(la-siv’-i-us-nes) (aselgeia, “licentiousness,” “wantonness,” “unbridled lust,” “shamelessness,” “outrageousness”):

1. Sources: Etymologists assign three probable sources of aselgeia, namely: (1) from a compound of the alpha privitive (negation) and Selge, a Pisidian city whose inhabitants according to Thayer (New Testament Lexicon) “excelled in strictness of morals,” but, according to Trench, a place whose people “were infamous for their vices”; (2) from a compound of “a” intense, and salagein, “to raise a disturbance or noise”; (3) from a compound of the alpha privitive a- and selgo, or thelgo, “exciting disgust or displeasure.” It evidently means conduct and character that is unbecoming, indecent, unrestrainedly shameless.

2. As Used in the New Testament: Mark uses it in <Mark 7:22> with uncertainty as to the vice meant. Paul <2 Cor 12:21> classes it with uncleanness and fornication as sins to be repented of; also (<Gal 5:19>; compare Wisd 14:26, “wantonness”) puts it in the same catalogue with other works of the flesh; and <Eph 4:19> he refers to some aged ones so covetous, that they made trade of themselves by giving “themselves up to lasciviousness.” The same word is translated “wantonness” in <Rom 13:13>, meaning wanton manner, filthy words, unchaste movements of the body. Peter <1 Pet 4:3> mentions those who “walked in lasciviousness, lusts, winebibbings, revellings, carousings, and abominable idolatries.” He speaks <2 Pet 2:2> of “lascivious doings” (the King James Version “pernicious ways”); <2:7> “lascivious life” (the King James Version “filthy conversation”); and <2:18> of “lasciviousness” (the King James Version “wantonness”), as a means “to entice in the lusts of the flesh.” <Jude 1:4> probably does not refer to any form of sensuality in using the word descriptive of “ungodly men” who perverted the faith of some and denied our only Master.


(from International Standard Bible Encylopaedia, Electronic Database Copyright (C) 1996 by Biblesoft)


766  aselgeia (as-elg’-i-a); from a compound of 1 (as a negative particle) and a presumed selges (of uncertain derivation, but apparently meaning continent); licentiousness (sometimes including other vices):

KJV– filthy, lasciviousness, wantonness.

All of the verses in the New Testament where the word “aselgia” is used:

Mark 7:22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:   (KJV)

Rom 13:13         Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.   (KJV)

2 Cor 12:21        And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.   (KJV)

Gal 5:19    Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,   (KJV)

Eph 4:19   Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.   (KJV)

1 Pet 4:3   For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:   (KJV)

2 Pet 2:2   And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.   (KJV)

2 Pet 2:7   And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:   (KJV)

2 Pet 2:18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.   (KJV)

Jude 1:4    For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.   (KJV)

Note by T. Pierce Brown: My judgment is that the word involves more than intemperance, and most of the references, such as 2 Pet. 2:7 seem to classify it more closely with sexual sins. “Filthy conversation” does not mean “nasty talking” but “lascivious living” which characterized Sodom.

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