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Immorality....what Is It?

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by Stan, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. James writes in 1:21; Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

    The NIV contains the following verses on Immorality.


    Notice only 3 of them, DON'T combine it with the word 'sexual'.

    So is there a difference? What is Immorality? What is Sexual Immorality?

    Some good exegesis would be helpful, and NOT just plain rhetoric.
  2. I've been party to conversations of this type before. When you get down to the basics, all morality is based on an acceptance of truth, thus all immorality has it's root in a lie.
    For a man, sexual immorality is the use of a person or thing as if it were his wife, when it is not, thus a misrepresentation of reality, a lie.
    All theft is the claiming of something as a person's own property when it is not, thus a lie.
    Fraud, murder, you name the crime, it all begins with a lie.
    th1bill likes this.
  3. King James Version:

    Numbers 25:1 And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.

    Jeremiah 3:9 And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks.

    Matthew 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

    Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

    Matthew 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

    Mark 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

    Acts 15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

    GREEK: porneia Strong's 4204

    1) illicit sexual intercourse
    a) adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.
    b) sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18
    1. sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mk. 10:11,12
    2) metaph. the worship of idols
    a) of the defilement of idolatry, as incurred by eating the sacrifices offered to idols

    HEBREW: zanah Strong's 2181

    1) to commit fornication, be a harlot, play the harlot
    a) (Qal)
    1) to be a harlot, act as a harlot, commit fornication
    2) to commit adultery
    3) to be a cult prostitute
    4) to be unfaithful (to God) (fig.)
    b) (Pual) to play the harlot
    c) (Hiphil)
    1) to cause to commit adultery
    2) to force into prostitution
    3) to commit fornication

    HEBREW: zenuwth Strong's 2183
    1) fornication, harlotry

    Jude 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

    GREEK: aselgeia Strong's 767
    1) unbridled lust, excess, licentiousness, lasciviousness, wantonness, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence

    SOURCE: http://www.blueletterbible.org/index.cfm

  4. I put this thread in THIS category for a reason. It was to avoid personal opinions and focus on exactly WHAT scripture tells us. I am interested in TRUTH, not lies, as we all should be.
  5. I'm sorry, I thought you asked what immorality is, and it is a lie put into practice.

  6. Thanks Mike, but most of us know all this and I quoted from the NIV for a reason. The KJV used fornication, which is only ONE aspect of 'sexual immorality'. The top 5 modern English translation are as follows:

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew 5:32&version=NIV;MOUNCE;NRSV;HCSB;NKJV

    In this particular verse, and others where it is used in the same context, the term porneia, refers NOT to sexual immorality in general, but to the forbidden marriage relationships of Leviticus 18:6-18 in particular.
    As you note, Jude 1:4 uses the Greek word aselgeia translated as immorality in the NIV. James 1:21 uses the Greek word rhyparia, which is translated as 'moral filth'. What is moral filth?


  7. Sorry, I assumed people would read my entire OP, where I made the details very clear, and not just the subject line.
  8. We should rely on the original text, not the English translation for clarification. As it is, we can clearly see that this type of 'immorality' is coupled with a 'sexual sin nature'; even if it is metaphorically.

    lascivious, lasciviousness

    Greek: aselgeia
    Meaning: lewd; debauchery or living in debauchery; wantonness, licentiousness; lecherous; provoking or exciting lust; given to lust or expressing lust; filthy immorality / This word is derived from the Latin: lascivus or lascvia, meaning “lustful, lewdness, wantonness.”
    This word appears six times in the King James Bible, It is only used in the New Testament.

  9. That would be hard to do, seeing as there are NO autographs in existence.

    Not sure how you or where ever you got your definition, can say the word's etymology is Latin, when in fact it is a Greek Word?

