Is adultry a mortal sin in other religions?

Do other religions have mortal or serious sins?
How do you tell a mortal sin from a venial sin?

Define ‘mortal’ and ‘venial’. Not all religions use those terms.

mortal sin

mor·tal sin (plural mor·tal sins)


sin bringing damnation: in Roman Catholic theology, a sin considered to be so evil that it causes a complete loss of grace and leads to damnation unless it is absolved.

venial sin

ve·ni·al sin (plural ve·ni·al sins)



minor sin: in the Roman Catholic Church, a sin that does not deprive the soul of divine grace, either because it was not serious or because it was committed without intent or without understanding its seriousness.

Hope these deffinitions are helpful.

From my upbringing and it was all over the map as far as religion went. No other “denomination” defines sin the way the CC does. My limited up bringing was Catholic, Baptist, Evangelical, and Lutheran (LCMS), now a Catholic.
To my understanding of others a sin is a sin and it does not matter how you classify it.

In Islam, there is a classification between major sins and minor sins as well as sins that violate the rights of God versus sins that violate the rights of man.

The majority view is that a major sin is any sin that has a specific punishment in this life or the hereafter or the Curse of Allah or His Messenger(saw). Adultery is a major sin.

From the Compendium:

Generally, in Buddhism, there is no act that forever damns one to eternal damnation, but there are acts that are more seriously detrimental to one’s spiritual state. If you are a Buddhist monk or nun, there are certain acts that require expulsion – the heaviest penalty – from the Sangha.

Venerable Ones, listen to me! These are the Four Rules that require expulsion from the Order.

  1. If One of this Sangha, having been properly ordained and having accepted the Full Precepts, engages in adultery or impure conduct, defiling himself or others, such a one is expelled and cut off…

“Adultery”, in the context of a monk or nun, refers to sexual activity of any sort.

Buddhism does teach the existence of hells (which are states of extreme suffering, and which may last for eons, but which are not eternal), and certain actions are said to lead to hell. Adultery might lead one to hell, but there are other actions even more serious that adultery:

“There are these five inhabitants of the states of deprivation, inhabitants of hell, who are in agony & incurable. Which five? One who has killed his/her mother, one who has killed his/her father, one who has killed an arahant *, one who — with a corrupted mind — has caused the blood of a Tathagata * to flow, and one who has caused a split in the Sangha. These are the five inhabitants of the states of deprivation, inhabitants of hell, who are in agony & incurable.”**The translator of the above passage notes:

[quote]This discourse lists the five grave deeds that are said to prevent one’s chances of attaining any of the noble attainments in this lifetime. People who commit them fall — immediately at the moment of death — into hell. No help from outside is able to mitigate the sufferings they will endure in hell, and thus they are said to be incurable. Only when the results of these deeds have worked themselves out will they be released from hell. Even if they return to the human plane, they will continue to suffer the consequences of their deeds.

For Mormons, Yes. Adultery is a mortal sin.

It is considered one of the “Big three” next to “Shedding Innocent Blood” (Murder) and “Denying The Holy Ghost” (Being a disciple or prophet who turns away from God when he knows better, like Judas or to a lesser extent Jonah).

My source for the LDS belief on this point is in the Book of Mormon, the Book of Alma. The Prophet Alma is teaching the principle of how serious adultery is to his son Corianton, who had the gall to go after a prostitute when he was supposed to be preaching:

**3 …] Thou didst do that which was grievous unto me; for thou didst forsake the ministry, and did go over into the land of Siron among the borders of the Lamanites, after the harlot Isabel.
4 Yea, she did steal away the hearts of many; but this was no excuse for thee, my son. Thou shouldst have tended to the ministry wherewith thou wast entrusted.
5 Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord; yea, most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost?
6 For behold, if ye deny the Holy Ghost when it once has had place in you, and ye know that ye deny it, behold, this is a sin which is unpardonable; yea, and whosoever murdereth against the light and knowledge of God, it is not easy for him to obtain forgiveness; yea, I say unto you, my son, that it is not easy for him to obtain a forgiveness.
7 And now, my son, I would to God that ye had not been guilty of so great a crime. I would not dwell upon your crimes, to harrow up your soul, if it were not for your good.

