How does the Holy Bible Define Celibacy?

By Sally Collins

For C. L. Summers, The Karma Sutra of Celibacy

If you are living a celibate life according to the Bible, you should not be having any kind of sexual activity. (1 Corinthians 6:18-20 says to shun immorality and all sexual looseness in thought, word or deed – taken from the Amplified Bible.) No sexual activity would also include oral sex and masturbation which is considered self-sex.  In fact, if we are not married, we shouldn’t be lying naked in the bed with our partner.  There should be no viewing of the naked body or fondling of the private parts.  This kind of non-sexual relationship can be difficult to live with, if the two people aren’t truly serious about living a celibate life until marriage.

Parental Advisory: This post, with associated comments, is adult subject matter. It is not flagged “adult content.” Therefore certain parental controls will not block this content from a child who is searching the topic of “celibacy” or other sexual keywords. However, it is the intent of Bangari Content Gallery that this post be suitable, and even beneficial for minors who may be just beginning to educate themselves on the topic of sexuality.

How can we show our partners that we love them if we cannot be intimate with them in a sensual way?

We can be intimate with our partners in a non-sexual way. We can still be intimate and have our clothes on. It really takes some forethought to keep the mind off of sex, we are sexual beings; thus, many individuals would consider a celibate life before marriage too much of a sacrifice.  However, if we live according to the teachings in the bible, we must present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God.

If you want to be in a relationship with someone and you want to remain celibate, you must narrow down the selection of potential partners who are willing to also live their lives in celibacy.  In order to achieve this, it would be necessary for you to agree on many of the same things. For instance, you would most likely agree that you would not put yourself in a position that would lead to sexual activity. Therefore, seeing each other naked would be out, and so would passionate kissing and touching be off-limits. It would be best for the relationship partners to define the parameters of their relationship prior to ever committing to each other.

Many people in celibate relationships find it too difficult to have no intimacy of a sensual nature.  They may redefine the parameters of intimacy at some point in their relationship.  Their relationship may cross the boundaries of Bible teachings.  Most individuals keep their relationship private, so unless you broadcast that you are having intimate contact, no one (other than the Almighty) will know about it.

What is celibacy?

If you were to ask your pastor what celibacy means, you might get a totally different answer than what you were thinking.  You might also get varied opinions if you were to ask your friends and family their take on what celibacy means.  Some might say that kissing is okay, and touching is okay, but any type of sexual contact isn’t okay.  Others might say that being naked together is okay, and oral sex is okay but intercourse isn’t okay.

If you truly want to live a pure life, you will have to decide for yourself what living a ‘pure life’ means to you.  If you believe living a purely celibate life means to live according to the teachings of the Bible, then you should live your truth. However, if your truth is something other than the teachings of the bible, no person should judge you for your choice.

It seems like it’s been left in the lap of this current generation to define or redefine such basic human customs and traditions that are thousands of years old. If you are going to talk about marriage, then ‘marriage’ needs to be defined. If you are going to talk about celibacy and chastity, or sex outside of marriage, then you need to define ‘sex.’

We also need to look at the definition of sex in the ancient Hebrew Scripture, as well as in the New Testament. In no way does the bible promote premarital sex, sexual touching, oral sex or whatever. Marriage in today’s time is different from marriage in the old testament times, back then they ‘knew each other’ and were married. This is not the same today, people today aren’t married to everyone they “lay down” with.

The Bible teaches that sexual contact before marriage is a sin. However, many people live their lives according to what THEY feel is right, and not according to the scriptures.  We all accept our own favorite scriptures to live by. Love your neighbor as yourself is one that most of us can agree to live by. The Bible also says not to suffer a witch to live, (Exodus 22:18 KJV) but do we go around killing ‘witches’? No, we don’t.  The Holy Bible has become a guide for many of us to live by, but we don’t always take every word literally in the way we live our lives.

The bottom line here is that we each have to be our own judge of what is right or wrong for us. If we are Christian, we believe that we are judged by the one who was nailed on the cross for our sins. No one else has the right or the authority to judge us.  Each of us has to live according to our conscience.  What is right for one couple may not be right for another. You decide.

Important note to commenters:

Children Googling ‘celibacy’ or other sexual keywords, will find this post. It is not blocked by most Internet and parental filters. Let’s keep it suitable, and even beneficial for minors who may be just beginning to educate themselves on the topic of sexuality.  Bangari Content Gallery  thanks you! 🙂



4 responses to “How does the Holy Bible Define Celibacy?

