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Idolatry / Adultery - Denying the Faith


mfbukowski

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Help!

I am speaking Sunday on morality, including pornography, adultery, and related stuff.

I have heard that "adultery" and "idolatry" are etymologically related, but really don't have the time to do the research.

Clearly, conceptually and scripturally they seem related; if Christ is the bridegroom, and we are to one flesh with our wives, it stands to reason that lusting after another could be construed as worshiping a "false god".

Why else would lust be "denying the faith?"

D&C 42

22 Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else.

23 And he that looketh upon a woman to lust after her shall deny the faith, and shall not have the Spirit; and if he repents not he shall be cast out.

Ephesians 5:

25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

At any rate, since I know neither Greek nor Hebrew, I would appreciate it if some of you scholars could help me out and show me if indeed the words "adultery" and "idolatry" are related etymologically or not.

Thanks in advance!

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Crack open your Jesus The Christ book and turn to page 278. Read the bottom section called "An Adulterous Generation Seeking after Signs."

(This is from a non official online source so you may want to check it)

12. An Adulterous Generation Seeking after Signs.--Our Lord's reply to

those who clamored for a sign, that "An evil and adulterous generation

seeketh after a sign" (Matt. 12:39; see also 16:4; Mark 8:38) could only

be interpreted by the Jews as a supreme reproof. That the descriptive

designation "adulterous" was literally applicable to the widespread

immorality of the time, they all knew. Adam Clarke in his commentary on

Matt. 12:39, says of this phase of our topic: "There is the utmost proof

from their [the Jews'] own writings, that in the time of our Lord, they

were most literally an adulterous race of people; for at this very time

Rabbi Jachanan ben Zacchi abrogated the trial by the bitter waters of

jealousy, because so many were found to be thus criminal." For the

information concerning the trial of the accused by the bitter waters,

see Numb. 5:11-31. Although Jesus designated the generation in which He

lived as adulterous, we find no record that the Jewish rulers, who by

their demand for a sign had given occasion for the accusation, ventured

to deny or attempt to repel the charge. The sin of adultery was included

among capital offenses (Deut. 22:22-25). The severity of the accusation

as applied by Jesus, however, was intensified by the fact that the older

scriptures represented the covenant between Jehovah and Israel as a

marriage bond (Isa. 54:5-7; Jer. 3:14; 31:32; Hos. 2:19, 20); even as

the later scriptures typify the Church as a bride, and Christ as the

husband (2 Cor. 11:2; compare Rev. 21:2). To be spiritually adulterous,

as the rabbis construed the utterances of the prophets, was to be false

to the covenant by which the Jewish nations claimed distinction, as the

worshipers of Jehovah, and to be wholly recreant and reprobate.

Convicted on such a charge those sign-seeking Pharisees and scribes

understood that Jesus classed them as worse than the idolatrous heathen.

The words "adultery" and "idolatry" are of related origin, each

connoting the act of unfaithfulness and the turning away after false

objects of affection or worship.

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I have heard that "adultery" and "idolatry" are etymologically related, but really don't have the time to do the research.

Hi MFB:

They are not related etymologically in Greek. There is a certain metaphorical overlap insofar as the idolatrous can be rightly described as adulterous vis-a-vis their relationship to God. That's off the top of my head. I'd have to look into the Hebrew. Perhaps someone else can answer more definitively and more quickly in that regard.

Best.

cks

EDIT: PM Maklelan or DB.

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Crack open your Jesus The Christ book and turn to page 278. Read the bottom section called "An Adulterous Generation Seeking after Signs."

...The words "adultery" and "idolatry" are of related origin, each

connoting the act of unfaithfulness and the turning away after false

objects of affection or worship.

Great quote- thanks for pointing this one out- I will check it out!- It doesn't say what that "origin" is

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English from Anglo-French from Medieval Latin and variated Late Latin from Greek. I think your gonna lose a whole slew of members Sunday. Bishop your gonna have a whole lot of explaining to do!

How am I gonna lose them? You mean it's too esoteric? I am just going to mention it in passing, assuming I can find a good source

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Hi MFB:

They are not related etymologically in Greek. There is a certain metaphorical overlap insofar as the idolatrous can be rightly described as adulterous vis-a-vis their relationship to God. That's off the top of my head. I'd have to look into the Hebrew. Perhaps someone else can answer more definitively and more quickly in that regard.

Best.

cks

EDIT: PM Maklelan or DB.

