The Necropsy Continues

autopsy

Commenter whysoserious? dropped an interesting protest the other day and again I decided to turn the response into a post because his arguments are sophisticated enough that it takes a bit of effort to nail down exactly what he’s saying and respond on point.

[Pleasant introduction omitted]

That said, I do believe you are mistaken about premarital sex. The way I understand it, you say that the Greek ‘kollao’ signifies sex in Matt. 19:4-5 (and so too in Gen. 2:24) because Paul writes about ‘kollao’ with a prostitute in I Cor. 6:16. You assume that, since a prostitute is involved, ‘kollao’ must mean sex. Consequently, if a man marries a woman who had premarital sex, his marriage is actually not valid, and he is really committing adultery against her true husband. Please correct me if I’m misrepresenting your perspective.

Yes, you’ve misrepresented me. The differences are extremely significant.

Let’s begin with the first sentence, referring to “premarital sex.” To use the term “premarital sex” is to say that marriage does not get initiated with the act of sex, there is something else that has to be done. That is the position of the Catholic church and has been for over 1000 years, but that isn’t what the Bible says.  Not once in your entire comment did you ever hint what this extra something might be but the implication of your argument is clear that there must be something extra.

“You assume that, since a prostitute is involved, ‘kollao’ must mean sex.”

The correct word is “assert” rather than “assume.”  I have made assertions because I have provided exhaustive exegetical support of my assertions.    I do not present assumptions, which is to suppose something to be the case, without proof.   And, yes, I assert that in the 1st Corinthians 6:15-16 passage that the act of becoming one body with the prostitute is the act of having sex with her.  From your argument, you assume that it doesn’t mean that and it’s an assumption because you provide no evidence and no proof.

Please tell me, of the men who use prostitutes, why do at least 99% of the men pay those women? What is it that they are paying for if it isn’t sex? That’s a serious question. I’m sure there are various men who pay prostitutes to engage in various fetish behaviors that don’t involve his penis and her body, but these are abnormalities and represent an extremely small amount. If it isn’t sex, what is it? That’s the first olive out of the jar.

The context of visiting a prostitute is all about sex. Sure, there are emotional needs being met, the ego is getting stroked, maybe back in the day it also meant a place to stay, but at some point it meant a pair of legs would be spread receptively because that is the hallmark of what prostitutes do.

To claim that “kollao” as used in 1st Corinthians 6:15 does not mean sex is at best disingenuous and at worst an attempt at malicious deception. If you desire to make the claim that the word means something other than sex, please, make the argument. We all need to be amused from time to time and I’d like to hear it. Until someone can make a convincing argument otherwise, it means sex on this blog.

And not just the married to a cringe-worthy wimp kind of dead-bedroom starfish sex that one gets from a wife who is repulsed by her husband; but the kind of enthusiastic sex men are willing to pay for. Where the woman at least fakes having a good time and tries to see to it that he has a good time because he’s a paying customer.

Paul uses the interesting play on words between one body and one flesh in that passage to make the point that Genesis 2:24 made and Christ explained in Matthew 19:  the act of the man is to have sex with the woman and the act of God is to make the two become one flesh. Not only is sex the hallmark of prostitution, but combine it with the act itself described in the text as becoming one body. Can there be any doubt that it means sex?  Does it depend on the meaning of the word “is” or some other Clintonesque term of art?

However, the point is NOT that Paul simply used “kollao” as a descriptor of sex, but he used it specifically within the context of Genesis 2:24, partially quoting Genesis 2:24. So it’s not that “kollao” might mean sex in the context of Genesis 2:24, but that it definitely means sex in that passage as translated into New Testament Greek by translators with Apostolic Authority.

Therefore, according to Genesis 2:24, it’s the sex that makes the eligible virgin married. There is no requirement, anywhere, for a ceremony or any outside third-party permission of any kind. And that blows the current idea of “premarital sex” all to hell and gone because according to the Bible, the only possible premarital sex is when a betrothed couple have sex during the betrothal period. That is, before they were permitted to. It isn’t the sex that’s the problem, it’s the violation of Numbers 30:2, the man gave his word and made a vow that he didn’t keep. That, of course, is being liberal with the text, because conservatively sex with a betrothed virgin is death-penalty rape even if the guy who did it is her betrothed.

Premarital sex is what the Catholic church came up with after they inserted their unbiblical requirement of consent by the woman (to usurp the authority of her father) and the unbiblical requirement of a ceremony with witnesses and the church’s blessing (to usurp the authority of the man) in order for the marriage to be considered valid.

Now, in Ezekiel 23:1-4, we read God describing himself as a man married to two sisters who were prostitutes in their youth. Yet this is not seen as adultery! What gives? I suppose you would say that a) their father annulled their initial marriages or b) they are divorced or widowed. But the text says nothing to support that theory. Likewise, the sexual histories of Rahab and other prostitutes in the Bible are rarely mentioned, which seems odd for a matter of (theoretically) such moral importance. Your view is internally consistent, and you could brush these concerns off as culturally assumed in ancient times, but I think there may be a neater solution.

This appears to be intended to throw further doubt on things, which allows offering a “neater solution.” However, as I stated in the comments, we need to examine the text.

“The word of the LORD came to me again, saying, “Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother; and they played the harlot in Egypt. They played the harlot in their youth; there their breasts were pressed and there their virgin bosom was handled. Their names were Oholah the elder and Oholibah her sister. And they became Mine, and they bore sons and daughters. And as for their names, Samaria is Oholah and Jerusalem is Oholibah.”

First, it does not say the women were prostitutes, it says they played the harlot.  Not the same thing at all, not even close.   We are dealing with the word “zanah” which carries with it definitions of illicit sex as well as idolatry (spiritual adultery). The word “zanah” does not necessarily mean sex. For example:

1) Leviticus 20:5 (Zanah defined in the text as Molech worship)
2) Leviticus 20:6 (Zanah defined in the text as using mediums and spiritists)
3) Leviticus 21:9 (Zanah contextually implied as being sexual idolatry)
4) Numbers 25:1 (Zanah defined in the text as Baal worship)

While some might say that the Numbers 25:1 reference is to having sex, and the implication of sex is clear because the young women went into the camp to lure the men into going with them, the text is also clear that their sin was bowing down to the baal of Peor. Pour girls at a liquor event are there to use their innate sex appeal to convince you to buy their liquor, not to have sex with you.

However, we should continue with the text of Ezekiel 23 and look at verse eight, which further describes what the two sisters did in their youth:

“She did not forsake her harlotries from the time in Egypt; for in her youth men had lain with her, and they handled her virgin bosom and poured out their lust on her.”

Again with the virgin reference and they didn’t pour out their lust in her, they poured out their lust on her. Some might look at the “lain with her” and conclude they were no longer virgins. However, we see something different if we examine the text closely. “men” (plural) had lain with “her” (singular) and “they” (plural) handled her virgin bosom (again with the virgin identification and the breasts reference) and poured out their lust on “her” (singular).  Here we see the image of multiple men handling her virgin bosom, pouring out their lust on her. Not in her, not satisfying their lust. She’s only a virgin up until the first guy bangs her so it isn’t possible that multiple men are having sex with her and she’s still being described as virgin.

And verse 21: “Thus you longed for the lewdness of your youth, when the Egyptians handled your bosom because of the breasts of your youth.”

Lewdness is Strong’s 2154. “zimmah.” a plan, device, wickedness. And again the reference to having their tits played with.  Evidently they had spectacular tits.

The meaning of the text can be completely satisfied with the interpretation that they didn’t have sex, they just got close to doing so. What we’re left with is the impression of two precocious little cock-teases that played with the boys and had lots of fun but never quite went all the way. Still virgins, in other words, but morally corrupted. That moral corruption didn’t leave them and later after they were married and had sons and daughters, they did commit adultery, returning to the lusts of their youth, but unlike in their youth they took things to its conclusion.  Witness the term “uncoverd her nakedness.”

Perhaps some might choose to interpret this as the two sisters having sex and thus they’d been married to the man they gave their virginity to, in which case God committed adultery.  Rather than look at that as the confirmation that they were virgins, you use this as the excuse to say that the standard doesn’t exist.  Right.

I have two alternate theories of sex and marriage to try to explain this, and I would appreciate your feedback.

1). I Cor. 6 is a continuation of the discussion of sexual immorality that began in chapter five. Here, ‘porne’ is used like ‘zanah’ to signify a sexual loose woman, but not necessarily a cash-for-sex prostitute. ‘Kollao’ means to be contractually joined in marriage, and ‘one flesh’ is the quality which results from marriage. Given the use of ‘kollao’ elsewhere in the New Testament, this isn’t far-fetched at all. Contextually, Paul is discussing sexual immorality – adultery, incest, bestiality, sodomy – and adultery is the only sin that makes sense here. So, Paul is condemning ‘wife-sharing’ practices, or anything else which defiles one’s own wife. Since a man is one flesh with his wife, the immoral practices of his spouse are also his own; as he is a Christian, they also reflect on the Church. Sex with cash-for-sex, non-cult prostitutes is left free of regulation. (See my explanation of the Exodus passage after 2).)

This is where we get to the heart of where you don’t get it.

Women can have sex one of four ways, and only four ways.

  • First, they can have married sex. Every eligible virgin who has sex is having marriage sex because that’s what makes her married.
  • Second, they can commit adultery. That’s sex with any man other than their husband.
  • Third, they can have sinful sex, which is sex within the context of idolatry, incest or even in which they are the victim, such as a married woman when she is raped. It wasn’t her sin but it was sinful sex.
  • Finally, there’s sex that doesn’t fall into any of these categories. It isn’t prohibited so it isn’t a sin and if the non-virgin unmarried woman in question doesn’t consent to marriage it isn’t marital sex. It’s just sex.

What is commonly known as “premarital sex” is most frequently either marital sex if it involves a virgin, or adultery if it involves a woman who was previously married when she gave her virginity to another man.  In rare instances it might be the fourth one because the woman is neither married nor a virgin.  Even in instances of “real” premarital sex in which the betrothed couple has sex, if the man gets a pass then the sex isn’t the sin, it’s the violation of his vow not to have sex.

Under the Law, sex with a prostitute falls into category #4. 1st Corinthians 6:15-16 changed that for Christian men and only for Christian men. If you want an exercise in extreme frustration, attempt to find a single passage anywhere in the Old or New Testament that forbids a woman from engaging in money-for-sex prostitution. It was forbidden to be a cult prostitute (idolatry) but there is nothing in the Law that says an unmarried non-virgin woman can’t survive by working on her back and that didn’t change in the New Testament.

What most Christians don’t understand is that when Paul said don’t have sex with prostitutes, that was new, because prior to that men were not forbidden to do that regardless of whether they were married or not. Keep in mind, the reason men pay prostitutes is two-fold: they provide sex and they leave when the man is done with them. That was important for several reasons. The non-virgin eligible woman has to give her consent in order to be married, but the act of marriage is still having sex. So if you’re banging the widow down the street and she says she agreed to be married, you’re married. If the man denies it, the only question is whether you were banging her. The known prostitute? No way would the community support her if she claimed she was married to a guy because they had sex and he said no, it was a cash transaction. The only way anyone would believe the man was married to her is if they both claimed they were.

