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What Does the Bible Say About..Uncleanness?

Galatians 5:19-21 lists these sins: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness,..." I have seen the term "uncleanness" related to food, specifically pork, but what other areas does uncleanness relate to in everyday life? Is it a person's dress/appearance, home, car, etc...Am I taking this too literally?


Uncleanness, in this context, has nothing to do with what a person eats. Pork was an “unclean” animal under the Jewish law, but that has nothing to do with what Paul was talking about here. This is in reference to moral uncleanness, which is contrasted with righteousness in Romans 6:19 and with holiness in 1 Thessalonians 4:7. To see what he means by the word we should look at how it is used in other places.

In Romans 1:24 Paul equates uncleanness with sexual lusts. In 2 Corinthians 12:21 he couples it with fornication and lasciviousness. In Ephesians 4:19 it is called greediness and in Ephesians 5:3 it is equated with covetousness. In Colossians 3:5, as also in the passage you quoted, it is listed among a group of sexual sins. Taken altogether, it appears that uncleanness would be sexual sin committed out of self-interest or greed.