Should Christians go to war? 8 Bible verses to help you decide

May 2 marks the day the Second World War, the bloodiest in human history, ended.

Generally considered a necessary fight between the Allies and the Nazi regime, World War II was fought over six years, across four continents and led to more than 70 million deaths.

Since the 13th century and Thomas Aquinas's Just War theory, Christians have tended to belief going to war was justifiable under certain circumstances.

There are obvious exceptions, with prominent Christian groups such as the Quakers remaining pacifists and refusing to join in the First and Second World War's recruitment drives.

But what does the Bible say about war and when, if ever, it is right?


1. Then Jesus said to him, 'Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword' (Matthew 26:52).

2. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace (Ecclesiastes 3:8).

3. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (Matthew 5:9).

4. Jesus answered, 'My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world' (John 18:36).

5. When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. And when you draw near to the battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the people and shall say to them, 'Hear, O Israel, today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them, for the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory' (Deuteronomy 20: 1-4).

6. But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them (Luke 6: 27-31).

7. You shall not murder'(Exodus 20:13).

8. For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this (Isaiah 9:5-7).