You see, back before there were SDT’s and Paul’s prohibition, sex with a prostitute was the original safe sex. She dealt with the risk of pregnancy, she supported herself, she took care of everything and charged a reasonable fee to spread her legs. And since I brought it up, it wasn’t until the Catholic church went on its war against all things sexual that men started with the sheep-shagging which is where syphilis came from.

A prostitute is still a prostitute at the end of the day. A wife is still a wife at the end of the day. Wife swapping is adultery, not prostitution. The text means exactly what it says.

2). I Cor. 6 is a reference to the widespread use of temple prostitutes in Corinth (immoral behavior according to the Law), and ‘kollao’ does mean sex. However, we interpret Genesis 2 and Matthew 19 differently, focusing on the agent of unification. Genesis 2 explains why sex exists: because the woman was taken from the man, so that man would not be alone. It is a declarative passage, explaining a phenomenon – not defining a moral law. Christ in Matthew 19 explains that divorce is a separation of what God has put together. Where’s God in Genesis 2:24? Nowhere to to be found – the unification is left passive, without an agent. In Ezekiel 16:8, we see an explicit example of marriage being a covenant between a man and a woman, consummated by sex. If a marriage covenant is before God, then God is the unifying agent who made the two into one flesh when the couple consummated their marriage, and his hand in the matter should be respected. This also explains why the blood of a virgin is important to the marriage process – it’s a blood covenant before God. So, if God wasn’t involved in the sexual relationship, the maintained status of being ‘one flesh’ isn’t morally binding, and can be dissolved at will.

This argument isn’t bad for someone who doesn’t know what the text actually says, but the truth is it’s absolute horseshit in terms of an argument.  The sort of an argument a well-trained Jesuit would never make.

“Genesis 2 explains why sex exists: because the woman was taken from the man, so that man would not be alone.”

You left out the command “be fruitful and multiply.” Commands are implemented with laws, statutes and ordinances. What is the natural function of woman? To be a wife and helpmeet to her husband and a mother to his children.

“It is a declarative passage, explaining a phenomenon – not defining a moral law”

In other words, we have no law of marriage, no way of specifically knowing when a man and woman are married, even though the penalty for adultery is death. Right. God puts the death penalty on something that can’t be defined? Please, don’t show this one to your old logic professor.  Or, in the alternate, take some courses on logic.

“Christ in Matthew 19 explains that divorce is a separation of what God has put together. Where’s God in Genesis 2:24? Nowhere to to be found – the unification is left passive, without an agent.”

In a word… No.  Genesis 2:24 has three elements describing three separate actions.

  1. First we have the status action of the man leaving his father and his mother. With the act of marriage he is creating his own family which will not be under the authority of his father and mother.
  2. Then we have the physical action of the man as he commits to the marriage with the act of having sex with the virgin.  In doing so he initiates the marital covenant with the shedding of the virgin’s blood.
  3. Finally we have the spiritual action of God as He seals the covenant of marriage by making the two become one flesh.  Thee two shall become one flesh and the words “shall become” are imperative.  It “shall” happen.

You are attempting to conflate the physical action of the man with the spiritual action of God, which the Apostle Paul described as a great mystery.

Where is God in Genesis 2:24? We notice that Christ quoted Genesis 2:24 and then specifically stated that God is the one who joined them together. Not the man, but God. Helpfully, with the language of 1st Corinthians 6:15-16, we can see that the man and woman become one body through the action of the man when they have sex. That being the case, the only thing left is the becoming of one flesh which is the only joining mentioned in Genesis 2:24, so by process of elimination God has joined them as one flesh.
That is where God is in Genesis 2:24 and your idea that God is nowhere to be found is pure fantasy.

“If a marriage covenant is before God, then God is the unifying agent who made the two into one flesh when the couple consummated their marriage, and his hand in the matter should be respected.”

First, a study of covenants reveals that they are not “before” God, rather, God is a party to the covenant. The man initiates with blood sacrifice and God plays His role in some way or another. Since we know from the Apostle Paul that the becoming of one flesh is a spiritual joining that he compared to the spiritual joining that occurs when a person becomes a Christian and becomes part of the body of Christ, both of them being a great mystery. Christ said in Matthew 19 that God joined the two together. Not physically, but spiritually as one flesh. The man is the one that joined the two as one body. Therefore it is impossible to say that God does not have His role to play in the marital covenant which is initiated with the shed blood of the virgin when her hymen is broken.

Your following statement reveals you are making the claim that you do not believe there is a marriage covenant that God takes part in, when the Bible clearly says it exists.

This leaves us with civil laws pertaining to sex, virgins, and oaths. Exodus 22:16-17 deals with the seduction of an unbetrothed virgin. It follows a long list of property violation and reimbursement laws, so I consider this a civil law rather than a moral law. In your Twenty-Four Words piece, you make the error of striking through ‘to be’ in your second infographic.

  • The commandment was given, be fruitful and multiply.
  • The law of marriage (Genesis 2:24) was given to implement the commandment.
  • The judgement of Genesis 3:16 was given and God commanded, speaking to the wife, of the husband, “he shall rule over you.”
  • The law of vows was given to implement the commandment.

A careful study of both the law of marriage and the law of vows reveals an apparent loophole, in that with the act of marriage the eligible virgin is married to the man to took her virginity.  With her marriage she is no longer under the authority of her father but now under the authority of her husband.  The father is in complete authority over his daughter and possesses the authority to sell her as a servant or concubine.   He has the authority to give her in marriage to whomever he wishes.  The law of vows gives him the authority and responsibility of reviewing all vows and agreements his daughter makes and he may annul any of them at his discretion in the day he hears of them.

The judgement of Exodus 22:16-17 resolved two issues.  The first was whether a man might seduce a woman and thereby marry her without agreeing to pay anything to her father. The reason why it might be important for the man to pay the father a bride price is irrelevant because the question before Moses was whether in the absence of any agreement, the man might avoid such payments now that he has married the woman according to the law of marriage.

Second, is the agreement the daughter made to give the man her virginity, which resulted in her marriage, subject to his review.  The answer is yes.  That means that the father can annul the marriage after the fact in the day he hears of it.

The judgment of Deuteronomy 22:28-29 resolved the question of what happens when an eligible virgin is raped.  The qualifier “if they are discovered” provides a second witness and if so they are married.  The witnesses prove the act was against the will of the daughter which means no agreement was made on her part that her father could annul.  Lacking the authority of Numbers 30:5, the father has no authority to annul the marriage and so he can’t.

As to your assumption that I erred, you are incorrect.  The strike-through (to be) is because the words “to be” are not in the original Hebrew text. They are a translator addition and the NASB puts them in italics for that reason.

“If you examine how that word is used throughout the Old Testament, you’ll see it pertains to the process of becoming a wife, not an existing wife.”

This is similar to the shop-worn argument that “dabaq” (translated as the word “cleave” in Genesis 2:24) means commitment, not sex. Because every other time “dabaq” is used it means commitment. The problem with this line of argument is that when we compare and contrast Genesis 2:24, Exodus 22:16-17 and Deuteronomy 22:28-29, we see that your argument doesn’t hold up. For example, in Deuteronomy 22:29, the phrase “shall become” (shall become married) is the exact same phrase used in Genesis 2:24 where it says the two “shall become one flesh.” This is not a future action, it is imperative, a judgment of what is. It has happened. There is no other action required, nothing further to do, they are married. Note also that the word translated as “become” is just as legitimately translated as the word “be” rather than “become.”

Notice that Deuteronomy 22:28-29 describes the virgin not betrothed who is raped (violated). The judgment is that if they are discovered, they are married. There is no further action to take.  No other requirements are left to be fulfilled, they are married.  The same situation exists in Exodus 22:16, in which the father does not annul the marriage.  They are already married and there is no further action to take to make them any more married.  As to the dowry, consider Jacob.  He worked seven years, was tricked and got the wrong wife.  Then he received Rachel and was obligated to work another seven years after marrying her.

Also note that the emphatic construction promotes payment associated with marriage, rather than a marriage itself (contrast Deut. 22).

You take this perspective because you conflate the payment of the dowry with the act of becoming married.  They are separate.  That passage is more logically read from a practical perspective as stated above in the first part of the two issues being decided: that the man cannot seduce a woman and then claim that because he never had an agreement with the father that he doesn’t have to pay the dowry. The dowry can be a tool for the father to use, but this really isn’t about the money but rather about the authority of the father over his daughter.   Yet, this is exactly the kind of statement that leads the unwary off the path and down the Easter Bunny’s rabbit hole.

“Since sex without a covenant isn’t sufficient for marriage, there is no reason to suppose such a couple is married.”

Wow.  There is so much Jesuit mind-trick in this statement, it’s a classic for those who study this sort of chicanery.  Pure Jesuit, it’s the use of the truth to tell a lie.  Observe that the correctness of this statement, which can be both the absolute truth or a misleading falsehood, depends upon the character of the individuals involved.

  • If the woman is not a virgin but is eligible to marry, sex in and of itself is not sufficient to create a marriage and in the absence of her affirmative consent to marry the act of having sex does not create a marriage.  Such an act is only forbidden if the woman is a prostitute, but if she is not a prostitute the act is in no way forbidden regardless of the marital status of the man.  There is no sin.
  • If the woman is an eligible virgin, not encumbered by a betrothal or other restrictions by her father and the man is eligible to marry her, sex with her will positively result in the initiation of the covenant of marriage, God will unite the two as one flesh and they are married with the act of having sex.  Such an act is the consummation of their marriage and it is impossible that it is the “sin” of “premarital sex.”

I’m not saying you’re a Jesuit or any of the other flavor of Catholic apologist because you’ve already made some arguments and statements that are way off their script.  However, that last statement is the kind of thing I get from them.  Using ambiguous statements like that, ones that under certain conditions can be true but are generally false…. that’s their stock in trade.

Consider this excellent rhetorical argument:

“Premarital sex is a sin and it does not make you married, you must have the ceremony!”

There is an extremely narrow condition under which that is a true statement, which is in the case of a man who first agreed with the father of the bride on a specific period of time for the betrothal, followed by a ceremony, and then the betrothed couple had sex prior to the ceremony.  In that case, the act of violating his word (Numbers 30:2) would be the sin (the sex is not a sin because there is no prohibition) and since the woman is not eligible to marry him until the betrothal period is complete and the ceremony is accomplished, the sex with the virgin doesn’t make them married.

However, this is a condition that is so rare as to be practically non-existent today and those who make such a statement know that, as well as the fact that others define the terms in a different way.  Still, they were thinking of the condition in which it would be a true statement so they did not technically tell a lie and they can claim a clear conscience.  Simple claims that the statement is a lie will fail because there is a condition under which the statement can be true.  Such a statement is made by those who know better in order to deceive those who don’t.

 

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22 Responses to The Necropsy Continues

  1. Renee Harris says:

    Because virgin had no agency how can she be saved. Hi Jesus Christ is a jew. And thus would have no dealings with a woman. So all women will automatically go to hell? The rare ugly woman who could never be married read will die a virgin what is her worth to God?

  2. Curious, apply your thinking to Mary and the virgin birth and the subsequent marriage to Joseph.When the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary and she became pregnant, there was no blood covenant created; therefore, Mary was not “married” to God; yet, if, as the Roman Catholics say, Mary remained a Virgin throughout the remainder of her life; then, Joseph at no time was her husband for he never had sex with her; therefore, there was no blood covenant which made them one flesh before God: in this view, Joseph is merely a frustrated, involuntary celibate, cuck having no moral or material responsibility to Mary or her child; he had no marital or kinship reason to protect Mary from Herod.

