What is adultery

What is adultery: In the bible, in Judaism, in Islam, urban dictionary, and concubinage, and bigamy.

What is adultery: In the bible, in Judaism, in Islam, urban dictionary, and concubinage, and bigamy.
What is adultery: In the bible, in Judaism, in Islam, urban dictionary, and concubinage, and bigamy.

Introduction: What is adultery

People have different perceptions when it comes to the issue of sex. These perceptions also vary from one culture and religion to another. Sex can be considered right or wrong based on the people who choose to engage in it.

Adultery is one of the terms used to describe a sinful sexual act. Adultery occurs when a married person engages in sex with someone who is not their spouse. 

This makes it a sin because sex is supposed to occur between two married people. Therefore, when people who are not spouses engage in sex, they go against the rules or culture and religion, thus making the act a sin.

Let us explore some of the believes about adultery in the bible, Judaism, urban dictionary, concubinage, and bigamy. These definitions and believes about adultery from these different perspectives will help you determine all that is right or wrong about a sexual act. In some religions and cultures, adultery is punishable and therefore, if a person is aware of the consequences, they would not engage in it. 

In the bible

According to the bible, adultery is considered the sexual act between a married person with another person who is not their spouse. Adultery is one of the most condemned sins in the bible and it has been mentioned 52 times.

The sin has also been mentioned in the ten commandments, which are the main rules governing a Christian’s life. Therefore, if a Christian commits adultery, they sin against the Lord. The redemption from this sin is that they can seek forgiveness from God and be forgiven for the sin. 

According to the Old Testament, adultery was punishable by death. The death penalty applied both to the man or woman and their lover. When a man had committed adultery with a young woman and the woman did not call for help, they would be both brought to the gates of the city and stoned to death.

However, this changed in the New Testament people Jesus Christ taught his followers about redemption from sin. Therefore, when a person has sinned, they can be forgiven their sins through repentance. 

The biblical practices about adultery are being practiced by Christians in today’s world. The church highly condemns the sin of adultery by encouraging the married people to remain faithful to their spouses.

The only scenario where sex from a married person is allowed in Christianity is when their spouse dies. Such a person can marry against and would not be committing adultery. 

In Judaism

According to Judaism, the sin of adultery is considered as one of the worst sins that a person can commit against marriage. The Judaism laws and beliefs considered marriage as a sacred union and this sacredness should not be interfered by anything.

Therefore, if a married person in Judaism commits adultery, they not only betray their partner but also their religion.

Some people have a misconception that Judaism allows polygamy. However, this is not the case because marriage in Judaism is considered a union between two people and should not be interrupted by a stranger.

When a stranger comes in between a married couple, adultery is bound to happen and, in most cases, this would break the union between the two individuals. In Judaism, a substantial number of divorce cases occur due to infidelity. 

The Judaism law prohibits women from having more than one husband but allows men to marry more than one wife. This practice of polygamy does not mean that the Judaism allow adultery.

Adultery is a sexual act between two people who are not married to one another. Therefore, if a man engages in a sexual activity with any of his many wives, it cannot be considered adultery. 

Urban dictionary

According to the urban dictionary, adultery is a situation whereby two unmarried people engages in a sexual activity. The sexual activity is voluntary but this does not make it right in many cultures and religions.

In some cases, adultery can come at a certain fee. For instance, when a couple divorces because the husband committed adultery, the husband is bound to pay alimony, utilities, child support, housing and vehicles among other bills. Such expenses or costs are considered a punishment for the adultery committed.

Adultery has become one of the most common causes of disagreements in modern day marriages. This act is common following the legal requirements that men should be monogamous in most parts of the world.

In such a case, the men are highly affected by adultery as they attempt to seek extramarital sex or happiness outside of their marriage. Women are also part of the population committing adultery. In some cases, women commit adultery to seek happiness out of their marriage or revenge against their cheating spouses. 


Concubinage refers to a situation where two people have a sexual relationship but the two parties are not willing to enter into a full marriage.

In such a relationship, both parties cannot enter into a full marriage and hence, marriage and concubinage are considered to be mutually exclusive. In regard to adultery, concubinage can be termed as the association between a married man and a mistress. In that case, the married man would be committing adultery with a concubine. 

Concubinage has been a major practice in many cultures across the world. The practice originated from China in the 20th century. However, the fact that it is a common practice in cultures does not disqualify it from being a form of adultery.

Concubinage can result in the dissolution of a marriage if the man was married. However, if the man was not married, the concubinage situation does not qualify as adultery. The sexual act does not involve someone’s husband but is rather a union between two people with an arrangement of not getting married.

A concubinage relationship is voluntary for both parties and if one of the parties was coerced into the action, it can be termed a different type of sexual offenses such as rape. 

In some traditional practices, women would get their husbands a concubine and the three would live in the same house. This means that the grounds for adultery in a concubinage relationship is highly questionable.

The situation depends on the agreement between all the involved parties. If the married man is not in agreement with the wife to get a concubine, the situation is considered as adultery. 


Bigamy is a situation whereby a married person marries another person while they are still married to the first spouse. Bigamy is only valid in societies or cultures where polygamy is illegal.

If polygamy is allowed in a culture, a man is free to marry many wives and this means they will not be committing adultery by having sexual relationships with one of the many wives.

In a bigamy situation, when a man marries someone else, they will already be committing a crime. the penalties for a bigamy vary from one part of the world to another.

In some areas, bigamy creates a messy legal situation whereby the first spouse can sue the person who got married again for adultery. Such could result in the dissolution of a marriage and can be accompanied by several penalties such as alimony, child support and payment of bills such as housing and vehicle. 

People living in societies that do not allow polygamy are encouraged to finalize the divorce process with their spouses before engaging in any sexual activity with other people.

A separation does not qualify as divorce and therefore, it is not a guarantee that a person should engage in sex with other people. A couple might be separated and still qualify for a legal liability caused by infidelity. Therefore, understanding the rules of bigamy plays an important role in preventing people from falling into unnecessary litigations. 


As mentioned above, adultery is the sexual activity between a married person and other individuals other than their spouses. Adultery is condemned in many cultures, religions and societies and therefore, people should avoid it.

Adultery comes along with many consequences that can highly compromise an individual’s life in many ways such as ending a marriage.

The current technological advancements have contributed to an increase in the number of polygamy cases because it makes it easy for people to communicate and arrange meetings. The law is strict about adultery especially for societies that only permit monogamy

Read also: Ways to avoid adultery in marriage. This will offer you helpful tips on how you can avoid being a victim of adultery in marriage. A substantial number of people commit adultery due to various situations in their marriage.

For instance, fading love, financial crisis and the lack of attention are the common factors leading to a high level of adultery cases among the married. Therefore, if you are aware of how to handle issues in your marriage instead of committing adultery, you would save yourself a lot of trouble that comes along with the act.

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Editions March-october-november 2022

External resources: Wikipedia

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