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  #1  
Old Oct 21, '08, 1:03 am
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Holly3278 Holly3278 is offline
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Question Is the Greek word "porneia" more properly translated as fornication or sexual immorality?

Hi everyone. I have a question for you all. Various versions of the Bible condemn fornication while others condemn sexual immorality. So, I ask, what is the more proper translation? Is porneia meant to be a catch all word for any kind of sexual immorality including but not limited to:?
  • rape
  • homosexual sex
  • prostitution
  • molestation
Do the early church fathers always use the Greek word "porneia" or do they ever use a different word either from the Greek or from another language that can more properly be translated as fornication? Thanks for your time.
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  #2  
Old Oct 21, '08, 1:37 am
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Default Re: Is the Greek word "porneia" more properly translated as fornication or sexual immorality?

Hi Holly,

I am going from memory and am a bit foggy in the head right now. But, as I recall, porneia is made up of two parts:

It is the same root as the word pornography.
Literally pornography means to draw the prostitute.
So the literal root of porneia is prostitution.
Since I can't see the greek right now, there are certain details I can't answer. But from reading literature outside the bible, this much is clear to me -- prostitution is not the free woman on the street corner idea alone. War often ended in slavery with women sold as objects of sexual use. The boys, unfortunately, were also sold occasionally. I don't remember all the details, but it was quite sick.

My impression of the word is that it is a catch all for many kinds of sexual immorality (or more properly, perhaps) abuse.

The word (pedophile) is sort of a cover up word like "gay".
the word really does not show forth it's meaning -- as philia means love in a friendly way. Ped means "foot" or rather something under-foot, eg: a child. So pedophile means a "friend of children"

Why do you ask?
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Old Oct 21, '08, 1:40 am
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Holly3278 Holly3278 is offline
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Default Re: Is the Greek word "porneia" more properly translated as fornication or sexual immorality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huiou Theou View Post
Hi Holly,

I am going from memory and am a bit foggy in the head right now. But, as I recall, porneia is made up of two parts:

It is the same root as the word pornography.
Literally pornography means to draw the prostitute.
So the literal root of porneia is prostitution.
Since I can't see the greek right now, there are certain details I can't answer. But from reading literature outside the bible, this much is clear to me -- prostitution is not the free woman on the street corner idea alone. War often ended in slavery with women sold as objects of sexual use. The boys, unfortunately, were also sold occasionally. I don't remember all the details, but it was quite sick.

My impression of the word is that it is a catch all for many kinds of sexual immorality (or more properly, perhaps) abuse.

The word (pedophile) is sort of a cover up word like "gay".
the word really does not show forth it's meaning -- as philia means love in a friendly way. Ped means "foot" or rather something under-foot, eg: a child. So pedophile means a "friend of children"

Why do you ask?
Thanks for the post. I ask simply because I'm curious. Basically, I have heard some people justify premarital sex by saying that porneia should be translated as sexual immorality instead of as fornication and that sexual immorality does not refer to premarital sex. That's the main reason why I am asking. I am trying to determine the issue for myself.
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Old Oct 21, '08, 1:55 am
Luke65 Luke65 is offline
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Default Re: Is the Greek word "porneia" more properly translated as fornication or sexual immorality?

The best explanation I've seen was from Jimmy Akin at Catholic Answers (here!):

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2000/0007bt.asp
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Old Oct 21, '08, 2:03 am
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Holly3278 Holly3278 is offline
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Default Re: Is the Greek word "porneia" more properly translated as fornication or sexual immorality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke65 View Post
The best explanation I've seen was from Jimmy Akin at Catholic Answers (here!):

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2000/0007bt.asp
Thank you for this link Luke65. Unfortunately, it does not really answer my question. I am wanting to know if porneia really meant premarital sex or not. If the definition for porneia includes premarital sex or fornication then it will answer my question. However, if it does not mean premarital sex or fornication then I would have to conclude that premarital sex or fornication is a gray area in the Bible and that therefore, it could still be allowed.
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Old Oct 21, '08, 2:09 am
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Default Re: Is the Greek word "porneia" more properly translated as fornication or sexual immorality?