    The Catholic sleight of hand here is that the ceremony made Mary his wife despite Joseph never had sex with her. This sleight of hand dovetails nicely into the Catholic insistence that Jesus had no siblings.
    Awareness of he blood covenant destroys the heresy that nuns or married to Christ.

    • The idea that Mary and Joseph never consummated their marriage is a Catholic thing and there is no evidence to support it. It’s one of those deals that I haven’t felt the need to address, it simply defies belief. It’s up there with the declaration that she was born without sin when the Bible clearly says that isn’t true.

  3. SnapperTrx says:

    I don’t understand how this becomes so difficult to comprehend. The bible is not written in a DaVinci code with needs to be deciphered by means of a decoder ring and a strip of red cellophane! It’s pretty simple and clean when you read it with the intent of understanding it instead of the intent of twisting it to meet your needs:

    Put tab A into slot B. If slot B is unused – marriage! It’s right there in black and white! If God is not a God of confusion why do people continue to insist on confusing the issue? No wonder people don’t want to be Christians anymore. Instead of saying “This pleases God, do it. This angers God, avoid it” everything has to be packaged under layers of subversion and misinformation to make it more palatable. If reading the words of the bible harms your psyche then just don’t become a Christian!

    Someone once accused me of UNDERCOMPLICATING scripture. REALLY? Is this a requirement now, to complicate or over-complicate scripture! This world and the “Christians” in it are starting to drive me batty!

  4. Mycroft Jones says:

    Paul warned against “becoming one” with a harlot. Is sexing up a whore the act of marrying her? (1 Corinthians 6:16)

    • As a Christian, in order to comply with the instruction, the only reason you’d be doing that was if your intent was to marry her. That’s the bottom line.

      Men used prostitutes to engage in the act of marriage (pleasurable) while avoiding marriage. They knew it wouldn’t result in marriage to the prostitute (that was a given) and it allowed them to get their sexual needs met, which allowed them to avoid marrying other women. Paul said not to do that.

      He didn’t say not to marry a prostitute, so logically a man could choose to do that and obviously that happens with the act of marriage… so the only question left is whether a man would want to wife it up. You might think that men would never want to do that but you’d be wrong. I have known a few women in that line of work who literally had plenty of men who would marry them in a heartbeat if they’d allowed it. It was part of what made them very successful escorts.

      • Mycroft Jones says:

        Toad. You call sex the act of marriage. But then the man still has the choice whether to wife up a harlot. So the “act of marriage” doesn’t make you married. Something else does. Not church ceremony. I would argue that “something” is the contract by which a woman (or a woman’s owner) sells/trades herself. The Jews call this a “ketuba” or “bill of writing”. There are many examples of ketubas found, from Babylon and ancient Egypt as well as Israel. The ketuba contract system fits the Bible much better than the “sex makes married” system. Sex is a privilege of owning a woman; taking that privilege without the responsibilities of ownership is wrong. Milking another man’s cow is likewise wrong.

        • You neglect the status of the woman because there is a tremendous difference between a virgin and a non-virgin.

          Sex is always the act of marriage for a man regardless of the woman he has sex with. Not so for the woman.

          Virgins do not have agency because they can be married against their will and over their objections. One need consider only Deuteronomy 22:28-29, but there is also Exodus 21:7-10 and Deuteronomy 21:10-14. All of the women became wives and there is every reason to believe that at least some of them did not agree to it.

          When we start talking about the woman who is no longer a virgin, she has agency (Numbers 30:9 and 1st Cor. 7:39). Her consent is required, then comes his act of commitment, which is sex.

          It can be reduced to a simple statement: the virgin can be raped into marriage, the non-virgin cannot.

  5. whysoserious? says:

    Hello again,
    Thanks for the thorough response. Please understand I wish to deceive no one, and my comments here are only a part of my own desire to seek truth. This will be long, though.

    Yes, you’ve misrepresented me. The differences are extremely significant.
    Let’s begin with the first sentence, referring to “premarital sex.” To use the term “premarital sex” is to say that marriage does not get initiated with the act of sex, there is something else that has to be done…

    My error. Old habits die hard. By this phrase, I meant what you would call marital sex, ie. being between a man and an eligible virgin. However, since I (still) don’t agree with you here, using ‘marital’ would only cede my position.

    The correct word is “assert” rather than “assume.”

    Fair enough. If I wanted to quibble, I’d say that every argument, and assertion, is based upon assumptions – but that would be juvenile.

    Please tell me, of the men who use prostitutes, why do at least 99% of the men pay those women? What is it that they are paying for if it isn’t sex? (…) The context of visiting a prostitute is all about sex.

    Wonderful! We agree.

    To claim that “kollao” as used in 1st Corinthians 6:15 does not mean sex is at best disingenuous and at worst an attempt at malicious deception. If you desire to make the claim that the word means something other than sex, please, make the argument. We all need to be amused from time to time and I’d like to hear it. Until someone can make a convincing argument otherwise, it means sex on this blog.

    Well, happy to provide a few laughs. And here we go!

    You’ve noted in your response that the words for prostitute – specifically zanah, but I think we can agree on porne too – have meanings beyond that of ‘prostitute’ in modern English. Specifically, it can be used to describe infidelity, whether religious (Lev. 20:5-6, Num. 25:1) or marital (Jer. 13:7 and others). Effectively, it’s a morally ambiguous term for a promiscuous person either in relation to gods or men. So, when we look at I Cor. 6:15, there are two words of interest: kollao and porne. Now, of the two, one has a demonstrably more precise or consistent meaning in similar contexts: kollao. It means to bind, or to adhese to – see Luke 10:11 talking about dust, for example. But, when it used on people, it’s never about sex, but rather arrangements of loyalty or fidelity. See Luke 15:15, or Acts 5:13, 8:29, 9:26, 10:28, and 17:34. If you’d indulge my humor, please make the argument that kollao is sex in these verses!

    We’re left with the following: 1 Cor 6:15 faults those who kollao with porne. Kollao, or its prefixed form proskollao, is always used, between people, to denote the existence of a binding arrangement of fidelity. So, let’s say kollao is marriage, the most likely arrangement of fidelity between a man and a woman. Then this passage would say that Christians should not have promiscuous wives, for that brings disgrace to the Church, the Bride of Christ. Given the rebuke given in the previous chapter, this isn’t absurd. This by no means conflicts with Gen. 2:24, which would be paraphrased: For this reason, a man leaves his father and mother, and marries his wife/a woman, and the two become one flesh. This also fits with the gospel passages where Jesus speaks of divorce as separating what God united – trying to reverse a resultant state of marriage.

    Paul uses the interesting play on words between one body and one flesh in that passage to make the point that Genesis 2:24 made and Christ explained in Matthew 19: the act of the man is to have sex with the woman and the act of God is to make the two become one flesh. Not only is sex the hallmark of prostitution, but combine it with the act itself described in the text as becoming one body.

    You just made the same mistake I did in my second (now seen as erroneous) alternative. You slip into assuming a prostitute today is what porne was then, and ignore its further meanings.

    Can there be any doubt that it [kollao] means sex?

    Yes, I certainly hope so. Otherwise I couldn’t extract the image of apostolic orgies from my mind.

    Therefore, according to Genesis 2:24, it’s the sex that makes the eligible virgin married.

    Nope, marriage makes a virgin married. Sex is a part of marriage, but more is required.

    There is no requirement, anywhere, for a ceremony or any outside third-party permission of any kind.

    If you exclude a father’s authority over his daughter. And, if you keep ignoring Ezekiel 16:8:
    “Then I passed by you and saw you, and behold, you were at the time for love; so I spread My skirt over you and covered your nakedness. I also swore to you and entered into a covenant with you so that you became Mine,” declares the Lord God.

    Observe how spreading one’s skirt over a eligible woman (i.e. having sex with her) is insufficient for marriage! This is clearly seen, for God says he swore and entered into a covenant with her so that she became his. Sorry, this seems pretty damning to me, without any “Jesuit chicanery,” just basic reading comprehension.

    (…) Premarital sex is what the Catholic church came up with after they inserted their unbiblical requirement of consent by the woman (to usurp the authority of her father) and the unbiblical requirement of a ceremony with witnesses and the church’s blessing (to usurp the authority of the man) in order for the marriage to be considered valid.

    Haven’t given this side too much thought; I too think a ceremony is superfluous. Some vows or oaths are required between appropriate parties, that’s all I care about.

    (…) This appears to be intended to throw further doubt on things, which allows offering a “neater solution.” However, as I stated in the comments, we need to examine the text.
    First, it does not say the women were prostitutes, it says they played the harlot. Not the same thing at all, not even close. We are dealing with the word “zanah” which carries with it definitions of illicit sex as well as idolatry (spiritual adultery). The word “zanah” does not necessarily mean sex. For example: Leviticus 20:5, Leviticus 20:6, Leviticus 21:9, Numbers 25:1.

    Okay, but remember that the examples you provide are metaphorical promiscuity, when one considers the relationship between man and wife like God and Israel (worshipping other gods ~ having adulterous sex). So, it’s still reasonable to suppose ‘zanah’ is intrinsically a sexual word that’s frequently used in metaphorical, religious contexts.

    While some might say that the Numbers 25:1 reference is to having sex, (…) text is also clear that their sin was bowing down to the baal of Peor.

    Agreed.

    However, we should continue with the text of Ezekiel 23 and look at verse eight, which further describes what the two sisters did in their youth (…) Again with the virgin reference and they didn’t pour out their lust in her, they poured out their lust on her.

    Arguing from prepositions in translation is bad analysis, particularly when that language is little to nothing like English. From my experience learning other languages, prepositions are odd animals that should not be trusted with logic or even common sense. I’m not going to make a truth value statement here, just that we should be really careful with this. Unless you’re an experienced scholar of ancient Greek or Hebrew, in which case I doff my hat to you, good sir.

    Some might look at the “lain with her” and conclude they were no longer virgins. However, we see something different if we examine the text closely. “men” (plural) had lain with “her” (singular) and “they” (plural) handled her virgin bosom (again with the virgin identification and the breasts reference) and poured out their lust on “her” (singular).

    Great analysis here. Thing is, arguments from grammar are often deceptive. If I were talking about a young women I knew, and said she once had many suitors, and they took her virginity, I don’t think the average listener would assume she was vaginally penetrated by all of them simultaneously. Rather, they’d more likely see that I was viewing the suitors as a group that had the effect of taking her virginity. Same with the Ezekiel passage: it’s still possible that young men who handled her bosom are semantically seen as a unified collective who deflowered her, rather than a number of individuals.

    (…) The meaning of the text can be completely satisfied with the interpretation that they didn’t have sex, they just got close to doing so. What we’re left with is the impression of two precocious little cock-teases that played with the boys and had lots of fun but never quite went all the way.

    Possibly, but I’d contend that they might not be virgins (see above regarding group actions). Look into translations of the Septuagint version of this chapter. It seems to be more explicit into what exactly is going on; plus, Greek seems to translate better than Hebrew, and it’s just as (if not more) authoritative. However, this isn’t necessary for my point. I just like to introduce doubt where I believe some may be too hasty.

