Question: "What does the Bible say about pedophilia?"
Answer: There is no direct mention of pedophilia in the Bible. But, there are numerous biblical principles that definitely apply to this sin. One such principle is the Bible’s view of the sin of fornication. The word translated “fornication” has the same idea in both the Hebrew and the Greek. The Greek word is porneia, from which we get the English words porno and pornography. The word in Scripture refers to any illicit sexual activity, and this would have to include the abhorrent acts of a pedophile—including the gathering and trading of obscene or indecent pictures of young children. People who use this type of pornography usually graduate from looking to actually doing, bringing great harm to children. Fornication is among the “lusts of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16–21) and among the evil things that come from the heart of a man apart from God (Mark 7:21–23).
Pedophiles share the characteristic of being “without natural affection” (Romans 1:31; 2 Timothy 3:2). The phrase “without natural affection” is translated from one Greek word, which means “inhuman, unloving, and unsociable.” One without natural affection acts in ways that are against the social norm. This would certainly describe a pedophile.
In addition, there is a principle found in Jesus’ words about children. Jesus used a child to teach His disciples that childlike faith is necessary for entrance into the kingdom of heaven. At the same time, He said that the Father has concern for all of His “little ones” (Matthew 18:1–14). In that passage, Jesus says, “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6, KJV). The word offend in the Greek means “to cause one to stumble, to put a stumbling block or impediment in the way, upon which another may trip and fall, to entice to sin, or to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey.”
These definitions of the word offend can easily be applied to the actions of a pedophile. Of course, the principle of not harming a child can be applied to a wide range of child-abusive actions, and Matthew 18:10 makes the case against anyone who would bring any type of harm to a child.