How do we reconcile unmarried "OT" sex with "NT" fornication pornea?

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Jan 9, 2020
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#1
I'm not going to go into the whole thing explaining the argument, but has anyone deeply studied this and the context of Paul's Corinthians fornicators comments in the NT at the time? I started researching it when I was reading about one of the Old Testament patriarchs wives dying and it said he went unto a prostitute, and then the story continued.

I was blown away like wait shouldn't you punish him God or scold him? Yet none of the above happened. Then reading about customs back then all the Adultery marriage laws were basically property rights. Even rape wasn't considered a Sin, but just a legal property right. Jewish man were allowed to have sex with unmarried women, and even prostitutes like nothing. Adultery in the context only meant having sex with another man's wife. The only command was against sleeping with temple prostitutes basically ritual sex idolatry. Concubines...... basically unmarried women whom they just had sex with.....

So could Paul's NT comments refer to the same practice as above for the single people? Especially due to Corinth having massive temple prostitutes running around? Anyone study this in depth? I saw an answer about the definition of the word pornea and how it came to include all sex outside of marriage, but it seems like it's a massive 360 to what Jews were practicing during the same time frame.....

A reasonable conclusion I read was not a sin, but it's not gods will. There are things that aren't necessarily labeled as Sin, but it doesn't mean God wants you to live that sort of lifestyle.

Please keep it biblical I know this is a very controversial topic, please for the love of God don't start fighting amongst each-other.
 

SoulWeaver

Senior Member
Oct 25, 2014
4,891
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#2
I'm not going to go into the whole thing explaining the argument, but has anyone deeply studied this and the context of Paul's Corinthians fornicators comments in the NT at the time? I started researching it when I was reading about one of the Old Testament patriarchs wives dying and it said he went unto a prostitute, and then the story continued.

I was blown away like wait shouldn't you punish him God...?
These situations in the OT can be distressing indeed. But just because an event is recounted in the Bible does not mean that it has God's stamp of approval. The event that disturbed me similarly is the story (I think from Judges) about that guy who let his woman be molested all night on the street while he sleeps inside, and then cut her into 12 pieces. Obviously no one in their right mind can believe that God endorsed such atrocity. The Bible is just telling us what was going on and how cruel the times were without filter. I don't think God's likes and dislikes and views on sin changed, but it was said about being given more and so definitely held to a higher standard.
 
Jan 9, 2020
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#3
These situations in the OT can be distressing indeed. But just because an event is recounted in the Bible does not mean that it has God's stamp of approval. The event that disturbed me similarly is the story (I think from Judges) about that guy who let his woman be molested all night on the street while he sleeps inside, and then cut her into 12 pieces. Obviously no one in their right mind can believe that God endorsed such atrocity. The Bible is just telling us what was going on and how cruel the times were without filter. I don't think God's likes and dislikes and views on sin changed, but it was said about being given more and so definitely held to a higher standard.
Yeah just read it pretty disturbing, but I could see how a cold heart can do it especially to someone who you might think of as an enemy. It seemed like she was sleeping around before and left him, and maybe he went to get her back just to claim his "property" back and didn't really have any care for her outside of sex, so it seemed easy to just let her go, but who knows.
 

Subhumanoidal

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2018
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#4
"Don't start fighting amongst each other". You posted in the BDF, fights are inevitable.
 
Jan 9, 2020
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#5
"Don't start fighting amongst each other". You posted in the BDF, fights are inevitable.
Sorry what is BDF? I'll just request to eventually close the thread if it gets out of hand.
 
Sep 13, 2018
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#6
I'm not going to go into the whole thing explaining the argument, but has anyone deeply studied this and the context of Paul's Corinthians fornicators comments in the NT at the time? I started researching it when I was reading about one of the Old Testament patriarchs wives dying and it said he went unto a prostitute, and then the story continued.