(Alma 39:3-7)**

The seriousness of Denying the Holy Ghost is also taught by Paul in Hebrews:

**4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. (Hebrews 6:4-6)
It is his words, coupled with the words of Alma in verse 6 that say “and ye know that ye deny it,” which lead us to conclude that the Lord’s standard for Denying the Holy Ghost is very high, but this also shows the caliber of sin adultery is placed in, because it is listed alongside Denying and Murder.

As for “venial” or lesser sins, we do think there are certain levels. We believe in a form of confession. In order to work this kind of thing out, your Bishop (we call what would be a Priest in Catholic terms a Bishop in ours) and you have to seek out the Lord’s help. A 12 year old boy who is starting to confess thoughts about his next-door-neighbor will be handled much differently than a man who cheats on his wife and has been covering it up and then gets caught.

Where in the Bible does it says that adultry is a mortal sin? The only sin that sends a person to hell is unbelief. Mark 16:16; John 3:15-18

I’ve been associated with methodist, baptist, pentacostal, non denominational and I’ve never heard sin broken down into minor and major sins, sin is sin.

It is human to look at the Lord’s commandments and think well adultery cannot be as “bad” a sin as murder.

In the OT children many of the sins resulted in death by stoning, things we would consider shocking in today’s society…like killing children who are disrespectful to parents.

Jesus taught us the full intention and spirit of the law. For example, according to Jesus, adultery is not just the physical sex act, but if one looks on another person and has sexual desires for that person then you have committed adultery.

Jesus taught do we really love God as we are commanded in the first commandment. Jesus told a young man, if so, sell all you have and follow me…the young man had many possessions and tho he had followed all the commandments his entire life, his unwillingness to give up his earthly possessions showed how one may THINK they have followed all the commandments but yet have not in the true spirit of the law. It was obvious the young man had broken the commandment to love the Lord with all you have.

Before a sin became a done deed it was first a thought. So our thoughts themselves can be sin even if we fail to act on the thought, i.e. even tho we may not commit the deed.

I think Jesus’ teachings made it clear that it is much harder to follow the commandments than we thought.

**James 2
10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. **

And what about what come out of our mouths? Terrible sin can emit from our mouths.

James 3:5-7

5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

Is it any wonder then that Paul says:
Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

where in the Bible does it say that adultry is a mortal sin?

I believe the only sin that cannot be forgiven is speaking blasphemies against the Holy Spirit. In Mark 3:28-29, Jesus says that anyone who does this is guilty of an eternal sin and can never have forgiveness.

Ex 20:14 You shall not commit adultery.

The rest is context. In a particular context (intent, knowledge, etc) it is mortal, in other contexts it is not.

where in the Bible does it say that adultry is a mortal sin?

I have no idea or rather I’ve not seen a reference to it in my studies of the bible.

Mortal/venial sins is a Catholic distinction…me i’m non denominational and i don’t distinguish between little and big sins. Sin is sin. All have sinned including the pope, priesst, pastors etc.

You are correct in that we all sin, including the Pope, Priests and Pastors.

Jesus did distinguish between greater sins and lesser sins though.

John 19:11
Jesus answered, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."

(I LOVE your username by the way! Jesus is everything to me!:thumbsup:)

Why would God send someone to hell forever just because they don’t know something they didn’t know they were supposed to know? I think the scripture is supposed to be understood as WILLFUL unbelief. (V.17 - “God sent not his Son to condemn the world: but that the world through him might be saved.”)

We have to remember:

**7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; [making you think] I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)

7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. . . (Proverbs 23:7)**

Yes, unbelief is a serious sin, but I know in my heart God has a plan in place for those who don’t even get the opportunity to be stubborn. :blush:

In Judaism, adultery is a capital offense. The penalty is death by stoning. However, this is almost never carried out, as it requires two witnesses of good moral standing.

Sins are not of equal value in Judaism, as penalties vary. A sin might be punished by exile, death, lashes, or a sin might have no punishment at all. Generally speaking, “thou shalt not” commandments had punishments attached, and “thou shalt” commandements did not have punishments attached with only a couple exceptions.

It should also be noted that in Judaism a man is OBLIGATED to divorce an unfaithful wife.

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