Matt Forney
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Fornication, Adultery and the Bible

fornication

This is a guest post by Piratez Rule.

Fornication

(e.g., [KJV] “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication” — 1Thes. 4:3).

In the modern day English dictionary, fornication is defined as “voluntary sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons.”

The original Greek Scripture word for fornication is pronounced “pornia [πορνεία],” which is defined as “to have sexual intercourse delivering woman/wife to/upon man/husband during/under/for money.” (The dictionary also indicates that this is the definition from B.C. to now.) There is absolutely nothing in the definition (old or new) about prohibiting “free” sex between single (unmarried) persons. Therefore, the English Bible word of “fornication” should instead correctly read as justprostitution,” thence not condemning innocent single people.

Note that the Greek word for woman/wife (gunaikos [γυναικός]) and man/husband (andra [ανδρα]) both are words that express that the people can be either “single” to each other or married to each other (wife, husband). As a matter of fact, “gunaikos” is translated in the New Testament 93 times as “wife(s)” and “andra” is used 50 times as “husband(s).” Therefore, even a marriage that is based on an exchange of sex for money/wealth is “pornia.”  Pornia is, flat out, the Greek word for “prostitution.” Pornia happens to derive from an obsolete ancient Greek (Homeric) word pronounced “perneemi [περνημι],” which means “to sell into slavery.”

The Oxford Classical Dictionary, 1996, p. 1264, “prostitution, secular”:

fornication

Pornia is also listed as a Greek New Testament “synonym” with the N.T. word “piprasko [πιπρασκω],” which means “sold,” e.g., “… went and sold all that he had…” — Matt. 13:46. The English word “pornography comes from the Greek, meaning “a writing about prostitutes.” Does this all mean that the Bible (the “original” Greek Scriptures) does NOT condemn “free” sex between single people if, instead, they live in Greece or just speak/understand the Greek language? — Yes, it definitely does.

Monolingual Greek dictionary:

ΝΕΟ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΟ ΛΕΞΙΚΟ ΤΗΣ ΣΥΓΧΡΟΝΗΣ ΔΗΜΟΤΙΚΗΣ ΓΛΩΣΣΑΣ: ΓΡΑΠΤΗΣ ΚΑΙ ΠΡΟΦΟΡΙΚΗΣ (New Greek Dictionary Of Contemporary Primary Language: Written And Oral), ΕΜΜΑΝΟΥΗΛ ΚΡΙΑΡΑ (Emmanuel Kriara), ΕΚΔΟΤΙΚΗ ΑΘΗΝΩΝ (Publishing of Athens), 1995, p. 1138, “πορνεία“:

fornication

Text:

πορνεία η , ουσ. 1. παραχώρηση του ανθρώπινου σώματος για σεξουαλικές πράξεις έναντι αμοιβής: η φτώχεια την οδήγησε στην ~ (συνών. ιεροδουλία). 2. (συνεκδοχικά) η ιδιότητα και το επάγγελμα της πόρνης.

Translated from Greek:

Prostitution e, ous. 1. Granting / concession of the human body for sexual acts for a fee / payment: poverty prompted her to ~ (synonym harlotry). 2. (connotatively) the attribute and the profession of prostitutes.

The English word “fornication” comes from the Latin word “fornix,” which is defined in Latin as “a cellar used for prostitution; a brothel”; from the Roman Era establishment of underground ‘basements’ with arched ceilings (oven-like vaults) where prostitutes lived and worked. The Latin “fornicatio” means “harlotry,” and “fornicaria” means “harlot” in Latin. “Fornica… (all forms thereof)” are the words used in the Vulgate (the Latin Bible, c. 400 A.D.). Incidentally, “fornica…” is used 95 times in the Vulgate’s Old Testament, which is overwhelmingly translated as just “harlot,” “whoredom” and “whoring” in the traditional King James Bible. Etymologically, the modern day English definition of “fornication” is a semantic that has changed through the centuries; hence not valid for factual Bible rendering: the corruption rests with the word, not the Bible.

Adultery

(e.g., “Thou shalt not commit adultery“).

The Greek word for adultery is pronounced (A.D. 30) “moikia [μοιχεία],” which is explained as “to break/breach/violate a promise/contract/one’s word of marital/a wife’s trusted sworn oath guaranteed/warranted and believed credible,” or more briefly described as “to break a promise of marital trust,” including “infringement of the terms of the marriage contract.” Therefore “moikia” is not limited to just sexual infidelity but covers the breaking of any marriage vow, including divorce.

Plus, this definition also alludes that the moral ethics in “moikia” should be extended to include all (marital and non-marital) promises, warranties and contracts; whereas, otherwise, the principles of the Ten Commandments has no (is missing) conditions for promise/warranty/contract breaking — which can include “the later changing of one’s mind” differing it from the unmediated/direct lie of “bearing false witness.” Ethics dictates that a person should not break a trusted, relied upon promise just because they subsequently change their mind/desire.

