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The title pretty much asks the question, but let's set the stage like this:

Two people meet in High School, have sex, then eventually get married.

What does the bible say about sex prior to marriage in general?

What does the bible say about sex prior to marriage, but leads to marriage?

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Premarital is just a special case of extramarital. –  Tom Duckering Aug 26 '11 at 23:41
    
Just for reference fornication is two people having sex who aren't married to each other. –  Richard Aug 27 '11 at 1:39

2 Answers 2

“Fornication” (porneuo) is often used as a noun in the New Testament, but in 1 Cor. 10:8 is a present tense verb. Although it is a verb, it still describes all types of sexual sin. For other places where fornication occurs as a noun see 6:18, and these references in the book of Revelation: 2:14, 20; 17:2; 18:3, 9.

Whether used as a noun or a verb, fornication describes departures from God’s “religious norms (e.g. homosexuality, promiscuity, pedophilia, and especially prostitution” (Colin Brown, 1:497).

Brad Price www.abiblecommentary.com

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Hence it does not clearly means sex outside marriage. It could be things like homosexuality, or incest. Not even sure that promiscuity and pedophilia is sin because in ancient time girls do get married at age 13. Society where those are not common will get swallowed by those who are. –  Jim Thio Mar 23 '13 at 0:02

Premarital (aka extramarital) sex is fornication, which is sometimes differentiated from adultery. While adultery is specifically forbidden in the 10 Commandments, it would appear the Bible has the same opinion of fornication. There are times when the two terms are used interchangeably as well.

All from the KJV:

Acts 15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

1st 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.

1st Corinthians 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

1st Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:

So it looks safe to say that "Thou shall not commit adultery" also applies to fornication. The colloquialism "living in sin" is accurate.

It doesn't specifically say "Even if you plan to get married, fornication is still a sin." But the 1st Corinthians 7:2 reference is pretty close. To avoid fornication, get married.

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This assumes that premarital sex is fornication, which I agree with but some liberals dispute. I created another question to discuss whether this is so. christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/778/… –  dancek Aug 27 '11 at 1:31

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