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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.

Wright notes "If a Corinthian were to say, 'Because I'm a Corinthian, I have always had a string of girl-friends I sleep with, that's part of our culture,' Paul would respond, 'Not now you're a Christian you don't.'...

He states that, from a Biblical perspective, "physical union should not take place outside a "one flesh" (i.e. In [1 Corinthians] chapter 7 Paul addresses the situation of two unmarried Christians who are burning with passion (7:8–9) who should either exercise self-control or be permitted to marry (cf. The underlying assumptions are the same as those in Deuteronomy 22." However, a minority of theologians have argued in more recent times that premarital sex may not be immoral in some limited circumstances.

An example is John Witte, who argues that the Bible itself is silent on the issue of consensual, premarital sex between an engaged couple.

By contrast, a teleological view interprets porneia, aselgeia and akatharsia in terms of the quality of the relationship (how well it reflects God's glory and Christian notions of a committed, virtuous relationship.) The debate also turns on the definition of the two Greek words moicheia (μοιχεία, adultery) and porneia (el:πορνεία, with meaning of prostitution, from which the word pornography is derived).

The first word is restricted to contexts involving sexual betrayal of a spouse; however, the second word is used as a generic term for illegitimate sexual activity, although many scholars hold that the Septuagint uses "porneia" to refer specifically to male temple prostitution.

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