Bad Advertisement?

News & Reviews:
  • World News
  • Movie Reviews
  • Book Search

    Are you a Christian?

  • Is being a Nudist or even
    Swinging a Sinful Lifestyle or
    Can a Christian Do Either?


    Today, while reading a certain scripture in Leviticus, I stumbled onto something very odd when looking at the original definitions of a few words in the passage below (Leviticus 18:20):

    King James Version English Translation:

    Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour's wife, to defile thyself with her. - Leviticus 18:20

    Original Ancient Hebrew Tanach:

    ואל413 אשׁת802 עמיתך5997 לא3808 תתן5414 שׁכבתך7903 לזרע2233 לטמאה׃2930

    Well, what surprised me was when I clicked on the various Strong's numbers above to get the original hebrew definitions of these words. I clicked on the first three on the left, and it was talking about copulation(sexual penetration) and semen and/or to produce offspring. And that really caught my eye. I was thinking to myself, this english King James Version of the Bible does not say this in the english rendering. So, I was rather intrigued by this and decided to go through clicking on each and every one of the strong's numbers to see what it was saying in its entirety. As, I have had some past experience with finding various flawed english renderings in the past, specifically related to topics on sex, marriage and divorce, so I know that this could be very relevant to look more into.

    After clicking through all the words several times, I realized, it does not say the exact same thing in the Hebrew as they are rendering in english. I had to actually do it a few times, as I was a bit surprised at how it was worded and that I had never noticed it in the past. But, as you can imagine, the Bible is large, so since there are 33,000+ verses in the Bible, its possible I just never looked at the original hebrew in depth on this one verse. At any rate, the text says more acurately says this:

    Direct Rendering into English from Ancient Hebrew:

    [Concerning/413] [wife/woman/802] [(of) Neighbor/5997] [not/3808] [to give/to put/5414] [copulation/penetration/sexual intercourse/7903] [seed/offspring/sowing/children/2233] [become impure/foul/impure moral or ceremial/2930]. - Leviticus 18:20

    Shorter Direct Rendering:

    Concerning/413 wife/802 (of) Neighbor/5997 not/3808 to give/5414 sexual penetration/7903 semen/sowing offspring/2233 (to) become impure/2930.

    Shorter Direct Rendering without Numbers:

    Concerning wife (of) Neighbor not to give sexual penetration creating seed/offspring impure.

    Now, is it just me, or does this say something different than how it is usually rendered in the english? Of course, when I saw this, I thought to myself, "Well, maybe, I am just not smart enough to understand or read into the Hebrew what these translators are seeing". So, I decided to do a bit more digging into the surrounding verses and also into what other english translations of the Bible say.

    Well, interestingly, it appears I am not the only one who translated this verse this way. A very well-known Christian, Robert Young, who has created many popular Christian resources, translated it the same way as me as well (see below). Further, the Douay-Rheims translation (older Catholic Bible) has also the same basic approach:

    Young's Literal Translation:

    18:20 `And unto the wife of thy fellow thou dost not give thy seed of copulation, for uncleanness with her. - Leviticus 18:20

    My Short Direct Rendering without Numbers:

    Concerning wife (of) Neighbor not to give sexual penetration creating seed/offspring impure.

    Douay Rheim's Bible:

    20 Thou shalt not lie with thy neighbour's wife, nor be defiled with mingling of seed. - Leviticus 18:20

    Does this mean it is the correct translation? Well, I decided to dig deaper, to find other verses within the very same paragraph that say the same thing in english, to see if their original hebrew counterparts said the same thing. As, I figure, if I am missing something, I should see similar patterns in other related passages of scripture. So, then I took this verse here, about the prohibition of men lying with other men, sexually speaking, to see, if maybe, it says something about copulating as well in the original languages:

    King James Version English Translation:

    Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. - Leviticus 18:22

    Young's Literal Translation:

    Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind, because it is an abomination. - Leviticus 18:22

    Original Ancient Hebrew Tanach:

    ואת854 זכר2145 לא3808 תשׁכב7901 משׁכבי4904 אשׁה802 תועבה8441 הוא׃1931

    Direct Rendering into English from Ancient Hebrew:

    [Near/Together/With/854] [male-kind/2145] [not/3808] [to lie(sexually)/to sleep with/to lay with(sexually)/7901] [(lying down) on bed, couch, etc/4904] [(like) woman/(like) female/802] [a disgusting thing/abomination/8441] [it is/1931].

    Shorter Direct Rendering:

    Together/854 male-kind/2145 not/3808 to lay with sexually/7901 on bed, couch, etc/4904 (like) female/802 a disgusting thing/8441. it is/1931.

    Shorter Direct Rendering without Numbers:

    Together male-kind not to lay with sexually on bed, couch, etc like female its a disgusting thing.

    So, it appears that the hebrew direct rendering of Leviticus 18:22 is basically the same as the King James Bible and the Young's Literal Translation on this verse here. However, you notice that, even though they say "not lie" with in both verses 20 (neighbor's wife - KJV) and 22 (with men - KJV), they are not even close to the same type of wording in the Hebrew. Further, if you look at most of the other prohibitions in the very same section of scripture, you will see it talks about not uncovering the nakedness of your relatives, as to have sexual relations with them or maybe shame them. Which also, is a totally different wording. Regarding "uncovering nakedness" of your relatives, I do not believe it really means being a nudist at a beach as a family is a sin, as there are two different types of "uncovering nakedness". Improper (sexual, shame) and proper. To say it is only refering to "uncovering nakedness" in general, it would mean that you could not give your young child a bath (Leviticus 18:6). Therefore, it is not refering to uncovering nakedness in general, but rather uncovering nakedness with improper behaviour in mind (sexually, to shame, etc.).

    After doing a bit more research, I did find one verse that spoke in very similar terms to the verse about lying with your neighbor's wife. It used the term for [copulation/sexual intercourse/7903], BUT it does not use the term for [semen/sowing offspring/2233]. Take a look at Leviticus 18:23:

    King James Version English Translation:

    Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion. - Leviticus 18:23

    Original Ancient Hebrew Tanach:

    Original Hebrew

    ובכל3605 בהמה929 לא3808 תתן5414 שׁכבתך7903 לטמאה2930 בה ואשׁה802 לא3808 תעמד5975 לפני6440 בהמה929 לרבעה7250 תבל8397 הוא׃1931

    My Shorter Direct Rendering:

    All (Men?)/Any (Man?)/3605 Beast/Animal/929 not/3808 to give/5414 copulation/sexual intercourse/7903 to become unclean/2930 wife/802 not/3808 to station/stand/5975 face/6440 beast/929 to lie down(for copulation)/7250 perversion/8397 he/she/it/1931.

    Young's Literal Translation:

    Thou shalt not copulate with any beast, neither shalt thou be defiled with it. A woman shall not lie down to a beast, nor copulate with it: because it is a heinous crime. - Leviticus 18:23

    So, here we see the same "sexual intercourse/penetration" word used, as we do with Leviticus 18:20. However, we do not see the semen/seed/offspring word used in conjunction with it (which is probably because offspring could never be produced!). Notice, again, Young's Literal Translation seems to be more on mark than the King James Bible. It seems like he basically did a direct rendering of what the Hebrew said, like I have done here.

    So, does this mean, that with your neighbor's wife you can not have sexual penetration to produce offspring? Or does it mean you can not have sexual intercourse of any sort with your neighbor's wife? The reason I ask is this word here [semen/sowing offspring/2233] seems to either be:

    1. Saying that sexual intercourse is a sin and could lead to you defiling this man's wife, by getting her pregnant, violating the husband's rights to clean offspring.
    2. Or maybe, it is saying that ejaculation (as to potentially get her pregnant) from sexual intercourse is a violation because it could lead to pregnancy and unclean offspring.
    3. Or maybe, it is saying that sexual intercourse is a sin that leads potentially to pregnancy and unclean offspring is a sin.
    4. Or maybe, it is saying all sexual interaction with your neighbor's wife is a sin, as it could lead to unclean offspring.
    And also, on this link here, we see everywhere in the Old Testament that this word "semen/seed/offspring" is used and usually to refer to offspring or seed.

