Is all premarital sex actually prohibited in the Bible?

Debating issues regarding sexuality

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micatala
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Is all premarital sex actually prohibited in the Bible?

Post #1

Post by micatala »

It has been assumed in many posts that premarital sex is a sin, or against certain Biblical teachings, or both. One recent example is in the Hate the Sin and Love the Sinner thread.

Obviously, one of the 10 commandments is Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery. However, common understanding would be that adultery is:
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
Fornication is usually defined as sex between unmarried people.

Here are a few relevant verses:
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.

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 20 wrote: 20 " 'If a man sleeps with his aunt, he has dishonored his uncle. They will be held responsible; they will die childless.
One assumes the uncle is already dead. Notice the punishment is something we assume only God can accomplish.

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?

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Post #11

Post by 4gold »

mcbr4481 wrote:http://www.bible.ca/s-premarital-sex.htm


This site explains it pretty good1
Okay, your link mentions the word "fornication" in the Bible thrice:
I Corinthians 6:9-11, "Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? Be not deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners shall inherit the Kingdom of God".

I Corinthians 7:2, "Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife and every woman have her own husband".

I Corinthians 6:18. "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body, but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body"
In all three examples, the greek root word that Paul uses that your link translated as "fornication" is porneiða. The reason I bring this up is because only very few translations of the Bible use the word "fornication", so I was wondering why you think fornication is the best translation.

According to this link, porneia can mean
  • illicit sexual intercourse
    adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.
    sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18
    sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mk. 10:11,
  • metaph. the worship of idols
    of the defilement of idolatry, as incurred by eating the sacrifices offered to idols
It makes sense to me that Paul is not referring to the second definition of porneia, since he is clearly talking about sex.

But what makes you think that Paul is talking about fornication and not some other sexual sin? In fact, the exact same word that he uses in 1 Corinthians 6:18 and 7:2 is the same word he uses in 1 Corinthians 5:1 to describe incest.
1 Corinthians 5:1 -- "It is reported commonly that there is porneia among you, and such porneia as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife."
It would seem most logical to me that if Paul is using the exact same word for three consecutive chapters, that he meant the same thing each time: incest.

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Post #12

Post by Goat »

mcbr4481 wrote:Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.

1 Corinthians 7:2 - NKJV

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 - NKJV

Run away from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body." (1 Cor. 6:18, NLT).


All of these talk about it! Premarital sex is definatly bad acording to the bible. If your not so sure just read about when Paul is talking to the corinthians and throughout that chapter it disscusses it!

Maranatha
That is assuming that Premarital sex is a sin. You see, the term 'sexual sin' is so vague, it can mean anything you want it to.

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Post #13

Post by Confused »

goat wrote:
mcbr4481 wrote:Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.

1 Corinthians 7:2 - NKJV

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 - NKJV

Run away from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body." (1 Cor. 6:18, NLT).


All of these talk about it! Premarital sex is definatly bad acording to the bible. If your not so sure just read about when Paul is talking to the corinthians and throughout that chapter it disscusses it!

Maranatha
That is assuming that Premarital sex is a sin. You see, the term 'sexual sin' is so vague, it can mean anything you want it to.
As much as I search, I can find no requirement for premarital sex being a sin. I even lowered myself to the standards of Leviticus. But I can't find a passage about prostitution or premarital sex being sexually immorality. We all know leviticus gives enough explainations as to what is sexual immorality and none of it seems to be sleeping around unless you are married.
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Post #14

Post by Goat »

Confused wrote:
goat wrote:
mcbr4481 wrote:Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.

1 Corinthians 7:2 - NKJV

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 - NKJV

Run away from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body." (1 Cor. 6:18, NLT).


All of these talk about it! Premarital sex is definatly bad acording to the bible. If your not so sure just read about when Paul is talking to the corinthians and throughout that chapter it disscusses it!

Maranatha
That is assuming that Premarital sex is a sin. You see, the term 'sexual sin' is so vague, it can mean anything you want it to.
As much as I search, I can find no requirement for premarital sex being a sin. I even lowered myself to the standards of Leviticus. But I can't find a passage about prostitution or premarital sex being sexually immorality. We all know leviticus gives enough explainations as to what is sexual immorality and none of it seems to be sleeping around unless you are married.
The closest I can see is that a Kohine has to marry a virgin wife. The Kohines have a lot stricter laws about things to still be considered a Kohine (cohen in the modern english). It says nothing about the rest of us.

