Question:

What are all the type of sexual sins?


Answer:

"Truly, this only I have found: That God made man upright, But they have sought out many schemes" (Ecclesiastes 7:29).

One of the problems with coming up with lists of possible sins is that men are too inventive in coming up with new ways to sin.

Sex is to take place between a husband and wife. When it falls outside of that realm, it becomes sinful.

Sins of the mind

Lust (epithumia and epithumeo):

"But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts" (Romans 13:14).

"But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:28).

Epithumia is a noun referring to strong desires or cravings, particularly for things that are not lawful. Epithumeo is the verb form of the same word.

Lust (orexis):

"Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due" (Romans 1:27).

Orexis refers to a very strong desire or lust.

Passion (pathos):

"Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry" (Colossians 3:5).

Pathos is emotional lust that are seemingly stronger than a person can control.

Lust (hedone):

Self-gratification or sensual pleasure. "It is characterized by a never ending and unfulfilled desire, often identified in pornography and materialism" [Dr. Gary M. Gulan, Lust: A Desire For Fulfillment].

"and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you" (II Peter 2:13).

Sins in word or action

Uncleanness (akatharsia):

"But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God" (Ephesians 5:3-5).

Akatharsia can refer to the unclean animals and behaviors mentioned in the Old Testament, but in the New Testament in some contexts, such as here in Ephesians 5:3-5, it is broadened to mean morally impure behavior, particularly of the sexual nature. "Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves" (Romans 1:24). Examples are given in Ephesians 5:4. "Filthiness" is what we commonly call dirty talk today. It is talking about sex or sexual practices for the purpose of getting another person sexually aroused. "Foolish talk" is treating what should be a serious matter as if it was a joke. "Coarse jesting" is telling jokes where sex is involved in the punch line. All of these would be examples of uncleanness because they are morally impure behavior. Particularly telling in Ephesians 5:3 is that Paul talks about "fornication and all uncleanness;" thus, those sexual acts that are considered fornication and all the related morally impure sexual acts.

Sins where there is sexual action but no penetration

Sexual Touching (haptomai):

"Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman" (I Corinthians 7:1).

Haptomai means to touch particularly in the sense of holding on. Thus, it doesn't refer to an accidental brushing against someone, but a purposeful touch or grab. In the context of I Corinthians 7:1 it is talking about the sexual touching between a man and woman, such as what goes on in foreplay, but it would also include the touching of genitals that takes place in mutual masturbation or hand jobs. "So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife; whoever touches her shall not be innocent" (Proverbs 6:29). Where I Corinthians 7:1 is focused on the sexual touching between men and women, it doesn't mean such is permitted between men and men or women and women.

"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10).

"For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due" (Romans 1:26-27).

Sexual behavior between people of the same sex is just as wrong as sexual behavior between a man and woman who are not married.

Lewdness (aselgeia):

"For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles -- when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries" (I Peter 4:3).

Aselgeia refers to shameless behavior, particularly in regards to sex. It is behavior that is involved in pure self-enjoyment or behavior characteristic of an animal. This would include foreplay, mutual masturbation, and fornication.

Uncover the Nakedness (galah 'ervah)

Exposure of the genitals for sexual purpose. The word 'ervah is the word for nudity.

"None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him, to uncover his nakedness: I am the LORD" (Numbers 18:6).

Voyeurism: nakedness (ma'or)

Exposure of the genitals for voyeurism. The word ma'or is the word for genitals.

"Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor, pressing him to your bottle, even to make him drunk, that you may look on his nakedness!" (Habakkuk 2:15).

Sins where sex takes place between unmarried couples

Fornication (porneia):

Porneia, typically translated as fornication, sexual immorality, or sometimes just immorality is defined as follows:

"Porneia, which is relatively rare in classical Greek (Moulton-Milligan), originally stood for "prostitution" ... In other, later contexts it denotes "unchastity, illicit sexual relations" of any kind ("fornication" is a somewhat archaic but common translation)." [The Complete Biblical Library].

Illicit sexual intercourse:
  1. adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals, etc.
  2. sexual intercourse with close relatives; Leviticus 18
  3. sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mark 10:11

[The New Testament Greek Lexicon]

Porneia (fornication) "is used of illicit sexual intercourse…." [W. E. Vine, Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words]

Fornication: "illicit sexual intercourse in general … distinguished from adultery (moicheia) in Matthew 15:19 … used of adultery … in Matthew 5:32; 19:9 [Henry Thayer, Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon, pg. 532].

Fornication: "The New Testament is characterized by an unconditional repudiation of all extra-marital and unnatural intercourse" [Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Vol. 6, pg. 590].

You can also go through the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament to see what Hebrew words were translated to porneia to get an idea of what the word meant. You will find:

  • zanah - to lie down like a prostitute (Jeremiah 2:20; Micah 1:7)
  • zenunim - Harlotry, prostitution (Hosea 1:2; Nahum 3:4)
  • zenuth - Unfaithfulness, prostitution (Numbers 14:33; Jeremiah 3:2; Hosea 4:11)
  • taznuth - Harlotry, lust (Ezekiel 16:15; 23:7, 11)

Notice that the dictionaries include homosexuality and lesbianism under the category of porneia. That is because if anal sex is involved with homosexual men, the penis is entering the anus. If oral sex is involved, then penis is entering the mouth or the tongue is entering the vagina. That is why in English "sex" is included in the description of oral and anal sex.

Use (chresis):

"For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due" (Romans 1:26-27).

Chresis started out as a general meaning of use. But in Aristotle and Polybius' usages "chresis is 'intimacy' or 'acquaintance;' and Isocrates (Fourth Century B.C.) where literally hai oikoi chresis, "the use of houses," means practically sexual 'intercourse' with women." [The Complete Biblical Library Greek - English Dictionary]. The was the meaning commonly used at the time of the New Testament.