    I know it seems crazy I am going into such vivid detail. However, the point is to learn God's law, not gloss over it or just assume the common rendering is correct, when it is so obviously glossed over in many of these common english translations. With regards to the King James translation of this verse, the word "carnally" means physically/sexually lie with your neighbor's wife and you can see they were trying to use this word to represent copulation. Then, in the King James Version, they actually do not even include the word "to bear offspring" or "seed/semen", which seems very wrong to me to just leave a word entirely out of the translation. The fact is, if it meant "lie carnally" rather than "sexual penetration emitting semen or creating offspring" it should be far closer and use generally the right words (like most other verses of the Bible). As you can see, we loose a lot of meaning by just glossing over certain scriptures. Atleast there is two common translations of the Bible that read more accurate (Douay-Rheims and Young's Literal Translation).

    Back to the topic at hand, "Swinging". When you read Leviticus 18:20, you could conclude that it is saying it is wrong to have sexual penetration with your neighbor's wife due to potential of corrupt offspring (but this leaves a very huge gray area of conduct). It appears to be likely saying sexual penetration with your neighbor's wife is a sin in all circumstances, but then, it appears to have a non-defined gray area regarding such activities as seeing your neighbor's wife naked, touching, kissing, etc (assuming no cheating/theft is involved). After thinking it through thoroughly and checking what other scriptures say within the Old Testament, I believe the intent behind God wording it this way was for reason of legal meaning and court judgement. For, a court could be deceived by a man or woman who accused their spouse of cheating, if the standard was any form of potentially romantic interaction at all. If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. The point is that men in times of old and even today, could manipulate a court to have an innocent person killed. Now, if actual sexual intercourse is the standard from which we define someone cheating on their spouse, we can see how that is very concrete act from which to judge someone. However, if someone who maybe touched someone or looked at someone a certain way and another person just happened to see or misjudge what occurred, you can see how this could lead to some false judgement, if that was the standard from which we judged adultery. As in the case of this new movie, "The Stoning of Sara M", we see a man trying to setup his wife to be killed for adultery and he succeeds in doing so, merely off accusations of two men seeing her supposively in a compromising situation (no actual sexual intercourse). Matter of fact, her husband ordered her to work for a man, who's wife just died, so as to make it tempting for the man and then attempt to find even one situation where she "laid down on a bed" (alone, for a nap), so as to accuse her of improper behaviour and get her stoned to death. This is the main reason why I think this verse says actual sexual penetration is the violation, instead of merely improper behaviour.

    Now, regarding whether or not there is more to it than just this judgement factor (like a freedom factor), I would say the rest of scripture seems to make you think that it is best to avoid your neighbor's wife sexually, so as to avoid the temptation of sinning. There is one weaker viewpoint, where you could take a liberal stance and say it is a property right issue. In that, as long as the husband was OK with it and they are 100% avoiding the factor of pregnancy, it maybe permissible to sexually interact with another man's wife. However, you can see how this viewpoint is treading into dangerous territories and likely not biblical. Why? Because it seems to be contrary to the flow of other scriptures within the Bible (such as flee fornication). Further, I don't think this verse is saying that, but rather avoid all sexual intercourse with your neighor's wife. So, the freedom factor is in conjunction with the idea of fleeing temptation and sin (freedom, in light of your own perceived self-control and what constitutes stepping over the line and committing adultery in one's heart). As this scripture appears to be saying not to have sexual penetration, as there is potential you could mix seed and defile your neighbor's wife. So, the point being, you need to flee from such a sin. Each person would have to consider their own self-control and limit (within reason and considering the factor of fleeing temptation). It is like alcohol, whereas some people should avoid at all costs, while others can have a drink here and there. I am referencing the scripture "flee fornication". It is saying, the principle of running the opposite direction of a sexual sin. And getting close to say a nude woman who is not your wife, can be very tempting, as you can imagine. So, I think, maybe, the idea is to not judge in such things as sin, but rather, to judge as it is a potentially foolish action that could lead to sin (too tempting, and the man sins by sleeping with his neighbor's wife). Now, regarding nudity, perhaps, something like this would not be tempting to some men and women and they could visit nudist beaches, etc. The point is, you have to know your own self-control and also consider if it is wise. If something would lead you to sin, you should flee from it. Like alcohol. For some, one drink can lead to alcoholism, while others can drink with no fret of problems. This why some churches just teach very high standards (no alcohol, no gambling, no sexual interaction until marriage, etc), because they want you to flee any opportunity of sin. Nobody can argue with having a higher standard on anything, as long as you don't become too legalistic (i.e. ~ no friendship with opposite sex in normal situations, etc).

    The point here is to wrap your mind around God's thoughts and logic. The fact is, there are many situations in life, where it can appear compromising, potentially adulterous to a person who is not fully understanding what is occurring. For instance, a man is giving CPR to a woman on the beach (and she is in a bikini) and man takes a photo of it. A wife is friends with a man, and she happens to be the type that is more touchy/feely, while the man tends to smile a lot. A doctor, checking a person physically for some check-up. Or a mortitioner cleaning a nude dead body. As you can see, there are many situations where you have nudity occurring or where a person could take a picture or video and someone could see it and misjudge what is occurring. Further, there is a freedom aspect to it. As God said, "my burden is easy and yoke is light". The point being, God does not make a lot of rules regarding your overall activity, but rather a few, to keep it simple. If you see a woman on the beach topless, does that mean you sinned? Does it mean the woman sinned? How about a woman who is a massage therapist, where she does not touch any of your sexual organs, but gives you a massage, while you are nude laying face down. Do you see what I am saying? So many situations, where people could have apprehensions, judgements, etc. God makes it simple, so we don't have to worry about every little action we are taking, yet we need to consider our own personal limits and flee sexual immorality. So, the point is not so you can go do everything but sexual intercourse with another man's wife. The point is, so people do not judge incorrectly and that people have certain freedoms from abnormal restrictions. Imagine a male Christian gynecologist - how could he do his job, if it was considered sexual adultery to even look at the female sexual organ? Or, if he was checking the woman, would this constitute adultery? The point is, God is smarter than you or I, so he would define sexual sin in a very wise and basic manner. Consider also, nurses having to clean patients, who are not able to clean themselves. So, such actions do not constitute adultery.

    From all of my previous studies, I know that the two main commandments are:

    King James Version English Translation:

    Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. - Luke 10:27

    And that these two commandments represent the entirety of God's Law, just as the 10 Commandments represent the entirety of God's Law.

    If you observe the structure of the 10 Commandments, you will notice that the first 4 represent "loving God" or "don't steal from God". And the last 6 commandments represent "loving your neighbor" or "do not steal from your neighbor". And from the 10th Commandment, we see that we are not to "covet" our neighbor's property, which means, we are not to desire to steal it from our neighbor. However, that does not mean you can not admire his property or borrow a certain item from him, etc.

    King James Version English Translation:

    20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that [is] thy neighbour's. - Exodus 20:17

    Looking at the 10th of the Ten Commandments above, we can see that there is a "household" structure, where the man is head of the household. Second in command is the wife and so on down the line. We can see that the man's household includes:

    1. A house
    2. A wife or wives
    3. A manservant
    4. A maidservant or maybe concubine (secondary wife/maidservant)
    5. An Ox or Ass (something used for labor or production).
    6. Or anything that is thy neighbors (whatever remaining property he owns).

    To see an example of how the wife is second in command, consider Abraham and Sarah, where Sarah told Abraham that now she is looked down upon by her maidservant (who became a concubine to Abraham to bear offspring). So, Abraham gave Sarah permission to get rid of Hagar.

