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I found a quote on this site which calls into question the accuracy of Matthew 5:28 in the KJV according to a quotation of Theophilus of Antioch:

"ἡ δὲ εὐαγγέλιος φωνὴ ἐπιτατικώτερον διδάσκει περὶ ἁγνείας λέγουσα· “Πᾶς ὁ ἰδὼν γυναῖκα ἀλλοτρίαν πρὸς τὸ ἐπιθυμῆσαι αὐτὴν ἤδη ἐμοίχευσεν αὐτὴν ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ. καὶ ὁ γαμῶν”- Theophilus to Autolycus, B III, Ch 3, quoting Mt 5:28 [source]

I do not read Greek so 1 have a few questions:

  1. Is the quotation by Theophilus of the original text correct? If not, why does he suggest Autolycus? Is it possible that an exclusion of the text in question was made by a copyist in order to justify an already established doctrine of the church?

  2. If the quotation is in fact correct, is one implication thus: according to the greek word ἀλλότριος, is it legitimate to say that the quote, "whosoever looketh on a woman, to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." should be properly rendered, "whosoever looketh on a woman who belongs to another, to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."?

  3. Does if follow that Jesus here really speaks against masturbation as adultery, as is commonly assumed?

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4  
The link you provided is a truly fascinating rant and has quite a few logical fallacies. I'm posting this as a comment because it's not directly related to the text, but the logical fallacy upon which this is based is painful. The author notes that he's using the "biblical" definition of a few words, but uses Strong's. I'm not against Strong's, but I'm not going to say that it's "inspired" or the only resource available. Bauer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature – swasheck Jan 24 '13 at 4:07
2  
Matthew 15:19 lops sexual immorality (fornication) and adultery into the same "evil thoughts" of the heart. We therefore can come to the same conclusion as Theophilus of Antioch: all adultery is sexual immorality, but not all sexual immorality is adultery. However, we must note that any and all sexual immorality is sinful. In other words, we cannot make the FALSE conclusion that since fornication is not adultery, fornication is somehow not a sin when committed in the heart ("since Theophilus of Antioch says that ONLY adultery was in view in Matthew 5:28"). Matthew 15:19 speaks otherwise. – Joseph Jan 27 '13 at 5:21

The Greek text below is from the third book, thirteenth chapter (Book III, Ch. XIII) of Theophilus' apology (defense) to Autolycus, Theophilus' Pagan acquaintance.1

ἡ δὲ εὐαγγέλιος φωνὴ ἐπιτατικώτερον διδάσκει περὶ ἁγνείας λέγουσα· «Πᾶς ὁ ἰδὼν γυναῖκα ἀλλοτρίαν πρὸς τὸ ἐπιθυμῆσαι αὐτὴν ἤδη ἐμοίχευσεν αὐτὴν ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ.»

which is translated into English as,

And the evangelic voice teaches earnestly about chastity, saying, "Whoever looks at another's wife in order to lust after her has already commited adultery with her in his heart."

The Greek word ἀλλότριος and its related declensions basically mean "another's" (note the apostrophe indicating possession).

BDAG:2

pert. to what belongs to another, not one’s own, strange (opp. ἴδιος; Περὶ ὕψους 4, 1; Epict. 2, 4, 10; 3, 24, 3f; Proverb. Aesopi 114 P.; SIG 982, 5f; pap since III B.C., e.g. BGU 1121, 22 [5 B.C.] μήτε ἴδια μήτʼ ἀλλότρια; 15, 15; Jos., Ant. 18, 46; 19, 305).

LSJ:3

ἀλλότριος, αιλότριος Schwyzer411 (Elis); Cret. ἀλλόττριος, Inscr.Cret.4.72 iii 12 (Gortyn, v B.C.), Aeol. ἀλλότερρος EM529.24, α, ον, (ἄλλος) of or belonging to another, βίοτος, νηῦς, ἄχεα, Od.1.160, 9.535, Il.20.298; γυνή another man’s wife, A.Ag.448

Thayer:4

ἀλλότριος, -α, -ον; 1. belonging to another (opp. to ἴδιος), not one’s own: Heb. 9:25; Ro. 14:4; 15:20; 2 Co. 10:15 sq.; 1 Tim. 5:22; Jn. 10:5. in neut., Lk. 16:12 (opp. to τὸ ὑμέτερον).