    The word is explained in detail here; http://studybible.info/trench/Dissipation

    As far as porneia is concerned, Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D., Andrews University, writes; The Greek word porneia, from which we derive the word "pornography," comes from the root word pernemi—"to sell." The original idea was to offer one’s body for a price. The word was used especially of slaves and meant "a harlot for hire."11 Historically, porneia has been used with wider and narrower meanings. The wider meaning includes unlawful extra-marital intercourse such as prostitution, fornication, and adultery. The narrower meaning can refer to sexual aberrations such as homosexuality (cf. Rom 1:29), incest (cf. 1 Cor 5:1) , and unlawful marriages within the forbidden degrees of relationship (Acts 15:20,29). The question then is, what is the exact meaning of porneia in the exception clause (Matt 5:32; 19:9)? Is Jesus using the term in its wider or narrower meaning?
    The immediate context supports the narrower interpretation of the porneia exception as a reference to the prohibited relationships of Leviticus 18:6-18. In Matthew 19:4-8, Christ rejects the Mosaic provision for divorce as a mere concession to human rebellion running contrary to God’s original plan for marriage. In this context, it would be inconsistent for Jesus to proceed to make a concession of his own for divorce in the case of sexual misconduct.
    The whole purpose of Christ’s argument which moved from Deuteronomy to Genesis, that is to say, from the Mosaic letter of the law which allowed divorce to the creational design of the law which excluded divorce, would be nullified if in the end He simply returned to Deuteronomy again. On the other hand, it would be consistent with what Christ had just declared for Him to say that God’s plan for marriage aloowed for divorce only in the case of an illegally contracted marriage to a near relative. In all other instances, marriage is a lifelong and binding covenant commitment.
    The possibility of marrying a near relative was very real in the tribal Jewish society which consisted of large blood-related families. I was made forcefully aware of this fact while teaching in Ethiopia. Students belonging to the same tribe often referred to one another as brothers or sisters because to some degrees they were all related to one another. The situation was not much different in tribal Jewish society where it was relatively easy to marry a near relative. This can explain why Jesus in Matthew—a gospel written for Jewish Christians—would make allowance for divorce in the case of an illegally contracted marriage to a near relative.
    Another aspect of the immediate context, which indirectly supports the unlawful marriage view of porneia, is the reaction of the disciples: "If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is not expedient to marry" (Matt 19:10). Such a reaction is only explicable if Jesus rejected the possibility of divorce, except in the rare cases of marriage among near relatives where marriage should not have taken place in the first place.
    Had Jesus permitted divorce for sexual misconduct, He would have hardly provoked such a reaction on the part of His disciples, since such a view was widely known and promoted by the rabbinical school of Shammai. The astonishment of the disciples indirectly proves that they understood Christ’s standard for marriage to be immeasurably higher and more exacting than that of the stricter rabbinical school of interpretation.

    In this context I agree with Dr. Bacchiocchi.

    Rusty likes this.
  10. You want to have a bible study on sexual immorality not being immorality? :eek:

    I respect your posts Stan, but you don't think you being pedantic here? What prompted this thread?

  11. Well KJ, if you haven't noticed yet, NOT all the terms in the English translated as "sexual immorality", mean exactly as you have just said they do. The POINT of the OP, IS to study and see WHAT the scriptures are referring to. Feel free to contribute.

    Oh and BTW, God prompted this OP, not what.
    Rusty likes this.
  12. Stan, my gripe is that you should know better to start a thread on blurring / creating a difference between immorality and sexual immorality with all the already confused Christians on homosexuality!... and our recent thread on it.
    I see in your OP you mention that sexual immorality is only not mentioned 3 times in those verses, does that mean you acknowledge the seriousness of it? If so I eat my words here and agree God inspired this thread ;).
  13. There IS a difference between immorality and sexual immorality, plus there is a difference to what type of sexual immorality being being translated as such. It has to be looked at IN context. I know this is hard for some cherry pickers, but that is the point of the OP. Feel free to NOT have to participate KJ. I don't believe anyone on this thread is confused about their Christianity. My responsibility, before God, is to RIGHTLY divide the Word of Truth and help people see that. Many Christians ARE unfortunately confused or misinformed about homosexuality, and I find it interesting that you bring it up now. Are you worried about homosexuality?

    I started the OP KJ, of course I'm concerned and serious about it, but the reason I put it in the Bible Study forum, is so we can actually STUDY what the Bible says about it IN proper exegetical context.
  14. Greed, corruption, waste and graft are immoral, but not necessarily sexually based.
    Dog fights, shark fin fishing and perjury are as well.

    It's just that modern journalism doesn't call them "immoral" any longer.

    I have also notice , as you have mentioned, Stan, the OT's frequent condemnation of family sexual dysfunction...also Paul came down hard on the Corinthians about this.
  15. I am. When my kid grows up he will have no church to go to. As all the good pastors and elders will be in prison :(.

    Immorality in this day is a moving target, sadly even for us Christians. The verses that I see as the most important for us to remember are: Isa 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter and 2 Pet 3:3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.

    Its so important that we wash each other!!! Even if it be here. Prov 27:6 is fast becoming a favorite verse.

  16. It's NOT our job to worry about what the world does KJ. We are to make sure WE do what is right in the BOC in the sight of God. You have a very fatalistic view of the future, but NOT a very realistic one.

    Good scripture, but not the point of the OP.
    Immorality is NOT a moving target with God nor is it in His Word. It behooves us to ensure we KNOW what the Bible is telling us and not lump everything into one all encompassing category. The OP is about defining what the scriptures says and refer to, so feel free to contribute in that regard.
    Rusty likes this.

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