    But, what should be very clear is that the wife is part of the husband's household. This is relevant to understanding the mind of God regarding marriage, sex, property rights, and so on. So, the wife is equal to the husband, but the husband is the one with elevated command and is deemed as the executive of the household.

    Considering this, you can see that possibly all that is within the man's household can function with property rights (Exodus 20:17, Exodus 22:14, etc.). Of course, the wife, she has an elevated position, so she is not bought or sold, and no man can have sexual intercourse with her, other than her husband. But, the husband could have his wife go cook or clean for a man, who has no wife and needs help with various tasks. I believe this is the correct understanding of the wife in the family structure, though, one could take a liberal stance and say that she could have sexual interaction with other men, if the husband permitted. But, such a stance I believe is just twisting the scriptures. As it does not flow with the way the Bible discusses this topic. Consider even if a manservant marries a maidservant of his master (Exodus 21:2-11). If the manservant goes out, the maidservant remains in the master's possession. If the manservant does not want to leave her, he can stay with his master forever and stay married to the maidservant. Now regarding the master's wife, she is second in command and is esteemed, and flesh of his flesh. So, a man to loan out such items as his ox or manservant to do a job, help out a person, etc. So, is it also possible for a husband to loan out his wife for non-sexual reasons, like helping someone out, etc.

    Now, what about a situation where you have two married people on a nudist beach and they can see other married people nude? Would this violate Leviticus 18:20 or any other verse? Or playing a game of volleyball naked? Or even more? See what I mean? Where is the line, exactly and what should be avoided. For some, this would be great temptation, so to "flee fornication" they should avoid such activities (if thy right arm offend thee, cut it off). So, once again, I feel like I opened some pandora's box, as I did with other topics, but the point I believe is God does not make really restrictive rules to protect people from maybe misunderstood or odd situations and circumstances. It is not a license to go do whatever you want, but rather a protection for you in judgement. So, instead of taking the risk, you should consider your self-control and take another step back just in case.

    The more I study these topics, the more I realize just how off many are regarding the family structure, marriage, sex and related topics. It is like we have taken our surrounding conservative American/Greco/Roman culture and forced its interpretation onto the Bible. Rather than allowing the Bible to speak for itself, even our esteemed translators of the Bible did not want to ruffle any feathers and played it safe by glossing over the translation of various passages of scripture. I don't know about you, but honesty, that really irritates me. Why is it that I have to spend all manner of time seeking out the true rendering of scripture in english using reliable resources like Strong's Concordance? Why is it, they could not just avoid their own mind, thoughts and feelings and just literally put down the true meaning of the words? That to me seems very disingenuous. I would pay a great deal of money to just see someone literally go through the Bible and just put in the "Strongs Concordance" meaning of each word. Actually, I think Robert Young pretty much did it with the "Young's Literal Translation", but his tranlsation is not the most popular among giants like the King James Bible. Maybe doing a comparative study between Young's Literal Translation and the King James Bible would shed light on many topics?


    King James Version English Translation:

    Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour's wife, to defile thyself with her. - Leviticus 18:20

    Shorter Direct Rendering:

    Concerning/413 wife/802 (of) Neighbor/5997 not/3808 to give/5414 sexual penetration/7903 semen/sowing offspring/2233 impure/2930.

    The Conservative Approach ~

    I would say the most conservative approach to interpreting this passage would be to conclude that all sexual intercourse with your neighbor's wife is a sin and that you should flee whatever activity that would tempt you to do it. So, to flee it, you would avoid all potential (avoid nude activity, sexual activity, everything). And the part of the scripture which mentions unclean pregnancy is just refering to the fact that having sexual intercourse brings uncleanness from the emission of semen and could create an unclean pregnancy. Further, because it would be tempting to sexually interact in other manners with your neighbor's wife, we should conclude it is also wrong to even get close to doing it. This would go well with those who want to be safe and in line with God's will, rather than potentially have a problem on your hand. This could be the correct interpretation of this passage of scripture.

    The Liberal Approach ~

    I would say the most liberal approach to interpreting this passage would be to say that a man can permit his wife to have sexual relations with another man, only if it can be 100% guaranteed that she will not become pregnant and that the man does not emit semen into her. Such a viewpoint to me has difficulty harmonizing with scripture, but it does seem like a viewpoint. The idea is you look at Leviticus 18:20 as saying what Young's Literal Translation says, which basically is you can not get your neighbor's wife pregnant or mix seed between families. And then, you would look at it as a property issue, whereas, you can do with your property as you will, but not defile the design of marriage, so as to not mix seed between families, but keep your family intact. Further theft (adultery) could not occur, but both spouses would have to be in agreement to "swing". Such a lifestyle would be very risky, because "What if" you got your neighbor's wife pregnant? Or, what if it really is a sin and you are misinterpreting the Bible?

    The problems with this viewpoint are:

    1. This could be an incorrect understanding of Leviticus 18:20 and it like is you can not have sexual intercourse with your neighbor's wife, period, as it could get her pregnant (this is how the Douay-Rheim's Bible translates the Hebrew).
    2. This does not appear to be "fleeing fornication" as fleeing means running in the opposite direction, not playing near the border. However, does fleeing a sin, mean fleeing things surrounding a sin?
    3. Though you can make this liberal viewpoint align with basically all of scripture, it seems to have a very weak ability to do so, showing it is highly likely in error. Just reading through the Bible, you can't imagine even this type of viewpoint ever harmonizing, but you are maybe able to twist it to fit the viewpoint..
    4. There is the addiction aspects of sex and also the potential of warping one's mind or having complications with your morality. As it could be a door that leads to error.
    5. I personally believe a far safer and wise viewpoint would be to take the Face Value / Best Guess Approach below.

    The Face Value / Best Guess Approach ~

    Based on what I have seen so far with other passages of the Bible and the fact that we can not pin point with perfection the meaning, I am guessing it could mean you can not have sexual intercourse (vaginally penetrate) your neighbor's wife and it is God's desire to keep sexual activity only within your own marriage. So, in the case of your neighbor's wife, sexual intercourse is off limits, but if your neighbor's husband is into the "kinky things", it is very wise to avoid any of the sexual activities he is encouraging, as it could lead to sin in some way. Look at it like he is tempting you. If he is just into playing some nude volleyball or some silly thing nude, I could not say that scripture condemns (but, I can say it is risky). But, where there is sexual interaction, we would say it is off limits. My main concern with this slippery slope is that maybe God created Leviticus 18:20 this way for legal reasons, rather than freedom reasons. For, legally, this would be a 100% violation, rather than say something questionable, like "Rubbing a married woman's back". So, to avoid having people going around making false judgements, God has it limited to the very clear act of sex. Now, this may or may not be the reason it is written this way. It could also be a freedom aspect to it, so as to show God's law is a "an easy yoke and his burden is light" as Jesus said. So, the point being is that the family structure is preserved by sexual intercourse being off limits, but there maybe a gray area, but be careful, for sake of the potential sin. This to me seems like the best guess of what it is actually saying.

    As scripture says, we are to flee sexual immorality as it is potentially too risky to even try these activities, especially if it is tempting to the individual, he should avoid at all costs such types of lifestyles. There is risk in potential pregnancy and also in getting a sexually transmitted disease (STDs). To give you an example, let us again consider the alcoholic. It may not be a sin to drink one beer (as it is highly unlikely you will get drunk on one beer), however, for an alcoholic, one beer could mean relapse into serious sin and addiction. A death drink for him. So, for some, it causes them to sin (leading to sexual intercourse with his neighbor's wife), it would mean for him to avoid any of these gray area activities (nudity with others, etc) at all costs, to save his soul. As Jesus said, "If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off". The point being, it is better to loose your hand and make it to heaven than to retain your hand and end up in Hell. So, for the alcoholic or someone who is addicted to certain things, it is wise, to cut it off or find a good way to keep yourself from sin.


