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An example is John Witte, who argues that the Bible itself is silent on the issue of consensual, premarital sex between an engaged couple.

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.

However, it is an excellent translation for porneia, which basically referred to any kind of sex outside of marriage ... but the overwhelming weight of scholarship and all the available evidence from the ancient world points firmly in this direction.

"Flee sexual immorality (porneia) and pursue self-control" (cf.

First, there was a betrothal in which the man claimed the woman to be his only bride.

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." The early Church's statements on marital affairs mainly concerned acceptable reasons for divorce and remarriage.Whilst Paul, in his epistles to early believers, emphasised that both celibacy and marriage were good forms of life, after his life the Church felt that celibacy was more virtuous and liberating.This focus came about because the early church was very ascetic, possibly due to the influence of Greek philosophical thought.Before becoming a Christian, he had taken a concubine in defiance of his (Christian) mother's anxious warning to him "not to commit fornication".Reflecting much later, he believed that the problem was that his love had "no restraint imposed [on it] by the exchange of mind with mind." Hence, pure love was perverted by its misdirection toward lust whereas a Godly relationship should focus on a loving, rational partnership instead.

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