[forthright] The Devastation of Adultery (1)

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From: "Forthright Magazine" <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2007 11:17:00 -0300
Forthright Magazine
Straight to the Cross

Read Culture Wars, as Richard Mansel tracks moral,
ethical, and biblical issues in society.


The Devastation of Adultery (1)
by Richard Mansel

Adultery tears homes and lives apart. Like a
wildfire, it leaves destruction in its wake. Some
refer to it as a crime against marriage. We have
seen the devastation it brings upon everyone in
its path.

When a cheating spouse is discovered, the pain and
anger are palpable. Thousands have been killed as
a result of these discoveries. Spouses are
intensely angry that they have been deceived and

God, on the other hand, knows everyone who cheats
on him spiritually. Brazenly, they flaunt their
sin before his face (Psalm 139). His pain is
inconceivable to us.

Physical adultery is defined as, "Voluntary sexual
intercourse between a married person and someone
other than his or her lawful spouse."/1 Keil and
Delitzsch define it as, "sexual intercourse of a
husband with the wife of another, or of a wife
with the husband of another."/2 Spiritual adultery
is when we place anything above him and look to it
as our savior. Both occur far too frequently.

We will be examining physical and spiritual
adultery, the pain they cause and the ways we can
avoid them.

People are attempting to redefine physical
adultery in Scripture so that it loses its sexual
component and becomes simply covenant breaking.
However, man is not the authority; God's Word is
(John 12:48; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Truman Scott admits,

   "Up front let me tell you that every
   publication, I mean Bible dictionary,
   commentary, Greek Lexicon, Greek word
   study, specific treatises on divorce and
   remarriage, I mean everything that has
   been written or translated within the last
   350 to 400 years, define adultery as
   follows: 'Sexual intercourse between a
   married person and someone other than his
   or her spouse.' That settles it. With such
   an array of scholarship, who would dare to
   think anything otherwise?"/3

Yet, he does so, anyway.

Seeking to prove from Scripture that adultery is
not a sexual sin is futile.

Leviticus 20:10 says, "The man who commits
adultery with another man's wife, he who commits
adultery with his neighbor's wife of another, or
of a wife with the husband of another" (NKJV).
Leviticus 18:20 adds, "Moreover, you shall not lie
carnally with your neighbor's wife, to defile
yourself with her." Literally, the latter passage
can be translated as, "You shall not give your
copulation to the wife of your fellow for seed, to
become unclean by her."/4 The word for "carnally"
means the "flow" of his seed just as in Leviticus

Deuteronomy 22:22 reads, "If a man is found lying
with a woman married to a husband, then both of
them shall die-- the man that lay with the woman,
and the woman; so you shall put away the evil from
Israel."  Of course, "lying" refers to sexual
relations (Genesis 34:7,31).

Context and usage determines the meaning of words,
not false aspirations. Woods writes, "an
elementary rule of interpretation is to observe
carefully the significance of that which goes
before and that which follows the passage under
study, before attempting to reach a conclusion as
to its intended and proper meaning."/6
1/ Robert B. Costello, Editor in Chief,
   "Adultery," Webster's Random House College
   Dictionary (New York: Random House, 1991): 19.
2/ C. F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, Commentary on the
   Old Testament (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1866-1891;
   Peabody: Hendrickson, 2001), 1:401.
3/ Wayne Jackson and Truman Scott, Divorce and
   remarriage: A Study Discussion (Stockton:
   Courier Publications, 1983), 2.
4/ Lawrence E. Barclay, "Adultery" (Montgomery:
   Unpublished Manuscript), 13.
5/ Frances Brown, The New Brown-Driver-Briggs
   Gesenius Hebrew and English Lexicon (Peabody:
   Henrickson, 1979), 282.
6/ Guy N.  Woods, How to Study the New Testament
   Effectively (Nashville: Gospel Advocate, 1992),
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The Meaning of the Word 'Adultery'

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