Old Testament
New Testament
What is the conscience?
Man discovers in him- or herself a kind of law which he/she hasn’t given him- or herself. It’s a law which people have to obey, and which teaches them love and to do good things, and which prevents people from doing bad things.
This law, we call it ‘conscience’, can not be influenced by people. When violating this law you feel bad, you get a guilty conscience about it because you acted irresponsibly and burdened yourself with guilt. If you fulfil this law and you follow your ‘conscience’, you feel good because you acted conscientiously and you do not feel guilty. All people have these experiences with the conscience.
There are lots of ways to explain, what the ‘conscience’ is. For some it is a kind of inner equipment or an alarm system to control their own actions. For others it is a kind of inner judge who assesses and judges there actions and warns them. For some others it is a kind of Geiger counter for good and bad. Some people see it as ones ‘alter ego',  an inner authority, which orders, judges and threatens them, and results in feelings of guilt, and stops aggression too.
For Christians the conscience is God’s voice in us, a completely personal connection between man and God. It is the law, which is fulfilled in the love towards God and our neighbours.

To the poem: "Little voice" by James Peecook

How is the conscience created?
Many factors contribute to the creation of the conscience. These are the rules and norms which govern each society, or the social ethics, education by family and school, the influence by friends and so on. An aid to orientation or guideline is the ethics of the Bible, by which the conscience of many generations for at least three-thousand years has been influenced. Rules for the inter-personal behaviour are given to us in the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount in the Bible. Many biblical examples or stories of faith or belief, in which positive and negative human behaviours are illustrated can teach us a lot. With these rules of behaviour the Bible has essentially left its indelible mark on the European society and culture.

The word ‘conscience’ and the Bible
People in the times of the Old and New Testament had experiences of conscience, too. They, too, called this inner law ‘conscience’ which they considered to be  God’s voice. We can find the word ‘conscience’ in the online Bible, go to and click on-->the English flag -->Read-->Bible passage, fill in the name of the passage! --> then 'Read' beside the Bible version: Job 27,6; 1. Peter 2,19; 1. Peter 3,21;  2.Corinthians 4,2;1. Timothy 4,2; Acts of the Apostles 24,16; Romans 2,15; Romans 14,20.

Paul writes in his letter to his parishioners in Rome (Romans 9,1):
“I speak the truth in Christ - I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit.”

You can find more passages in the Bible with the word 'conscience'. Select your language and go to 'Search' in the online Bible and fill in the keyword 'conscience' there!

We reflected on "consciences and experience with conscience"
in connection with
"guilt and forgiveness"