Good idea- thanks

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I think we can see somewhat a relationship described in Romans 1. I am not sure if Paul is talking about the upper classes of his society or societal evolution in general but here it is:

Wealth brings pride which leads to distancing one's self from God. People fill the void of a connection with God with material wealth (substitutes) and this further increases the attitude of pride. Next, commitment levels decrease -- as Romans points out the men start lusting after each other and the women, trying also to avoid the natural instinct to sacrifice by bringing forth children, deny the natural function of their bodies and likewise lust after each other. It is not so much that idolitry and adultery are the same thing. they are not necessarily, but the environment of pride and selfishness leads to finding substitutes for God and then, basically, anything in regards to morality is on the table.

One could argue that the most secular and materialistic society today is Sweden. Perhaps this explains these trends there:

http://www.thelocal.se/24026/20091223/

http://www.thelocal.se/22810/20091022/

http://www.thelocal.se/9089/20071113/

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How am I gonna lose them? You mean it's too esoteric? I am just going to mention it in passing, assuming I can find a good source

Explainign the etymology of the words can be difficult to many. However I had presumed you were going to do an elaborate dissertation on the subject. Continue on Bishop. Maybe the link to this article might help. http://www.christadelphian-advocate.org/features/qbox/qbox15.html

Spiritual Adultery From the earliest records of idolatry (or spiritual adultery), the attraction to false religion was rooted in lust. The pleasures of sin were often interlinked with the rituals associated with this type of worship. Gratification of the flesh, including drunkenness and sexual activity were common practice. Skilled craftsmen produced idols that provided an object of worship to add visual substance to their perversion. Idolatry was more that the worship of another God. It was an occasion to enjoy the pleasures of sin in a setting that was endorsed by society

Heres some more: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0001_0_00495.html

AS A METAPHOR FOR IDOLATRY

The exclusive loyalty which Israel must give God is analagous to the exclusive fidelity a wife owes her husband. Thus, Israelite religion seized upon the metaphor of marriage to express Israel's relationship with God and already in early texts employed language from the sphere of adultery to describe worship of other gods: Israel "goes a-whoring" (zanah) after other gods (Ex. 34:16; Num. 15:39

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I like this one:

"voluntary violation of the marriage bed," c.1300, avoutrie, from O.Fr. avoutrie, aoulterie, noun of condition from avoutre/aoutre, from L. adulterare "to corrupt" (see adulteration). Modern spelling, with the re-inserted -d-, is from early 15c. (see ad-). Classified as single adultery (with an unmarried person) and double adultery (with a married person). O.E. word was
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At any rate, since I know neither Greek nor Hebrew, I would appreciate it if some of you scholars could help me out and show me if indeed the words "adultery" and "idolatry" are related etymologically or not.

Thanks in advance!

I'm not a linguist so I can't speak to the etymology, but the concepts are clearly related. The scriptures are absolutely full of examples of Yahweh being the husband, Israel being the wife, and Israel's idolatry being the wife's adultery. The entire book of Hosea is the most complete allegory of the concept that I can think of. It's a pretty spicy read!

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Hey you guys- thanks so much for the input, I really appreciate it.

A visit to Strong's yielded this:

http://www.eliyah.com/cgi-bin/strongs.cgi?file=hebrewlexicon&isindex=2181

Strong's Hebrew Lexicon Search Results

Result of search for "2181":

2181 zanah zaw-naw' a primitive root (highly-fed and therefore wanton); to commit adultery (usually of the female, and less often of simple fornication, rarely of involuntary ravishment); figuratively, to commit idolatry (the Jewish people being regarded as the spouse of Jehovah):--(cause to) commit fornication, X continually, X great, (be an, play the) harlot, (cause to be, play the) whore, (commit, fall to) whoredom, (cause to) go a-whoring, whorish.

2183 zanuwn zaw-noon' from 2181; adultery; figuratively, idolatry:--whoredom. 2184 znuwth zen-ooth' from 2181; adultery, i.e. (figuratively) infidelity, idolatry:--whoredom. 2185 zonowth zo-noth' regarded by some as if from 2109 or an unused root, and applied to military equipments; but evidently the feminine plural active participle of 2181; harlots:--armour. 8457 taznuwth taz-nooth' or taznuth {taz-nooth'}; from 2181; harlotry, i.e. (figuratively) idolatry:--fornication, whoredom.

Sounds pretty good to me!

Incidentally, that site has lotsa cool reference stuff- check it out.

