This article is going to break down every word used in the New Testament to describe what the Bible refers to as “sexual immorality”.
Fornication: in the original Greek, porneia πορνεία G4202, it its defined as illicit sexual intercourse, and its (a verb) used in the New Testament as a word to describe the unlawful acts of intercourse, or porneuō πορνεύω G4203 to give one’s self to unlawful sexual intercourse. (feminine noun)
Whoremonger or Fornicator: in the original Greek, pornos πόρνος G4205, it is defined as a man who prostitutes his body to another’s lust for hire, a male prostitute, a man who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse. (masculine noun)
Adultery: in Greek this word is moicheia μοιχεία G3430, it is defined as unfaithfulness in marriage or in relationship with God. (feminine noun)
Wantonness or Lasciviousness: in Greek this word is aselgeia ἀσέλγεια G766, it is defined as unbridled lust, excess, licentiousness, lasciviousness, wantonness, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence. (feminine noun)
Effeminate: in Greek this word is malakos μαλακός G3120, it is defined as a catamite (a boy kept for homosexual relations with a man) someone softened, soft to the touch. (adjective)
Abusers of themselves with mankind: in Greek this word is arsenokoitēs ἀρσενοκοίτης G733, it is defined as one who lies with a male as with a female, sodomite, homosexual. This word is comprised of two words arsēn which means “a male” and koitē which means “bedchamber” or “marriage bed” (masculine noun)
Uncleanness: in Greek this word is akatharsia ἀκαθαρσία G167, it is defined as unclean in a moral sense as well as the physical, the impurity of lustful desires, luxurious, profligate living. Impure motives.
Inordinate affection: in Greek this word is pathos πάθος G3806, it is defined as depraved passion or vile passions, an evil affliction, an affliction of the mind, emotion, passion.
Lust: in Greek this word is epithumeō ἐπιθυμέω G1937, or epithumia ἐπιθυμία G1939, it is defined as to have a desire for, long for, to desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust. (feminine noun)
There are 9 words used in the New Testament to describe sexual immorality to the reader. In many instances when these words are used, they are used in a sentence together, so one act of immorality could not be confused for another.
Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
(Here we have adultery listed separate from fornication, uncleanness and lasciviousness.)
1Cor 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
(Here we see fornicators listed separate from, adulterers, the effeminate and abusers of themselves with mankind. A fornicator is a man that commits sexual immorality, and adulterer is a person, male or female that commits sexual immortality within a marriage or covenant to God. Effeminate and abusers of themselves with mankind are distinctly different, because they address immorality that goes against the natural design of male and female copulation)
1Tim 1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
(Here we see whoremongers/fornicators listed separate from them that defile themselves with mankind. Its considered one thing to commit sexual sin, and another to commit unnatural sexual sin.)
2Cor 12:21 And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.
Eph 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil *concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: (*Lust G1939)
Let’s do a quick recap of the Biblical words presented.
- fornication: the act or lifestyle of sexual immorality.
- fornicator/whoremonger: the man who commits sexual immorality.
- adultery: sexual immorality within marriage.
- wantonness: unbridled lust, desires
- effeminate: made soft, for unnatural relations
- abusers of themselves with mankind: a sodomite, a man who lies with another man.
- uncleanness: impure lifestyle or motives
- inordinate affection: vile or depraved affections
- lust: desires for what is forbidden
Please understand that my motive for writing this article was not to tell you what I think is considered sexual immorality, but rather to provide YOU with all the tools to do an in depth study for yourselves, and decide what you believe sexual immorality is, based on what the Bible says, and not other people’s opinions.
Now these above words provided are what the New Testament uses in its original Greek. Not words that have been twisted by the hands of men over time, they are the original words used to describe spiritual truths as men were moved by the Holy Spirit to write them. These are not my definitions but rather Thayer and Strong Bible dictionary lexicon definitions.
My earnest prayer is that everyone given these tools would download a bible software and do their own research to find the Truth concerning this topic.
God Bless, Be Free and Set Free!
2 Tim 2:15 Study to SHOW yourself approved of God, a worker that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.