In each passage, γυνή and its related declensions would be understood as "wife" and not merely "woman," because a wife was considered the possession of her husband, and the Greek word ἀλλότριος indicates possession (vid. BDAG: "pert. to what belongs to another").

In Matt. 5:28, it is written,

But, I say to you, "Everyone who looks at a woman to lust after her, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι «πᾶς ὁ βλέπων γυναῖκα πρὸς τὸ ἐπιθυμῆσαι αὐτῆς, ἤδη ἐμοίχευσεν αὐτὴν ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὑτοῦ» (TR, 1550)

Question

1) Is the quotation by Theophilus of the original text correct? (If not, why does he suggest it to Autolycus? Is it possible that an exclusion of the text in question was made by a copyist in order to justify an already established doctrine of the church?)

The text in Theophilus' apology is not a verbatim quotation of Matt. 5:28. It could be that he was simply paraphrasing the verse according to his understanding. In any case, his understanding is correct, in my opinion. That is, any man who looks at a married woman (i.e., another man's wife) in order to lust after her has committed adultery.

According to the Torah, adultery (נִאוּף) is committed by a married woman and whoever has sexual intercourse with that married woman.5 A married man can only commit adultery if he has sexual intercourse with another man's wife. But, if a married man has sexual intercourse with an unmarried woman, it is not adultery.

If a married man has sexual intercourse with an unmarried woman without the intent (כַּוָּנָה) to marry her, it is fornication (זְנוּת or תַּזְנוּת). The penalty is not death, as in the case of adultery, but flogging.6 If the married man has sexual intercourse with an unmarried woman with the intent to marry her, then he marries her, as sexual intercourse is one of three means by which a woman is taken in marriage.7 The result is a polygamous marriage; polygamy (being married to multiple wives) was also practiced by the patriarchs, such as Jacob,8 David,9 and Solomon,10 and explicitly allowed in the Torah,11 even if it is not the original intent.

Textual Witnesses of Matt. 5:28

There are multitudes of witnesses attesting to the accuracy of the Greek text as we currently possess it in the Textus Receptus of Matt. 5:28.12

Irenæus, in his Against Heresies (Adversus Haereses), wrote in Latin,13

"Ego autem dico vobis, Quoniam omnis qui viderit mulierem ad concupiscendum eam, iam mœchatus est eam in corde suo."

That is basically a direct translation of the Textus Receptus into Latin, and word-for-word of the Vulgate which St. Jerome wrote approximately three centuries later. To note, there's no evidence of an equivalent to the Greek word ἀλλοτρίαν in Irenæus' Latin translation.

Justin Martyr, in his Apology on behalf of Christians to Antoninus Pious (Ἀπολογία ὑπὲρ Χριστιανῶν πρὸς Ἀντωνῖνον τὸν Eὐσεβῆ) (PGM, p. 349) wrote,

Ὃς ἂν ἐμβλέψῃ γυναικὶ πρὸς τὸ ἐπιθυμῆσαι αὐτῆς ἤδη ἐμοίχευσε τῇ καρδίᾳ παρὰ τῷ θεῷ

Justin's is a bit looser of a quotation of Matt. 5:28, but still no presence of ἀλλοτρίαν. Rather than ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὑτοῦ ("in his heart"), he writes «τῇ καρδίᾳ παρὰ τῷ θεῷ» ("in [his] heart before God"). There is little difference in meaning. Rather than the participial clause «πᾶς ὁ βλέπων», he instead uses a subjunctive clause «Ὃς ἂν ἐμβλέψῃ». There is no difference in meaning.

Question

2) If the quotation is in fact correct, is one implication thus: according to the Greek word ἀλλότριος, is it legitimate to say that the quote, "Whosoever looketh on a woman, to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart," should be properly rendered, "Whosoever looketh on a woman who belongs to another, to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."?

It is doubtful that Theophilus is quoting the original source text, considering that other witnesses (i.e., Irenæus, Justin Martyr) almost quote Matthew's text verbatim. If (and again, that is extremely doubtful) the text did contain ἀλλοτρίαν, then your interpretation would be correct. However even without ἀλλοτρίαν, Matthew's text likely concerns looking at another man's wife (i.e., a married woman). The reason is simple: it is not adultery for any man to have sexual intercourse with an unmarried woman. It is fornication if the man does not have the intent to marry the unmarried woman. Only a married woman, and whoever she has sexual intercourse with other than her husband, commit adultery. But, an unmarried man looking upon an unmarried woman to lust after her is not committing adultery, nor would an unmarried man and unmarried woman having sexual intercourse outside the marriage covenant be adultery (that would be fornication). So, in reality, Matt. 5:28 can only pertain to someone looking upon another man's wife in order to lust after her.

