Fund for Animals: The Bible Condemns Hunting

In September, the Fund for Animals called on the Special Youth Challenge Ministries of Dallas, Georgia, to end its sponsorship of hunting trips for terminally ill and disabled children.

According to its website, the Special Youth Challenge Ministries,

. . . is a non-profit, 501(c)(3), national volunteer ministry to reach people for Jesus Christ through Christian lifestyle witnessing by teaching physically challenged youth ages 13 ? 19 how to overcome some of the obstacles of shooting and hunting through special training and events.

The Fund for Animals spiritual outreach director Norm Phelps, however, claimed in a press release that the Bible specifically condemns hunting. Phelps said,

Killing animals for sport is a form of animal abuse that teaches cruelty instead of love and mercy, is contrary to the gospel of Christ, and is condemned by the Bible.

The press release went on to provide the following justification for those statements,

Phelps, the author of Dominion of Love: Animal Rights According to the Bible (Lantern Books, 2002), pointed out that while hunting is never mentioned in the New Testament, Jesus taught kindness to animals on several occasions. Noting that people are prosecuted for doing to dogs and cats what hunters do to deer and geese, Phelps called hunting “legalized cruelty to animals.” In the Old Testament, Genesis describes Esau as “a skilled hunter” and his twin brother Jacob as “a peaceful man” who did not hunt. (Gen. 25:27) The prophet Malachi says that God “hated Esau and loved Jacob.” (Malachi 1:2-3) According to Phelps, “The condemnation of hunting could not be clearer or more vehement.”

But, of course, neither in Malachi nor elsewhere in the Bible does it say that God hated Esau because he was a hunter. Rather, God seems to have hated Esau because he sold his birthright and failed to repent (Hebrews 12:16-17: “Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.”)

The only thing clear and vehement here seems to be Phelps’ distortion of the Biblical text.


The Fund for Animals Calls For An End To “Sick” Hunts. Press Release, The Fund for Animals, September 9, 2003.

2 thoughts on “Fund for Animals: The Bible Condemns Hunting”

  1. I think that all Bible scholars agree about the following things:
    1 Eating meat was only allowed by God after the Flood. God then told Noah and his sons that they could eat meat. But: only after they had seen to it that all the blood had left the body.
    2 The great law of the Jews, the law of Moses, ordered the Jews to kill animals as sacrifices to God. In this sense it cannot be denied that according to the Hebrew Scriptures God ordered His people to hunt and to kill. And to burn the animals killed to honour and please Him.
    3 On the other hand: the hundreds of laws that together form the Mosaic law contain a number of laws that protect the rights of animals abd forbid cruelty to animals. To give an example: the Sabbath was a day of rest not only for the Jews but also for their animals.
    If you want to read more about this, visit my website ( and search under words like: sacrifices, blood, the law of Moses, the new covenant)

  2. I have been hunting my whole life and in doingg so i realize that without hunters the animal kingdom collapses. for example, if deer are not hunted and thinned down yearly there is not enough food and they starve, many of those deer being pregnant doe. a starving deer is not a preety and i have seen more than one and put them out of there misery. people who call hunting animal curelty need to realize that it is more cruel not to hunt than to let animal populations climb out of controll. we hunters are commonly portrayed as nothing more than bambi killers but we are saving far mor lives than we are ending. many parents see a deer in the back of my dads truck while we are stopped at a diner after a successful hunt and call us murdurers and many other insults while telling there children they should never commit such a horrible act, theese people are ignorant fools and simply have not or will not take the facts of how hunting helps the environment and is the only ethical way to ensure food for all animals. if you think of hunting as legalizes murder than you are very much mistaken. i am an athiest and do ot remember much of what i read in the bible but doesent it say that man shall have domain over all creatures that creepith on the earth? some people play the its not fair that we hunt animals and they do not hunt back, but the simple fact is that we are on the top of the food chain and we want to stay there. i look to any comments on the subject and only ask that none be made on my lack of religon, i made my choice.

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