    What about Matthew 5:27-28?

    King James Version English Translation:

    5:27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 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. - Matthew 5:27-28

    Shorter Direct Rendering:

    5:27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery(unlawful intercourse with another man's wife): 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh(sets mind on) on a woman(wife) to lust(desire to take) after her hath committed adultery(unlawful intercourse with another man's wife) with her already in his heart.

    With regards to Matthew 5:27-28, I discuss its interpretation in great deal here. Basically, Jesus was quoting the 7th Commandment - "Thou shalt not commit adultery" and explaining the theology behind the 7th Commandment with the 10th Commandment - "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors ... wife". So, Jesus did not change the meaning of the 10 Commandments and did not add any new morality. It is refering to having the desire to take another man's wife. Further, the term "lust" is rendered often "desire" or "covet" in scripture and actually has zero sexual connotation to it. It is used like the word "desire" today, but with an action component as a requirement. Actually, Young's literal translation also translates the word to be "desire" instead of "lust", probably because lust often has a sexual connotation in people's minds. So, looking at a nude woman is not looking at her with lust in your eyes. Rather, according to the greek renderings of the scripture, it appears to be saying, that when desire to act and take another man's wife, you have "stolen her in your heart" and have commited the sin at that moment. It is like when a thief decides, I am going to break into someone's house. Before this, they are just "tempted". However, when they decide, they have sinned.

    Now, taking the Lamborghini example again, lets say you set your eyes on his car and had "lust" for it. Lets say at first, you just thought it was an awesome car. There is no sin at this stage.. Maybe then, you thought, man, I would like to drive it. Again, no sin here either. However, lets say he says to himself, "I am going to steal this car". This would be the moment he sinned in his heart. And then, when he would go and attempt to steal it, this would be when he sinned in action.

    What about John the Baptist rebuking King Herod about having his brother's wife?

    In this passage of scripture, we see that John the Baptist is rebuking King Herod for taking his brother's wife. Is this the same thing as "wife swapping" or being a "nudist"? Again, same principle as before. In this case, King Herod, literally, stole his brothers wife, against his brother's will.. Even if his brother was OK with it, the fact is, he is not borrowing her or playing nudist games. Rather, he literally took his brothers wife and made her his own wife. On top of that, he is "uncovering his brother's nakedness" as he is next of kin and according to Leviticus 18, he is shaming his brother (its deemed a form of incest). So, we are talking two sins: 1. stealing another mans wife. 2. uncovering the nakedness of his brother's wife (which is the same as uncovering his brother's nakedness). Therefore, the principle of breaking up a marriage comes into play here and incest. So Kind Herod falsely broke up a marriage and stole his brother's wife. As God's Principle is once a man and woman are married, they can only get a divorce in the case of "uncleaness" or as Jesus said, "except for the cause of fornication", which means "sexual cheating or idolatry(uncleaness)". And the only time a brother can marry his brother's wife, is if his brother dies, as then, he is next of kin and could raise seed up for his dead brother (such as in the case of Onan, who was slain by God, because he refused to raise seed for his brother's family after his brother's death).

    I discuss marriage, divorce and remarriage in depth here.

    What about the scriptures that talk about modest apparel?

    Well, let us read the two passages in the New Testament that discuss how women should adorn themselves:

    King James Version English Translation:

    2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 2:10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. - 1 Timothy 2:8-10

    King James Version English Translation:

    3:3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward [adorning] of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 3:4 But [let it be] the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, [even the ornament] of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 3:5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 3:6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. - 1 Peter 3:3-5

    One thing to consider is that the Apostle Paul is refering to a Christian attitude of dress and its perception by others. As it is clear, when the Apostle Paul talks about Sara, he mentions how she honored and obeyed Abraham, her husband. This is mirrored in the other passage, when it says to adorn yourself "with shamefacedness and sobriety". So, Paul's instruction is not really a set of clothing standards, but rather a standard based on the message you are giving other people and the inward heart. Two of the fruits of the Spirit are "gentleness" and "self-control". The greek definition of "shamefacedness" is "reverence, honor". And for "sobriety", it is "soundness of mind, self-control". So, essentially, the Apostle Paul is telling all women to dress with reverence and self-control, rather than without reverence (to husband, God, etc) or without self control (one who is addicted to fashion, shows herself in a manner to draw the wrong type of men or attention, etc).

    So, it is not refering to an actual dress code, other than the mention of "broided hair", "costly array" or "plaiting the hair", etc. And, what this is refering to was likely obvious violations (per the culture he was in) against being reverent and self-controlled. Is it saying a woman can never braid her hair? Or that a woman can never wear "gold, or pearls"? Or that a woman can not "put on apparel"? Whoa? Wait a second! Did I just say that a woman can not "put on apparel"?!? So, basically, if you read this passage to say, you "never" can do these things, it would also mean a woman can never "literally" put on apparel (clothing, in greek). So, if you could not wear gold, you could not wear any form of clothing either(you would be nude), with such an interpretation. Therefore, it is actually saying, a woman is to focus on being "modest" in apparel, rather than focusing on braiding her hair, wearing gold jewelry and the arrangement of apparel. So, it is about the focus of the woman in question, not the apparel she is wearing. If your heart is right, your clothes will follow. So, if you are focused on being reverent and self-controlled, you are not concerned with being the most beautiful woman, or looking glamourous, hence you will not have the persona about your character either.

    Now, what is "modest apparel"? Well, if you look in the greek, you discover that "modest" means "orderly, decorous, good behaviour, modest, well arranged, seemly". If you sort of wrap all those words into one definition, you discover "modest apparel" to mean, "apparel of good taste that is well arranged, not trying to show yourself as important".

    Regarding some specific dress code of what Christians can wear, worldwide, I believe such a thing would not be possible beyond what Paul stated. Because, in one culture, wearing a dress maybe considered immodest or something maybe a loose woman would wear (Muslim countries), while, in another culture, a dress maybe the highest standard for modesty (the Western World). So, it has to do with your audience/culture and what you are trying to convey to those around you. Not so much what you are actually wearing. So, the Christian standard is one that comes from the attitude or heart of the person and considers what its audience would think.

    For instance, some men in Scotland wear a kilt. In countries, such as the USA, this would be deemed inappropriate clothing, and perhaps even something a woman would wear. Yet, no man would dare say this to a Scottish man, lest they offend and receive their just due reward. So, to say, a man can not wear something like a kilt, would be to assume God made such a prohibition. In Scotland, it is normal. In other countries, it may not be. As Paul said, "unto a jew I become as a jew... To them that are without law, as without law".

    So, the point is women are to be humble in dress toward their husbands, not loud and riotous, without self-control, or with expensive and flashy attire. So, lets say a Queen wore something considered expensive apparel, would this make her immodest? I do not believe so, because she is actually expected to wear such clothing and modesty for her, would be as the greek says, namely, "apparel of good taste that is well arranged, not trying to show yourself as important". So, a queen should consider apparel that would be well arranged, good taste, yet not trying to show herself as more important than others (relative to what people think). Further, she is to show herself as reverant and self-controlled, not loud or rebellious. So, it is dependant on your circumstances, and the message you are giving to other people.

    Regarding how this would relate to nudity, I would say, nudity is something that has its place and time. You have to ask yourself this question, "Is there any time in which it is normal to be nude?" One would likely consider such situations as bathing, maybe sleeping in private, having sex with your husband, etc. So, you can not apply the "modest apparel" command to situations that would warrant nudity and you can not be hypocritical and apply it to situations you don't like, while not applying it to situations you do like. For instance, you may think it is OK to bathe nude, but you may consider it sinful to have sex, in daylight, nude. Such a viewpoint is your opinion and you can not apply the "modest apparel" to the sex situation and not the bathing situation, being hypocritical.