Question

3) Does Jesus here really speak against masturbation as adultery, as is commonly assumed?

Adultery occurs when a married woman has sexual intercourse with someone other than her husband. In the case of Jesus' statement, one's thought or intent (Hebrew כַּוָּנָה) is now held to the same judicial standard as one's action. If a man (or woman) masturbates about a married woman, then it is considered as though he/she had sexual intercourse with a married woman, and therefore, the individual would be guilty of adultery. The Lord Jesus Christ has made intent equivalent to action.


Footnotes

  1. An English translation by Rev. Marcus Dods is available at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library. The Greek text is from Vol. 6 of Jacques Paul Migne's Patrologiae Cursus Completus, Series Graeca.

  2. p. 47

  3. p. 70

  4. p. 29

  5. Rashi commented on Exo. 20:14 (20:13 in Masoretic) ("You shall not commit adultery"): אין ניאוף אלא באשת איש, that is, "It is not adultery except with a married woman."

  6. Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Sefer Nashim, Hilkhot Ishut, Chapter 1, Halakha 4:

    When the Torah was given, [relations with] a harlot became forbidden, as [Deuteronomy 23:18] states: "There shall not be a harlot among the children of Israel." Therefore, a person who has relations with a woman for the sake of lust, without kiddushin, receives lashes as prescribed by the Torah, because he had relations with a harlot.

    משניתנה התורה נאסרה הקדשה שנאמר "לא תהיה קדשה מבנות ישראל" (דברים כג,יח) לפיכך כל הבועל אישה לשם זנות בלא קידושין לוקה מן התורה מפני שבעל קדשה

  7. Babylonian Talmud, Seder Nashim, Tractate Kiddushin, Chapter 1, Folio 2a, Gemara:

    האשה נקנית בשלש דרכים וקונה את עצמה בשתי דרכים נקנית בכסף בשטר ובביאה, that is, "The wife is acquired by three ways and she acquires herself by two ways. She is acquired by money, by contract, and by intercourse."

  8. Jacob had two wives and had children by their female slaves. His two wives were Leah (Gen. 29:23) and Rachel (Gen. 29:28).

  9. David had at least eight wives: (1) Mikhal (1 Sam. 18:27); (2) Achinoʿam (1 Chr. 3:1), (3) Avigayil (1 Chr. 3:1), (4) Maʿakhah (1 Chr. 3:2), (5) Chaggit (1 Chr. 3:2), (6) Avital (1 Chr. 3:3), (7) Eglah (1 Chr. 3:3), and (8) Bat-Shuʿa (1 Chr. 3:5).

  10. Solomon had seven-hundred (700) wives (1 Kings 11:3).

  11. Deu. 21:15

  12. Estienne, 1550

  13. Book IV, Ch. XIII; also, Book IV, Ch. XVI

  14. Ch. XV

References

Aeschylus. Agamemnon. Trans. Smyth, Herbert Weir. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1926.

Arndt, William; Bauer, Walter; Danker, Frederick W. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. 3rd ed. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2000.

Babylonian Talmud (תלמוד בבלי). Vilna: Romm, 1835.

Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; et al. A Greek-English Lexicon. 9th ed. Oxford: Clarendon, 1940.

Maimonides. Mishneh Torah (משנה תורה).

Migne, Jacques Paul. Patrologiæ Cursus Completus, Series Græca, Vol. 6. Petit-Montrouge: Imprimerie Catholique, 1857.

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Lets analyze The Greek Text to find out the Original meaning and then analyze theophlius,

Matthew 5:27-28: 27 Ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη· Οὐ μοιχεύσεις. 28 ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πᾶς ὁ βλέπων γυναῖκα πρὸς τὸ ἐπιθυμῆσαι αὐτὴν ἤδη ἐμοίχευσεν αὐτὴν ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ.

Transliteration and Definition of Each Word-

ηκουσατε verb - aorist active indicative - second person akouo ak-oo'-o: to hear (in various senses) -- give (in the) audience (of), come (to the ears), (shall) hear(-er, -ken), be noised, be reported, understand.