    Perhaps some might choose to interpret this as the two sisters having sex and thus they’d been married to the man they gave their virginity to, in which case God committed adultery. Rather than look at that as the confirmation that they were virgins, you use this as the excuse to say that the standard doesn’t exist.

    Whenever there’s an apparent contradiction between A and B in the Bible, either we’re thinking about A incorrectly or B incorrectly, or both, since the Bible is a priori true for our purposes. So any rigorous thinker would consider it both ways, thank you very much.

    Women can have sex one of four ways… Under the Law, sex with a prostitute falls into category #4.

    We’re in agreement, except for your first bulleted point (not shown). I’ve already shown, from the usage of kollao throughout the New Testament, that you misunderstand the nature of marriage.

    1st Corinthians 6:15-16 changed that for Christian men and only for Christian men.

    No. Just no. The nature of God is consistent, so his will is consistent, so sin is consistent. The Law is how God’s will was revealed to Israel. If something wasn’t wrong in the OT, it isn’t wrong now. Otherwise, God would be changing his perfect, just nature, and potentially holding us to unrevealed standards; in such a world, pursuing morality would be farce. It’s not a sin to see a prostitute today any more than it was three thousand years ago. Paul must be talking about something else, or else he would risk adding or removing from the Law, or just plain misrepresenting God’s nature.

    If you want an exercise in extreme frustration, attempt to find a single passage anywhere in the Old or New Testament that forbids a woman from engaging in money-for-sex prostitution.

    Yep. Fun stuff.

    (…) So if you’re banging the widow down the street and she says she agreed to be married, you’re married.

    Ha, no. You’re forgetting that the man never agreed to be her husband. You said that sex with a prostitute is ‘just sex,’ and now you’re saying it’s consent to marriage. What isn’t to say, in your view, that the widow-prostitute’s consent to sex isn’t always consent to marriage just like the man’s? Why is the man’s marital consent tied to sex and the woman’s isn’t? Anyway, it doesn’t matter because Ezekiel 16:8 describes an oath as a necessary condition for marriage.

    (…) A prostitute is still a prostitute at the end of the day. A wife is still a wife at the end of the day. Wife swapping is adultery, not prostitution. The text means exactly what it says.

    Because ‘zanah’/’porne’ is never used to describe promiscuity in a covenantally exclusive relationship… oh, wait, it is, whenever God speaks of Israel’s whoring with other gods.

    This argument isn’t bad for someone who doesn’t know what the text actually says, but the truth is it’s absolute horseshit in terms of an argument.

    You’re too kind.

    You left out the command “be fruitful and multiply.”

    No, you added it. Read Genesis 2:4-25. Any student of the Bible will tell you that this is a separate account from Genesis 1-2:3. Thus, it should be considered as a unit. The command ‘be fruitful and multiply’ is given elsewhere, in a different story. However, it’s contextually clear that the reason alluded to in Gen. 2:24 is that woman was taken from man, and that it’s not good for man to be alone.

    In other words, we have no law of marriage, no way of specifically knowing when a man and woman are married, even though the penalty for adultery is death.

    It’s culturally assumed knowledge. Anyone, from looking at God and Israel, or the history of practically any civilization ever, or any example of marriage in the Bible, can see what marriage and adultery look like. Next you’ll say that “uncovering nakedness” and “lying with sexually” are not defined well enough to warrant a death sentence if employed improperly. (Is oral or manual stimulation ‘uncovering nakedness’ or ‘lying with,’ even if there is no ejaculation of semen? What if there is? Actually, this is a really cool topic. Post idea?) Certain terms are defined culturally, without a given, abstract definition.

    Please, don’t show this one to your old logic professor. Or, in the alternate, take some courses on logic.

    Arguing over epistemological bases for the enforcement of moral judgement is a matter of ethics and epistemology; classes in mere logic wouldn’t apply, save for examining the internal consistency of a given position.

    In a word… No. Genesis 2:24 has three elements describing three separate actions.
    * First we have the status action of the man leaving his father and his mother…
    * Then we have the physical action of the man…. In doing so he initiates the marital covenant with the shedding of the virgin’s blood.
    * Finally we have the spiritual action of God

    Lovely, but you forgot point #5/2. The man then swears that he will uphold his marital duties in return for her fidelity and submission, or something like that. See Ezekiel 16:8.

    I’m dropping the arguments on the passive construction in Gen. 2:24 for now, since they were initially used in case kollao meant sex. Since it obviously doesn’t, those points are moot, even though I was logically sound.

    With her marriage she is no longer under the authority of her father but now under the authority of her husband. The father is in complete authority over his daughter and possesses the authority to sell her as a servant or concubine… The law of vows gives him the authority and responsibility of reviewing all vows and agreements his daughter makes and he may annul any of them at his discretion in the day he hears of them.

    What do you think sex is, metaphysically speaking? A few pages ago, it seemed like sex was a physical act that resulted in marriage. Now you’re saying sex is a vow… which can be annulled by a father? Weird. Are the vow and sex one-and-the-same substance? By retroactively annulling his daughter’s consent, would a father make her be raped instead of seduced? Then she must marry the seducer/rapist. Or, is he annulling the sex itself, so she would still somehow be a virgin?

    The strike-through (to be) is because the words “to be” are not in the original Hebrew text. They are a translator addition and the NASB puts them in italics for that reason.

    Translation is an art, not a science. There may be morphological information, idioms, usage, or whatever that make that meaning evident to a Hebrew scholar, but lack a specific associated Hebrew word.

    This is similar to the shop-worn argument that “dabaq” (translated as the word “cleave” in Genesis 2:24) means commitment, not sex.

    I prefer “tried and true,” but to each his own.

    The problem with this line of argument is that when we compare and contrast Genesis 2:24, Exodus 22:16-17 and Deuteronomy 22:28-29, we see that your argument doesn’t hold up. For example, in Deuteronomy 22:29, the phrase “shall become” (shall become married) is the exact same phrase used in Genesis 2:24 where it says the two “shall become one flesh.”

    Because “one flesh” is an imperative and immediate result of marriage (kollao/dabaq), not marriage itself. There can exist distinct semantically similar forms in a language. We can say Adam must marry Beth, or Beth must become Adam’s wife in English, why can’t there be something analogous in Hebrew?

    Notice that Deuteronomy 22:28-29 describes the virgin not betrothed who is raped (violated). The judgment is that if they are discovered, they are married. There is no further action to take. No other requirements are left to be fulfilled, they are married. The same situation exists in Exodus 22:16, in which the father does not annul the marriage. They are already married and there is no further action to take to make them any more married.

    Right-ish. In a society that embraced prostitution, why spend energy seducing a woman for a ONS when you pay for one with minimal social consequences? Presumably, they wanted to get married. Hence the importance of paternal consent (which, by the way, is never explicitly described as an annulment, only a refusal to give her).

    You take this perspective because you conflate the payment of the dowry with the act of becoming married. They are separate.

    Marriage is a function of human property (cf. rest of Exodus 21-22). Dowry is the purchase price for virgins. So if you want to say purchasing is separate from paying, go ahead.

    … that the man cannot seduce a woman and then claim that because he never had an agreement with the father that he doesn’t have to pay the dowry.

    Yes.

    Wow. There is so much Jesuit mind-trick in this statement, it’s a classic for those who study this sort of chicanery.

    Said the man who willed away the definition of a straightforward NT word…

    Tl;dr: Kollao doesn’t mean sex: it’s a state of loyalty to someone or some group. Porne/Zanah refers to promiscuousity, literally sexual but metaphorically religious. Ezekiel describes a vow as a necessary component of marriage. Therefore, there is no reason to suspect that a woman who gave her virginity to a friend unintentionally married him.

    AT, you might want to keep an eye on the corpse. It might not be as dead as you think.

    @SnapperTrx

    I agree, we shouldn’t over-complicate the Bible. Neither my own nor AT’s models of sexuality are complicated: the justification of them is, mostly because the Scriptures were written long ago to a very different people. To them, I’m sure all of this was obvious, and quite simple indeed. The woes of our time, I suppose.

    • Mycroft Jones says:

      Now that you’ve covered the contractual basis for marriage, could you cover the meaning of zanah as including common whoredom, vs Toad’s assertion that zanah only refers to qadashah, cultic temple prostitution. My health has been poor and haven’t had much ability to focus for writing.

      • There is a specific prohibition on cultic temple prostitution. There is no prohibition anywhere on money-for-sex prostitution. I’m not quite sure what you mean by common whoredom. Journalists? Lawyers? Government bureaucrats? Politicians? The FDA? The AMA? You’ll have to narrow this down for me

      • whysoserious? says:

        Mycroft,

        It’s been a while since I’ve looked at this, so I’ll respond as best I can.

        In my understanding, Hebrew has two words for a female prostitute: zanah and qadashah. The latter specifically refers to cult prostitution, while the latter is used to denote any promiscuous woman. Since promiscuous women were typically prostitutes back then, it also has that meaning.

        While cult prostitution is clearly forbidden, general harlotry is not. The only times zanah is used with negative connotations are when the writer is discussion a married woman’s promiscuity or Israel’s unfaithfulness. Rahab was a zanah, Tamar was a zanah, Samson slept with zanah, and so on. Yet they were never faulted for these actions. The most reasonable answer is that using/being a zanah is only wrong if adultery results (i.e., zanah is married).


        whysoserious?

  6. @whysoserious?

    You’ve noted in your response that the words for prostitute – specifically zanah, but I think we can agree on porne too – have meanings beyond that of ‘prostitute’ in modern English. Specifically, it can be used to describe infidelity, whether religious (Lev. 20:5-6, Num. 25:1) or marital (Jer. 13:7 and others). Effectively, it’s a morally ambiguous term for a promiscuous person either in relation to gods or men. So, when we look at I Cor. 6:15, there are two words of interest: kollao and porne. Now, of the two, one has a demonstrably more precise or consistent meaning in similar contexts: kollao. It means to bind, or to adhese to – see Luke 10:11 talking about dust, for example. But, when it used on people, it’s never about sex, but rather arrangements of loyalty or fidelity. See Luke 15:15, or Acts 5:13, 8:29, 9:26, 10:28, and 17:34. If you’d indulge my humor, please make the argument that kollao is sex in these verses!

    We’re left with the following: 1 Cor 6:15 faults those who kollao with porne.

    I’ll respond to what you wrote a piece at a time, but this is effectively the king-pin of your argument, and it’s wrong at multiple points.

    “Effectively, it’s a morally ambiguous term for a promiscuous person”

    No. The term porne is officially defined (in lexicons and dictionaries) as sinful. Every single time. There is nothing ambiguous about the fact that any activity described as porne is officially defined as sinful. Obviously, you have access to dictionaries and lexicons so you can confirm this, but I’m sure that you already know this to be true. And, you also know that porne is defined in the physical sense as a woman who sells her body, that is, sex with her body. In the spiritual sense it is defined as an idolatress.

    Yet, this opens an apparent paradox. What is seldom done is to look at what these terms cannot be defined as using the standard that Scripture has given us in Romans 4:15 and 5:13.

