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We are going to study the true meaning of these words. So, at first, let me introduce my bible. I came from India, and my language is Tamil. Tamil bible claims that it is directly translated from Greek and Hebrew languages. So, I may take the Tamil bible as a reference since it is equal to Greek and Hebrew. Why do we need a reference? Let us see the reason with an example. The word 'baptism' in English bible is without its meaning. So, how can we find the meaning of 'baptism'? False preachers give fake meaning to promote false doctrines; and so, until today, we have unsettled disputes for the meaning of 'baptism.' In Tamil bible, the word is 'bath' instead of 'baptism'. So, the meaning comes with the word. Further explanation of the word says it is not to remove the dirt of the body. So, it is a ceremonial bath, just to dip in water and to come out. So, there is no room for dispute for an honest person regarding the word 'bath'. So, please allow me to use the Tamil bible to study the meaning of a few more words that are not clear and are confusing in English. King James version is the most accurate bible in English, still, it has a few errors. And some words do not even give the meaning by itself. So, let us find the meaning of such words of the king James version, using the Tamil bible, for our study. I hope, this will help us.
If a man or a woman commit sex outside marriage to satisfy their craving for sex, it is called fornication. But if a man or a woman commit sex for other benefits like, money, favor, security, protection, and such things, it is called adultery. So, adultery and fornication are words for illicit sex, but there is a difference. Commonly both the wotds mean the same and are interchangeable. But in the bible, there is a difference between them. For some reason, the English bible do not reveal the meanings of these words. So, let us go to the Tamil bible for help. Husband and wife are legal partners, and their bed is blessed by God. Illegal sex partners are considered adulterers or prostitutes in English. In Tamil bible, the word is "vaesi". The word "vaesithanam" refers to the desire and craving to do sex, and it refers to doing sex also. "Vaesithanam" is called fornication in English. So, fornication is the act of sex with the desire, or craving, or instinct to do it; whether the person is married or not, which is irrelevant. The word for adultery in Tamil is "vibacharam," and it refers to the act of illicit sex, that is done not necessarily because of the desire or craving to do sex, but for some other reasons like money, favor, to escape from danger, for protection in life, may be to lure the person to marry, or for such things. So, both fornication and adultery are acts of illicit sex; but fornication is with the purpose to enjoy the act of sex; but adultery is to accept sex for other favors like money and such other things. Jesus Christ has included one more class as adultery. If a man could not get a woman to do sex with him by means of money or by any other favors; but if he satisfies his desire by looking at her by lusting, Jesus called it as adultery in his heart. It is in: "Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." These are the definitions for fornication and adultery according to Tamil bible, which was translated from Greek and Hebrew bibles. So, we can accept these as true meaning of the words. It is sad that English bibles do not give us the true meaning of the words, but leave us stranded, for us to depend on even false preachers. They use such situations to preach false gospels and false doctrines.
Marriage is the legal ceremony by which a man and a woman are united together as one, to begin a family of their own. But there are couples that live together without being legally married. So, some are married, and others live together without being married. Bible says that marriage bed is blessed, and others live in adultery, which is rebellion against God. So, one couple is married, and the other live together.
If a married couple are separated for some reason, they are considered "put away." If their separation is supported by legal writing, then they are divorced. So, the terms are (1) put away, that is being separated without legal papers, and (2) divorced, it is separated with legal papers. The put away people marry another, it is adultery, since the first person is still married to this person by law. But, if they are legally separated, that is, if they are divorced, then if they marry another; it is not adultery, and their marriage is legal. Divorce helps the person to marry another and to lead a family life. Bible advices widows to marry, and it is in 1 Timothy 5:11-15. But the so-called bible teachers take advantage of such situations to promote their own doctrine, by twisting scriptures. But, in my language bible, such issues are noticeably clear.
For refence: 1 Timothy 5:11 But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; 12 Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith. 13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. 14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. 15 For some are already turned aside after Satan.
A few wrong meanings are preached. One familiar meaning is: sex before marriage is fornication, and sex after marriage is adultery. Please notice the following verses; here the married wife commits fornication. So, fornication is not sex before marriage. "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. 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." Here, the only cause for divorce is fornication, which happens after the marriage. So, fornication is not pre-marital sex. However, there is one error found in verse 5:32. It is that the sentence begins with the phrase "put away his wife," and it must end with the same phrase, since it refers to the same person and the same incident. But in English, it ends as "that is divorced," which is different; and it makes the sentence meaningless; but it is correct in the Tamil bible. The verse begins with "put away" and ends with "put away" and it is correct since it refers to the same person and same incident.
Let me point out two more such words; they are concupiscence and lasciviousness, and they are in Colossians 3:5 and in 1 Thessalonians 4:5. "Lust of concupiscence" is lustful craving or intense desire for sex. In Tamil, it is pronounced as "ischai," it is filthy desire. English dictionaries give the meaning as strong desire that of sexual nature. The next word is 'lasciviousness', and it means, to be filled with or showing lewd sexual or lustful desire. In Tamil bible, it pronounces as "kama vikaram," which means perversion in lust. Here let me show the danger of not knowing the true meaning of the word. "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, ..." Here, false preachers use the grace of God to accept lasciviousness, which is sin of perversion in lust. So, we must know the true meaning of the verses, at least from our bible studies. Think about it; what is the use of studying scriptures without knowing the true meaning of what it is? Jesus Christ says this: "Matthew 15:13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. 14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." So, please do not study bible from blind teachers. Do not fall with them.
For refence: 1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: 4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; 5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God. 6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
Note: If any point needs explanation, OR, if you find
an error according to scripture,
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I am a retired pastor of
the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.
God Bless You