In the Old Testament the word fornication transliterated as /zä•nä / meant illicit sex. That included prostitution, adultery, playing the harlot and unfaithfulness to God in its figurative sense. In the New Testament (NT), it was the term indirectly applied to illicit sex (Mt 5:32; Jn 8:41; Acts 15:20, Rom 1:29.). In the NT again, it was closely related only to incest and adultery (I Cor 5:1). Paul clarifies the picture of fornication in I Cor 10:8 by alluding to the Baalpeor Incident (Num 25:1-9); an incident in which Israelite men slept indiscriminately with Moabite women. Thus fornication is the sum total of illicit sex. Nevertheless, in its closed context, it will seem to mean sex between two unmarried people.
It is difficult to prove fornication as sex between unmarried people in the Bible. But when you peruse the word in its entirety, it is easy to see that God is against it. The first passage that deals with premarital sex or fornication directly is Exodus 22:16-17. The passage alleges that; if a man entices a woman who was not taken by another man he should marry her. Thus it does not condemn it as a sin but regards it as a prelude to marriage. This may infer that sex should lead to marriage or be in marriage. Sex should not be for sex sake. If the father of the girl refused them from getting married then the man should pay some dowry. It was the same condition for rape. If a man raped a woman he was to marry her (Deut 22:28-29). That rather condemns premarital sex when used without consent and not premarital sex per se. If a woman who was to be married to another man was raped, the man was recommended for death penalty (Deut 22:25-28).
In Deut 21:13, the Bible gives an intrinsic presentation when it encourages the Israeli male to bring a female captive home, sleep with her and then make her his wife. If he does not like her then he sends her back to her parents. The passage is unambiguous considering the custom. Bringing the woman to live with him was already a fulfillment of marriage and thus sex could take place. The marriage that was to follow was the ceremony. Nowadays that may lead us to common law marriages and cohabitation .
When people commit fornication they know that it is abnormal to the society and themselves for sex is the knitting of the souls. It is rare to just forget those with whom one has had sex because sex is not a physical exercise; it is a spiritual exercise. It encompasses the knitting of the souls and spirit. That is why it was the bedrock in a marital covenant. Just like we need blood in the salvific covenant we need sex in the marriage covenant. If it is the basis of a marriage covenant then automatically it becomes wrong to have it before or out of marriage (covenant).
Different cultures and traditions do not accept premarital sex. It was not taught in any school; it was innate. If premarital sex or sex out of marriage was acceptable then we do not need anyone to convince us. Then traditions and cultures would not be learning it new. As you know, all cultures have myths and tales against premarital sex and it was rewarded as main requirement in a marriage resume for the to-be married pretendant.
Premarital sex is not a personal issue. The cock that crows belongs to the household but its crows belong to the neighborhood. That means, the wrong actions we make not only affect us but affect the society. Most at times the society is left to pay for the broken vases of our personal decisions.
It is a mistake to think that the Adam fruit or the fruit that Adam and Eve ate was sex. Though many pictures and caricatures portray the fruit as sex it was not. The first reason is that Eve took it from the Serpent, ate it and then gave part to the husband (Gen 3:6). Does a woman have sex first then give part to the husband later?
Secondly, it was not Adam who first ate the fruit. The Bible says that they were neither to eat it nor touch it (Gen 3:3). If it was sex since mankind has been eating and touching it then we will live forever. Yet you have heard stories of people who died in action.
The devil said the day that Adam and Eve will eat it, their eyes will be opened and they will become as God. Since mankind has been having sex have we ever become gods? He said man will not die. Don’t we die then even though we still have sex?
History has never held that Jesus had a girlfriend. There has never been any woman in the Bible as Mary Ann. It is good you said it is rumor; for rumor in most cases are not founded.
Therefore, whatever thing the Bible did not say did not happen and what the Bible condemns as bad is bad because the Bible is infallible and authentic.
Fornication is not victimless since either both doers or mostly the girl has it in her heart for a long time. There is really no such thing as private morality for what is bad in private is bad in public and what is bad in public is bad in private. Indeed if there was no sex, humanity will not be fulfilled but it must be done in the right way so that no one gets hurt.
The difference between human beings and animals is that man lives by reason while animals live by instincts. When animals live by instincts they fulfill the urges of their ego without impunity because they do not have a superego or conscience to regulate them. Humans know that you do not just have sex with anybody and anywhere.
Premarital sex gives a partial but not permanent joy because in most cases does not fulfill the three eternal needs of mankind: love, value and acceptance. Sex does not need professionalism; it needs those pillars that make you feel loved, that you are accepted as the one they want to live with all their life and that you mean something to them not as a spare tire or perhaps Budda Call . Those using their bodies for prostitution that has been embellished into a wonderful profession called sex workers Association are destroying their own bodies (I Cor 6:18; Gal 5:19-20; Jude 1:7). That is the worst abuse anyone should give their bodies.
God is against fornication or illicit sex (Eph 5:3; Col 3:5). People should abstain from fornication (I Thes. 4:3; Rev 2:20-21). If there are people who are cohabitating already they should get married for it is in marriage that we really learn each other and develop the survival skills to make our relationships work for life. I have added a part two (Is God against fornication part 2) to this question.
Until then, God is against fornication.
Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk
“Go for the person who loves you most and not the one you love most for the one you love most may not give you the love you need most because though love is blind marriage is an eye-opener” (Hamilton Ayuk).