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Adultery in the Bible

As one of the most frowned upon of sins associated with sex, adultery is a topic often discussed in religious books. For example, the act of adultery is mentioned in the Ten Commandments, the four Gospels, and several other books of the Bible. In this article, you will encounter some of the verses that touch upon adultery, as well as other background information.

When discussing the topic of adultery as it pertains to the Bible, it is important to note that the meaning of adultery has shifted. The original language of Bible refers to a much different view of the act. Today, adultery is unlawful sexual intercourse between married or unmarried persons. While the sin is viewed as serious in the eyes of the public and God, it is one that is forgivable. In John 8, you will find a story of Jesus and a woman where adultery can be forgiven when the conditions of pardon that have been set by God have been met.

The initial meaning of adultery referred to sexual intercourse between a married woman and any man other than her husband. As seen in Deuteronomy 22:22, adultery is “”¦lying with a woman married to an husband”¦” The New Testament typically forbids all acts of extramarital sex, including intercourse that takes place between a married man and any woman other than his wife. Today, adultery is also seen as having sexual intercourse with an individual that is not your husband or wife.

The Bible states that adultery is a sin against God. Adulterous relationships are responsible for breaking up marriages and weakening the relationship with God. However, as mentioned in Revelation 21:8, unrepentant adulterers will go to Hell.

Bible Verses Referencing Adultery

Bible verses that make a reference to adultery include:

“Thou shalt not commit adultery.”
Exodus 20:14 King James Version

“But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys himself.”
Proverbs 6:32 New International Version

“A ruler questioned Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments, ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honor your father and mother.'”
Luke 18:18-20 New American Standard

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.”
Matthew 5:27-32 New International Version

The act of adultery is one of the most common reasons that a marriage falls apart. The betrayal and lack of trust is too much for a couple to handle , leading many to take legal action and file for a divorce. The topic of divorce is also touched upon in the Bible and is discussed in Matthew 5:31 of the New International Version: “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.'”