Sexual Relations (koite):

"Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy" (Romans 13:13).

Koite is the Greek word for bed, but it is also the word for what takes place in bed. It was used in a way similar to how we say that Jack was sleeping with Pam. Thus this is a word for sexual intercourse. It is where we get the English word "coitus" which means the act of the penis entering the vagina.

Lay with (shakhav):

"And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her and lay with her, and violated her" (Genesis 34:2).

"Then David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her, for she was cleansed from her impurity; and she returned to her house" (II Samuel 11:4).

Shakhav primarily means to to lie down to sleep. As we do in English, this becomes a euphemism for having sex since that is typically done while lying down in a bed.

To humble ('anah)

"And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her and lay with her, and violated her" (Genesis 34:2).

"If a man finds a young woman who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are found out, then the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife because he has humbled her; he shall not be permitted to divorce her all his days" (Deuteronomy 22:28-29).

"She shall put off the clothes of her captivity, remain in your house, and mourn her father and her mother a full month; after that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. And it shall be, if you have no delight in her, then you shall set her free, but you certainly shall not sell her for money; you shall not treat her brutally, because you have humbled her" (Deuteronomy 21:13-14).

The word 'anah means to cause affliction. It refers to ruining a woman's reputation or her self-worth.

Sins where sex takes place where at least one party is married

Adultery (moicheia):

"Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, ..." (Galatians 5:19).

"Moicheia is the word for 'adultery'; i.e., 'illicit intercourse in which one of the parties is married.'" [The Complete Biblical Library Greek - English Dictionary]

Sex for payment

Harlot, Whore, Prostitute (qadeshah, zanah)

"There shall be no ritual harlot of the daughters of Israel, or a perverted one of the sons of Israel. You shall not bring the wages of a harlot or the price of a dog to the house of the LORD your God for any vowed offering, for both of these are an abomination to the LORD your God" (Deuteronomy 23:17-18).

Male Prostitute (keleb):

"There shall be no ritual harlot of the daughters of Israel, or a perverted one of the sons of Israel. You shall not bring the wages of a harlot or the price of a dog to the house of the LORD your God for any vowed offering, for both of these are an abomination to the LORD your God" (Deuteronomy 23:17-18).

The word literally means "dog" but in this context it is referring to how a male dog behaves -- willing to have sex with anyone.

Sins where sex takes place with members of the same gender

Effeminate (malkos):

"Classical Greek: This is the word for "soft" or "soft to the touch." Throughout classical Greek malakos is used (1) of this, such as clothes, and (2) of persons, especially to denote catamites, those who allow themselves passively to be used homosexually. New Testament Usage: Both classical senses are employed in the New Testament. Matthew 11:8 (twice) and Luke 7:25 use malakos when speaking of clothing. The Baptist's clothes were not of a soft texture like the raiment of the rich. In I Corinthians 6:9 malakos is used in the metaphoric sense. Here it refers to persons who are "soft." The rendering "effeminate" (malakos) designates the passive partner of a homosexual relationship, and "abusers of themselves with mankind" (malakos and arsenokoites) denotes both the passive and active homosexual partners." [The Complete Biblical Library Greek - English Dictionary].

Dionysius Halicarnassus Book VII, 2, 4: "At that time, the tyrant of Cumae was Aristodemos, the son of Aristocrates, a man, not of the common men in birth, who was called Malakos (effeminate) by his townsmen. In time, he held a nickname more notable than his original name. He was called Malakos either because as a child, he was effeminate and suffered that which is fitting for women, as some narrate, or because he was tame by nature and was soft in temperament, as others write."

"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10).

Homosexual (arsenokoites):

Arsenokoites is a compound Greek word. It doesn't appear often in Greek literature, but it is meaning is quite clear. Arsen is the Greek word for "male" and koites is the Greek work for "bed". The later is where English gets its word "cot." Koites is a euphemism in Greek for sexual intercourse, sexual excesses, and seminal emission. (English also gets its word "coitus" from this Greek word.) Examples of this can be found in Hebrews 13:4; Romans 9:10; and Romans 13:13. It doesn't take depth of scholarhood to understand to what arsenokoiths is referring.

"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10).

"You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination." (Leviticus 18:22).

Homosexual (qedesh):

"And there were also perverted persons in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel" (I Kings 14:24).

Lesbian:

"For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature" (Romans 1:26).

See the word "use" (chresis) above.

Sins where sex takes place with animals

Bestiality:

"Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion" (Leviticus 18:23).

Sins where sex is accompanied by violence

Rape:

"Now when she had brought them to him to eat, he took hold of her and said to her, "Come, lie with me, my sister." And she answered him, "No, my brother, do not force me, for no such thing should be done in Israel. Do not do this disgraceful thing! And I, where could I take my shame? And as for you, you would be like one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king; for he will not withhold me from you." However, he would not heed her voice; and being stronger than she, he forced her and lay with her" (II Samuel 13:11-14).

The word translated "force" is 'anah, the Hebrew word for afflicted or humbled. It is the context that tells us that this humiliation was done by force.

"But the men would not heed him. So the man took his concubine and brought her out to them. And they knew her and abused her all night until morning; and when the day began to break, they let her go" (Judges 19:25).

The word translated "knew" is the Hebrew word yadha, which means to know or understand. It is used in the sense that we say in English that two people were intimate; that is, they got to know a great deal about each others body through sex.

The word translated "abused" is the Hebrew word 'alal. It means to mistreat but carries the connotation of repeatedly entered or thrust in, which in this particular case is literally meant.

Sex with a close relative

Incest:

"Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father. So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose" (Genesis 19:32-33).

"None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him, to uncover his nakedness: I am the LORD" (Leviticus 18:6).