At the times of the Old Testament, the rule of not committing adultery has applied only to men who had sex with somebody’s wife. The married man could have sexual relations with the single woman, while married women were considered the property of their husbands. Girls married at the age of 14, died at the age of 30 and marriage as the social unit has been important in terms of childbirth. Because women were considered the property, adultery was like the violation of the men’s property rights. Adultery has been a sin for women, while polygamy when could have many wives, was acceptable. For example, Solomon has 1000 wives and God rebuked him not for polygamy but for the fact that many of his wives were not Hebrew. Similar to Solomon, David had 24 wives but has been accused in adultery for having sex with the married woman.
The teachings of New Testament are different – the man is supposed to have one wife. As Apostle Paul has taught Timothy, the men have to be husbands of one wife (1 Tim. 3:2. Tit. 1:6). According to Biblical writings, when the man has sex with the woman who is not his wife, he has sinned. The sinfulness of female adultery is not as easy to trace in Bible. For example, if the married woman had sexual intercourse with the man who was not her husband, she has sinned against her husband. If the single woman committed the adultery, she has sinned against her father. The punishment for adultery was very severe – the woman caught in adultery was stoned to death.
From a Christian perspective, adultery is the willful and harmful violation of the honesty of the marriage. Emperor Constantine who lived in 300 AD and was one of the most important converts to Christianity has introduced the concept of sinful sex. He believed and taught others that sex was sinful even within the marriage unless the purpose was a conception. This rule can be explained in terms of high infancy mortality rate and the need for more children. If the person has sinned he had to come to the Church for repentance and make a donation as the demonstration of his faith. .