  1. At mass yesterday (January 15, 2012) this chapter of 1st Corinthians was one of the three readings from the Bible. I love how Catholic churches have the same Scripture readings in every church anywhere in the world, on any given day. The priest, Father Lance Harlow preached up a storm! He is an exceptionally good preacher…however his sermon covered the Gospel reading — the calling of St. Peter and his brother St. Andrew, instead of St. Paul’s admonishment that “we are members of the body of Christ, therefore we shouldn’t join Christ to a prostitute!” That’s what I love about St. Paul; he doesn’t mince words!

    Thanks Sal, for this honest, well written post about celibacy. However, I understand it and practice it a bit differently. I believe that what you described in your post is “purity” or maybe “chastity.” To me, they are both a “higher level” of celibacy. Celibacy, to many celibate people, possibly including some priests and Pastors, means refraining from sexual intercourse. I.e.; when my girlfriend and I luffa each others backs in the shower, or spoon under the covers, PJs on, nut to butt or bush to tush…we aren’t committing a “grave sin.” We are not achieving the ideal level of purity as some Saints have, and we are not being ‘chaste’ — but by refraining from playing ‘hide the salami’ –we are showing reverence to the Sacrament of marriage, a sacred institution, where all sorts of bedroom games are not only allowed and encouraged, but actually blessed — with few restrictions.

    Chastity, is different than celibacy, and often confused with it. A married couple can do it every day, yet they practice chastity, only when they are faithful, and only do the spank and tickle with each other, exclusively. A priest is chaste when he is celibate, but also refrains from luffa-ing anyone’s back in the shower, and from taking ‘too long’ washing certain body parts of his own.

    Purity is represented by the Virgin Mary. She was pure, and without any sin, sexual or otherwise; grave or venial. She was taken up to Heaven as pure as the day she was born. Even though she was married to St. Joseph, they had no sexual contact, ever. It’s interesting and sad to me that Protestant Christians would call that last statement false. Yet Islam teaches correctly, that the Blessed Mother is perpetually a virgin.

    • Three problems I see with your argument: 1) Biblical celibacy is meant to abstain from all Biblical definitions of sexual sin – especially when single; and according to Matthew 5:27-28 Jesus says: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” If looking with any form of sexual intent (limited or not) is cause for sin then touching with limited sexual intent is too.

      2) Jesus had many siblings and reading Matthew 12:46-50 you notice a comparison is being made between the importance of a flesh and blood relationship and the spiritual relationship we have with Christ. This comparison also reveals how he was related by flesh and blood to his mother (who his mother birthed) and to his brothers whom his mother also must have birthed. If that is not true you are implying either Joseph had sexual relations with another woman or there were multiple virgin births. The significance of the virgin birth was to fulfill a prophesy as a sign to the world – to highlight Jesus’ birth, helping to signify that he was the ONLY candidate as savior to the world. In Matthew 1:25 we see the words “And knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.” It is a fairly easily read line. Joseph did not become “one (Matthew 19:5-7)” with Mary until after Jesus’ birth.

      The entire point of the Bible is to reveal God’s love for us, the pinnacle of which is Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins, so that we might be redeemed by calling out to him and accepting him into our lives. Mary found favor with God because of how she revered God, and should be looked up to as a role model. Jesus was chosen as the sacrifice because of who he was; and anything less than God’s only begotten son was not enough.

      3)The term “perpetually a virgin” can mean no changes to the body after having sexual intercourse… or not. Islam is a confusing religion with enough contradictions and terms that are sometimes “adjusted” to fit a meaning (Mohammed is the greatest prophet but Jesus is described with qualities/abilities Mohammed was never given or explained to have. Islam, according to some, supposedly teaches freedom of choice in religion, but leaving the Islamic faith can, in practice, can have you abandoned by/ kicked out of your own family; or worse). But I am not that confident in saying I know enough about Islam to put my 100% behind this, I go by what I have heard, in memory, from Ravi Zacharias; and read/seen/heard, in memory, from different testimonies of former Muslims. If what I have said about this is true then it contradicts your original point of Mary having “no sexual contact, ever.” But my argument here is not against Islam, it’s about celibacy.

      I hope this helps you and all who read it in any way it can, if nothing else this reply can help you in future debates/arguments. I wish you all the best in the future.

  2. Pingback: Celibacy Writers Wanted | Bangari Content Gallery

  3. Pingback: What Celibacy Does NOT Mean | Bangari Content Gallery

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