οτι conjunction hoti hot'-ee: demonstrative, that (sometimes redundant); causative, because -- as concerning that, as though, because (that), for (that), how (that), (in) that, though, why.

ερρεθη verb - aorist passive indicative - third person singular rheo hreh'-o: to utter, i.e. speak or say -- command, make, say, speak (of).

ου particle - nominative ou oo: no or not -- + long, nay, neither, never, no (man), none, (can-)not, + nothing, + special, un(-worthy), when, + without, + yet but.

μοιχευσεις verb - future active indicative - second person singular moicheuo moy-khyoo'-o: to commit adultery -- commit adultery.

εγω personal pronoun - first person nominative singular ego eg-o': I, me.

δε conjunction de deh: but, and, etc. -- also, and, but, moreover, now (often unexpressed in English). λεγω verb - present active indicative - first person singular

lego leg'-o: ask, bid, boast, call, describe, give out, name, put forth, say(-ing, on), shew, speak, tell, utter.

υμιν personal pronoun - second person dative plural humin hoo-min': to (with or by) you -- ye, you, your(-selves).

οτι conjunction hoti hot'-ee: demonstrative, that (sometimes redundant); causative, because -- as concerning that, as though, because (that), for (that), how (that), (in) that, though, why.

πας adjective - nominative singular masculine pas pas: apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole

ο definite article - nominative singular masculine ho ho: the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom) -- the, this, that, one, he, she, it, etc.

βλεπων verb - present active participle - nominative singular masculine blepo blep'-o: to look at -- behold, beware, lie, look (on, to), perceive, regard, see, sight, take heed.

γυναικα noun - accusative singular feminine gune goo-nay': a woman; specially, a wife -- wife, woman.

προς preposition pros pros: a preposition of direction; forward to, i.e. toward

το definite article - accusative singular neuter ho ho: the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom) -- the, this, that, one, he, she, it, etc.

επιθυμησαι verb - aorist active middle or passive deponent epithumeo ep-ee-thoo-meh'-o: to set the heart upon, i.e. long for (rightfully or otherwise) -- covet, desire, would fain, lust (after).

αυτην personal pronoun - accusative singular feminine autos ow-tos': the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person , and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons

ηδη adverb ede ay'-day: even now -- already, (even) now (already), by this time.

εμοιχευσεν verb - aorist active indicative - third person singular moicheuo moy-khyoo'-o: to commit adultery -- commit adultery.

αυτην personal pronoun - accusative singular feminine autos ow-tos': the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person , and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons

εν preposition en en: in, at, (up-)on, by, etc.

τη definite article - dative singular feminine ho ho: the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom) -- the, this, that, one, he, she, it, etc.

καρδια noun - dative singular feminine kardia kar-dee'-ah: the heart, i.e. (figuratively) the thoughts or feelings (mind); also (by analogy) the middle -- (+ broken-)heart(-ed).

αυτου personal pronoun - genitive singular masculine autos ow-tos': the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person , and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons

Now, here are the key words to this verse, προς, To, gunaika, and epithumēsai

epithumēsai for one's definition is, by Strongs Lexicon, I long for, covet, lust after, set the heart upon

The First thing we notice and Constitutes an Apparent mistranslation is this,

Matthew 5:27-28: 27 Ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη· Οὐ μοιχεύσεις. 28 ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πᾶς ὁ βλέπων γυναῖκα πρὸς τὸ ἐπιθυμῆσαι αὐτὴν ἤδη ἐμοίχευσεν αὐτὴν ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ.

προς To comes BEFORE ἐπιθυμῆσαι

Now check these verses out:

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men in order to be noticed by them.” (Matt 6:1)

Original Greek - Προσέχετε [a]δὲ τὴν δικαιοσύνην ὑμῶν μὴ ποιεῖν ἔμπροσθεν τῶν ἀνθρώπων πρὸς τὸ θεαθῆναι αὐτοῖς· εἰ δὲ μή γε, μισθὸν οὐκ ἔχετε παρὰ τῷ πατρὶ ὑμῶν τῷ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.

