I have not been able to find any verses regarding the age of accountability. Are there any Scriptures on this?
Question 2: I have not been able to find any verses regarding the age of accountability. Are there any Scriptures on this?
Answer: Yeshua’s response to Miriam (Mary) in John 2:4 was not a sign of disrespect since He would then have dishonoured His mother. Rather, He was using an acceptable phrase to convey a message. He was responding to a request His mother had made, and He conveyed to her that she no longer had any parental authority over Him. At some point in life, we all need to move from obeying our parents to honouring them. Therefore, if He responded to her request, it would be a matter of honouring her, but not a result of obeying her. Yeshua conveyed this message by the phrase “Woman, what have I to do with you?”
The reason you have not been able to find any verses that discuss the age of accountability is simple: The Bible never talks about an age of accountability.
The term “age of accountability” developed in early church history. There were infants and children who died before reaching the point in their life where they could make a specific decision, and the church raised the question what would happen to them. In some segments of the church, a teaching developed that there is an age of accountability, and if a child dies before that age, he is guaranteed salvation. Other segments of the church were not sure of this and came up with the doctrine of the baptism of regeneration. They taught that the baptism of a baby guarantees his salvation, regardless of the age of his death. That was the time when infant baptism came into being.
The fact is, the Bible itself never talks about such an age, nor does it specify one way or the other what happens to infants when they die. I certainly know what I wish to believe, but if I were forced to produce a verse, I would not be able to do so. It is one of those questions that must be left in God’s hands, although it is not always comforting to a parent who has lost a small child.
There are also those who are convinced that all children who die end up in hell since they are already born under the condemnation of sin. Here again, the Bible does not specify that teaching either. From my perspective, because the Bible does not speak to it, my response is that we cannot know. But we can be sure that the Judge of all the earth shall do right, and whatever He does in this case, we will all someday understand that it was the right decision.
Arnold Answers with founder and director of Ariel Ministries, Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum.