How is Satan the father of lies (John 8:44)?

The description of Satan as the "father of lies" comes from a passage in the Gospel of John. Jesus was addressing a group of religious leaders in Israel, who were accusing him of being from Satan. He responded by telling them that they were liars, and that proved that they, not He, were of the Devil. Jesus said: "When he (Satan) lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies" (John 8:44c). He also told the group of accusers that they were the children of the Devil because they were spreading lies about Him and refusing to see the truth. So, Satan is not only the father of lies, but of those who suppress the truth.

From the beginning, Satan has been a liar. He told his first lies to Eve, to deceive her and draw her away from God (Genesis 3:1, 4). He was the first liar, which makes him "the father of lies" in the same way that Hippocrates is the father of modern medicine. He was the first to think "I'm going to say the opposite of what is true" and to carry out that action. God speaks the truth and Satan says the opposite, and man is confused. Ever since the garden of Eden, this has been happening. Satan uses the world system to disseminate his lies (1 John 5:19), and the lies are always growing in number and complexity.

We know that God speaks the truth—the apostle John said, "We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error" (1 John 4:6). John was drawing a distinction between the teachings of Jesus' apostles and the contradictory teachings which were leading people astray. John and the other apostles suffered greatly, dedicating their lives to the truth. The majority of them died horrible deaths rather than deny the truth about Jesus—His life, His death, His return to life, and the way of salvation for all men through His resurrection (John 3:16). John was saying "We are speaking the truth. Anybody who says the opposite is a liar."

This is how Satan operates: he takes God's truth and twists or contradicts it so that people are led away from Him. God is love (1 John 4:7–8). But Satan says "how can a loving God allow so much suffering?" God says Jesus is the only way to heaven (John 14:6). Satan says "a good person of any belief system can get there." Jesus spoke of everlasting torment for those who reject Him (Matthew 25:46). But Satan says "there's no hell." God claims to exist, and to be a personal Being that interacts with us (Hebrews 11:6). But Satan says "God is dead."

Unfortunately, since we are finite and fallen, we are susceptible to these lies. So, Satan continues to use them, and rehash even the original lie he told ("Did God really say…?") in order to get us off track. The Bible is attacked often and viciously by false religions and worldly men who want us to think that the Bible is not literal, is not authoritative, is not reliable. Why do so many people put so much thought and effort into contradicting the Bible? Because Satan is working to convince us that God is the liar—and that is the ultimate lie.

Related Truth:

Who is Satan?

Does Satan have different names? What are the names of Satan?

When was the fall of Satan, and how did it happen?

What are demons according to the Bible?

Why did God allow Satan and the demons to sin?

Return to:
Truth about Angels

Subscribe to the Newsletter:

Preferred Bible Version: is part of Got Questions Ministries

For answers to your Bible questions, please visit