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Does The Bible Condemn Sex Before Marriage

So Does The Bible Really Say Its Wrong

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Before you book a hotel room and call up your girlfriend with the good news, please keep reading! Yes, the Bible does say that all forms of sex outside of marriage are wrong. Heres how.

The early chapters of Genesis give a basic blueprint for marriage, and even though it never says Thou shall not have sex before marriage, it certainly suggests that sex outside of marriage flows against Gods design. Gods command to be fruitful and multiply is joyfully heeded by Adam and Eve after they are joined in marriage . The same goes for their descendants. Noah, Shem, Abram and others all have sex and therefore have children within the confines of a marriage covenant.

When they turn to other women, such as Abrahams sexual relations with Hagar , the act was not considered an affair. Hagar was more like a modern day surrogate mother who bears a child in the place of an infertile wife. Nevertheless, these acts dont appear to be sanctioned by God, even though they were widely accepted in Israels culture.

Throughout the Old Testament, its assumed that God designed sex for marriage. Deuteronomy condemns a soon to be wife who has had sex before marriage , and the love poetry contained in the Song of Songs delights in the joys of sex but reserves it for a husband and wife. Extra-marital sex is never looked upon with divine approval in the Old Testament, no matter how bright the love-flame burns.

The Link Between Sexual Immorality And Sex Before Marriage

If you search the Bible for the phrases premarital sex or sex before marriage, you wont find any verses.

However, that does not mean Scripture doesnt say anything about it.

In fact, Scripture is clear on the topic if you understand the link between sexual immortality and sex before marriage.

1 Corinthians 7:2 says, But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.

Got Questions explains, Since 1 Corinthians 7:2 clearly includes sex before marriage in the definition of sexual immorality, all of the Bible verses that condemn sexual immorality as being sinful also condemn sex before marriage as sinful.

When And How Marriage Occurs

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.~GENESIS 2:4For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate..~MARK 10:7-9Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, The two will become one flesh. But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. ~1 CORINTHIANS 6:15-17

The above Bible portions shows us when and how marriage, the union between a man and a woman, occurs. No wedding is involved here.

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Additional Scriptures About Sex And Marriage

“Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.” ~ 1 Corinthians 7:1-4

“To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” ~ 1 Corinthians 7:8-9

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8

Take Responsibility For Your Sexual Purity


Repent of sexual failures. You will only flee sexual immorality when you get serious with God.

Develop friendships with people who value purity. Especially in the area of sexuality, evil company corrupts good habits . By contrast, those committed to sexual integrity can help you swim against the cultural stream.

Practice saying no. To an outrageously sexualized people, Paul said, I discipline my body and bring it into subjection . When by the Spirit we say no to our desires, they resist with vehemence. Rarely engaged will-power reacts like muscles at an annual visit to the weight room, but in time, no begins to win the war against lust .

Use Wisdom. Where do you tend to sin sexually? Approach those areas with sound wisdom, realistic planning, genuine accountability, and pointed prayer.

Pursue marriage. Marriage isnt a magic pill for loneliness and lust, but it is part of Gods prescribed regimen for practicing the beautifully human desire for deep sharing.

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Bible Verses About Sex Before Marriage

then they shall bring out the girl to the doorway of her fathers house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death because she has committed an act of folly in Israel by playing the harlot in her fathers house thus you shall purge the evil from among you.

and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

The Bible Takes A Pragmatic Approach To Premarital Sex

Lets be honest. The Bible is full of imperfect people who do imperfect things. The only person who is presented by the Bible as sinless is Jesus Christ .

In the Old Testament, laws could be quite harsh against those who broke Gods laws. Adultery, in particular, carried the death penalty .

What about those who had sex before marriage?

Here, the law was more complicated, and more pragmatic.

If a woman got married, and it was then discovered that she was not a virgin when she got married, her offense was punishable by death .

Yes, this was sexist and unfair. The same rule did not apply to men. But that was an earlier and more brutal age. This law was their way of assuring a man that his children were his own.

By the same token, if a man raped a woman who was pledged to be married, he was subject to the death penalty, while the woman was not to be punished at all .