"The Jewish people being regarded as the spouse of Jehovah"

Sounds like there is definitely something here, and perhaps my earlier understanding of the "Bridegroom" and the church and becoming one flesh with one's wife as mirroring the relationship between Christ and the church as related by Paul is right on the money.

Yet ironically, Paul is regarded as being "anti-marriage".

Another thing: I believe this is yet another evidence of the restoration: we alone with our affirmation of the importance of the sealing ordinances really have a grasp of this doctrine

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Not etymologically related in Hebrew either.

The word for adulterous is noef.

The wanton root mentioned is what appears in the parable of the reaper as tares. They resemble wheat and grow in the fields around our home and choke everything else.

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Denying the faith could be rephrased as breaking trust.

I suppose, but I don't think that is what it means, since it is written in English and it says "denies the faith".

But you are saying the Hebrew isn't really related? Did you check the Strongs for the actual Hebrew words? I don't know if the transliteration is clear enough?

Thanks for the help!

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Help!

I am speaking Sunday on morality, including pornography, adultery, and related stuff.

I have heard that "adultery" and "idolatry" are etymologically related, but really don't have the time to do the research.

Clearly, conceptually and scripturally they seem related; if Christ is the bridegroom, and we are to one flesh with our wives, it stands to reason that lusting after another could be construed as worshiping a "false god".

Why else would lust be "denying the faith?"

At any rate, since I know neither Greek nor Hebrew, I would appreciate it if some of you scholars could help me out and show me if indeed the words "adultery" and "idolatry" are related etymologically or not.

Thanks in advance!

This whole adultery thing is overrated. Take the Biblical example where Christ forgave the Adulteress who was "caught in the act" and we know nothing about who she was committing the sin with, right? Christ forgave her and He will forgive others like her, if we go by what the Bible teaches. The key phrase there was "go and sin no more" There are many reasons why people are "driven" to adultery or infidelity that have nothing to do with pure lust. Many actually fall in love with someone else, period. Others have sexless marriages or very unhappy marriages and, as the Bible says, the flesh is weak.

Where the adulterer/adulteress fails is that he or she should file for divorce before indulging in lustful behavior or worse. The best option would be not to yield to the desires of the flesh at all. Adulteries also happen due to bad choices. The Lord knows the reasons why people sin and therefore He is willing to forgive and forget as long as the sinner goes and does it no more. In His time, everyone had sins, so they could not cast the first stone. I doubt it's any different today.

Furthermore, the concept of being "one flesh" only works out if there is love at home and you're a happy couple. It's not standard for all couples or the divorce rate wouldn't be so high.

As for denying the faith, all serious sins deny the faith, not just adultery. The Lord loves the sinner and if every man or woman who looked upon the opposite sex was an automatic adulterer, the entire world would stand under condemnation from puberty on as most human beings are born with natural, instinctive attraction to the opposite sex while others to the same gender.

Why people commit adultery is a question that has many answers, not just one.Let's not forget that at one point, we had plural wives and that was perfectly OK. Many were very happy with the arrangement, especially the men. (:-).

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This whole adultery thing is overrated. Take the Biblical example where Christ forgave the Adulteress who was "caught in the act" and we know nothing about who she was committing the sin with, right? Christ forgave her and He will forgive others like her, if we go by what the Bible teaches. The key phrase there was "go and sin no more" There are many reasons why people are "driven" to adultery or infidelity that have nothing to do with pure lust. Many actually fall in love with someone else, period. Others have sexless marriages or very unhappy marriages and, as the Bible says, the flesh is weak.

Where the adulterer/adulteress fails is that he or she should file for divorce before indulging in lustful behavior or worse. The best option would be not to yield to the desires of the flesh at all. Adulteries also happen due to bad choices. The Lord knows the reasons why people sin and therefore He is willing to forgive and forget as long as the sinner goes and does it no more. In His time, everyone had sins, so they could not cast the first stone. I doubt it's any different today.

This is true, there are a variety of reasons people cheat on their wives or husbands. Some are:

1) Punishment. Some people will cheat due to abuse by their spouse (probably most often psychological).

2) Someone showing interest in them while their spouse refuses to bring themselves to share life in a meaningful way.

3) Imbalance. This can be due, for instance, a wife becoming extremely athletic while her husband packs on the pounds without regard for his health.

4) Sub conscious desire to reprodiuce. Many males and females start having affairs when they reach the number of children their spouse desires. Many males do the whole "midlife crisis" thing when their wife hits menopause.