    Further, there are situations that you would likely deem uncommon or not a time to be nude, that the Bible and other people would consider situations to be nude. For instance, King Saul actually prophesied naked before the prophet Samuel, for a complete day and night! Now, to most people, this would seem very "immodest", however, as you can see, this was commonplace with prophets, as the people said, "[Is] Saul also among the prophets?" So, there are situations where nudity is justified and "modest apparel" would not apply. Generally, nudity is associated with shame, and sometimes prophets would show nudity to mirror the people's shame before God. In this case, where King Saul is naked for a full day and night, it does not say he is doing this for any shame related reasons. Nudity is often tied to "shame" or "sex" or "prophecy" or even maybe "praise". So, being nude in public is often a sign of some sort (shame, prophecy, etc), atleast in the Old Testament, as some nations defeated in battle were paraded naked. We see one instance where David danced unto the Lord atleast in a manner, for which those who didn't like him, were able to say he was not "modest" in their sight. So, the point is the message you are giving.. So, nudity is defined by scripture, not by people's beliefs. And it is clear, there are situations in the Bible, where someone is naked and people today would assume it is evil or wrong. A brutally honest question for you, "If you saw a man of God, one you revered, naked, prophesying, would you assume he is insane or sinning?" Like I said, there are situations which many would judge hastily, without considering what the Bible says.

    By modest apparel, it is refering to the message you are conveying. Looking at the greek definition of "modest apparel" again, it is, "apparel of good taste that is well arranged, not trying to show yourself as important". This modest apparel would be utilized in most of your activities in life (secular, religious, etc). However, there are actually situations where nudity conveys the right message (bathing, displaying the human form, art, etc). Could a nude beach be something acceptable in God's sight? It is hard to know, as I do not know of any nude beaches discussed in scripture. So, to assume it is a sin, would be an assumption, not something based in scripture, as not all situations call for "modest apparel". Probably the closest thing to a "nude beach" would be the Apostle Peter, mostly nude, on his fishing boat, seeing the Lord Jesus at shore and swimming to him. I am guessing the Apostle Peter was wearing something equivelant to a bathing suit, though he could have been completely naked, as it would lend to his occupation. So, atleast, you could say a regular beach or nudity/partial nudity on a boat would be deemed potentially permissible.

    Regarding a nude picture of a woman, if a woman never identifies herself within the picture and she is not a famous person, how is she sending the wrong message? When making a nude photo, she is not working in secular or religious society, but rather for beauty and/or eroticism (such as seen in the Song of Solomon). No one knows who she is, so her reputation is intact, and she has not brought disgrace on her walk as a Christian. Consider also nudity for medical purposes. What about a textbook showing various regions of a nude anatomical body for medical purposes? Are these sketches or photos immodest? Again, it has to do with the message you are giving and what you are conveying to your audience, as that is the point of 1 Timothy 2:8-10 and 1 Peter 3:3-5 . Putting a nude picture up online can be unwise, particularly if it can be identified with you and cause you problems within your own life or represents Christianity in a bad light. But, to put it up without anyone knowing who you are, it does not damage your reputation or bring shame on Jesus Christ. Or, if your reputation is already known to have such a profession of showing yourself nude, and you are not trying to be the next Miss USA, it would not hurt to have your face and name attached to such pictures, as it is your occupation of nudity or eroticism. As currently, most non-Christians, assume Christians are sex-negative, so something like this could potentially show non-Christians, that Christianity is not against sex, eroticism, etc in a safe and clean way.

    It is the mode of operation to which you are conveying your message. If you are a person in a company or in a ministry and your reputation could not have such a thing occur, obviously, you should never do it. It is not rocket science. It has to do with your reputation and what you are conveying. Not some strict universal dress code, where women must wear dresses and men must wear pants. Consider, in Jesus' time, there were no dresses or pants, but rather, garments. Of course, a woman can not portray herself as a man and a man can not portray himself as a woman.

    If a woman puts her picture up online of her nude, does it mean she is a loose woman? That she sleeps around? I have actually seen a Playboy photoshoot, where one of the women was a virgin. So, obviously, posing nude, does not mean you have sex or are loose. Further, many of those ministers who condemn such actions, look at the very materials they condemn. As Romans 2 declares, "2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. 2:2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. 2:3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?". OR, as Jesus declares in Matthew 7 "7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 7:4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam [is] in thine own eye? 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." So, the point is, your judgement needs to be consistant with scripture and your own lifestyle. Do not be doubleminded or hypocritical.

    What about a man being caught with a married woman (lying with) her and then being stoned? Would not this verse prove Leviticus 18:20 means more than just sexual intercourse?

    This scripture(Deuteronomy 22:20-27) here is actually a very good test for these interpretations of Leviticus 18:20. Lets look at the passage in its entirety:

    King James Version English Translation:

    22:20 But if this thing be true, [and the tokens of] virginity be not found for the damsel: 22:21 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you. 22:22 If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, [both] the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel. 22:23 If a damsel [that is] a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; 22:24 Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, [being] in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you. 22:25 But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die: 22:26 But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; [there is] in the damsel no sin [worthy] of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so [is] this matter: 22:27 For he found her in the field, [and] the betrothed damsel cried, and [there was] none to save her. - Deuteronomy 22:20-27

    Direct Rendering (Deuteronomy 22:22 only):

    [Surely/Indeed/When/That/3588] [find/discover/detect/learn/4672] [man/376] [to lie/7901] [with/5973] [wife/female/802] [to marry/rule over/possess/own/1166] [owner/husband/lord/1167] [to die/to kill/to put to death/4191] [also/even/indeed/1571] [two/both/8147] [man/husband/376] [to lie/7901] [with/5973] [woman/wife/802] [woman/wife/802] [burn/consume/kindle\\to be brutish/1197] [bad/evil/7451] [Israel/3478] .

    Shorter Direct Rendering (Deuteronomy 22:22 only):

    Surely/3588 (if you) discover/4672 man/376 to lie/7901 with/5973 woman/802 marry/possess/1166 (to) husband/lord/1167 to put to death/4191 indeed/1571 both/8147 man/376 who lay/7901 with/5973 woman/802 (and) woman/802 burn/consume/1197 (this) evil/7451 (from) Israel/3478 .

    Shorter Direct Rendering without Numbers (Deuteronomy 22:22 only):

    Surely (if you) discover a man to lie with woman married (to) husband/lord to put to death indeed both man who lay with woman (and) woman burn/consume (this) evil (from) Israel.

    Since we are seeking God's mind on this topic, lets break down the two verses preceding verse 22, regarding the daughter who played the harlot in her father's house. First, we can see the principle of household rights being exhibited here in that a daughter of a man, while living in his household, is to save herself for marriage, so as to allow her father to have an honorable marriage for her. Now, this passage above is NOT saying that if a daughter has sex before marriage, she should be stoned, because Exodus 22:16-17 says that if she has sex before marriage with a man, that she is to marry him, unless her father disapproves (and there is no sacrifice for this action, therefore it is not a sin). However, back to this verse regarding a daughter playing the whore in her father's house. I believe what it is refering to is her prostituting herself for money within her father's house, as it subjugates her father's authority, makes it impossible to have an honorable marriage as there were multiple men and is definitely not "honoring her father and mother". However, if she was not in her father's household, she is not under her father's authority, and then would be permitted to be a harlot, as she then has full authority over her own body (assuming she is not married). I discuss all of this in detail in this article here.

    Regarding the question at hand (verse 22), the verse says if a "man be found lying with a woman who is married" or "if a man be discovered lying with a woman who is married". I think the liberal interpretation is weak on this passage of scripture. However, with the liberal interpretation, you could read this passage: "a man is 'discovered' laying with another man's wife". Meaning, the man is "found" or "discovered" to be lying with a man's wife, which could imply that the two are trying to hide something in the first place. So it is not a female massage therapist giving a male client a non-sexual massage or some female nurse giving some male patient a sponge bath. Rather, we are talking about straight cheating here. The only time that someone would discover them would be if someone is actually seeking it out or just happens to see it occur and knows the woman. So, it is likely similar to a Cheater's episode on TV. The man is suspicious of his wife. Then, he starts to look into it and "finds" her cheating on him with another man.