What if the woman was neither married nor pledged to be married?

In that society, it was assumed that an unmarried woman would not allow a man to have sex with her, because the consequences for her would be catastrophic. So if an unmarried man did have sex with an unmarried woman, unless there was some proof otherwise, it was considered rape, and the man was to be punished for itbut not by the death penalty:

Shotgun wedding

In other words, the man was subject to a large fine payable to the womans father and to the ancient Hebrew equivalent of a shotgun wedding, from which he could not escape through divorce.

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Across History Cultures And Laws

The examples and perspective in this section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. You may improve this section, discuss the issue on the talk page, or create a new section, as appropriate.

A survey undertaken by the American Sociological Review between 2000 and 2008 covering 31 developing countries found that 94 percent of Jews reported having premarital sex, compared to 79 percent of Christians, 65 percent of Buddhists, 43 percent of Muslims and 19 percent of Hindus.

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Definitions Of Marriage And Sexual Immorality

Does the Bible Say Sex Outside of Marriage Is Okay?

What is Marriage? Marriage is simply the union between a man and a woman. There is no need to complicate the definition by adding cultural, social, legal or religious adjectives to it as far as this topic is concerned.

What is Sexual Immorality? Sexual immorality is any sexual act that contravenes divine regulations.

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Is Sex Before Marriage A Sin

When it comes to sex before marriage in the bible or what the bible says about premarital sex or, it is essential to note that there is no mention of premarital sex in the Bible. It doesnt mention anything about sex between two unmarried individuals.

Nonetheless, when it comes to having sex before marriage according to the Bible, it does speak of sexual morality in the New Testament. It says:

It is what comes out of a person that defiles. For it is from within, from the human heart, those evil intentions come: fornication , theft, murder,adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.

So, is premarital sex a sin? Many would disagree with this, while others might contradict. Lets see some relationship between premarital sex Bible verses that would explain why its a sin.

I Corinthians 7:2

But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.

In the verse above, the apostle Paul says that anyone who is involved in an activity outside of marriage is sexually immoral. Here, sexual immorality means having anysexual relationship with anyone before marriage is considered a sin.

I Corinthians 5:1

It is actually reported that there is a sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his fathers wife.

I Corinthians 7:8-9

I Corinthians 6:18-20

Does The Bible Actually Condemn Pre

This may be the wrong sub for this, but I was worried about getting complete affirmation on r/OpenChristian and condemnation on r/Christianity , so here goes I suppose. I’m no theologian, so please forgive my ignorance.

It’s certainly the mainstream church view now and more so in history that premarital sex is sinful, but I’m struggling to find anything that actually categorically condemns it. All the examples here don’t actually talk about premarital sex as far as I can tell. They’re condemning adultery, sexual revelry, rape, incest or ‘sexual immorality’ and/or affirm the goodness of marriage.

None of them seem to speak about sex between an unmarried loving couple.

And then there’s the story of Ruth and Boaz where she ‘convinces him’ to marry her by uncovering his ‘feet’ after getting all dolled up and Naomi says ‘he’ll tell you what you should do’. That absolutely sounds like something is going down to me – quite literally.

Am I letting my admittedly left leaning stance point me in a certain direction – or is there genuinely not much to back up the commonly held opposition to premarital sex?

For clarity, I’m talking about sex between a loving couple here – not purely lustful hookups and/or sleeping around.

edit: punctuation

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Thoughts On Does The Bible Prohibit Sex Before Marriage

  • Colin Hamer

    I think for this blog to make any sense we need to be clear that we are defining marriage as the registration of the relationship with the statea modern phenomenon.

    In ancient Israel marriage was a matter between the families involvedno priest, elder, or temple involvement. This is not my area of expertise, but it seems that this concept carried through to the early church until the Middle Agesit was not finally brought into church until the Council of Trent as I understand it. Subsequently, many countries brought it into the statebut not until 19th century in the UK.

    As regards, In biblical times, a man was not prohibited from having sexual relations with a woman, as long as it led to marriage I am not convinced by this. The mohar was dependent on virginity on a first marriageand was a big deal, as Deuteronomy 22 indicates. It was the fathers responsibility to ensure her virginity until marriagewithout that her subsequent marital prospects were considerably diminished.

