What the scriptures say about
(modern) lascivious, lustful, obscene
(earlier) vile, villany, wicked, ignorant, low, vicious
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  Judges 20:6   |   Ezekiel 16:27   |   Ezekiel 16:43   |   Ezekiel 16:58   |   Ezekiel 22:9  |
  Ezekiel 23:21-35   |   Ezekiel 23:44-49   |   Ezekiel 24:13   |   Hosea 2:10   |   Mark 7:22  

LEWDNESS [Easton's Bible Dictionary]

(Acts 18:14), villany or wickedness, not lewdness in the modern sense of the word. The word "lewd" is from the Saxon, and means properly "ignorant," "unlearned," and hence low, vicious (Acts 17:5).

LEWD, LEWDNESS [International Standard Bible Encyclopedia]

LEWD; LEWDNESS lud, lud'-nes (zimmah, mezimmah, nabhluth; poneros, rhadiourgema):

1. In the Old Testament:

There are three Hebrew words translated "lewd," "lewdness":
  • (1) Zimmah, meaning a "plan," a "purpose," so translated several times and then shading off into "evil plan"; translated also "heinous crime," "wicked purpose or device." It is the most frequent word for "lewdness": Ezekiel 16:27, "lewd way"; found in Judges 20:6; Ezekiel 16:27,43,58; 22:9,11; 23:21,27,29,35,49,49; 24:13; Hosea 6:9.
  • (2) Mezimmah means a "plan," generally "(evil) machination"; used only in Jeremiah 11:15, "lewdness."
  • (3) Nabhluth, meaning "disgrace" in reference to females. Found only in Hosea 2:10; the American Revised Version margin "shame."
2. In the New Testament:
The word translated "lewd," "lewdness" in the King James Version occurs only twice in the New Testament, and in each instance is more correctly translated in the Revised Version (British and American) by another word:
  • (1) Poneros, found in Acts 17:5, translated in the American Standard Revised Version "vile." The Greek word elsewhere is translated "bad," "evil," "grievous," "harmful," "malicious," "wicked." the King James Version "lewd" gives the wrong impression. The idea of unchastity is not present in the text or context.
  • (2) Rhadiourgema likewise occurs only once, namely, Acts 18:14, and is correctly translated in the Revised Version (British and American) and the American Standard Revised Version "wicked villany." The thought of impurity or lewdness is foreign to the meaning in this connection.
William Edward Raffety

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