“… First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles in order to burn them up ….” (Matt 13:30)

Original Greek, 30 ἄφετε συναυξάνεσθαι ἀμφότερα [a]μέχρι τοῦ θερισμοῦ· καὶ ἐν καιρῷ τοῦ θερισμοῦ ἐρῶ τοῖς θερισταῖς· Συλλέξατε πρῶτον τὰ ζιζάνια καὶ δήσατε αὐτὰ εἰς δέσμας πρὸς τὸ κατακαῦσαι αὐτά, τὸν δὲ σῖτον συναγάγετε εἰς τὴν ἀποθήκην μου.

“But they do all their deeds in order to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments.” (Matt 23:5)

Original Greek - 5 πάντα δὲ τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν ποιοῦσιν πρὸς τὸ θεαθῆναι τοῖς ἀνθρώποις· πλατύνουσι [a]γὰρ τὰ φυλακτήρια αὐτῶν καὶ μεγαλύνουσι τὰ κράσπεδα,

“For when she poured this perfume on my body, she did it in order to prepare me for burial.” (Matt 26:12)

Original Greek - 12 βαλοῦσα γὰρ αὕτη τὸ μύρον τοῦτο ἐπὶ τοῦ σώματός μου πρὸς τὸ ἐνταφιάσαι με ἐποίησεν.

All from Matthew.

So pros to if came before objective would mean, In Order to. so that makes this a verb.

Now get these, lets use The NIV translation for example to show the biased and damage to God(The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit)'s Word,

NIV "But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

Any translation that says, "looks at a woman lustfully" commits an error, whether on purpose(obviously as even I no good in Greek know this) or accidentally mistranslated.

Another error in "looks at a woman lustfully" is it makes it something Jesus Christ didn't say, look at the Original Greek, The Word HER(αὐτὴν) should come after the word epithumēsai:

Ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη· Οὐ μοιχεύσεις. 28 ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πᾶς ὁ βλέπων γυναῖκα πρὸς τὸ ἐπιθυμῆσαι αὐτὴν ἤδη ἐμοίχευσεν αὐτὴν ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ.

So the NIV committee needs to get adjusted because not only did they mistranslate but they removed words from the original.

So it so far now shows that the close(not proper but closer, we'll get to the official definition later) translation would be,

"But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman In Order To epithumēsai her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

Now next is the words epithumēsai and γυναῖκα, here's the thing, these words were both used in The Septuagint(ancient translation of The Old Testament made around Jesus Christ time period) for Exodus 20:17, you know the verse that says,

"17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."

Now here's the problem, in Exodus 20:17 The Word for Covet(ἐπιθυμήσεις) is the same word used in Matthew 5:28( ἐπιθυμῆσαι)

and The Word for wife in Exodus 20:17 Septuagint is γυναῖκα same word for woman in Matthew 5:28( γυναῖκα)

So Jesus Christ was just referring to The 10 Commandments(Exodus 20:14 and Exodus 20:17) about Adultery and Covet,

Add that with the fact that Adultery means Cheating, only has to do with Marriage, The word for woman is therefore wife,

added with The Fact that ἐπιθυμῆσαι is used After pros to making it an action(In Order To), so of all the definitions for it, " I long for, covet, lust after, set the heart upon." only covet can be the definition as that is an action, proven by Exodus 20:17

Now Exodus 20:17 in The Hebrew, The Word translated to ἐπιθυμήσεις is תַחְמֹ֖ד(chamad)

Which proven by Joel Hoffman(link --> Mean to take

Added with the fact that Exodus 20:15(The Commandment for "steal") the word for steal is ganab, which can mean kidnap, and is used for kidnap in the very next chapter of Exodus( Exodus 21:16), The Fact is the 8th Commandment Condemns Kidnap and not Stealing and the 10th Commandment Condemns Taking(Stealing) not coveting.

Whoever looks at a woman pros to should therefore mean, whoever looks at a woman with the intention of(after that would be action), whoever looks literally would be improper, looks at in order to means intention, the intention is the action, if it were about the desires(something that isn't intentional then pros to wouldn't be in the verse) if it were anything other than the definition of covet it would make no sense,

Here are examples

But I tell you that anyone who looks at a married woman with the intention of longing for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.""

Desire, sexual or otherwise isn't an action, with the intention on(in order to) would make this an action) with the intention of doing something, so whoever intends(desires) to desire makes no sense.