I was blown away like wait shouldn't you punish him God or scold him? Yet none of the above happened. Then reading about customs back then all the Adultery marriage laws were basically property rights. Even rape wasn't considered a Sin, but just a legal property right. Jewish man were allowed to have sex with unmarried women, and even prostitutes like nothing. Adultery in the context only meant having sex with another man's wife. The only command was against sleeping with temple prostitutes basically ritual sex idolatry. Concubines...... basically unmarried women whom they just had sex with.....

So could Paul's NT comments refer to the same practice as above for the single people? Especially due to Corinth having massive temple prostitutes running around? Anyone study this in depth? I saw an answer about the definition of the word pornea and how it came to include all sex outside of marriage, but it seems like it's a massive 360 to what Jews were practicing during the same time frame.....

A reasonable conclusion I read was not a sin, but it's not gods will. There are things that aren't necessarily labeled as Sin, but it doesn't mean God wants you to live that sort of lifestyle.

Please keep it biblical I know this is a very controversial topic, please for the love of God don't start fighting amongst each-other.
So was this the KJV....
 

Adstar

Senior Member
Jul 24, 2016
6,871
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#8
Yeah just read it pretty disturbing, but I could see how a cold heart can do it especially to someone who you might think of as an enemy. It seemed like she was sleeping around before and left him, and maybe he went to get her back just to claim his "property" back and didn't really have any care for her outside of sex, so it seemed easy to just let her go, but who knows.
It is a good idea to quote chapter and verse where this happened in the Bible when you post of the forum about it.. that way people can read the story and get the context and then give a more considered reply..

As for people in the OT doing bad things.. Yeah the Bible is a warts and all account of what happened.. As has already been said.. Assuming that God approved of everything that happened in the Bible is just wrong..

Anyway it will be interesting to hear where this story is in the Bible.. I have an idea what story it is but i don't want to assume anything and make a reply that is not accurate..
 

Mii

Well-known member
Mar 23, 2019
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#9
The Lord was pretty severe regarding sexual sins in many instances. I suppose certain things sort of slid by but it's incredibly difficult to say specifically "why". Sometimes a contentious household is punishment on its own, and there are many different ways to receive the wages of unrighteousness and reaping what you sow that is pretty hard to generally pinpoint (if not impossible).

Oh and if you are referring to Judah...he did have a son killed by the Lord. Although the specific reason is a mystery.

David's first child with Bathsheba also died.

He took it seriously then, despite ways to read the sundry laws (or wherever else they can be found). If you can provide some direct references that would be helpful. From what I recall, the burden was on the woman yes, but she was also required to cry out. The restitution is a bit odd, but think about what each thing amounted to.

I'm familiar with tons of the laws regarding sexuality but I think when we focus on what it's going to cost in the physical, that's obviously looking at it the wrong way. Much like the convenience of divorce for weaknesses of human beings, having monetary restitution may have been similar. Just the tip of the iceberg.

How do you put a price on someone's virginity? Much like today, it is very serious but also common for people to make mistakes.
 
Jan 9, 2020
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#10
Yeah this is just in general, Judah is one example, I read it about 2 years ago I can't remember exactly the passage. Was just asking in general terms for someone who has researched this topic, I don't think the topic is the old testament, as I've read things even from pastors who described that this was common practice and nowhere does god really reprehend these behaviors, expect for in stories like David, but that was more because he committed adultery an actual sin. If she was some unmarried women or concubine, seemed like "eh, go do you David." We go from god "blessing" men of god with basically "legal" mistresses, people sleeping with prostitutes.

To try and be celibate and don't have any sex, it again seems like a total 360 even for the culture at the time. Also, given Paul's emphasis on Adultery and people sleeping with other peoples wives, mothers / aunts, temple prostitutes. Seemed the emphasis was on these depraved acts then two unmarried people having consensual sex.

Again I'm not condoning sleeping around and don't think it's god's will, but I also don't want to hold on to beliefs that aren't really biblical no matter how unpopular they may be. But if "pornea" in the context of Paul's message at that time period, and the use of the word included any "pre-marital" sex then that would become measuring stick.

