What are the 12 sins in the bible?

The 12 deadly sins in the Bible encompass a range of ethical and spiritual missteps, including Pride, Envy, Greed, Lust, Gluttony, Wrath, Sloth, Hypocrisy, Ignorance, Denial, Tribalism, and Gnosticism. These sins are highlighted through various biblical narratives and teachings, emphasizing the importance of moral integrity and spiritual awareness.

what are the 12 sins in the bible
  1. Pride (from the Seven Deadly Sins)
  2. Envy (from the Seven Deadly Sins)
  3. Greed (from the Seven Deadly Sins)
  4. Lust (from the Seven Deadly Sins)
  5. Gluttony (from the Seven Deadly Sins)
  6. Wrath (from the Seven Deadly Sins)
  7. Sloth (from the Seven Deadly Sins)
  8. Hypocrisy
  9. Ignorance
  10. Denial
  11. Tribalism
  12. Gnosticism

This list aims to be a comprehensive compilation of the most critical sins discussed in various contexts, balancing personal, social, and spiritual aspects. It represents a broad spectrum of what could be considered ‘deadly’ sins, specifically addressing “what are the 12 sins in the Bible“.

This encompasses deep-seated personal vices, behaviors that harm relationships, and deviations in belief that have been historically critiqued within Christian teachings.


In the Bible, envy is condemned as it disrupts peace and incites harmful actions, notably in the story of King Saul and David, where Saul’s envy leads to destructive behavior (1 Samuel 18:7-9).

King Saul’s envy toward David began after David’s victory over Goliath, when women sang, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands” (1 Samuel 18:7, NIV).

Saul’s envy decays to the point of plotting David’s death, illustrating the destructive path envy can lead to—a path warned against in Scripture, as Proverbs 14:30 advises a peaceful heart over a spirit corroded by envy.

Uncover the dramatic consequences of pride through vivid examples of pride in the Bible.


In the Bible, envy is shown to be destructive, as in the story of Cain and Abel, where envy leads to the first murder (Genesis 4:4-5).

The Bible recounts the story of envy in the account of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4. Cain, the older brother, becomes envious of his younger brother Abel when God favors Abel’s offering over his. This envy consumes Cain to the point that he commits the first murder by killing Abel.

This story illustrates the destructive nature of envy, warning of its potential to lead to the gravest of sins. The verse “But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth” (James 3:14, NIV) further emphasizes the negative impact envy can have on a person’s soul and life.


In the Bible, greed is a sin that leads to all kinds of evil and sorrow, as Paul warns in 1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.”

The story of Achan in Joshua 7 illustrates the destructive nature of greed. Achan’s coveting leads him to steal during the conquest of Jericho, directly disobeying God’s command. His actions bring trouble to the entire Israelite community, resulting in his downfall.

This narrative underpins the biblical stance that greed disrupts community harmony and separates individuals from God’s favor.


In the Bible, lust is seen as a sin that corrupts the heart and leads to destructive choices, exemplified by King David’s affair with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11).

David’s lust for Bathsheba leads him to commit adultery and even arrange the death of her husband, illustrating the severe consequences of unchecked desire.

This story highlights the biblical teaching that lust can blind one’s judgment and lead to a cascade of sin, as cautioned in Matthew 5:28, where Jesus teaches that looking at someone lustfully is akin to committing adultery in one’s heart.

Also, read about 6 biblical figures who struggled with lust in the bible.


In the Bible, gluttony is criticized as a short-sighted surrender to appetite, as Esau sells his birthright for a bowl of stew (Genesis 25:29-34).

Esau’s impulsive trade of his birthright for the immediate satisfaction of hunger demonstrates the folly of gluttony, placing temporary cravings over the lasting spiritual inheritance.

This cautionary tale warns against allowing physical appetites to dictate one’s choices, underscored by Proverbs 23:21, “for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.”


In the Bible, wrath is depicted as a destructive emotion, as when Moses’ anger leads him to break the sacred tablets (Exodus 32:19).

Moses’ wrathful reaction to Israel’s idolatry destroyed the tablets inscribed with God’s commandments, reflecting the destructive nature of uncontrolled anger.

This incident warns against the consequences of wrath, which is also echoed in Ephesians 4:31: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” The message is clear: wrath can lead to regrettable actions and harm both to oneself and others.


In the Bible, sloth is not just laziness but a neglect of one’s duties, illustrated when the Parable of the Talents condemns the servant who does nothing with his master’s money (Matthew 25:26).

The servant who buries his talent instead of working to increase it is called “wicked and lazy” by his master. This parable teaches that sloth, in the biblical sense, is failing to utilize the gifts and opportunities God gives us.

The Bible’s message in Proverbs 13:4 reinforces this: “A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.” Sloth is therefore seen as a barrier to fulfillment and fruitfulness in one’s life.


In the Bible, hypocrisy is sharply condemned, as seen in the story of Ananias and Sapphira, who lie about their generosity to the church (Acts 5:1-11).