    An unmarried non-virgin woman can be a prostitute without sin. She cannot commit adultery because she has no husband. As long as she only has sex with men she is eligible to marry (which would exclude close relatives) there is no prohibition on such activity anywhere in Scripture so such activity cannot be sin. As long as the sex is not part of some idolatrous practices violating the prohibition on cult prostitutes, she is not in sin.

    I state that as a fact and for proof I provide Romans 4:15 and 5:13. Supplementary evidence is that no specific prohibition applying to Christians exists forbidding a woman from engaging in prostitution anywhere in the New Testament. You probably realize this, but for those readers who don’t, there are a few apparent contradictions contained in the New Testament that seem to be violations of the Law’s prohibitions on adding to the Law or subtracting from it. One example is the instruction by Christ in 1st Corinthians 7:10-11, forbidding divorce between two married believers. Another is Paul’s prohibition on believers marrying unbelievers (2nd Corinthians 6:14). These are what one might call “house rules” that apply only to Christians. Untouched is the ability of a man who is not a Christian to legitimately divorce his wife for her adultery, or for a man who is not a Christian to marry whoever he wants. Of course, if he’s an Israelite he has some restrictions, but I would think it difficult to find a Moabite or a Jebusite woman today.

    So, in the physical sense the term porne is a job description of a woman who sells sexual access to her body. In English we would call that a prostitute. She can do so without sin. Or, she may be married and every act of sex is the sin of adultery for both her and for her customer. Or, she could be an idolatress (cult prostitute) and sex with her within the context of idolatry is also a sin. She might be a married cult prostitute, who knows? The point is that we should not call the term morally ambiguous (even though it is), rather, a job description for an activity that is clearly not immoral in and of itself. The question is whether the dictionaries and lexicons are correct when they define the word as describing sinful behavior. I believe you would probably agree that the answer is no.

    So, no moral ambiguity, porne describes a specific job description in the physical sense for a job that is not malum in se. It is only the addition of adultery or idolatry or incest or some other violation that might make the particular woman a problem. Which sheds some new light on other usages of the word when not referring to the metaphorical and spiritual aspects of porne.

    “kollao. It means to bind, or to adhere to – see Luke 10:11 talking about dust, for example. But, when it used on people, it’s never about sex, but rather arrangements of loyalty or fidelity.”

    You are making the same argument that is made for “dabaq” in Hebrew, that it always means commitment every other time it’s used so it can’t be sex in Genesis 2:24. I will agree it isn’t sex in every other usage (except one, 1st Kings 11:2, but this isn’t the place to argue it), and I’m fine with that. But dabaq is used to describe the act of sex that initiates a marriage. Because the act of a man having sex is his act signifying commitment to marriage. Think of it as a special instrument used to sign a special contract that’s written in her blood. This can just as easily be seen from the male perspective of Deuteronomy 22:28-29, because all the man did was have sex with her. Which was to signify his commitment to the marriage with the act of penetrating her with his penis.

    Kollao is used in Matthew 19 to translate the word dabaq into Greek when Jesus quoted Genesis 2:24. Kollao was used in 1st Corinthians 6:16 to describe the act that causes a man to become one body with a prostitute. One does not pay money to a prostitute to bind or adhere or be loyal to her or be faithful to her because that is the antithesis of what a prostitute does. Prostitutes provide no-strings sex for money. As the old joke puts it: “You don’t pay them to come, you pay them to leave when you’re done having sex with them.” Prostitutes are paid for a service. The service is sex. The act of marriage is sex. The act of a prostitute is sex. Paul ties both of the together nice and tight in that verse and effectively hammers home that the word dabaq, as used in Genesis 2:24, is the physical act of a man putting his penis in the woman’s vagina.

    Just as with dabaq, which is used as commitment in virtually every other iteration where it’s used, I will agree that kollao is used in virtually every other iteration as adhering or binding. However, Paul made sure that the word kollao, which was used to translate the word dabaq, was also used to denote the act of sex within a context that left no doubt that it referred to Genesis 2:24 AND it left no doubt that it referred to sex. And within the context of marriage the denotations of loyalty and fidelity means the word fits perfectly.

    But there is more to it than just that.

    It makes perfect sense for the Apostle Paul to use the word kollao to describe the act of having sex with a prostitute in 1st Corinthians 6:16, given the context of what he was doing. He was forbidding a practice that had up to that point been a perfectly lawful (moral) activity and he was reminding the men they were exercising their authority to initiate marriage (sex is how a man initiates marriage) under conditions designed to ensure that it would not initiate a marriage. So, instead of using a word that is ordinarily used to denote sex, he used the word kollao in order to specifically refer to the act of initiating a marriage and further tied it to Genesis 2:24 by quoting the next half of the verse. Which tells us that marriage is initiated with sex.

    And why didn’t Paul use the term “one flesh” instead of “one body” in that verse? I can think of several reasons. First, the two becoming “one flesh” is the act of God, not man. Second, the structure of the verse parallels Genesis 2:24 making it clear that sex is what the word kollao means in the context of how dabaq is used in Genesis 2:24, as the man’s act of marriage. Third, he is pointing to what all the men knew- they were NOT becoming married to the prostitute with the act of having sex with her.

    The authority to initiate marriage was given to the individual man, which is the right to initiate marriage, not to anyone else (that includes the church and the state). This is why there are no prohibitions anywhere in Scripture on a man having sex with a woman he is eligible to marry, because such a prohibition would interfere with the man’s right to initiate marriage. In this case Paul is forbidding the men from having sex under such conditions that are intentionally designed to avoid marriage. He did not explain why he did so, but that doesn’t matter.

    We’re left with the following: 1 Cor 6:15 faults those who kollao with porne.

    We are in no way left with that. We have a prohibition only for Christian men of an activity that was previously lawful. Because the activity was lawful it was moral. However, for those servants of Christ it is now forbidden. Paul is not saying what they did was immoral or sinful in any way because it wasn’t. And Paul knew that. He simply forbid the activity for Christian men. The act was not and is not mala in se. It is now mala prohibita.

    Additionally, you’re getting off the subject. The entire point is that the word dabaq, as specifically used in Genesis 2:24, was translated by the Apostles using the word kollao. That word was then used by the Apostle Paul within the specific context of Genesis 2:24 to describe the act of sex, which is the hallmark of prostitution. While we have already seen that the folks who write the dictionaries and lexicons can get it wrong (witness their treatment of porne), it is a much different thing to claim that the Apostles got it wrong.

    You might be the sort of man who would pay a prostitute to give her your loyalty and faithfulness and sex would never enter the picture, but that would make you something of a nine-sigma outlier on the normal curve of men. And, yes, it would be you giving the loyalty and faithfulness to the prostitute because the prostitute provides sex for money to anyone who can pay. The one thing prostitutes do not provide is loyalty and faithfulness. That is what wives do.

    From a reductionist standpoint, you’re making the argument that marriage is merely another form of prostitution. Is that really where you want to go with this?

    • whysoserious? says:

      I think I’m beginning to see how I can show you your error. To clarify my position, I believe kollao is used for marriage in those passages you claim it means sex. I think you’ll agree that, with the exception of 1 Cor 6, kollao could mean marriage in the other passages (i.e, it wouldn’t be obviously incorrect based on immediate context). Looking at Gen. 2:24, it’s conceivable that dabaq/kollao means marriage, etc., etc. You, however, look at porne in 1 Cor 6, and from that context infer kollao means sex whenever between a man and a woman, since you don’t believe porne could possibly refer to a promiscuous wife. Excluding these passages, I think the remaining uses of this word clearly imply obligations or arrangements of fidelity, of which marriage would be a subtype. Thus, the burden of proof lies on whoever claims that, in a given situation, kollao does have its normal meaning – in other words, you.

      Your proof, then, is accomplished through the word porne, which you claim is restricted to prostitution. Now, since the Septuagint is in Greek, we can establish Greek equivalents for Hebrew words. I’m partial to Greek, so I’ll refer to ‘dabaq’ as ‘kollao,’ and ‘zanah’ as ‘porne.’ (Also, porne is used to describe temple prostitutes in the Septuagint.) You say,

      The term porne is defined as sinful. Every single time.

      No. [http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/porne.html]. Rahab was a porne, and she was never condemned for her actions. Samson used porne, and wasn’t condemned.

      And, you also know that porne is defined in the physical sense as a woman who sells her body, that is, sex with her body. In the spiritual sense it is defined as an idolatress.

      Who says a porne must sell sex for money? Why not pleasure? Look at the examples of whoredoms in Ezekiel 16 or 23. Specifically, see Ezekiel 16:35, where an adulterous wife who whores for fun is described as porne.

      The question is whether the dictionaries and lexicons are correct when they define the word as describing sinful behavior. I believe you would probably agree that the answer is no.

      Agreed. It’s morality depends on context, which I why I said morally ambiguous.

      But dabaq is used to describe the act of sex that initiates a marriage.

      No, it’s not. It’s always about commitment elsewhere in the Bible, and there is a reasonable interpretation of 1 Cor. 6 that still maintains its standard definition. Since porne can be used to describe general promiscuity or cult prostitution, this passage warns Christians that they should not be married to a promiscuous woman or cult prostitute. No new definitions required! And no strange Pauline additions to male sexual morality.

      Kollao is used in Matthew 19 to translate the word dabaq into Greek when Jesus quoted Genesis 2:24. Kollao was used in 1st Corinthians 6:16 to describe the act that causes a man to become one body with a prostitute.

      Substitute ‘promiscuous wife’ for prostitute, and we’re good to go.

      Paul is not saying what they did was immoral or sinful in any way because it wasn’t. And Paul knew that. He simply forbid the activity for Christian men. The act was not and is not mala in se. It is now mala prohibita.

      Because Christianity is full of arbitrary prohibitions, made by men. No.

      From a reductionist standpoint, you’re making the argument that marriage is merely another form of prostitution. Is that really where you want to go with this?

      Why not? Marriage is a lifelong arrangement where a man agrees to provide for and protect a woman in exchange for exclusive sexual access and her complete submission. Prostitution is an arrangement where a man agrees to give liquid resources to a woman in exchange for sexual rights and, to some extent, her obedience. Marriage is merely a long term, tightly regulated form of prostitution which provides more resources to either party.

      • “To clarify my position, I believe kollao is used for marriage in those passages you claim it means sex.”

        Let’s just imagine that you’re right. You’re wrong and I’ll deal with that, but this is as good a time to do this as any. Let’s just for a moment suppose that kollao, as used in 1st Corinthians 6:16 means marriage and Paul is “warning Christians” not to marry a promiscuous woman or a prostitute.

        If that’s the case (it’s not, but we’re playing pretend) then what we have here is a situation in which the Apostle Paul did NOT forbid men from having sex with prostitutes. In your view he only warned them not to marry them but he certainly didn’t forbid the men from having sex with them. Because kollao somehow doesn’t mean sex in that verse. So, let’s see how that works, given that 1st Corinthians 6:15-16 is the ONLY place in all of Scripture where a man is forbidden to have sex with a prostitute, an activity that can otherwise be moral and righteous:

        ____________________________________

        WOW! This is a fascinating discovery, because 1st Corinthians 6:15-16 is the only passage in scripture that forbids men from engaging in the otherwise moral activity of having sex with prostitutes. Of course, the prohibition is only if kolloa means sex. With your argument that kolloa doesn’t mean sex then there is absolutely no prohibition on men having sex with prostitutes!