I have decided to end this thread. Premarital sex is clearly condemned by both the Bible and Sacred Tradition. I should not have questioned 2,000+ years of Christian wisdom. Thanks for your time though everyone.
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  #7  
Old Oct 21, '08, 2:58 am
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Default Re: Is the Greek word "porneia" more properly translated as fornication or sexual immorality?

I am feeling a bit too down to sift my notes at the moment.
But, I take it, that you are Catholic and perhaps speaking to non-catholics?

If so, the scriptural references are probably the most effective.
So, if I do a quick scan of the LXX and NT...

Genesis 34:31 uses it to refer to a possibly legal raping.
πορνη pornH (the H is Eta)


Genesis 38:15 uses it to refer to a harlot who was not really a harlot, but a woman Judah owed children to through his sons. πορνεην pornH[n]

This is backed up in line: 38:21 when the locals ironically note there was no harlot there... she took the child and pledge as her rightful payment.
πορνη

In Genesis 38:34 the word is probably the same variant you are looking for by my guess, which simply re-affirms the last two passages.
πορνειας porneias, (from the child is conceived by porneias)
εκ-πε-πορν-ευκεν (hmm, an odd one, will need to look at later as it refers to Tamar's standing for which she is to be burned (purified) )

In Genesis 34:15, The septuagint is different here, I think than the Hebrew, but the passage is talking about marriage to those not of the same religion. The standard text does not draw out the full nature of the contract. But the Israelites are obviously using guile in promising a marriage if the Pagans will MERELY consent to circumcision. The outward sign of their religion -- when the cutting off is really to be of their heads above. In other words, by killing those outwardly circumcised (married in the covenant) since rape (of which the whole other tribe is "guilty") is incompatible with marriage.

The circumcision is carried out by some of the priest/butchers of Israel. Hmmm, And Jesus says a true Israelite has no guile.... I don't know in what sense to think of that.

Perhaps this is enough of a start for you? although, I would encourage you to check some of these verses with a Greek & english copy (interlinear) of the Septugint (some online, some Libraries also have them) so you can verify what I have said yourself. The Greek is the same kind as was used in Jesus' time, as the conquering government of Alexander had preserved the language for centuries -- Much like the American Declaration is quaint, but still readable to Americans -- and not so different as Elizabethan English (not our country). Of course the supreme court seems to be able to read all kinds of things into that declaration...
Scholars will be Scholars.... a Thesis is a dime a dozen.

But, it does not appear to matter whether a marriage is implied or not. Premarital being the cover word for "we are going to be married" so let's start now. But , as should be obvious, any woman can claim rape after the fact whether she consented or not -- so at least that much ought to be an issue for those who are "test" driving, because not only do people change unlike cars after marriage from before -- this "car" could invent a contract of its own...

I would say, since the word is used of foreign Gods as well as marriages, it would seem to imply *any* activity not sanctioned by the religion revealed by God to eradicate the sin of the Pagans. But, the minimum I could hold conservatively in a debate is that it refers to marriage rites outside those of God's plan.

However, if you are trying to work with Catholics (gasp...I have met more than I thought existed) who profess the same reasoning -- at least to the poorly catechized man one can encourage their restraint by emphasizing that the marriage rite has always been a matter of Law. (eg:the in-laws).

So that no one can marry without permission of the church -- eg: that the "will" of the person which makes the marriage according to church teaching (after the vows) is insufficient if the spouses do not have permission. Jesus will not Join what God has forbidden to join. Therefore, it will always be considered fornication in the Law.

Does this answer the general query, or do you need something more specific?
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  #8  
Old Oct 21, '08, 3:05 am
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Default Re: Is the Greek word "porneia" more properly translated as fornication or sexual immorality?

Gee whiz! I must be typing at an all time low -- the thread was done even before I could complete my second post, so I posted pointlessly.

How fast this generation changes it's mind. Forever is such a short time....
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Old Oct 21, '08, 3:06 am
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Default Re: Is the Greek word "porneia" more properly translated as fornication or sexual immorality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huiou Theou View Post
Gee whiz! I must be typing at an all time low -- the thread was done even before I could complete my second post, so I posted pointlessly.

