Are Snakes Evil? (Does the Bible Say Snakes Are Evil?)

Once, I chaperoned a school trip to the local snake conservancy. While there, I chatted with the tour guide, who challenged my notion that snakes are evil. According to him, snakes are more terrified of us, so they attack.

I found this interesting, and as a theologian, I wanted to know what the Bible said about snakes. When I got home, I combed through several web pages and books.

My research helped me understand what the Bible says about snakes and gave me a deeper appreciation of these creatures.

This information was handy last week when I had to settle a dispute between two of my students. One wanted a pet snake, but his roommate disapproved.

Like many, he was convinced snakes are evil. I patiently shared what I had learned and cleared some misconceptions he held.

Ultimately, they came to an amicable compromise and left my office. So, here’s my take on the question, “Are snakes evil?”

The Bible doesn’t teach that snakes are evil. It only uses them as a metaphor for evil and evil doers. We see this in Isaiah 59:5, where the Bible compares evildoers to those hatching viper’s eggs and their victims to those who eat these eggs. Theologians agree that snakes are amoral. However, their sinister appearance and widespread across religions convinces many that snakes are evil.

Join me in exploring this topic. I’ll address what the Bible says about snakes and why they’re popular in movies and TV shows. Let’s get started.

Does the Bible say snakes are evil?

The Bible doesn’t teach that snakes are evil. This belief arises from the snake’s role in deceiving Eve (Genesis 3:1-6).

In the Bible, God created them on the sixth day with other animals (Genesis 1:24-25). However, unlike humans, snakes weren’t made in God’s image, making them amoral and unable to comprehend good and evil.

Are snakes as evil as the Bible says?

Does the Bible Say Snakes Are Evil?
Image source: Pixabay

As mentioned, the Bible doesn’t teach that snakes are evil. Instead, it uses them as a recurring metaphor for evil. Snakes, like other animals, cannot comprehend right and wrong.

However, the Bible teaches that sin affected our relationship with creation, including snakes. Genesis 3:14-15 teaches there is enmity between people and snakes, which we see even today.

In fact, recent statistics report that half of the world’s population is anxious about snakes, and a whopping 3% display signs of ophidiophobia (an overwhelming fear of snakes).

The good news, however, is that God promises to restore humanity’s relationship with creation, including snakes (Isaiah 11:8-9).

Why do people believe snakes are evil?

There are two main arguments for why people believe snakes are evil: religious influence and evolutionary biology.

In the first argument, different religions (including Christianity) use snakes as embodiments of evil. For instance, the Bible refers to Satan as a serpent (Revelation 12:9), and Nordic religions use snakes as a symbol of death, evil, and pain.

Such influences ingrained the notion that snakes are evil.

In the second argument, some believe snakes are evil because they are afraid of them. Anthropologists and Evolutionary biologists believe that for millions of years, snakes preyed on primates.

As humans evolved, the fear of snakes was ingrained in our consciousness. According to them, the development of religion reinforced this fear with the notion that snakes are evil.

Why are snakes represented as evil in media shows?

Does the Bible Say Snakes Are Evil?
Why are snakes represented as evil in media shows? Image source: Pixabay

Snakes are represented as evil because of their appearance and the widespread influence of different religions. Their appearance gives off a sinister vibe, making them the perfect villains.

Furthermore, movie creators capitalize on how religions shape humanity’s understanding of snakes. They know many perceive snakes as evil and use this to their advantage.

This is why villains often sport snake tattoos or use serpents in insignias. These reasons make snakes the perfect evil motif in films.

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