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Post #15

Post by 4gold »

Confused wrote:As much as I search, I can find no requirement for premarital sex being a sin. I even lowered myself to the standards of Leviticus. But I can't find a passage about prostitution or premarital sex being sexually immorality. We all know leviticus gives enough explainations as to what is sexual immorality and none of it seems to be sleeping around unless you are married.
I agree with your post Confused. I don't think there is a part of the Bible that specifically calls premarital sex a sin. Like I described in my previous post, a few translators have called fornication a sin, but most have not...and I do not think fornication is the best translation of that word, since that word describes having sex with your relatives. I think incest, or the more general "sexual immorality", is the best way to interpret that word.

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Post #16

Post by Madeline »

The bible clearly condemns sex out of wedlock (Acts 15:20; Rom. 1:29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:13,18; 7:2; 10:8; 2 Cor, 12:21; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 5:3; Col. 3:5; 1 Thess. 4:3; Jude 7). So essentially if your on the internet looking for hot guys and lusting after them whilst engaged to be married, then you're basically committed pre-marital sex.

Love,
Madeline

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Post #17

Post by Goat »

Madeline wrote:The bible clearly condemns sex out of wedlock (Acts 15:20; Rom. 1:29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:13,18; 7:2; 10:8; 2 Cor, 12:21; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 5:3; Col. 3:5; 1 Thess. 4:3; Jude 7). So essentially if your on the internet looking for hot guys and lusting after them whilst engaged to be married, then you're basically committed pre-marital sex.

Love,
Madeline
Well, the problem with your translation is that the literal translation of the word 'fornication' in many of those passages is 'whoredom', which is different than 'fornication'.

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Post #18

Post by Madeline »

goat wrote:
Madeline wrote:The bible clearly condemns sex out of wedlock (Acts 15:20; Rom. 1:29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:13,18; 7:2; 10:8; 2 Cor, 12:21; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 5:3; Col. 3:5; 1 Thess. 4:3; Jude 7). So essentially if your on the internet looking for hot guys and lusting after them whilst engaged to be married, then you're basically committed pre-marital sex.

Love,
Madeline
Well, the problem with your translation is that the literal translation of the word 'fornication' in many of those passages is 'whoredom', which is different than 'fornication'.
It's still wrongful lust which is a sin, and we find that lust is usually connected to fornication and adultery in the scriptures (Matt. 5:28; Mk. 4:19; Jn. 8:44; Rom. 1:24; 1 Cor. 10:6; Gal. 5:16,17,24; Tit. 2:12; 1 Pet. 1:14; 1 Jn. 2:16 f; Jude 1:16,18; Rev. 18:14).

Love,
Madeline

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Post #19

Post by Goat »

Madeline wrote:
goat wrote:
Madeline wrote:The bible clearly condemns sex out of wedlock (Acts 15:20; Rom. 1:29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:13,18; 7:2; 10:8; 2 Cor, 12:21; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 5:3; Col. 3:5; 1 Thess. 4:3; Jude 7). So essentially if your on the internet looking for hot guys and lusting after them whilst engaged to be married, then you're basically committed pre-marital sex.

Love,
Madeline
Well, the problem with your translation is that the literal translation of the word 'fornication' in many of those passages is 'whoredom', which is different than 'fornication'.
It's still wrongful lust which is a sin, and we find that lust is usually connected to fornication and adultery in the scriptures (Matt. 5:28; Mk. 4:19; Jn. 8:44; Rom. 1:24; 1 Cor. 10:6; Gal. 5:16,17,24; Tit. 2:12; 1 Pet. 1:14; 1 Jn. 2:16 f; Jude 1:16,18; Rev. 18:14).

Love,
Madeline
It is not lust that is the sin. It is the lust after another man's wife that is the sin.

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Post #20

Post by Madeline »

goat wrote:
Madeline wrote:
goat wrote:
Madeline wrote:The bible clearly condemns sex out of wedlock (Acts 15:20; Rom. 1:29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:13,18; 7:2; 10:8; 2 Cor, 12:21; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 5:3; Col. 3:5; 1 Thess. 4:3; Jude 7). So essentially if your on the internet looking for hot guys and lusting after them whilst engaged to be married, then you're basically committed pre-marital sex.

Love,
Madeline
Well, the problem with your translation is that the literal translation of the word 'fornication' in many of those passages is 'whoredom', which is different than 'fornication'.
It's still wrongful lust which is a sin, and we find that lust is usually connected to fornication and adultery in the scriptures (Matt. 5:28; Mk. 4:19; Jn. 8:44; Rom. 1:24; 1 Cor. 10:6; Gal. 5:16,17,24; Tit. 2:12; 1 Pet. 1:14; 1 Jn. 2:16 f; Jude 1:16,18; Rev. 18:14).

Love,
Madeline
It is not lust that is the sin. It is the lust after another man's wife that is the sin.
goat, did you bother to take a look at the scriptures I cited? Also premarital sex go against the institution of marriage. Marriage and sex go hand in hand, such as consummation.

Love,
Madeline

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