  • Maybe that explains why adultery is seen as the major category rather than one sexual sin among many.

  • Colin Hamer

    Hi Paul,

    You say in the link that marriage is a Legal/Social bond = The public ceremony that was officiated by community elders/certified licensed officials.

    Where in the Bible does it say that?

  • Steven Robinson
  • John 4.3942 rather strongly suggests reconciliation doesnt it?

  • 50-60 years is of course common but depends on lifespans, so we could say lifelong.

  • Something Sacred And Profound

    Bible verse about sex after marriage â jepececun

    Paying serious attention the trajectory of Scriptureeven if it aims to be monogamous and lovingdoesnt open the door to affirming same-sex marriage. In fact, it does the opposite.

    Divine revelation gives us every indication there is something sacred about Gods image being male and female, and something profound about marriage between a man and a woman something that makes marriage unique among all human relationships.

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    The Role Of Tradition

    The Jewish tradition that flows from the Old Testament and cradles the New Testament was even more explicit in condemning pre-marital sex. For instance, it was believed that Joseph was adamant that he and his future wife, Asenath, remain pure until their wedding day. Theres nothing in the Old Testament that validates such concern Josephs marriage to Asenath is only mentioned in passing . But the later retelling of Joseph and Asenath reflects a widespread Jewish view: Sex before marriage is sin.

    And this is the ethical world that Jesus and His followers were raised in. Jews and Christians had many disagreements about what constitutes right and wrong . But when it came to sexual immorality, they found much in common. Sex before marriage was clearly condemned in Judaism, and the same goes for Christianity.

    For instance, Paula Jewargued that the only proper outlet for sexual desire is within marriage: because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband . Again, if unmarried people cant control their sexual desires, Paul doesnt tell them to head to the brothel, or to their boyfriend, or their betrothed loved one. Rather, they should marry since it is better to marry than to burn with passion . In other words, we should not satisfy our sexual passion with someone other than a spouse.

    Does The Bible Really Prohibit Sex Outside Of Marriage

    God loves sex. The first two commands recorded in the Bible are have dominion over creation, and then be fruitful and multiply . In other words, rule the world and have lots of sex. Not a bad day at the office.

    Whoever said God was some cosmic killjoy? God created sex and declared it to be good.

    Within Christian circles, its assumed God only wants us to have sex if were married. Sex outside of marriage is one of the clearest, unquestionable prohibitions in Christianity. But where does the Bible teach this? Can you name a verse?

    Many will race to the Ten Commandments: You shall not commit adultery . But adultery means having sex with someone elses spouse it doesnt refer to an unmarried couple sleeping together. Likewise, when Jesus condemns lust in Matthew 5, He does so in the context of adultery. In other words, we should not sexually desire another persons spouse as our own.

    God loves sex. But Hes designed us to have sex within the boundaries of a marriage covenant.

    Others might turn to Leviticus 18. This sex chapter lists all sorts of sexual prohibitions including incest, bestiality, adultery and other sexual sins. Its fascinating, though, that nowhere in Leviticus 18 is sex before marriage condemned.

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    Sex Is For Marriage And Marriage Is For Sex

    God wants us to save sex for marriage not because its bad or dirty but because its unique, exclusive, and wonderful. Sex isnt just casual fun. And its not just a feel-good way of expressing mutual love. Its about two people becoming one flesh.

    • Jesus says, Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? .
    • This fits with the apostle Pauls warning in 1 Corinthians 6:16: Do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, The two will become one flesh .
    • The same concept underlies the commandment against adultery . In the biblical view, adultery includes any sexual activity outside of marriage. This is why the Bible says, Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous .

    Sex is a holy mystery. Its a powerful bonding agent that shapes and affects the relationship between a man and a woman as nothing else can.

    Thats why the Bible often compares idolatry to the sin of fornication or adultery .

    And its why the Bible uses sexual purity and faithfulness between spouses as an image of our relationship with God .

    So, what about Isaac and Rebekah, or Joseph and Mary?


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