Fornication or Sexual Immorality

The table below examines the greek word often translated as "fornication" or "sexual immorality" in the Bible. Three Bible versions are examined in this article.

Strong's Number G4202 matches the Greek word (porneia), which occurs 26 times in 25 verses in the Greek concordance of the KJV.

Strong's Number G4203 matches the Greek (porneuo-), which occurs 8 times in 7 verses in the Greek concordance of the KJV

These words should properly be translated as "fornication", therefore, the translation to "sexual immorality" is incorrect and forces the interpretation of such passages to focus on the physical sin only.

The word "fornication" is actually used often in the New Testament to refer to a specific type of doctrine by the same name. This is why Bible expositors have coined the phrase "Spiritual Fornication" because the context of certain passages suggests that it is not a physical sin of the flesh but is a doctrine being taught and practiced.

In these "last days" of the Church age, the "Doctrine of Fornication" is not understood by the Church. As a consequence, the Church is increasingly engaged in the practice as prophesied by Jesus Himself and will continue to do so until our Lord returns. This doctrine was explained in the parable of the leaven and enhances the practice of unrighteousness which in part explains the failure of the Church to prevent the world from spiraling into wickedness and moral decay. The Church has lost its salt and light while at the same time the Gospel is spreading around the world in rapid fashion. It becomes a good news -bad news situation. (see 1 Corinthians 5:1 below as one example where the issue is doctrine, not a sexual sin)

