"Flee sexual immorality (porneia) and pursue self-control" (cf.
A deontological view of sex interprets porneia, aselgeia and akatharsia in terms of whether the couple are married or non-married.
What makes sex moral or immoral is the context of marriage.
The First Epistle to the Corinthians states "Flee from sexual immorality" and lists adulterers and "those who are sexually immoral"/practicing-fornicators in a list of "wrongdoers who... The Apostolic Decree of the Council of Jerusalem also includes a prohibition of fornication.
Throughout history, most theologians have argued that any and all forms of premarital sex are immoral.
One theory therefore suggests that it is these behaviours, and only these, that are intended by Paul's prohibition in chapter seven.
However, most mainstream Christian sources believe that porneia encompasses all forms of premarital sex.
He states that "the word 'fornication' has gone out of fashion and is not in common use to describe non-marital sex.
However, it is an excellent translation for porneia, which basically referred to any kind of sex outside of marriage ... but the overwhelming weight of scholarship and all the available evidence from the ancient world points firmly in this direction.
Jewish marriage in the time of Jesus was a two-stage process.
First, there was a betrothal in which the man claimed the woman to be his only bride.
There is no place in the Christian fellowship for such practices and for such a person." The early Church's statements on marital affairs mainly concerned acceptable reasons for divorce and remarriage.