Various kinds of irregular sexual relationships are covered by this word but the OT takes a fairly relaxed view of most of them. Rahab the harlot is far from being stigmatized (Josh. 2); she comes in the genealogy of Jesus (Matt. 1:5). But Lev. 18 represents a harsher attitude. Advice to young men after the Exile was that irregular relationships are inadvisable (Prov. 7:5–27); but where associated with religious prostitution or heathen rites opposition is total (Lev. 21:7, 9).
In the NT a metaphorical use is common (e.g. Matt. 12:39) as well as the literal use (1 Cor. 6:18). Fornication is condemned as being incompatible with the sovereignty of God, whose intention is to restore all mankind in undivided loyalty to himself. Nevertheless Jesus taught that in the Kingdom outcasts and prostitutes would take precedence over the self-righteous (Matt. 21:31 ff.).

Dictionary of the Bible.

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  • fornication — Fornication …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • fornication — [ fɔrnikasjɔ̃ ] n. f. • déb. XIIe; lat. ecclés. fornicatio; de fornix « voûte », parce que les prostituées habitaient à Rome des chambres voûtées ♦ Relig. (t. bibl.) Péché de la chair (relations charnelles entre deux personnes qui ne sont ni… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • fornication — for·ni·ca·tion /ˌfȯr nə kā shən/ n [Late Latin fornicatio, from fornicare to have intercourse with prostitutes, from Latin fornic fornix arch, vault, brothel]: consensual sexual intercourse between a man and esp. single woman who are not married …   Law dictionary

  • Fornication — Fornication, or simple fornication, is a term which refers to voluntary sexual intercourse between persons not married to each other. [ [ WordNet Search 3.0 ] ] The origin of the word derives… …   Wikipedia

  • fornication — FORNICATION. s. f. Le peché de la chair entre deux personnes non mariées, ny liées par aucun voeu. Simple fornication. le peché de fornication. commettre fornication. Ce mot & celuy de Fornicateur qui suit ne se disent guere que dans le… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Fornication — For ni*ca tion, n. [F. fornication, L. fornicatio.] 1. Unlawful sexual intercourse on the part of an unmarried person; the act of such illicit sexual intercourse between a man and a woman as does not by law amount to adultery. [1913 Webster] Note …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fornication — [fôr΄ni kā′shən] n. [ME fornicacioun < OFr fornication < LL(Ec) fornicatio < fornicatus: see FORNICATE1] 1. a) voluntary sexual intercourse engaged in by a man, esp. an unmarried man, with an unmarried woman b) voluntary sexual… …   English World dictionary

  • fornication — (n.) c.1300, from O.Fr. fornicacion (12c.), from L.L. fornicationem (nom. fornicatio), noun of action from pp. stem of fornicari fornicate, from L. fornix (gen. fornicis) brothel (Juvenal, Horace), originally arch, vaulted chamber (Roman… …   Etymology dictionary

  • fornication — *adultery, incest …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • fornication — [n] sexual intercourse coition, coitus, copulation, intimacy, lovemaking, relations, screwing around, sex, sleeping around; concepts 375,384 …   New thesaurus

  • Fornication — Le terme fornication désigne un rapport sexuel entre deux individus non mariés entre eux, pratique condamnée par certaines religions (péché de la chair). Il a une forte connotation morale voire moralisatrice. Son usage est cependant péjoratif et… …   Wikipédia en Français

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