What does the Bible say about purity?

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Image by Bonita Suraputra on Flickr

In light of my previous post on Purity Culture, I want to delve a bit deeper into the subject and explore what the Bible really has to say about purity. Because it does have something to say, and what it says may surprise you.

The first surprising thing is how seldom the word “purity” appears in scripture. My Strong’s Concordance lists it as appearing only twice in the New Testament. Other scriptures (almost all in the Old Testament) instead speak of pureness, being purified, or purification. Notice that some of these words speak of purity as a process. It is not an initial state but, rather, a completed state.

Purity Culture, of course, promotes purity as an initial state. It also focuses solely on purity as chastity, or abstinence from sex outside of marriage. But that is only one meaning of the word “purity” in scripture. It more commonly refers to: Continue reading