        Now that you have discovered this, I suggest you take a tour of the available opportunities in your area because there is a wide variety of services available from prostitutes on a temporary basis that you would never get from marriage, the other version of prostitution that you mentioned. You should try getting a blow-job from two women at the same time. Trust me, oral sex from just one woman will never be quite the same after that. But, be careful. You don’t want to wind up with a wart-encrusted dick or a case of herpes or anything like that.

        I realize this is probably new to you, recent discoveries can do that, but if you are unsure of where to begin I suggest you go to my blogroll and click on #20. That’s “The Honest Courtesan” which is Maggie McNeil’s blog. If you drop her a nice note she might have the time to explain how to get connected with the service providers in your area. She really is quite a lady. Nice rack too.

        This discovery of yours is sure to excite male seminary students everywhere and I’m sure they will want to get a copy of your argument. Since I’m known as a rather disreputable fellow to those who don’t really know me and those who do know me are aware that I’m a complete asshole, referring them to my blog isn’t a good idea. You simply must publish this finding in an academic journal. The idea that for 2000 years all of Christendom has incorrectly assumed that men go to prostitutes to get sex rather than marriage is surely something you must explain to everyone.

        It truly is amazing that you stumbled upon this. I imagine it will do wonders for marital relations throughout the church as women understand that their husbands have every right to get sex from prostitutes and it isn’t a sin. However, I am confused about one point. Since you’ve identified marriage as a form of prostitution and you state that the Apostle Paul instructed Christians not to marry prostitutes, how do you reconcile those two points? Wouldn’t that mean the Apostle Paul was forbidding marriage?

        It just seems so strange that Paul would warn Christians to be on their guard against men who would teach against becoming married when he was doing it himself. Still, perhaps that’s part of your theory where you haven’t worked out all the bugs yet. Maybe it’s like sex on the beach- it sounds great until you try it and get sand into places where sand should not be and all you have to do is think of masturbating with sandpaper to understand what that means.

        But the idea of there being no prohibition on getting sex from prostitutes is sure to be a hit in churches everywhere, especially among the young men and dissatisfied married men. There can be no doubt about that. On the plus side the married men could bring these women home and maybe the wife could pick up some new techniques.

        I’m envisioning what an enterprising madam could do upon discovering this previously untapped market. Start the day with a bang and a prayer breakfast at the local bordello? Complimentary breakfast included. How about Sunday afternoon specials? Divide up the girls into groups of Baptists and Methodists and when the men come in the Baptist men get Methodist women and Methodist men get Baptist women. That’s a huge score for unity right there. This could bring an entirely new meaning to communion and the coming together of believers.

        _________________________________

        And while all this is amusing, No.

        Whysoserious?, you have certainly delivered as promised, your argument was amusing. A complete failure, but amusing nonetheless.

        I will be going through your arguments and picking them apart later for instructional purposes. They’re specious but instructive. While I’m convinced that you know your argument is a steaming pile of excrement I truly do appreciate you making it and you have inadvertently hit on something very useful here.

        All the other readers should note that whysoserious? has done the heavy lifting and created a completely bullshit argument to “prove” that the Apostle Paul did not forbid men from using prostitutes. Take it and run with it, this has black knight written all over it. Make some notes on what he’s written and practice a bit saying it with a straight face, that’s important. Then try it out on someone obnoxious. Just don’t push too hard. His arguments can be compelling to people who don’t know their Bible well, which is just about all of them.

        Seriously, you would be amazed at the lack of Biblical literacy amongst even the professional churchians. So make the argument, just don’t push too hard. Your goal is to let them win the argument and correctly make the point that the word porne means a prostitute and the word kolloa means sex as they are used in 1st Corinthians 6:15-16. When they’ve done that, congratulations. They’ve just proved that sex with an eligible virgin is to marry her.

        Just think of the dilemma that puts them in. The Hebrew word “dabaq” as used in Genesis 2:24 is translated by the Apostles as the Greek word “kolloa” in Matthew 19:5, where Jesus quoted Genesis 2:24. Then, the word “kolloa” is defined with the text by the Apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians 6:16 as that act of becoming one body with a prostitute. Sex, in other words. And, for extra goodness Paul made sure that the context of Genesis 2:24 was clear because he quoted half of it in verse 16 and arranged the structure to ensure that there could be no doubt that “dabaq” as used in Genesis 2:24 meant sex.

        Since dabaq otherwise means commitment and kolloa otherwise means loyalty and faithfulness, it’s obvious that sex is how a man makes his commitment of loyalty and faithfulness in the process of initiating marriage. No words required, just penetration. With that penetration by the man into the eligible virgin, the man makes his commitment to the marriage. Which explains the marriage that came out of Deuteronomy 22:28-29.

        For some, this could be a much better way of making the argument that sex with an eligible virgin is to marry her. We know that the consent and/or commitment of the virgin woman is not required, but this makes it clear that the commitment of the man is made with the act of penetrating her with his penis. Best of all, after getting your opponents worked up proving their answer they’ll have no choice but to own this.

        Think of the position this puts them in, because they can’t have both. If kolloa means sex then sex with an eligible virgin is to marry her. If kolloa doesn’t mean sex, then there is no restriction anywhere on having sex with prostitutes.

        One nice thing about this sort of argument is that your opponent will want to do it publicly. That should be your goal and make sure he wins and nail him down on the win. Then spring the trap on him. The look on his face will be priceless and as for the women, well, you know they simply won’t go for the “sex with prostitutes is allowed” position, at all. When it comes to prostitutes, not even the missionary position is good enough.

  7. Don Quixote says:

    Hi Toad, long time no see.

    [Review snipped. Moved here for now:

    https://artisanaltoadshall.wordpress.com/about/comment-page-1/#comment-887

    I do appreciate that, when I figure out what to do with it I’ll have some comments about it because I also very much appreciated the book. It’s also fascinating to me to be able to see what others get out of texts like that. The size of it alone is enough to make some have a nervous breakdown.]

  8. Pingback: Black Knighting Churchian Marriage | Toad's Hall

  9. Don Quixote says:

    Artisanal Toad said:
    August 24, 2016

    Premarital sex is what the Catholic church came up with after they inserted their unbiblical requirement of consent by the woman (to usurp the authority of her father)

    Emphasis added.
    I have musing on this topic for a while and I would like to add another marriage into this mix. In Genesis chapter 24 is the story of how Isaac got his bride Rebekah, this message is often preached as a metaphor for the gospel, i.e:
    Abraham is a type of the Father.
    Isaac is a type of Christ [being the Son of the Promise to Abe]
    Eliezer is a type of the Holy Spirit [being sent to get the bride for the Son]
    Rebekah is a type of the Church [being the virgin bride]

    This example being with Abe commanding Eliezer to get a suitable virgin bride for his Son, and requirement given from Abe is the virgin must be willing, and Eli must not take the Son back to Ur.
    As the story unfolds the consent of Rebekah was the pivotal factor in progressing the marriage:
    57 So they said, “We will call the young woman and ask her personally.” 58 Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?”
    And she said, “I will go.”

    Later on there was no ceremony, Isaac took Rebekah into his tent and they become one flesh.

    The reason I mention this example shows that consent is indeed biblical especially in the context of marriage and salvation, the bible constantly uses betrothal and marriage as metaphors for these 2 different covenants.
    The Church being ‘betrothed’.
    And Israel being ‘married’.

    If you ignore the consent of the bride then please explain to me how did you get saved?

  10. What the Bible reveals is that marriage does not require the consent of the virgin. If the consent of the virgin was required, then it isn’t possible that the virgin not betrothed in Deuteronomy 22:28-29 was married, but the text clearly says if they were discovered they were married.

    In Exodus 21:7-10, we find a father *selling* his daughter to be another man’s concubine (wife). Are we to suppose that all of these women consented to this marriage? That’s ridiculous. Yet, they are wives (consider what the term “conjugal rights” means).

    In Deuteronomy 21:10-14 we have the war bride. Can you seriously see any consent on her part to being married? Yet, the text identifies her as his wife.

    Then we look at Genesis 2:24 and we see no requirement for the woman’s consent and no mention of it. The act of becoming married is the man’s, when he penetrates her. The act of becoming one flesh is God’s (c.f. Matthew 19:4-6).

    However, a virgin has no agency. Witness Numbers 30:3-5. She can agree to get married of her own will and her father can annul the marriage (Exodus 22:16-17). She can be raped against her will and over her objections and be married (Deuteronomy 22:28-29). Quite literally the virgin has no agency. The woman who is not a virgin (the widow, the divorced woman) has agency (Numbers 30:9, 1st Corinthians 7:39) and she must consent to marry. A virgin can be raped into marriage but a non-virgin cannot. Her consent is required before the sex makes her married.

    The only portion of Scripture that discusses rape is Deuteronomy 22. Why is it that Deuteronomy 22 only lists the virgin not betrothed, the virgin betrothed and the married woman? What about the widow or the divorced woman? Does God not care about the widow or the divorced woman being raped? Bad question. The problem is that it’s more complex and there is no black and white. The man’s act that signifies his commitment to marriage is the act of penetration. If the widow or divorced woman does not consent to marry him then it’s just sex. But what if the woman clearly stated that she had consented to marry the man who raped her? They are married. Lots of wiggle room there.

    In keeping with the metaphorical on the Spiritual side of things, we were all born dead in trespasses and sin. We were all slaves to sin. We were redeemed and we had to choose to be redeemed. None of us were virgins, in other words. And, you might be wondering about the parable of the virgins.

    The virgins represent the church but it doesn’t say that the bridegroom married them, just that they attended the feast. The oil for the lamps is obviously the Holy Spirit. They all had oil, but some had an extra flask (Ephesians 5:18). Look at the end. What was the difference between the five wise virgins and the five foolish virgins? Time. They all had the extra filling of the Holy Spirit, but the five wise virgins were treated differently because they’d done what they could when they could whereas the five foolish virgins got their fire insurance and sat on their asses, not doing what they could have done. You can’t say that the five foolish virgins were not Christians because in the end they were the equal of the five wise virgins. The point is when the bridegroom said I don’t “know” you, that word doesn’t mean what you think it means.

    John the Baptist, the 1st Cousin of Jesus, said of Jesus “I never knew him.” The word “know” used there is the same as in the parable of the virgins. It isn’t an objective knowing, its a subjective knowing. The point is this: If the church is the bride of Christ then half the church got left out of the marriage. If, OTOH, the church is NOT the bride of Christ, then half the church got locked out of the party because they didn’t deserve the reward of those who had been diligent in their walk with the Lord. Because Christ is just.

    There is nothing in Scripture that says the church is the bride of Christ. Seriously. In fact, in the book of Revelation the bride of Christ is specifically described as the new city of Jerusalem, not the church. However, I don’t want to get into an argument about it, I’m just making the point of what Scripture actually says and doesn’t say. Further, in 1st Corinthians 6:15-17 as well as in Ephesians 5:31-32, we have several opportunities that compare the one flesh union of marriage with the one body concept of being part of the body of Christ. Both are identified as a great mystery, but obviously the relationship with Christ is not a marital relationship, otherwise why the change in language?

    To be saved one must believe with their heart and confess with their mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord. That really has nothing to do with virgins and marriage.

