adultery


adultery
The seventh (or sixth, according to the Jewish reckoning, followed in Catholic Bibles) commandment (Exod. 20:14) forbade adultery, and the prescribed penalty was death (Deut. 22:22). The reference is not to any sort of extramarital sex but to that of a man having sex with a married woman, who is regarded as some other man's chattel. In the case of a betrothed virgin, she is to be stoned together with the man (Deut. 22:23); but, if she is raped, the man alone is to be executed (Deut. 22:25). Whether these ferocious penalties were ever carried out is uncertain; King David at any rate suffered only prophetic rebuke (2 Sam. 11:4; 12:9). The episode recorded in some MSS of John 8:1–11 has a group of scribes and Pharisees testing Jesus' attitude to the Law: was he in favour of the full rigour of the Law being applied to a proven adulteress? The story may have been incorporated by chance into these MSS of John from some non-canonical work and though it may not be genuine reminiscence it has the authenticity of Jesus' compassionate teaching and his encouragement to start life anew (cf. Luke 13:1–5). The OT condemnation is stretched even to mental attitudes in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:28). Paul repeats the OT law (Rom. 13:9), and elsewhere (e.g. Gal. 5:19) it is presumably condemned under the general heading of ‘works of the flesh’.

Dictionary of the Bible.

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  • Adultery — is the voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and another person who is not his or her spouse, though in many places it is only considered adultery when a married woman has sexual relations with someone who is not her husband. In… …   Wikipedia

  • ADULTERY — (Heb. נִאוּף, ni uf; sometimes, loosely, זְנוּת, zenut; זְנוּנִים, zenunim; lit. fornication, whoredom ). Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married woman, or one engaged by payment of the brideprice, and a man other than her husband.… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Adultery — • The article considers adultery with reference only to morality Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Adultery     Adultery     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • adultery — adul·tery /ə dəl tə rē/ n: voluntary sexual activity (as sexual intercourse) between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband; also: the crime of adultery compare fornication… …   Law dictionary

  • Adultery — A*dul ter*y, n.; pl. {Adulteries}. [L. adulterium. See {Advoutry}.] 1. The unfaithfulness of a married person to the marriage bed; sexual intercourse by a married man with another than his wife, or voluntary sexual intercourse by a married woman… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adultery — (n.) voluntary violation of the marriage bed, c.1300, avoutrie, from O.Fr. avouterie (12c.), noun of condition from avoutre, from L. adulterare to corrupt (see ADULTERATION (Cf. adulteration)). Modern spelling, with the re inserted d , is from… …   Etymology dictionary

  • adultery — adultery, fornication, incest designate forms of illicit sexual intercourse which are clearly distinguished in legal use, both civil and ecclesiastical. Adultery implies unfaithfulness to one’s spouse, and therefore can be applied only to sexual… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • adultery — [n] extramarital affair affair, carrying on*, cheating, extracurricular activity*, fling, fornication, hanky panky*, immorality, infidelity, matinee*, playing around*, relationship, thing*, two timing*; concept 633 Ant. faithfulness …   New thesaurus

  • adultery — ► NOUN ▪ voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not their spouse. DERIVATIVES adulterous adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • adultery — [ə dul′tər ē] n. pl. adulteries [L adulterium < adulter: see ADULTERATE] voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and a woman not his wife, or between a married woman and a man not her husband: see also FORNICATION …   English World dictionary

  • adultery — /euh dul teuh ree/, n., pl. adulteries. voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his or her lawful spouse. [1325 75; ME adulterie < L adulterium, equiv. to adulter (see ADULTERER) + ium IUM; r. ME a(d)vouterie… …   Universalium