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"Flee sexual immorality (porneia) and pursue self-control" (cf.

1 Thess 4:1–8) was the straightforward message to Christians in a sex-crazed world." Attitudes towards marriage and sexuality at the time of Jesus stemmed from a blend of Roman and Jewish ideas.

The First Epistle to the Corinthians states "Flee from sexual immorality" and lists adulterers and "those who are sexually immoral"/practicing-fornicators in a list of "wrongdoers who... The Apostolic Decree of the Council of Jerusalem also includes a prohibition of fornication.

Throughout history, most theologians have argued that any and all forms of premarital sex are immoral.

He states that "the word 'fornication' has gone out of fashion and is not in common use to describe non-marital sex.

Some of the debate arises from the question of which theological approach is being applied.

For instance, in defining porneia/fornication, Kittel and Friedrich's 1977 Theological Dictionary of the New Testament states that "The NT is characterized by an unconditional repudiation of all extra-marital and unnatural intercourse".

Lee Gatiss also argues that porneia encompasses all forms of premarital sex.

A deontological view of sex interprets porneia, aselgeia and akatharsia in terms of whether the couple are married or non-married.

What makes sex moral or immoral is the context of marriage.

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