  11. Don Quixote says:

    Artisanal Toad says:
    August 27, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Remove examples from the Torah which I agree with.

    However, a virgin has no agency. Witness Numbers 30:3-5. She can agree to get married of her own will and her father can annul the marriage (Exodus 22:16-17). She can be raped against her will and over her objections and be married (Deuteronomy 22:28-29). Quite literally the virgin has no agency. The woman who is not a virgin (the widow, the divorced woman) has agency (Numbers 30:9, 1st Corinthians 7:39) and she must consent to marry. A virgin can be raped into marriage but a non-virgin cannot. Her consent is required before the sex makes her married.

    What I am thinking is there are two models of marriage in the Bible, I suspect you are trying to fit everything into just one model. It doesn’t work for me based on our previous discussions. Please consider:
    Adam and Eve [1st model]
    Isaac and Rebekah [2nd model]

    The first model is representative for all humanity. The second model is a shadow of Christ and His bride, the redeemed Church. Would you agree with this?

    In keeping with the metaphorical on the Spiritual side of things, we were all born dead in trespasses and sin. We were all slaves to sin. We were redeemed and we had to choose to be redeemed. None of us were virgins, in other words. And, you might be wondering about the parable of the virgins.

    I wasn’t wondering about the virgins. Nor am I trying to [yet] reconcile both models of marriage because Jesus changed many things concerning marriage. But I’m trying to concentrate on the differences between these two models, and the various details/implications involved.

    There is nothing in Scripture that says the church is the bride of Christ. Seriously. In fact, in the book of Revelation the bride of Christ is specifically described as the new city of Jerusalem, not the church.

    The Churches’ covenant with Jesus is called betrothal by Paul in his letters the Corinthian and Ephesians , and described as such by John, and by Matt 22 parable of the wedding. It is repeated throughout the NT.
    2nd Cor.11:2
    For I am jealous as to you with the jealousy of God. For I have betrothed you to one husband, to present a pure virgin to Christ.

    Ephesian 5:25
    Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and hgave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by ithe washing of water jwith the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

    Israel’s covenant with God is called a marriage by 4 OT prophets [Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Hosea] this shouldn’t be ignored. Any biblical model for marriage should be reflected in these covenants. I have always understood marriage from this perspective. The scriptures always uses these covenants [marriage and betrothal] as metaphors for natural law[?] and salvation respectively.

    I think it is a mistake to try and force the one into the other. Jesus distanced Himself from the argument of pharisees when they asked Him about divorce. He presented a new school of thought that confounded everyone including His followers. “If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”

    Your model of marriage sounds good until you try to reconcile it with Jesus teaching, then it fails and requires all manor of divorce apologetics.

    However, I don’t want to get into an argument about it, I’m just making the point of what Scripture actually says and doesn’t say. Further, in 1st Corinthians 6:15-17 as well as in Ephesians 5:31-32, we have several opportunities that compare the one flesh union of marriage with the one body concept of being part of the body of Christ. Both are identified as a great mystery, but obviously the relationship with Christ is not a marital relationship, otherwise why the change in language?

    To be saved one must believe with their heart and confess with their mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord. That really has nothing to do with virgins and marriage.

    The quote above from Paul to the Ephesians stressed the importance of redemption as a preparation for presentation to Christ, the comparison to virginity points us to His intentions. Would you want to spend eternity with a shrew? If we claim to belong to Christ, we must prepare ourselves as a bride does. Our current salvation = Our betrothal period. No cherry, no cigar.

  12. In this comment I go over the arguments of whysoserious? that I hadn’t gotten around to yet.

    Paul uses the interesting play on words between one body and one flesh in that passage to make the point that Genesis 2:24 made and Christ explained in Matthew 19: the act of the man is to have sex with the woman and the act of God is to make the two become one flesh. Not only is sex the hallmark of prostitution, but combine it with the act itself described in the text as becoming one body.

    You just made the same mistake I did in my second (now seen as erroneous) alternative. You slip into assuming a prostitute today is what porne was then, and ignore its further meanings.

    I Respond: No, I am perfectly happy with the complete meaning of porne as used by the New Testament authors, which is defined below.

    There is no requirement, anywhere, for a ceremony or any outside third-party permission of any kind.

    If you exclude a father’s authority over his daughter. And, if you keep ignoring Ezekiel 16:8:
    “Then I passed by you and saw you, and behold, you were at the time for love; so I spread My skirt over you and covered your nakedness. I also swore to you and entered into a covenant with you so that you became Mine,” declares the Lord God.

    Observe how spreading one’s skirt over a eligible woman (i.e. having sex with her) is insufficient for marriage! This is clearly seen, for God says he swore and entered into a covenant with her so that she became his. Sorry, this seems pretty damning to me, without any “Jesuit chicanery,” just basic reading comprehension.

    I Respond: IMPORTANT NOTE. Our commenter whysoserious? knows as well as I do that citing a metaphor is worthless here. I played along in the beginning because I really did want to see how far he’d go, but the fact is, the metaphors used in the Book of Ezekiel are not in any way representative of requirements for marriage. The requirements for marriage are provided in Genesis 2:24. The Commandment against adultery was given in Exodus 20 and the death penalty for adultery was provided in Leviticus 18 and 20, repeated elsewhere. No requirement was made anywhere about swearing and as to the marital covenant, that is initiated with the shed blood of the virgin when the man has sex with her to initiate the marriage.

    What we see here is not that sex is insufficient. We see here is a METAPHOR in which God characterizes his relationship with Israel and Judah as a marriage. To begin that marriage the Lord God chose to swear an oath and enter into a covenant. Is it possible that because a city or a nation doesn’t have a hymen and no blood was shed… that was the case? Why don’t we just remember that this is a metaphor in which God is describing His relationship to groups of peoples in terms of marriage.

    The issue here is a completely superfluous point is being introduced here to confuse the argument. Consider what we are seeing in the book of Ezekiel with the metaphors whysoserious? is citing as requirements.

    It’s a metaphor. We can refer to an adulterous wife as a whore or a harlot, because prostitutes are known for their mercenary lack of fidelity and loyalty, something wives are supposed to provide. So, when the wife lacks these qualities we can refer to her metaphorically as a whore even though she’s not taking any money for the sex she’s providing.

    Second, God is a Being of Spirit. The Wives in these metaphors are not women, they are nations or cities. Consider that when God used these metaphors He did not use the obvious one, the Assembly of the Lord. Notice the parallel with the New Testament in which the New City of Jerusalem is identified as the Bride of Christ, specifically, rather than the church, which is “one body” with Christ.

    Third, we already know what the requirements for marriage are, which are found in Genesis 2:24. A covenant of marriage can be observed in the shedding of blood by the man to initiate the covenant and then the specific action by God to join the two as one flesh to seal the covenant. The marital covenant is only mentioned in only one place in Scripture, however, in Malachai 2:15. This is contained in the instruction to the priests and the requirements for them demanded a virgin bride. God refers to the wife of their youth, their wife by covenant. Virgin bride, marital covenant. Initiated with sex, sealed by God when He makes them one flesh.

    Fourth, the commitment to the bride, which God made by swearing, is accomplished by the man with the act of penetrating her with his penis which is the act of marriage.

    (…) Premarital sex is what the Catholic church came up with after they inserted their unbiblical requirement of consent by the woman (to usurp the authority of her father) and the unbiblical requirement of a ceremony with witnesses and the church’s blessing (to usurp the authority of the man) in order for the marriage to be considered valid.

    Haven’t given this side too much thought; I too think a ceremony is superfluous. Some vows or oaths are required between appropriate parties, that’s all I care about.

    I Respond: And you should be able to admit that sometimes we can have situations that call for the vow or oath to be made in a special way. A modern-day example is the statute of frauds requiring all land transfers to be in writing. No oral contracts allowed. You should agree that the act of signing a contract carries with it the weight of agreement to the terms and the act of signing a witness statement is to swear under oath as to the truthfulness of the statement.

    God designed a special ceremony for the initiation of marriage. The man inserts his penis in the woman vagina, breaking her hymen, and with penetration has accomplished the act of marriage and so conveyed his commitment to marry her. With a virgin this act is a permanent change to her character, taking her from the point of being a virgin to the point of being a married woman.


    Perhaps some might choose to interpret this as the two sisters having sex and thus they’d been married to the man they gave their virginity to, in which case God committed adultery. Rather than look at that as the confirmation that they were virgins, you use this as the excuse to say that the standard doesn’t exist.

    Whenever there’s an apparent contradiction between A and B in the Bible, either we’re thinking about A incorrectly or B incorrectly, or both, since the Bible is a priori true for our purposes. So any rigorous thinker would consider it both ways, thank you very much.

    I Respond: Not so fast. While I certainly consider the Bible as a whole to be a priori, within the Bible are various classes of text some of which carry more weight than others and how those pieces fit together is also important. What whysoserious? is doing is similar to the following:

    After learning that Toad had nominated him for the “Unintentional Black Knight” in Toad’s Hall of Fame, whysoserious? became so frustrated that he blindly opened his Bible and stuck his finger on a verse looking for guidance. When he looked, his finger was on Matthew 27:5

    “And he went out and hanged himself.”

    In frustration, whysoserious? tried it once more and this time his finger landed on Luke 10:37

    “Now go and do likewise.”

    Only an idiot would believe this really was God’s guidance for whysoserious? just like only an idiot would believe God’s metaphorical marriages in Ezekiel contained God’s requirements for marriage between two people.

    The obvious metaphor is not the same as the obvious poetic refrain. Neither of these are in the same class as the Commandments, laws, statutes, ordinances and judgments of the Law. Anecdotes are not necessarily anything but anecdotes that might be examples and could be good or bad. The meaning of some passages is ambiguous. For example, Judges 21:25 :

    “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

    1st Corinthians 6:15-16 changed that for Christian men and only for Christian men.

    No. Just no. The nature of God is consistent, so his will is consistent, so sin is consistent. The Law is how God’s will was revealed to Israel. If something wasn’t wrong in the OT, it isn’t wrong now. Otherwise, God would be changing his perfect, just nature, and potentially holding us to unrevealed standards; in such a world, pursuing morality would be farce. It’s not a sin to see a prostitute today any more than it was three thousand years ago. Paul must be talking about something else, or else he would risk adding or removing from the Law, or just plain misrepresenting God’s nature.

    I Respond: If a Master desires to make a private ruling for His house, He has every right to do that. To make the claim you are making is to deny Christ has the authority to order His house the way He wants to. If he desires to command His married servants not to divorce, He may. And He did. If He desires to command that they only marry within His house, He may. And He did. Likewise, He forbid His servant men to have sex with prostitutes. These private rulings apply only to the Servants of Christ which were purchased with His own blood.

    (…) So if you’re banging the widow down the street and she says she agreed to be married, you’re married.

    “Ha, no. You’re forgetting that the man never agreed to be her husband. You said that sex with a prostitute is ‘just sex,’ and now you’re saying it’s consent to marriage. What isn’t to say, in your view, that the widow-prostitute’s consent to sex isn’t always consent to marriage just like the man’s? Why is the man’s marital consent tied to sex and the woman’s isn’t? Anyway, it doesn’t matter because Ezekiel 16:8 describes an oath as a necessary condition for marriage.”