5) Thrill seeking.

The list goes on and on.

Now contrary to popular belief adultery usually does not lead to divorce -- well, not sure about LDS situations where some women feel they are justified for divorcing their husbands because he might look at porn once in a while. Yeah, no better way to bring up children than in a fractured family. In the general population if divorce does take place, and adultery is given as a reason, it is often just one reason of many already existing.

I suppose one thing LDS people should think about before cheating is that maybe if one endures to the end they will get blessed with a better husband in the next life or a man might get blessed with several superior wives. Yet if one cheats they jeopardize that happening perhaps.

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I suppose, but I don't think that is what it means, since it is written in English and it says "denies the faith".

Think of the older usage of faith. It has strong undertones of loyalty.

But you are saying the Hebrew isn't really related? Did you check the Strongs for the actual Hebrew words? I don't know if the transliteration is clear enough?

Thanks for the help!

Don't need Strong's. Used the OT.

The words aren't related etymologically, BUT as people have said, there is a strong symbolic link. Ezekiel 16 is a good chapter on that.

Glad to be of service.

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This whole adultery thing is overrated. Take the Biblical example where Christ forgave the Adulteress who was "caught in the act" and we know nothing about who she was committing the sin with, right? Christ forgave her and He will forgive others like her, if we go by what the Bible teaches. The key phrase there was "go and sin no more" There are many reasons why people are "driven" to adultery or infidelity that have nothing to do with pure lust. Many actually fall in love with someone else, period. Others have sexless marriages or very unhappy marriages and, as the Bible says, the flesh is weak.

Where the adulterer/adulteress fails is that he or she should file for divorce before indulging in lustful behavior or worse.

Wow. I see so much wrong with your statement, I'm not sure where to begin. First of all, are you married and do you have children? If not then I will write off your comments as inexperience. Do you really believe that the only thing wrong with adultery is the fact that the adulterer has not yet filed for divorce? As the child of a divorce, I will say loud and clear the DIVORCE SUCKS FOR THE CHILDREN!!!!" It is ten times harder for the children than it ever is for the parents. Of course in cases of ongoing or severe abuse, or intentional non support (financial and emotional) it may be the best thing for the children. In the case of "sexless or unhappy marriage", that is no excuse to put the children through a divorce. It screws up everything for the children--their stability, their self esteem, holidays. It shatters their entire world. Unless the divorce is completely amicable and both partners make the children their absolute #1 priority, divorce is a terrible price for children to have to pay so that their mom or dad can enjoy "good sex." I have only seen a handful of amicable and "child friendly" divorces. Most divorces I see are absolutely horrific for the children. In the case of a couple with no children, I think divorce can be a viable option to "irreconcilable differences" but I still firmly believe that most differences are not irreconcilable if both parties try their best to make their marriage work.

As to the adultress in the scriptures, I think you are missing the point of the story. Absolutely no where does Jesus imply that adultery is no big deal. He does not condemn the woman and tells her to not do it again. If a person does fall into temptation because of their bad marriage or weaknesses of the flesh, they can and should be forgiven and they should go back to their spouse and quit cheating. It in no way implies that the woman should go divorce her husband and marry someone who is better in the sack.

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Think of the older usage of faith. It has strong undertones of loyalty.

Don't need Strong's. Used the OT.

The words aren't related etymologically, BUT as people have said, there is a strong symbolic link. Ezekiel 16 is a good chapter on that.

Glad to be of service.

Thanks!

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This whole adultery thing is overrated.

I could have probably found twenty quotes like this one in about 15 minutes if I had it.

The Lord and His prophets condemn sexual immorality. The prophet Alma taught that sexual sins are more serious than any other sins except murder and denying the Holy Ghost (see Alma 39:3
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Adultery is wrong, no doubt about it. However, I would caution against comparing the relstionship between Christ and the Church and a married human couple. Jesus is loyal, forgiving and loving no matter what. Can there be consequences if someone breaks the commandments? Absolutely -- one need only look at sexually transmitted disease rates to see that. However, let us not be taken in by the simple notion that adultery always involves a victim and a perpetrator. In many cases a person invites a spouse to find love elsewhere whether through withholding affection or sex. In other cases a person can be mean and abusive. So in many relationships a person sets themselves up to deserve to be cheated on. In such cases there is no real victim except any children the couple has. If couples BOTH strive to live according to the ideals of selflessness that Jesus taught then adultery rates would plummet (in and outside the Church).

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