This Greek definition of adultery is also consistent with the Golden Rule. The “ungodliness” of slavery notwithstanding, a slave will have no Godly right to wrong his master; nor should a man leave a Nevada brothel (pornion [πορνειον]) without paying the prostitute (porni [πόρνη]). So if you vow a lifetime to your wife to give her your money/wealth for her company (sex), then the contract does not run out until one of you dies; you should not break the promise (divorce). In a monogamy-based society, you can devastate a person by divorcing them, or by having an affair. Even just a voicing/appearance/trace of sexual interest for another can cause problems with your spouse [Matt 5:28].

Also note that the English word “adultery” comes from an Old-French/Middle-English word called “avowter-y” [ref. Oxford Eng. Dict.]. In Middle-English, “avow” does correspond directly to the word “vow” (a solemn promise/pledge). The word “spouse” comes from the Greek word “spendo [σπενδω],” which meant “make an agreement”; and from the Latin word “sponsus,” which means/pinpoints “a person who had promised something,” “a person who has made a contract” [ref. Word Origins, by Wilfred Funk, Litt. D.]; and in Harpers’ Latin Dict., 1879: “to promise solemnly, to bind,” “a binding contract,” “to become security for a person,” “to promise or engage in marriage, betroth,” “to enter into an agreement,” “to warrant, give assurance of.”

Contract — legal definition (Black’s law, 1st Edition):

fornication

…etc.

I doubt anyone voicing these facts will be very popular with the entrenched Churchian “man”osphere interests. Don’t shoot the messenger!

Read Next: Stripclub Bible: The Authority on Picking Up Strippers by Christian McQueen

  • Chris Adams

    Fascinating! Thanks for taking the time to put it all together.

  • Earl Thomas

    Granted if you are a secular you can do whatever you want…but I need to point something out.

    ‘There is absolutely nothing in the definition (old or new) about prohibiting “free” sex between single (unmarried) persons.’

    There’s also nothing about masturbation in there either but they’ve both been pointed out as two offenses against chastity (along with every other sexual sin).

    ‘All the baptized are called to chastity. The Christian has “put on Christ,” the model for all chastity. All Christ’s faithful are called to lead a
    chaste life in keeping with their particular states of life. At the
    moment of his Baptism, the Christian is pledged to lead his affective
    life in chastity.’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church)

    It’s not so much trying to find out what you can get away with…but instead what you can pursue as a higher virtue. Christians have this mission.

  • I remember hearing that, earlier in our history, Greek and Latin were required aspects of education.

    Seems awfully sensible when you consider how much of civilization can be traced back to those cultures. (And I consider religion to be a big, important part of civilization.)

  • Jeremy

    This actually does make sense from a historical perspective.

    Prostitution was a union that produced no children that would be claimed, no heirs, it did nothing for society. It only destroyed society as any biological product from the union was to be denied and would become a burden on society.

    Sex between consenting adults, whether bonded in matrimony or not, generally produced children that were less able to be denied by the consenting adults. The sex was intended, therefore the product of the union cannot be claimed to be unintended.

    The people writing those things could not conceive of a time when pregnancy could be so well controlled. Their only intent was on ensuring that offspring from intercourse enriched society rather than destroy it. Since modern “fornication” does not destroy society thanks to technology, it is easily concluded that while perhaps shocking to people of that era, hook-up sex would not be against their intended wishes.

  • -Don’t shoot the messenger!-

    I hope you’re good at dodging bullets, with all those idiots out there…

    luckily idiots don’t shoot too accurately,

  • Diego

    Did you get this from Godrules on youtube? That guy puts out ok stuff, but remember that Christ also told us to judge a tree by its fruit. Much of this endless sleeping around stuff leads to a lot of jaded and cold, hardened hearts. Especially in women. People in the sphere have probably seen the studies put out that prove women who are harlots end up broken and untrustworthy as wives. I’ve also witnesses a lot of screw up guys who get too deep into the PUA lifestyle. Judge a tree by its fruit.

  • Bob Wallace

    There is an old saying, “All translators are liars,” and that includes the Bible. St. Paul wrote that certain people would not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven and his list tended toward such things as selling children for money, homosexual prostitution and child molestation. To understand these things just look around today – what you see now is what St. Paul saw then. I often think of the movie, “Taken.”

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  • Piratez Rule

    “Did you get this from Godrules on youtube?”

    no

  • Piratez Rule

    Chaste – castus – careo (cut off, separate, deprive, etc).

    To be “chaste” you must “cut off” your sex. (see also http://latinlexicon.org/definition.php?p1=2008937)

    Matthew 7:12 (Sermon on the Mount):
    “Therefore, whatever you want
    men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the
    Prophets.”

    NOT “chaste.”

  • BrainBrian
  • Regardless of what the Bible says, the Church’s Sacred Tradition has always treated sex outside of marriage as a sin. The Church Fathers considered it a sin as well. You can make the Bible say whatever you want it to say, but the Orthodox Church which is under the guidance of the Holy Spirit says that having sex outside of marriage is sinful. Does that stop me? Maybe someday. Hardee har har.

  • Pete M

    Your assertion that “pornia” is limited to prostitution only is incorrect. The definition is wider, as can be seen by 1 Corinthians 5:1 which said “pornia” included a man having sex with his father’s wife.

  • Abba Okoro

    Masturbation is just self stimulation

  • Abba Okoro

    mmm Wow great research