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20 Bible Verses About Darkness and Light With Creation Stories

Tim Truzy is a minister in a Christian church, and he has participated in other religions.

Light is a powerful symbol in Christianity.

Light is a powerful symbol in Christianity.

Radiance and Murkiness in Worship

Brightness and the dark have fascinated humanity in multiple religions, including Christianity. In fact, the word “light” appears nearly 240 times in the Bible. Verses referring to “darkness” are found in comparable numbers in the King James Version. In the Judeo-Christian beliefs, the first command from God is to bring forth light from the void in Genesis 1:3. However, the relevance of luminosity and the shadows in worship is not confined to faiths bound to biblical texts.

In general, luminescence is viewed as a positive attribute. By contrast, darkness is associated with malevolence. Since these fundamental concepts have significance in worship worldwide, I’ve provided brief samples of creation stories focused on the symbolic power of illumination and darkness below. From the Christian viewpoint, Bible verses related to light and dark appear in this article from sermons I have delivered.

Light makes the unknown recognizable.

Light makes the unknown recognizable.

Bible Verses Concerning Light

  • 1 John 1:5: This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
  • Ephesians 5:8: For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.
  • John 1:5: And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
  • John 8:12: Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
  • John 9:5: (Jesus said,) “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
  • Luke 11:34: The light of the body is the eye: therefore, when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.
  • Matthew 4:16: The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
  • Matthew 5:16: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
  • Psalms 18:28: For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.
  • Psalm 27:1: The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
  • Romans 13:12: The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
God reveals “treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places,” from Isaiah 45:3.

God reveals “treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places,” from Isaiah 45:3.

Bible Verses About Darkness

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:5: Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
  • 2 Corinthians 4:6: For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
  • Acts 26:18: To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
  • Colossians 1:13: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.
  • Ephesians 5:11: And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
  • Genesis 1:4: And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
  • Isaiah 45:7: I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
  • Matthew 6:23: But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness?
  • Psalms 139:12: Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

Creation Myths Featuring Light and Darkness

Clashes between night and day are pivotal events in origin stories around the world. Primarily, dusk foreshadows the dawn. Second, light represents purity or a reawakening. Illumination is perceived as singular and piercing while night is smothering and hides truth.

Moreover, nighttime retreats when sunshine arrive. However, excessive light is distracting; the primordial shadows wait to reassert their presence. Night is divisive, but light unifies. Some creation tales with these themes, include:

Origin Tales Centered on Darkness and Illumination

  • Several Bantu speaking tribes of Africa believe their god, Bumba, endured eternal darkness. He eventually vomited the heavens and sun after a stomach pain.
  • In the Hawaiian origin myth, intelligent darkness came first, combining with compassionate light to make a universe of opposites. Later, humankind is born on Earth following a disaster.
  • In Hinduism lamps are lit, reminding followers of the protection of inner illumination over evil as the person constantly change.
  • Native tribes in America honor the seasons and light in ceremonial dances. The performances on the plains of the U.S. symbolize rebirth.
  • Indigenous tribes in Alaska believe mankind once struggled with frightful night until a raven placed the sun in the sky to bring day and wisdom to the world.
The Bible teaches Christ is the “beacon” for humankind

The Bible teaches Christ is the “beacon” for humankind

The Importance of Darkness and Light In Christianity

Indisputably, religions call upon the metaphors related to evil and good by referring to day and night. Darkness is synonymous with rejection of positive spiritual qualities and God. Without a guiding light at night, cautions John 11:10, stumbling is nearly assured. For instance, in 2 Peter 2:4, revolting angels in Heaven were sentence down to Hell. In other words, people who engage in hate and “dark deeds” will be judge accordingly, like those spiritual entities (1 John 1:6 and Mathew 22:13). For this reason, the Bible warns Christians not to misinterpret “bitter as sweet,” or claim evil as good, in the Book of Isaiah.

On the other hand, light is equated with knowledge, wisdom, and hope. Coincidentally, understanding “truth” depends on the emergence of light within the self and accepting worthwhile spiritual principles. Essentially, Christians are informed throughout the New Testament Jesus Christ came to Earth as the “light of the world” in order for humankind to defeat darkness, noted in Luke 2:32 and John 12:46. In Psalms 84:11 and Isaiah 60:9-20, The Lord generously pours out Grace and Mercy in an amount greater than the beautiful sun. In conclusion, the Bible teaches we can remake twilight into morning when Christ is the guiding light.


Dolitsky, A., 2000. Tales and legends of the Yupik Eskimos of Siberia. Juneau, Alaska: Alaska-Siberia Research Center.

Marriott, A. and Rachlin, C., 1985. Plains Indian mythology. New York: New American Library.

Stewart, M., Base, G., & Stewart, M. (1989). Creation stories. Macmillan Australia.