Bible Answer

How did Lenten observances come about? Is it Biblical?

Where or how did the season of Lent come about? Is it in the Bible? 

The practice of observing Lent began in the Roman Catholic Church as a period of personal the preparation for the celebration of Easter through prayer, doing penance, mortifying the flesh, repentance of sins, almsgiving, and self-denial. The practice was born out of Catholic works-theology, which holds that a person must become personally righteous to earn entry into Heaven, which is heresy. 

Following the Reformation, many Protestant churches elected to continue a Lenten observance believing it promoted piety. Nevertheless, there is no biblical reason to observe a period of self-denial prior to Easter, and promoting a Lenten observance carries significant potential to confuse or mislead Christians concerning the true Gospel. Furthermore, it aligns Christians with Catholics in a way that suggests both groups share a common faith (which is not true). 

Therefore, we discourage an observance of Lent or any 40-day period of self-denial prior to Easter. Instead, we commend fasting and prayer to all believers as a regular practice year-round.

You may find our article "Are Lenten observances Biblical?"