    Also, notice that it mentions on the betrothed woman, that she is in the city and some man sees her, or maybe already knows her and was planning on meeting her in the city. This to me seems to be implying, she is going to the city, something like women going shopping today. And then, there are obviously men in the city, looking for hot women and maybe she is enraptured by him. Tell me, am I on track here? And then, he sees this hot woman and sweeps her off her feet and in the enjoyment of the fling, she sleeps with him very unwisely, without, obviously, her husbands knowing and then, she is caught or discovered by her husband or others somehow. This seems to possibly be what is being said in the passage. So, to me, the interpretations are not easily dismissed by this passage above, but rather heightens the idea of judging correctly a situation. Yet, I think the liberal viewpoint has a weak ability to deal with this passage, and a better approach would be the Conservative or Best Guess Approach, as then, you would never be in a position to where you could be violating this passage or any other passage for that matter.

    The reason why we can not read to entirely into verse 22, is because if we read into all of these verses to their utmost literalness, we would have to conclude that in verse 23 only if a betrothed woman slept with someone other than her husband in the city she sinned. As God said specifically in the city. So, we can not read into it and ignore the context of the verse. The point is, in the city, they would have more control over detecting such things and putting it to an end within Israel. Out in the country side, it would be difficult to detect such things occurring. So, we can not assume that outside the city, it is not a sin. So also, just because something is not clear in a verse, does not mean we can conclude certain things. We can only conclude with utmost certainty when it is very direct and obvious. And taking a safe Conservative or Best Guess Approach, we do not need to worry about whether or viewpoint really aligns harmoniously with scripture.

    Now, you can really see that God is thinking common scenerios, as you can see with the "field" example of a virgin betrothed, going through a field and some man grabs her and rapes her. Think about it.. If you were in these old times, where you sometimes have to go through a field to get somewhere, it is the perfect place for a rapist or stalker. So, where would be the best place to steal from people or rape people? In the middle of the field or some huge open area. Why? No one could hear if it is a huge field. No one could see, because of the tall grass. Do you see what I am saying here. It is like God thought up the most vivid and common situations in which something would occur and used those for examples. So, obviously, here we see that if she screamed, no one would hear it. So, there would be no way for the woman to defend herself, other than her word. So, the woman would be declared innocent, assuming the evidence weighed it out. This ties into this side on the error of caution when making a judgement about someone, and to ensure you have solid proof of some sin, prior to making a judgement. Clearly, rape is a form of theft on top of abuse, so we can see the error in a person doing such a thing. It is abuse, because it can scar a person for life and it is taking something God meant for good and using it for evil. This was the main sin of Sodom and Gomarrah (gay gang rape).

    Something to consider: "What was the sin in the Garden of Eden?" - Generally, people say the sin was that Eve first, and then Adam sinned by eating the fruit, which meant, they disobeyed God. However, consider the fact that this fruit belonged to God and that they stole it. So, it was again, a property rights issue. God said not to eat this fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and Eve was deceived by the serpant and took and ate. Then, Eve gave it to her husband and he also ate. The point being, they stole from God. And they were not loving God by disobeying God. Was their sin tied to sex, like Augustine claims? I would say no, as obviously, it is refering to a fruit from a tree regarding Knowledge. So, it had to do with knowledge not sex. Further, God gave them the gift of sex prior to their sin in the garden and at the time before the fall, they were both nude and not ashamed. So, the point being, the knowledge from the fruit told them they were naked. They did not even know before this, so they learned something they were not suppose to know.

    What about Hebrews 13, where it discusses the "marriage bed undefiled"?

    This is another great passage to use as a test against these theories. OK, lets look at the full verse:

    King James Version English Translation:

    13:4 Marriage [is] honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. - Hebrews 13:4

    What is interesting about this passage is it mentions the "marriage bed", which seems to be a direct reference to the hebrew word (to lay sexually) 7901, in conjunction with (on bed/couch) 4904. Which, if you recall above, was used when refering to men sleeping with men or people sleeping with animals (in the hebrew, marriage bed is literally said on these passages). However, in the case of a man sleeping with his neighbor's wife, it does not use the marriage bed type words, but rather speaks directly about sexual penetration. So, possibly, the legal way to look at it is:

    1. Men sleeping with men is a violation directly of the marriage bed.
    2. Men sleeping with animals. Women sleeping with animals is a direct violation of the marriage bed as well.
    3. Men having penis/vaginal sexual intercourse with another man's wife is a violation of the marriage bed as well.
    4. Men or women not respecting common boundaries set by another man with regards to his wife would be a violation of the marriage bed. (by default, we should always assume whatever is in another man's household is off limits, as it is his property/wife/etc)
    5. Uncovering the nakedness of your relatives is a violation of the marriage bed.
    6. And so on. I am just taking the definitions of sexual sin in Leviticus and matching them to this passage in the New Testament.

    Now, Paul says, "but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge". Again, using the termonology of the original languages, we know that adultery is "unlawful intercourse with another man's wife". Unlawful intercourse simply means, interaction that is against God's law. So, we can see, exactly what is a violation of God's law in Leviticus 18:20. I am not trying to beat a dead horse here, but the point is, you have to be very logical and precise, if we are going to be judging what the Bible exactly says. Regarding whoremongers, we discover it is a man who is "sexually immoral" or a "male prostitute". Back in ancient times, a male prostitute was likely gay, seeing men where the ones who would generally purchase sex, in a male dominated society (feminism likely did not exist back then). Further, a sexually immoral man would be a man violating Leviticus 18's extensive list of sexual prohibitions. So, gay sex or sexually stealing another man's wife. God will judge these type of people.

    So, why did God define Leviticus 18:20 the way he did? For righteous judgement in cases where adultery was committed or for more freedom? As we are not sure of why God made it so only in the case of sexual penetration, it is adultery (with the Best Guess Interpretation). Was it because of freedom, to allow people room for some other activities potentially (nudity, etc without sexual intercourse)? Or, did God have the law in mind here, and the idea of evidence, where the proof of cheating is sexual penetration and that is the evidence to use in court and law? Or, even more intriguing, maybe it is a combination of the two. Maybe, God in his inifinite wisdom set the boundary at sexual penetration so as to protect innocent people in court from being accused of adultery and to maybe also give more freedom, so as to show himself not as a God of many restrictions and rules, but just enough rules to keep society running right. Of course, it is wise not to play with something you do not understand, so this gray area is something you should assume is risky and you should pray about and always ask yourself, "Am I fleeing sexual immorality?" This is so you do not deceive yourself or make excuses for tempting or sinful behaviour.

    Consider King David when he took Bathesheba. He did it against another man's rights. Then, on top of this heinous sin, he then tries to get the husband killed on the battlefield, so as to take his wife. If this is not adultery, I do not know what is. So, the fact is, he truly stole another man's wife and she had agreed to it (likely because she could be killed otherwise, but for righteousness, she should have rejected his advances. She should have behaved like Joseph did when the Potiphar's wife tried to seduce him, and he flee the scene - fleeing adultery). And something to consider is, he viewed her naked one or more times before he decided to go down and take her. So, it is clear, viewing your neighbor's wife naked in person, atleast for a large amount of people, can be very unwise and lead to sin.

    Is there any scripture in the entire Bible where a man and wife were "swinging" with other married people?

    Well, in a very off the wall way with a concubine(secondary wife), maybe. There is one story and it is not a pleasant one, and theoretically, it proves that swinging with a concubine(secondary servant wife) may not be a sin. With a primary wife, I believe it is a sin. There is one story that can shed a little light, which I will mention also here.