Ananias and Sapphira pretend to give all the proceeds from a land sale to the apostles while secretly withholding part of the money. Their deceit, rooted in hypocrisy, is exposed by Peter and results in their sudden deaths.

This story serves as a severe warning against the sin of hypocrisy, emphasizing the importance of integrity, as Jesus himself teaches in Matthew 23:28, “In the same way, on the outside, you appear to people as righteous but on the inside, you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”


In the Bible, ignorance is seen as a sin when it leads to wrong actions, such as in the crucifixion of Jesus, where people acted in ignorance (Luke 23:34).

Jesus, while on the cross, asks for forgiveness for those crucifying him, saying, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” This highlights the gravity of ignorance when it contributes to unjust actions.

The apostle Paul also speaks of ignorance in 1 Timothy 1:13, acknowledging that he acted in ignorance before his conversion. The biblical view is that ignorance is not an excuse for sin, but a call to seek wisdom and understanding.


In the Bible, denial is considered a grave sin, exemplified by Peter denying Jesus three times before the rooster crows (Luke 22:54-62).

Peter’s denial of Jesus during the hours leading to the crucifixion shows the weakness of denying one’s beliefs or associations out of fear. This story serves as a warning about the seriousness of denial in the face of adversity.

Later, Peter’s repentance and restoration show that while denial is a serious misstep, it is not beyond forgiveness, aligning with the teaching in Proverbs 28:13, “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”


In the Bible, tribalism, or extreme loyalty to one’s group at the expense of others, is cautioned against, as in the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).

This parable, told by Jesus, challenges the notion of tribalism by depicting a Samaritan, considered an outsider, as the one who shows true neighborly love, unlike the priest and Levite of the victim’s own community.

It teaches the importance of extending compassion beyond one’s group, aligning with Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” This message counters tribalism by promoting inclusivity and universal love.


In the Bible, Gnosticism, an ancient belief in hidden knowledge for salvation, is opposed, as seen in Paul’s warnings against false knowledge (1 Timothy 6:20-21).

Paul admonishes Timothy to avoid “what is falsely called knowledge,” which some professed and thus strayed from the faith. Gnosticism, with its emphasis on secret knowledge, contrasts the open and accessible message of the gospel.

The Bible’s stance is clear in Ephesians 4:14, “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves…by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming,” promoting a faith based on truth and transparency rather than hidden or esoteric knowledge.


In this exploration of “what are the 12 sins in the Bible“. We have examined the 12 deadly sins – Pride, Envy, Greed, Lust, Gluttony, Wrath, Sloth, Hypocrisy, Ignorance, Denial, Tribalism, and Gnosticism – each highlight different aspects of how we can go wrong in life. From the pride of King Nebuchadnezzar to Peter’s denial of Jesus, these stories from the Bible show us the consequences of giving in to such sins. They teach us about the importance of humility, honesty, love for all, and true knowledge. Understanding these sins helps us to be better people, live in harmony with others, and stay true to our faith.

Further Reading

For further reading and a detailed understanding of “what are the 12 sins in the Bible”, along with their biblical context, consider these books:

  1. Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis: Offers a thoughtful exploration of Christian morals and ethics.
  2. “The Seven Deadly Sins: Their Origin in the Spiritual Teaching of Evagrius the Hermit” by Anselm Grün: Provides a deep dive into the origins and meanings of the Seven Deadly Sins.
  3. The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis: A classic that uses fictional letters from a senior demon to a junior tempter to discuss human failings and virtues.

You might also find detailed discussions in commentaries on the Books of Daniel, Luke, and Acts, which delve into the stories of Nebuchadnezzar, Peter, and others. For a more theological approach, exploring books on Christian ethics or biblical commentary series can offer deeper insights into these themes.


What are the 12 sins in the bible verse?

The Bible does not specifically list “12 sins” in a single verse. However, various sins are discussed throughout the scriptures. For example, Galatians 5:19-21 mentions acts of the flesh like idolatry and envy.

Additionally, the Seven Deadly Sins, though not enumerated in the Bible as a group, are commonly recognized in Christian teachings and include pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed, and sloth. These lists, along with other biblical teachings, guide behaviors considered sinful in Christian doctrine.

How are the 12 Deadly Sins different from the Seven Deadly Sins?

The Seven Deadly Sins are a subset of the 12 sins of the bible, focusing on personal moral failings, while the 12 Sins in the bible encompass a broader range of issues including interpersonal behavior and philosophical extremes.

Can the 12 deadly sins be forgiven?

Yes, according to Christian teachings, all sins, including the 12 sins in bible, can be forgiven. Forgiveness is a central tenet of Christianity, predicated on genuine repentance and seeking God’s mercy. It is believed that through confession, repentance, and faith in Jesus Christ, individuals can receive forgiveness for their sins and be reconciled with God.

This concept is supported by numerous biblical passages, such as 1 John 1:9, which states, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

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