How fast this generation changes it's mind. Forever is such a short time....
I'm sorry.
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  #10  
Old Oct 21, '08, 3:16 am
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Default Re: Is the Greek word "porneia" more properly translated as fornication or sexual immorality?

"Porneia" is related to the word "pornos/-e" meaning prostitute (male or female), and in its original meaning meant "prostitution", though doubtless it can be extended to what is morally prostitution.
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Old Oct 21, '08, 1:16 pm
Ruthie Ruthie is offline
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Default Re: Is the Greek word "porneia" more properly translated as fornication or sexual immorality?

Holly, here is what my Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary has to say about porneia:

G4202
from <G4203> (porneuo); harlotry (including adultery and incest); figurative idolatry :- fornication.

G4203
from <G4204> (porne); to act the harlot, i.e. (literal) indulge unlawful lust (of either sex), or (figurative) practise idolatry :- commit (fornication).

G4204
feminine of <G4205> (pornos); a strumpet; figurative an idolater :- harlot, whore.

G4205
from pernemi (to sell; akin to the base of <G4097> (piprasko)); a (male) prostitute (as venal), i.e. (by analogy) a debauchee (libertine) :- fornicator, whoremonger.

So this includes both strumpet and libertine, and neither type person confines themselves to married people (which would be the only way to define fornication as adultery). Plus, using a prostitute is not confined to married people. Thus, fornication includes sex outside of marriage.

HTH, and God bless us all,

Ruthie the ex-strumpet











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Old Oct 21, '08, 7:41 pm
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Default Re: Is the Greek word "porneia" more properly translated as fornication or sexual immorality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthie View Post
Holly, here is what my Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary has to say about porneia:

G4202
from <G4203> (porneuo); harlotry (including adultery and incest); figurative idolatry :- fornication.
G4203
from <G4204> (porne); to act the harlot, i.e. (literal) indulge unlawful lust (of either sex), or (figurative) practise idolatry :- commit (fornication).

G4204
feminine of <G4205> (pornos); a strumpet; figurative an idolater :- harlot, whore.

G4205
from pernemi (to sell; akin to the base of <G4097> (piprasko)); a (male) prostitute (as venal), i.e. (by analogy) a debauchee (libertine) :- fornicator, whoremonger.

So this includes both strumpet and libertine, and neither type person confines themselves to married people (which would be the only way to define fornication as adultery). Plus, using a prostitute is not confined to married people. Thus, fornication includes sex outside of marriage.

HTH, and God bless us all,

Ruthie the ex-strumpet










Ok, thank you for this helpful post.
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  #13  
Old Dec 12, '10, 7:28 am
Kaste Kaste is offline
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Default Re: Is the Greek word "porneia" more properly translated as fornication or sexual immorality?

Holly, (if still around) what changed your mind? I thought your question was a good one.

K
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Old Dec 12, '10, 1:53 pm
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Default Re: Is the Greek word "porneia" more properly translated as fornication or sexual immorality?

Quote:
=Holly3278;4318387]Hi everyone. I have a question for you all. Various versions of the Bible condemn fornication while others condemn sexual immorality. So, I ask, what is the more proper translation? Is porneia meant to be a catch all word for any kind of sexual immorality including but not limited to:?
  • rape
  • homosexual sex
  • prostitution
  • molestation
Do the early church fathers always use the Greek word "porneia" or do they ever use a different word either from the Greek or from another language that can more properly be translated as fornication? Thanks for your time.
From STRONG's Greek Lexicon:

Result of search for "porneia":
4202. porneia por-ni'-ah from 4203; harlotry (including adultery and incest); figuratively, idolatry:--fornication.
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Old Dec 14, '10, 7:17 pm
germangreek germangreek is offline
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Default Re: Is the Greek word "porneia" more properly translated as fornication or sexual immorality?

I think it likely as well that "fornication" was the best English word available in the late 15th/early 16th centuries to translate "porneia", and that it has acquired a more restricted sense now. Any sexual immorality is "porneia"
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