How To Be Filled With The Spirit