King James Version
(KJV)
New King James
Version
New American
Standard Version
(Matthew 5:32) But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. NKJVError(Matthew 5:32) But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery. NASVError(Matthew 5:32) but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for [the] cause of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
(Matthew 15:19) For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: NKJVError(Matthew 15:19) For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. NASVError(Matthew 15:19)"For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.
(Matthew 19:9) And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. NKJVError(Matthew 19:9) And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery." NASVError(Matthew 19:9) "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery."
(Mark 7:21) For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, NKJVError(Mark 7:21) For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, NASVError(Mark 7:21) "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries,
(John 8:41) Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. NKJVError(John 8:41) You do the deeds of your father." Then they said to Him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father--God." NASVError(John 8:41) "You are doing the deeds of your father." They said to Him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, [even] God."
(Acts 15:20) But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. NKJVError(Acts 15:20) but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood. NASVError(Acts 15:20) but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood.
(Acts 15:29) That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well. NKJVError(Acts 15:29) that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell. NASVError(Acts 15:29) that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell. "
(Acts 21:25) As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication. NKJVError(Acts 21:25) But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written and decided that they should observe no such thing, except that they should keep themselves from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality." NASVError(Acts 21:25) "But concerning the Gentiles who have believed, we wrote, having decided that they should abstain from meat sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from fornication."
(Romans 1:29) Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, NKJVError(Romans 1:29) being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, NASVError(Romans 1:29) being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; [they are] gossips,
(1 Corinthians 5:1) It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. NKJVError(1 Corinthians 5:1) It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles--that a man has his father's wife! NASVError(1 Corinthians 5:1) It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father's wife.
(1 Corinthians 5:9) I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: NKJVError(1 Corinthians 5:9) I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. NASVError(1 Corinthians 5:9) I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people;
(1 Corinthians 5:10) Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. NKJVError(1 Corinthians 5:10) Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. NASVError(1 Corinthians 5:10) I [did] not at all [mean] with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters; for then you would have to go out of the world.
(1 Corinthians 5:11) But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. NKJVError(1 Corinthians 5:11) But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner--not even to eat with such a person. NASVError(1 Corinthians 5:11) But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he should be an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler-- not even to eat with such a one.
(1 Corinthians 6:9) Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, NKJVError(1 Corinthians 6:9) Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, NASVError(1 Corinthians 6:9) Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,
(1 Corinthians 6:13) Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. NKJVError(1 Corinthians 6:13) Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. NASVError(1 Corinthians 6:13) Food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for food; but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord; and the Lord is for the body.
(1 Corinthians 6:18) Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. NKJVError(1 Corinthians 6:18) Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. NASVError(1 Corinthians 6:18) Flee immorality. Every [other] sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.
(1 Corinthians 7:2) Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. NKJVError(1 Corinthians 7:2) Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. NASVError(1 Corinthians 7:2) But because of immoralities, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.
(1 Corinthians 10:8) Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. NKJVError(1 Corinthians 10:8) Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; NASVError(1 Corinthians 10:8) Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.
(2 Corinthians 12:21) And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed. NKJVError(2 Corinthians 12:21) lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall mourn for many who have sinned before and have not repented of the uncleanness, fornication, and lewdness which they have practiced. NASVError(2 Corinthians 12:21) I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I may mourn over many of those who have sinned in the past and not repented of the impurity, immorality and sensuality which they have practiced.
(Galatians 5:19) Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, NKJVError(Galatians 5:19) Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, NASVError(Galatians 5:19) Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,
(Ephesians 5:3) But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; NKJVError(Ephesians 5:3) But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; NASVError(Ephesians 5:3) But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints;
(Ephesians 5:5) For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. NKJVError(Ephesians 5:5) For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. NASVError(Ephesians 5:5) For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
(Colossians 3:5) Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: NKJVError(Colossians 3:5) Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. NASVError(Colossians 3:5) Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.
(1 Thessalonians 4:3) For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: NKJVError(1 Thessalonians 4:3) For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; NASVError(1 Thessalonians 4:3) For this is the will of God, your sanctification; [that is,] that you abstain from sexual immorality;
(1 Timothy 1:10) For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; NKJVError(1 Timothy 1:10) for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, NASVError(1 Timothy 1:10) and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,
(Hebrews 12:16) Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. NKJVError(Hebrews 12:16) lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. NASVError(Hebrews 12:16) that [there be] no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a [single] meal.
(Hebrews 13:4) Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. NKJVError(Hebrews 13:4) Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. NASVError(Hebrews 13:4) [Let] marriage [be held] in honor among all, and let the [marriage] bed [be] undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
(Jude 1:7) Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. NKJVError(Jude 1:7) as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. NASVError(Jude 1:7) Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example, in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.
(Revelation 2:14) But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. NKJVError(Revelation 2:14) But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. NASVError(Revelation 2:14) 'But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit [acts of] immorality.
(Revelation 2:20) Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. NKJVError(Revelation 2:20) Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. NASVError(Revelation 2:20) 'But I have [this] against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray, so that they commit [acts of] immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
(Revelation 2:21) And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. NKJVError(Revelation 2:21) And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. NASVError(Revelation 2:21) 'And I gave her time to repent; and she does not want to repent of her immorality.
(Revelation 9:21) Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts. NKJVError(Revelation 9:21) And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts. NASVError(Revelation 9:21) and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.
(Revelation 14:8) And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. NKJVError(Revelation 14:8) And another angel followed, saying, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." NASVError(Revelation 14:8) And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality."
(Revelation 17:2) With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. NKJVError(Revelation 17:2) with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication." NASVError(Revelation 17:2) with whom the kings of the earth committed [acts of] immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality. "
(Revelation 17:4) And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: NKJVError(Revelation 17:4) The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. NASVError(Revelation 17:4) And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality,
(Revelation 18:3) For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. NKJVError(Revelation 18:3) For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury." NASVError(Revelation 18:3) "For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed [acts of] immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality."
(Revelation 18:9) And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, NKJVError(Revelation 18:9) "The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning, NASVError(Revelation 18:9) "And the kings of the earth, who committed [acts of] immorality and lived sensuously with her, will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning,
(Revelation 19:2) For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. NKJVError(Revelation 19:2) For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her." NASVError(Revelation 19:2) BECAUSE HIS JUDGMENTS ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and HE HAS AVENGED THE BLOOD OF HIS Bond-servants ON HER. "
(Revelation 21:8) But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. NKJVError(Revelation 21:8) But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." NASVError(Revelation 21:8) "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part [will be] in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
(Revelation 22:15) For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. NKJVError(Revelation 22:15) But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. NASVError(Revelation 22:15) Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.




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