    First, the story about the concubine. This is a horrific story:

    King James Version English Translation:

    19:20 And the old man said, Peace [be] with thee; howsoever [let] all thy wants [lie] upon me; only lodge not in the street. 19:21 So he brought him into his house, and gave provender unto the asses: and they washed their feet, and did eat and drink. 19:22 [Now] as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, [and] beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him. 19:23 And the man, the master of the house, went out unto them, and said unto them, Nay, my brethren, [nay], I pray you, do not [so] wickedly; seeing that this man is come into mine house, do not this folly. 19:24 Behold, [here is] my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing. 19:25 But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go. 19:26 Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man's house where her lord [was], till it was light. 19:27 And her lord rose up in the morning, and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way: and, behold, the woman his concubine was fallen down [at] the door of the house, and her hands [were] upon the threshold. 19:28 And he said unto her, Up, and let us be going. But none answered. Then the man took her [up] upon an ass, and the man rose up, and gat him unto his place. 19:29 And when he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, [together] with her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts of Israel. 19:30 And it was so, that all that saw it said, There was no such deed done nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt unto this day: consider of it, take advice, and speak [your minds]. - Judges 19:20-30

    Yes, sounds more like a horror story than swinging, wouldn't you say? Well, the idea is to somehow ignore all the scary, crazy parts of this story and glean some important facts from it. The fact is, this man, who was married to this concubine (she was part of his household), sent his concubine out to a bunch of vile men, so they could have sex with her and abuse her all night. Now, as you can imagine, what he did was evil, in that he abused his own secondary wife/servant. But, I think it was done in fear for his own life, as these men would have likely raped him and abused him all night instead (which is why Sodom and Gomarrah were destroyed). Both acts are just as evil, whether to a man or woman, however, with men raping men, the sin is worse, because it is also violating God's design and spitting in His face all the more. The point, though, is that this man had the right to give his secondary wife/servant to other men, so as to have sex with her. This can be gleaned from the passage, if you can ignore all the rest of the wicked and horrific things happening.

    But, again, this is not his primary wife, but a secondary servant wife. Yet, we can still glean more from this. The fact is, she is servant, she is part of his household and he may have had the right to give her to other men, even for sex (but not in a wicked manner). So, this may speak to God's design for a family household. That it is about the man being the head of the household, the wife, kids, servants, animals, property are all part of his household and he has control over his own house, within God's bounds. Of course, there are certain things he can not do, like hurt those in his household, or allow his wife to have sexual intercourse with another man (using the Best Guess Interpretation). With the concubine, she is also half a servant, so it maybe possible for a man to give her to other men (though not in such a vile manner)? Of course, no man can abuse his own household (which this guy appears to have done out of fear for his own life). But, as retribution, this man decided to make a horror story out of it to teach the nation of Israel a lesson. He cut up his dead concubine and sent it to the 12 ends of Israel. I think he was so upset and angered over this wickedness, he wanted the story not to be forgotten. The fact is, the Bible is often more X-Rated than anything you will see on TV. Shows the vilest sides of human nature at times.

    The only problem, though, is this story would not be enough to prove swinging is acceptable, because:

    1. The woman is a concubine, which works under different rules than a regular wife. She can be bought and sold, etc.
    2. Since it is such a convoluted story, it is difficult to extract with certaintly principles from it, yet we can not dismiss them either.
    3. Hence making them not any form of verifiable proof towards swinging even with concubines.
    4. Because of various other scriptures, the Bible seems to give me the impression you can not swing on sexual intercourse level.

    Now, onto a related story, which could potentially shed light also on this topic. Abraham allowing Pharaoh to take Sarah, without informing Pharaoh that Sarah was already his wife:

    King James Version English Translation:

    12:11 And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou [art] a fair woman to look upon: 12:12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This [is] his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. 12:13 Say, I pray thee, thou [art] my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee. 12:14 And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she [was] very fair. 12:15 The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. 12:16 And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels. 12:17 And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife. 12:18 And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What [is] this [that] thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she [was] thy wife? 12:19 Why saidst thou, She [is] my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take [her], and go thy way. 12:20 And Pharaoh commanded [his] men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had. - Genesis 12:11-20

    Here, we see that Pharaoh was considering on taking Abraham's wife as his own. So, I think it is clear here, they are not trying to do some kinky sex games, but rather, Abram is just not being honest with Pharaoh, because he is scared of Pharaoh. So, God defends Abram, by making a plague, which alarms Pharaoh, who appears to be very concerned about signs and somehow discovers that the reason is because Sarai is already married. Which means, she belongs to another man, and it would be adultery for even Pharaoh to take her for his own.

    This story is about a man trying to take another man's wife, accidentially. Pharaoh's intent was on marriage to her. And Abraham's intent was for him not to loose his wife (though doing it wrongly).

    With another story, we see a passage that seems very intriguing, yet does not really say anything either way (leaving us in the land of guesstimating scripture):

    King James Version English Translation:

    39:7 And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. 39:8 But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what [is] with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; 39:9 [There is] none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou [art] his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? - Genesis 39:7-9

    If you read the rest of the story, you discover that Joseph did the right thing by fleeing away from her advances, which is what God would want you to do when a woman tempts you to cheat on your wife or vice versa.

    However, regarding property rights, notice the passage that says, "39:9 [There is] none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou [art] his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?"

    Notice how the master of the house could permit Joseph to use whatever in his house and only kept back his wife. Was it because it is a sin to be with another man's wife and you can not allow another man to be with her? Or does it mean that a wife is the highest prize to a man, and this is why it was held back (as 99.5% of all men would do)? It does not make it clear, but the way Joseph was speaking, it just seems to make the point that the man's household is within his control and property rights come into play. Except the wife is off limits in all cases (Best Guess Interpretation). I would by default side with the idea that you can not give your wife sexually to another man. However, can I say a man and his wife can not participate in the gray area, such as being nude on a beach, etc? Or have a little fun, as long as she is not having sex with another man? I can not say such things, as scripture is silent on such conduct. I can say, the scripture says to avoid temptation and to always be self-controlled and avoid risk.

    And that this topic is a lot like alcohol:

    1. You can not get drunk with alcohol = You can not have sex with another's wife.
    2. You can drink alcohol, but do not get drunk = Maybe being on a nudist beach is not a sin.
    3. Avoiding alcohol is the safest = Have sex only with your wife and it is best to avoid all activities outside these bounds.
    4. Alcohol has risk of addiction = If you have sexual addictions, avoid all such things as it is like alcoholism.
    5. Alcohol has risk of injury(car accident, etc) = Sexual relations with others has risk of potential Sexually Transmitted Diseases and pregnancy.

    What about the verse regarding "the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life"?

    If you haven't noticed the pattern thus far, it is often one of looking at a Bible verse through commonly held definitions and interpretations of God's Word. Many Christians will look at a verse like "the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes" and because of the english definitions of words in their mind, impress onto the Bible its meaning. Yet, as I do with all articles on this website, I go through and define the words, according to the original languages, to make sure we are reading it properly. Further, another safegaurd to use is to seek the correct understanding of a word or concept by looking at the Old Testament to see how it was defined and treated there. So, you are building on a sure foundation of understanding, rather then basing your ideas of what you see in the english and assuming they perfectly reflect what God had penned in the original languages.

