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  Bible Question: The Bible says "it's not good for a man to touch a woman", but it does not actually say it is wrong. Is it wrong (a sin) to touch a woman before marriage, like holding hands, hugging, an occasional peck on the lips, but nothing serious, like fondling or groping (foreplay)?
 
Bible Answer: The Corinthians had written to Paul asking a question about marriage in 1 Corinthians 7:1. The New King James Version captures the actual meaning of the Greek better than the NASB or the NIV.
 
  Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (NKJV) 1 Corinthians 7:1-5
 
     "To Touch A Woman." First, we want to understand what the phrase "to touch a woman" means. The phrase "to touch a woman" is an idiom that referred to "sexual relations." In fact, the Greek word that Paul uses for "to touch" is APTO. It has the sense of "touch," "cling," and "take hold of." It also has the sense of "light or kindle" such as "to kindle a fire." It was also used to refer to sexual relations between a man and a woman. In short, APTO can mean anything from a simple touch to having sexual relationships.
     Do Not Touch. Next, we need to understand the context. So if we look at the next verse we see that it starts with "Nevertheless." This connects the thought of verse 1 with the next four verses where Paul talks about the need for men and women to be married in order to avoid sexual immorality.
     Now we must ask, "Is Paul making a statement that it is not good for a man to hold hands, hug or give an "occasional peck on the cheek" to a woman?" The answer is "no" since verses 2 through 5 are about the need for a man and his wife to have regular sexual relations in order to avoid sexual sin. It appears Paul is responding to a statement from the Corinthians that said, "It was good for man not to touch a woman." Paul is disagreeing with that statement.
     In fact, Paul goes on to warn husbands and wives to not deprive one another of sexual relations. Notice the Holy Spirit's statement,
 

  Wife's Responsibility Husband's Responsibility
The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does (v. 4). And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does (v. 4).
   
 
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