Which from my research I'm leaning that pornea included any pre-marital sex, just need to confirm that was the context Paul was using it in, or just in general for sexual immorality acts listed in the bible.
 

blue_ladybug

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2014
70,703
9,437
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#11
Sorry what is BDF? I'll just request to eventually close the thread if it gets out of hand.
Bible Discussion Forum.. And YOU can't close a thread, only a mod can..
 

NOV25

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2019
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#12
We should understand that God's will never changes. From the beginning sex was for a man and wife. (Gen. 2:24)
The fall occurred and sin exploded all through the OT. We see many Jews committing a wide variety of sin and not being immediately punished for it, doesn't mean they weren't judged or God changed His view on it. Porneia: adultery, incest, fornication is a sin, always has been, always will be.

If you know someone who is trying to justify fornication, as a "Christian", with this type of argument I would be concerned.
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
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Tennessee
#13
I'm not going to go into the whole thing explaining the argument, but has anyone deeply studied this and the context of Paul's Corinthians fornicators comments in the NT at the time? I started researching it when I was reading about one of the Old Testament patriarchs wives dying and it said he went unto a prostitute, and then the story continued.

I was blown away like wait shouldn't you punish him God or scold him? Yet none of the above happened. Then reading about customs back then all the Adultery marriage laws were basically property rights. Even rape wasn't considered a Sin, but just a legal property right. Jewish man were allowed to have sex with unmarried women, and even prostitutes like nothing. Adultery in the context only meant having sex with another man's wife. The only command was against sleeping with temple prostitutes basically ritual sex idolatry. Concubines...... basically unmarried women whom they just had sex with.....

So could Paul's NT comments refer to the same practice as above for the single people? Especially due to Corinth having massive temple prostitutes running around? Anyone study this in depth? I saw an answer about the definition of the word pornea and how it came to include all sex outside of marriage, but it seems like it's a massive 360 to what Jews were practicing during the same time frame.....

A reasonable conclusion I read was not a sin, but it's not gods will. There are things that aren't necessarily labeled as Sin, but it doesn't mean God wants you to live that sort of lifestyle.

Please keep it biblical I know this is a very controversial topic, please for the love of God don't start fighting amongst each-other.
What constitutes a sin in the religious and secular world verses what is sin in the eyes of God are often two separate things. It is the secular or religious world that seems to do the reconciling.
 

presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
7,580
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#14
I'm not going to go into the whole thing explaining the argument, but has anyone deeply studied this and the context of Paul's Corinthians fornicators comments in the NT at the time? I started researching it when I was reading about one of the Old Testament patriarchs wives dying and it said he went unto a prostitute, and then the story continued.

I was blown away like wait shouldn't you punish him God or scold him? Yet none of the above happened. Then reading about customs back then all the Adultery marriage laws were basically property rights. Even rape wasn't considered a Sin, but just a legal property right. Jewish man were allowed to have sex with unmarried women, and even prostitutes like nothing. Adultery in the context only meant having sex with another man's wife. The only command was against sleeping with temple prostitutes basically ritual sex idolatry. Concubines...... basically unmarried women whom they just had sex with.....

So could Paul's NT comments refer to the same practice as above for the single people? Especially due to Corinth having massive temple prostitutes running around? Anyone study this in depth? I saw an answer about the definition of the word pornea and how it came to include all sex outside of marriage, but it seems like it's a massive 360 to what Jews were practicing during the same time frame.....

A reasonable conclusion I read was not a sin, but it's not gods will. There are things that aren't necessarily labeled as Sin, but it doesn't mean God wants you to live that sort of lifestyle.

Please keep it biblical I know this is a very controversial topic, please for the love of God don't start fighting amongst each-other.
If certain Old Testament people did things, that doesn't mean we should emulate everything they did, but rather learn the lessons. Jacob married sisters. That caused a lot of rivalry and problems. Later, God gave a law through Moses forbidding Israelites to do such things, and their ancestor's life could serve as an object lesson for why not to do such a thing.

Judah trying to sleep with a prostitute resulted in a forbidden sexual relationship, or a relationship that would later be forbidden in the Torah. Maybe it hadn't been yet.

