Lord’s Library editors answer the question “What does the Bible say about fasting?” with specific Bible references.
Have you ever asked yourself the question “What does the Bible say about fasting?” If you have, you’re definitely not alone! And since the Bible helps Christians form a foundational understanding of important topics, it’s imperative that one know how Scripture describes fasting in different contexts. The Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines fasting as “Abstaining from food.”
Now armed with a basic definition of fasting, Lord’s Library editors thought it would be a helpful exercise to provide Biblical context. As a result, we compiled this short resource which captures all notable mentions of the word fasting, as well as its other forms. If you’ve been wondering what the King James Bible says about fasting, scroll on for additional detail.
Note: If you want to know what the Bible says about fasting and 206 other important topics (to be exact), our editors recommend Spencer Smith’s Doctrine Matters: Bible Topic Guidebook.
What Does the Bible Say About Fasting?
“Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”
“And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.”
“And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.”
“Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not? And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast. No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.”
“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
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