What is the Age of Accountability?
Selected from our Questions and Answers program
It is assumed today that the age of accountability is anywhere from five to ten years old. But Scripture doesn’t seem to give that viewpoint. We find in the Old Testament that a person was twenty years old at least
before he was held to anything. For instance, in Leviticus 27:2,3
relative to a vow that a person makes, God put an age limit on a man making a vow to Him. That is, he was not qualified to make the vow until he was twenty. (And God didn’t want him to make a vow after he was sixty, either, because in that day by that time a man’s powers had waned and God didn’t want to hold him to a vow. Therefore, that age limit was set.) So it would seem to me that the age of twenty would be nearer to the age of accountability. I’m not saying twenty is
the age. I do not think it was set in the Old Testament at all, but it’s just interesting to note. Also, Numbers 1:3
tells us that a man was not required to go into military service until he was twenty years of age. Now it would seem to me that the age of accountability in those days was much older than we look at it today. Again, I’m not saying it’s twenty, and I’m certainly not saying that it’s five years old or ten. I do not really know. But I do believe that there is a time that comes when a person passes from an age when he is not accountable to an age when he’s a responsible individual. But I wouldn’t take any chances, and I think that child evangelism has done a marvelous job of getting the Word of God to children.