Are you familiar with the passage where the woman married off with a bride price for virgins is stoned because she is found not to be one. She is stoned for fornicating in her father's house, playing the harlot. Prostitutes who do not charge money are still prostitutes. Zero dollar prostitutes. Our culture is full of them.
 

Mii

Well-known member
Mar 23, 2019
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#15
Well I haven't researched it in a scholarly context, but most of my life I've read about it.

There are many things I tried to justify as not being in the bible and then found out that they were.


It is also interesting that Noah didn't have any of these "laws" and yet what Ham did was a serious offense. Just because something wasn't specifically forbidden at the time doesn't mean it was ok.


Almost that similar vein when you hear a pastor say (or Paul almost sounding exasperated)..."I really don't feel like I should have to say this, it should be obvious..."

It's hard for me to read the "voice" by which Jesus said "you have heard it said thou shalt not commit adultery..." He himself opened that commandment up. However I don't think it was like no one knew before then that it was unwise and unrighteous to lust with one's eyes and... with women in one's heart.

You can bring up what Judah did and in the same breath bring up Joseph and what he did. How he spent a long period of time being incarcerated for doing something we should all commend.


Or perhaps what occurred in numbers after Balaam's advice about sexual idolatry and what occurred. Was the Lord angry? Did he have a response?

The Lord corrects those he loves...if someone "knew in their heart" a thing was wrong and did it anyway until someone called them out or "laid down the law" it makes sense that willful rebellion changes the dynamic of meted grace in one's earthly life. In the present, it's not to say you aren't forgiven if you have repented...but we still have to bear out consequences. That is "tough" love. You see a good bit of consequences bearing out in the OT plenty.

I'll do a bit of research and have the relevant verses, it'll take some time though.



You have plenty in proverbs 6 and some of 7...about warnings that are similar.
 
Jan 9, 2020
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#16
Yeah adultery is wrong, the issue is during that time "Adultery" did not mean what we think it means today. Adultery could only be practiced among married people. So married men has sex with another married women = Adultery. Married man has sex with non married women / prostitute not Adultery.

There was actual chastisement punishment from God about actual Adultery, idol worship, but having sex with unmarried people was never dealt with as a sinful behavior, even where it lists the long list of sexual sins, it is never listed.

This was one summary of the OT practices, I remember reading another from another pastor who decided to research it after getting a question about it, but can't find that one.
http://www.godrules.net/articles/harlotry.htm

The issue would be on the NT though and if the word pornea includes any pre-marital sex during the time period and context Paul was writing about.

Obviously the standard set by Paul is celibacy, and getting married is considered weakness in the spirit, but it seems like the same thing would apply to pre-marital sex, where as it's weakness as opposed to directly a SIN. Obviously you would be in a much weaker state spiritually.

Or unless I never had this thought occur before, that maybe Paul's writings shouldn't be taken as god revealing his will, but more so like an early pastor giving his best opinion on the subject matter?

Think if we all were like Paul and practiced celibacy the whole human race would die..... so is Paul right that we should strive for Celibacy almost contradicting gods command of multiply, without multiplying you have an extinction event.
 

presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
7,580
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#18
Yeah adultery is wrong, the issue is during that time "Adultery" did not mean what we think it means today. Adultery could only be practiced among married people. So married men has sex with another married women = Adultery. Married man has sex with non married women / prostitute not Adultery.

There was actual chastisement punishment from God about actual Adultery, idol worship, but having sex with unmarried people was never dealt with as a sinful behavior, even where it lists the long list of sexual sins, it is never listed.
Sex with a married woman was clearly adultery in the Old Testament. This was clear in the Old Testament. What would not have been clear is a married man having sex with a virgin. If he slept with a virgin, the judges would probably make him marry her, if her father would accept him as a son-in-law. Otherwise, he still paid the bride price. It was a polygamous culture after all.

But Jesus pointed back to the teaching 'two...shall be one flesh.' He taught that a man who divorced his wife and married another committed adultery. If you remove the divorce from the equation, wouldn't polygamy be adulterous? He who looks at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her in her heart, so this form of coveting is adultery of the heart.

A higher standard of sexual morality.

