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For instance, in defining porneia/fornication, Kittel and Friedrich's 1977 Theological Dictionary of the New Testament states that "The NT is characterized by an unconditional repudiation of all extra-marital and unnatural intercourse".

Lee Gatiss also argues that porneia encompasses all forms of premarital sex.

In 1611 King James Version, the first English translation of the Christian Bible Fornicated as an adjective is still used in botany, meaning "arched" or "bending over" (as in a leaf).

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.

Secondly, there was the marriage contract that specified what the bride and groom's families would give the couple and what the bride would obtain if she divorced.

"At the time of Jesus, and in rural areas like Galilee, a young couple might well cohabit before the contract was signed 'in order to get acquainted'.

In modern usage, the term is often replaced with a more judgment-neutral term like extramarital sex.

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1 Thess 4:1–8) was the straightforward message to Christians in a sex-crazed world." Attitudes towards marriage and sexuality at the time of Jesus stemmed from a blend of Roman and Jewish ideas.

The betrothal was held to be enough of a marriage that a divorce would be needed if the couple split up between betrothal and contract." New Testament scholar N. Wright asserts that Paul absolutely forbade fornication, irrespective of a new Christian's former cultural practices.

Wright notes "If a Corinthian were to say, 'Because I'm a Corinthian, I have always had a string of girl-friends I sleep with, that's part of our culture,' Paul would respond, 'Not now you're a Christian you don't.'...

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.

He states that, from a Biblical perspective, "physical union should not take place outside a "one flesh" (i.e. In [1 Corinthians] chapter 7 Paul addresses the situation of two unmarried Christians who are burning with passion (7:8–9) who should either exercise self-control or be permitted to marry (cf. The underlying assumptions are the same as those in Deuteronomy 22." However, a minority of theologians have argued in more recent times that premarital sex may not be immoral in some limited circumstances.

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