TimothyThose curious about whether sexual continence was at the centre of early Christianity may find this passage from the New Testament of interest. Three translations appear below:

2 Timothy 3:1-5 King James Version (KJV)

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Another version:

2 Timothy 3:1-5 New International Version (NIV)

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

Another version:

Timotiyos II 3:1-5 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

But of this have da’as, that in the acharit hayamim there will be terrible times,

For Bnei Adam will be in love with self, ohavei kesef (lovers of money), ga’avtanim (proud boasters), speakers of lashon hora, disobedient to horim (parents), without hakarat todah (gratitude), without kedushah,

Without ahavah, unforgiving and irreconcilable, without shlitah atzmi (self-control), bestial, son’ei HaTov (haters of the Good),

Treacherous, reckless, conceited, ohavei ta’anugot (lovers of pleasures) rather than ohavei Hashem,

Having an outward form of chasidus but the ko’ach having denied. Turn away from these.

Another window on sexual relations between men and women in the period when Timothy was writing for the New Testament:

“John Chrysostom and the Subintroductae”

Also of possible interest:

A Jewish tradition of controlled intercourse?