This was one summary of the OT practices, I remember reading another from another pastor who decided to research it after getting a question about it, but can't find that one.
http://www.godrules.net/articles/harlotry.htm

The issue would be on the NT though and if the word pornea includes any pre-marital sex during the time period and context Paul was writing about.

Obviously the standard set by Paul is celibacy, and getting married is considered weakness in the spirit, but it seems like the same thing would apply to pre-marital sex, where as it's weakness as opposed to directly a SIN. Obviously you would be in a much weaker state spiritually.

Or unless I never had this thought occur before, that maybe Paul's writings shouldn't be taken as god revealing his will, but more so like an early pastor giving his best opinion on the subject matter?

Think if we all were like Paul and practiced celibacy the whole human race would die..... so is Paul right that we should strive for Celibacy almost contradicting gods command of multiply, without multiplying you have an extinction event.[/QUOTE]
 

presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
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#19
In I Corinthians 5, Paul writes about the man who had his father's wife as fornication. He did not say it was adultery. It may be that the father was dead and the man took his father's widow to wife. How is this 'fornication'?

In Leviticus 18, there are a list of forbidden sexual practices. Toward the end of the passage, we read that nations were driven out of the land for such things. These things were sins for Gentiles. Paul described one of the practices, having one's father's wife, as something not even named among the Gentiles. Maybe the first century Greeks--as bad as they were-- weren't as sexually perverted as the nations of Canaan in Moses' time. A Gentile also did wrong by having sex with Dinah out of marriage.

Forbidden sex passages in Leviticus forbid certain forms of incest-- not cousin marriage--our own cultural taboo, but many other relationships. Sex with animals and between men was forbidden. The Old Testament counts a girl losing her virginity as porneia in another passage.

Acts 15 puts certain requirements on Gentiles which were similar to what Jewish scholars would later decree, based on the idea that Gentiles had a covenant with Noah and could be righteous by doing what the Old Testament required of Gentiles. Acts 15, reminiscent of Noah, says to abstain from things strangled and from blood. Like the later Jewish 7 Noachide principles, the apostles told Jews to abstain from fornication. There is a long list of forbidden sexual sins that were sinful for nations that we might infer are included in the term 'fornication.'
 
Jan 9, 2020
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#20
Re-reading the authors article I guess he summarizes it best:

"It is the slippery slope concept. Sex before marriage may not be a sin, but it could lead you sexual sin. Drinking alcohol may not be a sin, but it can potentially lead you to alcoholism, which is a sin. Gambling may not be a sin, but it could lead you to loving money, which is a sin. Polygamy may not be a sin, but potentially your wives could lead you into sin. Prostitution may not be a sin, but could lead to a sinful lifestyle. There is a reason why Las Vegas is called "Sin City". It may not be a sin in every circumstance to "gamble", but it has a very easy tendency to lead you into sin. Just ask the tens of thousands who have lost their life savings there!"

Just because something isn't a Sin doesn't mean it's as even Paul said it profitable, and can lead to dangerous consequences. Ironically I started this whole research based on reading about Samson after his wife died. The irony is that his whole story proves exactly the above, while not a sin for him to sleep with the prostitute, it led him down a slippery slope of having her cut his hair, and I guess him committing suicide (which I didn't know, leading down another slippery slope of research haha)

I guess perfect examples are Solomon too, his wives let him to commit idolatry, and he might of never reconciled with God again.....it reminds me of do we want God's best or what we think is best which will be mediocre and can lead to insane life consequences.

Obviously God's best is in his will, where we will experience his ultimate blessings, where the other road can even lead to death. Kind of scary when we think about it, but not following his will for our lives the consequences can be as severe as death itself, even without blatantly sinning against him.

Think about how hard it is for even Christians to truly follow his will, maybe what 1% truly do? Even I haven't gotten to a point where I fully am surrendered to his will for my life, I've prayed recently for him to do as he wishes, but it is still probably one of the hardest things in someones life to do, to fully give up their will to god. Not talking about the temporary lapses we all experience, but willing-ful opposition to his will daily.