A Greek Study on Whores and Whoremongers – Jesse Morrell

This is an interesting Greek Bible study on whores, whoremongers, harlots, fornicators, fornication, etc.

* The New Testament Greek word for harlot and whore is porne (πόρνη).

* The New Testment Greek word fornicator and whoremonger is pornos (πόρνος)

* The New Testament Greek word for fornication is porneia (πορνεία).

Thayer defines πορνεία as “illicit sexual intercourse” of any kind, including “adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc… sexual intercourse with close relatives… sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman…”

A harlot or whore is one who engages in fornication – illicit sex or sex outside of a proper marriage. Whether she charges or not does not matter.  Thayer defines πόρνη “any woman indulging in unlawful sexual intercourse, whether for gain or for lust.”

A fornicator (πόρνος) means a male prostitute or a whoremonger. The word is translated as both fornicator and whoremonger in the New Testament. Thayer defines πόρνος as “a man who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse.” This means that a male prostitute is a whoremonger but so is any male who engages in fornication or adultery.

The word πόρνος is the male counterpart of πόρνη. The difference between a harlot and a fornicator, in the Greek, is that harlot is the feminine variation of the word and fornicator is the masculine variation of the word. But a fornicator or whoremonger (male) and a harlot or whore (female) both engage in fornication – sex outside of marriage which they may or may not charge for in prostitution.

It would not be proper or true to the Greek New Testament to call a female who engages in fornication a “fornicator” because the word for her is “whore” or “harlot.” The word “fornicator” in the New Testament refers to a male whoremonger.

Even in the English language a whore is a woman who engages in fornication.

“WHORE, v.i. [supra.] To have unlawful sexual commerce; to practice lewdness.
WHORE, v.t. To corrupt by lewd intercourse.”An American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828

And lewdness is defined as, “The unlawful indulgence of lust; fornication, or adultery.” An American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828

Evidently, a whore is a woman who engages in any fornication or adultery, whether she charges or not. Fornication and adultery is whorish behavior with or without  price tag.

In short, πόρνη (harlot, whore) is any sexually immoral woman, πόρνος (fornicator, whoremonger) is any sexually immoral man, and πορνεία (fornication) is any sexually immoral behavior.

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2 Responses to A Greek Study on Whores and Whoremongers – Jesse Morrell

  1. It is interesting that our society uses the word “porno,” given its meaning in the Greek. To “watch porno” is to literally watch whores and whoremongers. A “porno actress” is a whore and a “porno actor” is a whoremonger.

  2. Pilgrim says:

    I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen this laid out properly.

    Our wicked society is full of whorish women and whoremongering men (a report the other day found that the number of sexual partners the average Western women gets through is now eight: Biblical morality was long ago thrown out of the window). Yet it’s strange that those women who don’t charge for sexual services outside wedlock look down their noses at the women who do (and also at men who pay whores for sex). God’s view is sort-of the opposite: if one reads the Torah, God says that a woman who has “played the whore in her father’s house” should be punished with death — although He says nothing about punishing the one who openly sells her body for cash on the street (although God clearly hates what both women do).

    We’ve strayed so far from God’s truth that women who fornicate object to being called whores, yet in God’s view, what they are doing is at least as bad as selling oneself openly on the street. Interestingly, Jesus gives fornication (πορνεία) as the only grounds for a man to divorce his wife (i.e. if it turns out she’s “played the whore” before the marriage and thrown away her virginity), since doing so for any other reason would cause her to commit adultery (although if a married woman goes out and commits adultery, presumably divorcing her would do no further damage, since she’s already an adulteress).

    But when do you hear this stuff explained in a church, though?

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