Obviously, one of the 10 commandments is Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery. However, common understanding would be that adultery is:
Fornication is usually defined as sex between unmarried people.Webster's 9th New Collegiate Dictionary wrote:
voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife or a married woman and someone other than her husband
Here are a few relevant verses:
The latter implies that being a prostitute is certainly less than ideal, but it does not seem to be prohibited. Certainly there are many examples of prostitution in the Bible, and neither the men nor the women are necessarily punished for engaging in sex in this context.LEviticus 19 wrote: 20 " 'If a man sleeps with a woman who is a slave girl promised to another man but who has not been ransomed or given her freedom, there must be due punishment. Yet they are not to be put to death, because she had not been freed. 21 The man, however, must bring a ram to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting for a guilt offering to the LORD. 22 With the ram of the guilt offering the priest is to make atonement for him before the LORD for the sin he has committed, and his sin will be forgiven.
29 " 'Do not degrade your daughter by making her a prostitute, or the land will turn to prostitution and be filled with wickedness.
One assumes the uncle is already dead. Notice the punishment is something we assume only God can accomplish.Leviticus 20 wrote: 20 " 'If a man sleeps with his aunt, he has dishonored his uncle. They will be held responsible; they will die childless.
Priests are to be held to a higher than ordinary standard.
Leviticus 21 wrote: 7 " 'They must not marry women defiled by prostitution or divorced from their husbands, because priests are holy to their God. 8 Regard them as holy, because they offer up the food of your God. Consider them holy, because I the LORD am holy—I who make you holy.
9 " 'If a priest's daughter defiles herself by becoming a prostitute, she disgraces her father; she must be burned in the fire.
13 " 'The woman he marries must be a virgin. 14 He must not marry a widow, a divorced woman, or a woman defiled by prostitution, but only a virgin from his own people, 15 so he will not defile his offspring among his people. I am the LORD, who makes him holy. [d] ' "
The latter implies it is OK for others to marry women who are not virgins. The fact that there is prostitution and it is at least condoned means sex outside of marriage must have been occuring and at least condoned.
QUestions for debate are:
Does the Bible unambiguously teach that premarital sex is wrong? Where is the Biblical justification?
Many Christians would say 'all sins are equal.' However, many others would say some sins are more serious than others. Murder might be considered more egregious than adultery, and adultery more egregious than telling a 'fish story.'
WHere does premarital sex rank on a list of sins, say even compared to the 10 commandments?