Average Age Of Accountability

Q. In your opinion what would you say would be the average or norm in the US for a range of age to include in the age of accountability?

Thirteen is the most common number given for the age of accountability based on the Jewish custom that a child becomes an adult at the age of 13. However, the Bible gives no direct support to the age of 13 always being the age of accountability. It likely varies from child to child, since I understand that a child has passed the age of accountability once he or she is capable of making a faith decision for or against Christ.

A. Like you I’ve thought of it as the age at which a person can understand the concept of sin and our need for a savior, and that varies widely from child to child. But lately I’ve been reviewing the creation account and noticed the difference in how the Bible describes Adam and Eve’s perception of their nakedness before and after the fall.

Before the fall they were innocent and unaware like children are before puberty and after ward they were aware of their nakedness and embarrassed by it, more like teenagers would be. And they acquired the knowledge of good and evil then too.

It made me think that maybe the onset of puberty is a reasonable time for assigning accountability. It’s a little different in each child, but it’s accompanied by obvious physical changes that allow us to observe its arrival. And it’s the time when children’s eyes are “opened” to adult things.

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