Bible Proofs Part 3 – Biblical Sex Laws – Biblical Sex Education

In part one of this series we examined the ancient world’s view of medical science and in part two we looked at food laws. Part three we will examine the sex laws in the Bible, how they differed from surrounding cultures, and how they protected God’s people from a variety of problems.

Limits on Sexual Conduct

Various venereal diseases have been around well into antiquity. The first recorded epidemic of syphilis occurred in the 15th century, but there are possible cases dating back to Biblical times. Gonorrhea, and other STDs can also be traced back into antiquity based on a modern assessment of the description of symptoms. Since bacteria and viruses were not understood at all in Biblical times, the causes for disease and the spread of disease were often not understood. It was certainly not thought that sexual conduct led to these diseases until much later in history.

Syphilis effected mankind long before it was understood as a disease.

Syphilis effected mankind long before it was understood as a disease.

Nevertheless, the Bible’s sex laws offer the only clear cut method for avoidance of these diseases, even today. Following the code listed in the Bible would effectively limit the spread of all such disease.

Some of these laws are as follows:

    • Prohibit sexual contact with a prostitute (Proverbs 7:4-27; Leviticus 19:29)
    • Strict sexual contact regulations (Proverbs 5; Mark 10:4-12;o 1 Corinthians 6:18; 10:8; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8)
    • Isolation of those with symptoms (Leviticus 15:1-13)
    • Prohibit adultery in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:14, 17)

In addition to the code of laws, numerous Biblical statements and warnings predict unhealthy physical consequences that accrue from failure to abide by the laws. These include fever, wasting disease, blindness, madness, stunting, and bone malformations dating from birth as well as boils, tumors, festering sores, and itches that would be incurable. (Deuteronomy 28:22, 27-28; Leviticus 21:18-20)

The apostle Paul declared that fornication was a sin that harmed the physical body (1 Corinthians 6:18)

The Biblical view is in stark contrast to the worldly view that predominated ancient world.

As late as the fifteenth century, Theodoricus Ulsenius of Nuremburg blamed venereal disease on a malign conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. A quick look at some proposed remedies shows the total ignorance that pervaded the globe. Some proposed cures included:

  • Refusing to eat peas, because worms with wings would inhabit the peas.
  • Anointing with mercury salve. At least you wouldn’t die from the disease. The mercury however would eventually kill you.
  • Placing patients in large stoves heated with glowing coals, where they lived on starvation diets.
  • Mixing together black saltpeter, shell of ostrich-egg, and pine-turpentine.
Various cures being tried for syphilis.

Various cures being tried for syphilis.

Meanwhile the Bible 1)Isolated the cause 2) Established effective preventive measures 3) Correctly predicted the result if the rules were not followed.

Carle C. Zimmerman was a professor emeritus at Harvard University. His masterwork was Family and Civilization which was the culmination of his research on different civilizations and what caused their eventual downfall. With a particular emphasis on ancient Greece and Rome, medieval and modern Europe, and the United States, he identified eight common factors leading to the degrading of society to the point of collapse. Please understand that this is an educated man at the highest level, with no religious motive or axe to grind. He is simply stating what he found from sociological research. The eight factors are:

    1. Marriage lost its sacredness; it was frequently broken by divorce.
    2. Traditional meaning of the marriage ceremony was lost. Alternate forms and definitions of marriage arose, and traditional marriage vows were replaced by individual marriage contracts.
    3. Feminist movements appeared, and women lost interest in child bearing and mothering, preferring to pursue power and influence.
    4. Public disrespect for parents and authority in general increased.
    5. Juvenile delinquency, promiscuity, and rebellion accelerated
    6. People with traditional marriages refused to accept family responsibilities.
    7. Desire for and acceptance of adultery grew.
    8. Increased tolerance for sexual perversions of all kinds, particularly homosexuality, with a resultant increase in sex-related crimes.

Some of those are not very popular topics in today’s society. It may not be popular, but it is clear that adhering to the Biblical laws will produce a more healthy society. Refusing to follow them will bring physical, emotional, and spiritual disaster.

Is the Bible Unique in This Approach?

It is clear that what the Bible has to say about sexual practices is the best method for protecting individuals and society as a whole, but is the Bible unique in this approach? Does this lend evidence to suggest the Bible is inspired?

Many world religions place no restraints on adherents as far as sexual practices are concerned. Shintoism has scarcely any moral code. Hinduism allows infidelity on the part of the husband, considering it neither rare nor worthy of moral censure.

In the Muslim religion, women are regarded almost as man’s playthings. “Outside of the married state, the husband is allowed to cohabit with an unlimited number of slaves.”

Every major culture of ancient times from the Egyptians to the Romans was lax in its imposition of rules relating to sexual conduct. Religious prostitution was a way of life in Egypt. Promiscuity was common in Greece and Rome. In fact, brothels and sexual depictions were so common on the walls of Pompeii, that early excavators were actually embarrassed and covered some of them with plaster, reburied some, and locked others away.

There are also a few that are even more restrictive of sexuality. Buddhism encourages no sexual contact throughout life. This of course, if practiced in extreme, would result in extinction.

In regard to sex laws, the Bible chooses the course that is both the most healthy, and the most beneficial to the individual and society.