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For instance, during the lifetime of Jesus, there was a strong social disapproval among Romans of polygamy.This made its way into Judaism and early Christianity, despite the Old Testament portraying examples of this behaviour among patriarchs and kings.
John Milton plays on the double meaning of the word in The Reason of Church-Government Urged against Prelaty (1642): "[She] gives up her body to a mercenary whordome under those fornicated [ar]ches which she cals Gods house." The Pauline epistles contain multiple condemnations of various forms of extramarital sex.
A deontological view of sex interprets porneia, aselgeia and akatharsia in terms of whether the couple are married or non-married.
What makes sex moral or immoral is the context of marriage.
When one of the partners to consensual sexual intercourse is a married person, it may be described as adultery.
For many people, the term carries an overtone of moral or religious disapproval, but the significance of sexual acts to which the term is applied varies between religions, societies and cultures.
In other words, Witte claims that the Bible excludes premarital sex from its list of unlawful sexual relations (Leviticus 18) though Leviticus 18 is not the only such list, nor does Leviticus 18 claim to be exhaustive being devoted largely to forms of incest.
Some of the debate arises from the question of which theological approach is being applied.
An historical example is the medieval English monastic, John Baconthorpe.
A more contemporary example is the modern-day theologian Lee Gatiss who argues that premarital sex is immoral based on scripture.
By contrast, a teleological view interprets porneia, aselgeia and akatharsia in terms of the quality of the relationship (how well it reflects God's glory and Christian notions of a committed, virtuous relationship.) The debate also turns on the definition of the two Greek words moicheia (μοιχεία, adultery) and porneia (el:πορνεία, with meaning of prostitution, from which the word pornography is derived).
The first word is restricted to contexts involving sexual betrayal of a spouse; however, the second word is used as a generic term for illegitimate sexual activity, although many scholars hold that the Septuagint uses "porneia" to refer specifically to male temple prostitution.
"Flee sexual immorality (porneia) and pursue self-control" (cf.