    I Respond: And I’ve already pointed out that the man agrees to marry with the special act of marriage in which he penetrates her vagina with his penis. Likewise, I’ve already explained that your metaphorical conditions are irrelevant and do not in any create some sort of requirement. You know it and I know it.

    With her marriage she is no longer under the authority of her father but now under the authority of her husband. The father is in complete authority over his daughter and possesses the authority to sell her as a servant or concubine… The law of vows gives him the authority and responsibility of reviewing all vows and agreements his daughter makes and he may annul any of them at his discretion in the day he hears of them.

    What do you think sex is, metaphysically speaking? A few pages ago, it seemed like sex was a physical act that resulted in marriage. Now you’re saying sex is a vow… which can be annulled by a father? Weird. Are the vow and sex one-and-the-same substance? By retroactively annulling his daughter’s consent, would a father make her be raped instead of seduced? Then she must marry the seducer/rapist. Or, is he annulling the sex itself, so she would still somehow be a virgin?

    I Respond: Perhaps the problem is that I wasn’t specific enough. The girl agreed to do something that had binding consequences. Her agreement was expressed in willingly removing her clothing and spreading her legs and allowing the man to penetrate her. All of the things that expressed her willing agreement to the act that caused her to marry form an agreement to marry. The father annuls the agreement to marry which annuls the marriage itself. Keep in mind that had she not agreed, assuming he wasn’t going to rape her, they would not have had sex.

    We contrast this with Deuteronomy 22:28-29, in which the virgin not betrothed was raped. No agreement. If they were discovered, meaning there was a witness to the fact she was being raped, she was married. Lacking an agreement her father could annul, the law of marriage (Genesis 2:24) stood and she was married.

    The act of putting his penis in her vagina was the man’s commitment to the marriage. With a virgin, to do so is to break the hymen, an irrevocable act that initiates the marriage. Consequently, the act is analogous to signing a contract that carries with it the obligation to obey the terms of the contract. If one does not want such an agreement, don’t sign the contract. If one doesn’t want the wife, don’t engage in the act of marriage with her. There was no sin in using prostitutes.

    The strike-through (to be) is because the words “to be” are not in the original Hebrew text. They are a translator addition and the NASB puts them in italics for that reason.

    Translation is an art, not a science. There may be morphological information, idioms, usage, or whatever that make that meaning evident to a Hebrew scholar, but lack a specific associated Hebrew word.

    I Respond: And the artists themselves, the translators, agree that the words are not in the original text which carries with it that the italicized words are merely the opinion of the translators who are subject to bias and cultural conditioning.

    This is similar to the shop-worn argument that “dabaq” (translated as the word “cleave” in Genesis 2:24) means commitment, not sex.

    I prefer “tried and true,” but to each his own.

    I Respond: It didn’t work so well when you tried it with kolloa, did it? Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

    The problem with this line of argument is that when we compare and contrast Genesis 2:24, Exodus 22:16-17 and Deuteronomy 22:28-29, we see that your argument doesn’t hold up. For example, in Deuteronomy 22:29, the phrase “shall become” (shall become married) is the exact same phrase used in Genesis 2:24 where it says the two “shall become one flesh.”

    Because “one flesh” is an imperative and immediate result of marriage (kollao/dabaq), not marriage itself. There can exist distinct semantically similar forms in a language. We can say Adam must marry Beth, or Beth must become Adam’s wife in English, why can’t there be something analogous in Hebrew?

    I Respond: We can, which is the nature of the argument we are having. The nature of your claim is that something more is required of the man and woman in order for them to be married, that sex is not enough. Therefore you desire to say this in such a way that the marriage is in the future rather than immediately, in the moment. As you say, it’s semantics.
    I am making the case that by definition, the word dabaq as used in Genesis 2:24 means sex. Occasionally I toss in ancillary points because the fact is it’s a perfect fit all around.

    Notice that Deuteronomy 22:28-29 describes the virgin not betrothed who is raped (violated). The judgment is that if they are discovered, they are married. There is no further action to take. No other requirements are left to be fulfilled, they are married. The same situation exists in Exodus 22:16, in which the father does not annul the marriage. They are already married and there is no further action to take to make them any more married.

    Right-ish. In a society that embraced prostitution, why spend energy seducing a woman for a ONS when you pay for one with minimal social consequences? Presumably, they wanted to get married. Hence the importance of paternal consent (which, by the way, is never explicitly described as an annulment, only a refusal to give her).

    I Respond: And you completely avoid the point. We are not questioning motives or any weighing of the particular benefit one way or another. We are looking at what the text says. You completely ignored the issue of rape = marriage and want to focus on the seduction. Obviously because it’s a lot easier to confuse the issue. Yet, with the rape there is absolutely no evidence of consent on the part of the woman. The context is that the woman was vehemently opposed to the rape. Likewise, there is no evidence that the man was consenting to the marriage except for the fact that he put his penis in her vagina. The act of marriage that has consequences in terms of marriage.

    Which is why I made the point first. Because when it’s understood that sex is what made them married and it’s sex that made the ones in the Exodus 22 passage married. The father lets the one in verse 16 stand, the father annuls the one in verse 17. And, no, I chose to use the word annul based on the text of Numbers 30:3-5.

    You make the statement that “presumably they wanted to get married.” Exactly. She agreed. She made an agreement. Her father had the right to annul (forbid/negate/deny/refuse) that agreement. In verse 17 he did so.

    You take this perspective because you conflate the payment of the dowry with the act of becoming married. They are separate.

    Marriage is a function of human property (cf. rest of Exodus 21-22). Dowry is the purchase price for virgins. So if you want to say purchasing is separate from paying, go ahead.

    I Respond: Jacob and Rachel. Purchased, payment over seven years. You’re welcome.

    I think I’m beginning to see how I can show you your error. To clarify my position, I believe kollao is used for marriage in those passages you claim it means sex. I think you’ll agree that, with the exception of 1 Cor 6, kollao could mean marriage in the other passages (i.e, it wouldn’t be obviously incorrect based on immediate context). Looking at Gen. 2:24, it’s conceivable that dabaq/kollao means marriage, etc., etc. You, however, look at porne in 1 Cor 6, and from that context infer kollao means sex whenever between a man and a woman, since you don’t believe porne could possibly refer to a promiscuous wife. Excluding these passages, I think the remaining uses of this word clearly imply obligations or arrangements of fidelity, of which marriage would be a subtype. Thus, the burden of proof lies on whoever claims that, in a given situation, kollao does have its normal meaning – in other words, you.

    Your proof, then, is accomplished through the word porne, which you claim is restricted to prostitution. Now, since the Septuagint is in Greek, we can establish Greek equivalents for Hebrew words. I’m partial to Greek, so I’ll refer to ‘dabaq’ as ‘kollao,’ and ‘zanah’ as ‘porne.’ (Also, porne is used to describe temple prostitutes in the Septuagint.)

    I Respond: Pay attention folks. Notice here that whysoserious? wants to insert the Septuagint into this. While the Septuagint can be helpful when looking at the meaning of Hebrew words in the Old Testament because you’ve got lookback by Biblical era scholars, it doesn’t provide anything definitive going forward. Meaning, the Biblical era scholars who created the Septuagint had a far better knowledge of what the Hebrew words written a thousand years prior to that were, but the meanings of words written a thousand years prior to the New Testament as translated into koine Greek is pretty much nothing in terms of defining something UNLESS there is a direct quote or direct reference to a verse from one to the other.

    However, the New Testament was written under Apostolic authority by the Apostles, the Septuagint was written by 70 Rabbi’s originally and modified by the Masorites between 700 and 1000 AD. Thanks very much, but I’ll stick to Scripture and the Apostles who wrote it.

    The word porne was used 12 times in the New Testament. Seven times it was used in the physical sense, the other five times it was used were all in the book of Revelation to describe the great harlot, the mother of all abominations. A metaphorical application describing an idolatress and idolatry. Used to describe the physical, we find the following:

    Matthew 21:31-32. Used in the sense of a job description along with tax collectors. An unsavory occupation. Note that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of heaven before the Chief priest and Temple elders because they believed.

    Luke 15:30. Within the parable of the prodigal son, describing the prostitutes the prodigal son had spent his money on. Sex-for-money prostitution.

    Hebrews 11:31, describing Rahab the righteous harlot, the hall of fame passage.

    James 2:25, describing Rahab the righteous harlot in the context that faith without works is dead. Rahab demonstrated her faith by her works.

    Finally we have 1st Corinthians 6:15-16, using the same word, porne. In English, prostitute. Of the other five uses of this word we have two simple job descriptions that are tied together with the job description of tax collectors. Both of them unsavory, odious professions, although moral, with the admonition that they will enter the Kingdom of Heaven before the Chief Priest and Elders of the Temple because they believed. Then we have two specific mentions by name of Rahab the righteous prostitute. Finally we have the prostitutes on whom the prodigal son spent his money. There is no hint in any of this of anything other than sex-for-money prostitution. No idolatry, no adultery, nothing but the moral and legitimate operation of the oldest profession.

    The term porne is defined as sinful. Every single time.

    No. [http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/porne.html]. Rahab was a porne, and she was never condemned for her actions. Samson used porne, and wasn’t condemned.

    I Respond: From the referenced page, the definition of the word porne.

    1. a woman who sells her body for sexual uses
    a. a prostitute, a harlot, one who yields herself to defilement for the sake of gain
    b. any woman indulging in unlawful sexual intercourse, whether for gain or for lust
    2. metaph. an idolatress
    a. of “Babylon” i.e. Rome, the chief seat of idolatry

    Notice in 1. (a) the use of the word defilement. In 1. (b) the use of the words “unlawful sexual intercourse. In 2. an idolatress. Unlawful is contrary to the law, a sin. Idolatry is a violation of the law, a sin. That leaves “defilement” which in the sexual sense was a sin. You understand the truth, but even by the definition you cited, by definition the action of “porne” was defined as a sin. This is the point I was making. The writers of the dictionary/encyclopedia are wrong in their definition. We both know it.

    But dabaq is used to describe the act of sex that initiates a marriage.

    No, it’s not. It’s always about commitment elsewhere in the Bible, and there is a reasonable interpretation of 1 Cor. 6 that still maintains its standard definition. Since porne can be used to describe general promiscuity or cult prostitution, this passage warns Christians that they should not be married to a promiscuous woman or cult prostitute. No new definitions required! And no strange Pauline additions to male sexual morality.

    I Respond: While dabaq is about commitment everywhere but Genesis 2:24, that verse refers to the initiation of marriage with sex, the rest of the verses don’t.

    Here you repeat your earlier error that I do not accept. I have already established that I do not accept inferences from the various definitons of zanah. Neither will I accept the impressions left by the metaphors of Ezekiel as having any bearing on the meaning of the word porne as used in the New Testament. There is more than adequate information of what the word porne means to understand it’s meaning in 1st Corinthians 6:15-16. I also made it clear that the idea of deriving requirements from the metaphors you cited is ludicrous.

    Kollao is used in Matthew 19 to translate the word dabaq into Greek when Jesus quoted Genesis 2:24. Kollao was used in 1st Corinthians 6:16 to describe the act that causes a man to become one body with a prostitute.

    Substitute ‘promiscuous wife’ for prostitute, and we’re good to go.

    You agree on the concept, not the definition, but I’ve already dealt with the definition.

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