    With regards to "lust of the eyes", we will look at both the Old Testament treatment of this concept and also look at the greek definition of the term "lust":

    King James Version English Translation:

    For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. - 1 John 2:16

    Greek NT Received Text (Textus Receptus):
    ?t? 3754 CONJ pa? 3956 A-NSN t? 3588 T-NSN e? 1722 PREP t? 3588 T-DSM ??s�? 2889 N-DSM ? 3588 T-NSF ep???�?a 1939 N-NSF t?? 3588 T-GSF sa???? 4561 N-GSF ?a? 2532 CONJ ? 3588 T-NSF ep???�?a 1939 N-NSF t?? 3588 T-GPM ?f?a?�?? 3788 N-GPM ?a? 2532 CONJ ? 3588 T-NSF a?a???e?a 212 N-NSF t?? 3588 T-GSM �??? 979 N-GSM ??? 3756 PRT-N est?? 2076 5748 V-PXI-3S e? 1537 PREP t?? 3588 T-GSM pat??? 3962 N-GSM a?? 235 CONJ e? 1537 PREP t?? 3588 T-GSM ??s�?? 2889 N-GSM est?? 2076 5748 V-PXI-3S

    Word: epiqumia

    Pronounce: ep-ee-thoo-mee'-ah

    Strongs Number: G1939

    Orig: from 1937; a longing (especially for what is forbidden):--concupiscence, desire, lust (after). G1937

    Use: TDNT-3:168,339 Noun Feminine

    Heb Strong: H183 H185 H827 H2530 H2531 H2837 H3700 H3824 H5716 H7522 H8378

      1) desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust

      For Synonyms see entry G5845 & G5906

    What you should note is that it is a desire for something that is forbidden. So, there is therefore both "good" and "bad" desires.

    This can be seen more clearly by noting another word that means lust within the greek. It is a word that just means "desire" or "lust" in general (for good or bad things). With this word, it is used in places where both good lust and bad lust are discussed. Consider these two verses and note the strong's number [desire 1937]:

    KJV - 1 Timothy 3:1

    3:1 This [is] a true 4103 saying 3056, If a man 1536 desire 3713 5731 the office of a bishop 1984, he desireth 1937 5719 a good 2570 work 2041. - 1 Timothy 3:1

    KJV - Matthew 5:28

    5:28 But 1161 I 1473 say 3004 5719 unto you 5213, That 3754 whosoever 3956 looketh 991 5723 on a woman 1135 to 4314 lust after 1937 5658 her 846 hath committed adultery 3431 5656 with her 846 already 2235 in 1722 his 846 heart 2588. - Matthew 5:27

    Why am I showing you all of these definitions? Because people assume that anything that is sensual is "lustful and forbidden". However, this is not true. Rather, only those things God makes commandments against are forbidden. The idea in society that all sensual or pleasurable items are a sin comes from Latin Christian Dogma, particularly St. Augustine's teaching which permeates the church. The fact is, St. Augustine had heretical-like teaching. He was not a heretic, because he believed in God correctly, yet, his doctrine was formulated based on the main concepts of the Gnostic Dualistic Heresy. So, he did not espouse the heresy, but his doctrine was from the same stream of thought. As St. Augustine was part of a Gnostic sect called the "Manicheans", before he became a Christian. And his viewpoint on sex is very heavily Gnostic.

    What is Dualistic Gnosticism? The idea is the "physical/flesh" is evil and the "spirit" is good. Some would goto extremes and claim Jesus did not bodily resurrect, because the "body is evil" and the "spirit is good". Or, they would say sex in general is sinful because the "body is evil" and the "spirit is good". So, if you study St. Augustine's writings, he says things like you should repent and ask forgiveness after having sex with your wife. Or, you can not undress your wife, while having sex. Or, you can not have sex in daylight. As you can see, he brought his Gnosticism into Christianity and the Catholic Church embraced it, and even enforced it. As you see now, priests can not marry, because the "body is evil" and the "spirit is good". As you are more "holy" if you are not married and you do not have sex.

    Since Protestants came out of the Catholic church, they still also have some of these ideals in their mindset. What is interesting is very few Christians realize that the Catholic Church split one time before the Great Reformation. In about 1054 AD, there was a Great Schism between the Eastern (Orthodox) and Western (Catholic) Churches. What I find interesting is that one of the reasons for the split is this Gnostic approach to theology. Another reason is because they were claiming the Bishop of Rome was "Head of the Church". Which, is bogus, seeing all Bishops fell under the line of succession of the Apostle Peter, so Rome could not claim they had sole direct succession. So, it was essentially a "power grab", disguised under false righteousness. And the banning of marriage for priests (1130 AD) and declaring all manner of sexual activity a sin and then putting in the detestable practice of indulgences, was just a way for the church to raise money. As we all know, the love of money is the root of all evil. And we can see, even in 1 Timothy 4, that God, through the Apostle Paul prophecied there would be a "falling away" within the church and that their doctrine would be "doctrines of demons" and that the sign of the doctrine would be that they "forbid to marry and command to abstain from meats", which both the things the some in the church has done. I discuss this "meats = food" and "marrying = sex" topic more here. Consider how sex and food are two common physical enjoyments God bestowed on man and how the Gnostic Dualistic Heresy would directly target these two items, as they are "physical/flesh", rather than "spiritual".

    Long story short, you have some dogma that is from the Devil, if you believe that flesh (bodily) desires are sinful and only spiritual desires are good. As the term "flesh" in scripture is not refering to bodily desires but rather INORDINATE bodily or spiritual desires. And what would be an inordinate bodily or spiritual desire? One that breaks God's Law. So, it is not about pleasure or that the physical is sinful. Rather, God gave you those pleasures, but you need to ensure you are not breaking his laws while enjoying those pleasures.

    Even Playboy TV and non-Christians in the adult industries play off this Latin Christian mindset. It is so engrained in our society everyone just assumes, if it is hot sex it must be "dirty sex". We are permeated with Latin Christian(Catholic/Protestant) dogma so much so, even sinners think this way and even condemn themselves, mocking this teaching. That is how entrenched it is in our society, yet the Apostle Paul predicted this type of teaching, which derived from this Gnostic Dualistic Dogma, by indentifying the culprit. The Latin Church's teaching regarding sexual morality and saying that those who are not married are more saintly and righteous than those who are married, forbidding priests from marrying. As we all know, this did not make priests more righteous. As, I have heard, it is sometimes a practice of priests to have sex with women they know anyways. Of course, a lot of the controversy regarding these degenerate priests does not consider the fact that there is more pedophilia in your local school among secular teachers with students than there is in the Catholic church. Which is just the liberal media trying to breakdown Christianity. Rather, they should realize, that some in the Catholic church does not fairly represent the Bible or Christianity.

    If you are wondering, I am a conservative, not a liberal, with scripture and politics. Now, I may have liberal ideas regarding sex, but it is a result of studying scripture and praying, not compromising. I just go where God and scripture leads and the fact is, the conservatives teach the ideals of scripture as commandments when they are not requirements, but just the highest ideals. So, they often condemn themselves on this topic in the process (as they do differently than they believe and say). As the highest ideal is not always acheivable and God is not forcing you to follow the highest ideal. As Jesus says, "my burden is easy and yoke is light".

    So, what are we to conclude from this? My goal here was to clarify this topic as much as possible. I may not be able to make a razor sharp declaration, however, it is clear, some forms of nudity, etc are OK (yet you should always flee temptation to sin). God's ideal is for you to keep sexual interaction between you and your wife, as the ideal. Further, Leviticus 18:20 means you can not sexually penetrate another man's wife, creating seed. However, at the same time, God is not burdening you with a bunch of rules on nudity conduct, etc. Just the basics, as not to steal your neighbor's wife sexually, not to sexually interact with your relatives, not to have men with men, and not to have people with animals. As scripture says, "Whatsoever is not of faith, is sin", so do not do anything that you are unsure regarding, as you need to have confidence in God's Word that the action is not a sin. Futher, do not do anything that could lead you into sin. And for some, such activities as being nude around others, could easily lead them to sin. So seek God's Word and pray in all you do.

    God Rules.NET
    Search 30+ volumes of books at one time. Nave's Topical Bible Search Engine. Easton's Bible Dictionary Search Engine. Systematic Theology Search Engine.

    God Rules.NET