So here with all the Facts above and without even using Theophilus of Antioch, The Proper Translation of Matthew 5:27-28 is,

"You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a married woman with the intention of taking her(stealing her from the husband or cheating with her) has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

Added with Theophilus who was most likely and obviously using the most correct translation, lusting after a woman is not a sin, intending to steal a woman, aka adultery is a sin, this makes sense because look at Matthew where Jesus Christ teaches us about oaths,

Oaths

33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.[g]

So obviously Jesus Christ was saying, you have heard it said(which doesn't mean He's changing The Law! He's agreeing with the law and gives us advice by saying, but I tell you don't even make oaths at all, He's not disagreeing with the law of not breaking oaths, He said don't even make them, likewise with adultery(cheating), whoever intends to cheat with a married woman has already messed up.

God(The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit) Bless, I recommend you learn Hebrew and Greek, Greek first since easier,

Try Basics of Biblical Greek by William D. Mounce

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2  
Hiya. You have some very good thoughts in here but many of them are incomprehensible due to formatting. I was wondering if you would mind going through the answer and cleaning it up. Primarily, I'd like to see you stick with either Unicode Greek or the transliteration consistently throughout. Also, your πρὸς τὸ statement seems somewhat arbitrary (though correct) after a few citations of Matthew. I'd rather see a reference to Mounce or even something that says "Greek grammarians such as Mounce note ..." – swasheck Jan 30 '13 at 22:59
3  
A couple of times you wrote "God(The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit)". I'm curious why you don't just say God or (possibly) the Trinity? We aren't a Christian site, so things like that tend to rub people the wrong way around here. By the way, have you seen our FAQ? The first few sections might help you fit in a bit better. – Jon Ericson Jan 30 '13 at 23:19
    
Which proven by Joel Hoffman(link --> Mean to take Was there supposed to be a link there? Even looking at the markdown source, I couldn't see one. – TRiG Jan 31 '13 at 0:16

A short answer. The Greek word translated woman is the same word translated wife. This is true in many languages, in fact English is quite unusual in having two different words for this. It is a matter of context then to determine which is which. Adultery is a function of marital defect, and so wife seems to me to be the obvious meaning here.

This is evidently a fairly poor quality quote from Matt, for whatever reason. Consequently we cannot really take it is definitive as to the original text since it is defective in so many other ways. (BTW, one has to remember that books were very rare in that time, and it is quite possible that even Church Fathers had only limited access to them.)

Finally I find no data in the Bible to support the contention that masturbation is fornication. One might argue that the accompanying thought process is, but that is a different matter. For example, if a man has a fantasy about a made up woman is that wrong?

It is further important to look at this in its immediate context. It is a series of obviously hyperbolic illustrations given by Jesus as to the need to flee from sin. Many a young man is wracked with guilt over 5:28, consumed with the literal meaning, yet does not follow through on the following two verses to pluck out the offending eye or cut off the offending hand. (It scared me to add this addendum, but let me do so anyway -- AND HE SHOULD NOT FOLLOW THROUGH)

The lesson is to recognize the hyperbole, and to understand the importance of leading a holy life, one free from sin, even going to the most extreme measures to do so.

Thankfully, we live in the days when "by grace you are saved" not be a rigid adherence to the precepts of the Mosaic law taught in the gospels.

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Fraser - thanks for the answer. I've noticed a couple of good answers that you've made and this one just seems a bit different. It's not blatantly incorrect, but it's also not really up to the standards you've set for yourself or for this site. I'd recommend a bit more research and textual evidence so that you can either supplement the current answer or critically interact with it. – swasheck Jan 28 '13 at 18:00
    
Thanks for the compliment @swasheck. And I also appreciate your opinion that you aren't a fan of this answer. However, you don't state any specific concerns with it so I don't really understand your concern. I have spent a considerable amount of time understanding what the Bible says about sexuality, and I think that the answer above is an important one, because there are a lot of very wrong attitudes to sexuality that come from cultural biases and not from the Bible. Nonetheless, you'll have to be more specific in your criticism for me to understand your concerns. – Fraser Orr Jan 29 '13 at 1:39
    
I guess I was just hoping for more of the research and less of the results. Also, I noted that I'd like to see a bit more interaction with the texts. That's the point of hermeneutics. The distillation is nice, but belongs better in the Christianity site. The process (which you've clearly done) is appropriate for here. I share your sentiment but would just like for you to share the research too. – swasheck Jan 29 '13 at 2:12

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