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According to the Bible, is it a sin to marry someone who is not a virgin?

For the purpose of this question, lets exclude dealing with the following scenarios:

  • the special cases of somebody not being a virgin due to the death of their spouse.
  • the practical difficulty of being able to figure out if somebody is a virgin. (See Hymenorrhaphy)
  • the practical difficulties of meeting people who avoid premartial sex in this modern age.

I'd like to hear answers that present a Biblical basis for whether or not the act itself is a sin rather than anything from modern cultural perspective.

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@abc What Bible passage was it that lead you to believe that marrying a non-virgin might be a sin? –  DJClayworth Aug 24 '12 at 13:21
    
While not exactly on topic, this Jewish website gives an excellent historical and cultural background for understanding marriage in a Biblical light. –  Andrew Jun 22 at 22:19

4 Answers 4

Why would it be a sin to marry non-virgin? Jesus said that nothing from outside (e.g. not washing of hands before eating) defiles a man but what comes from the heart. Not being a virgin does not make the person impure or a sinner.

If the person is a Christian I don't think it would be a sin to marry such person. It would be practical love if a Christian marries a non-virgin even after having the knowledge beforehand.

In the Bible, God asked Hosea to marry an harlot and have children with her. This did not turn Hosea to a sinner. Whatever God declares pure is pure.

If any man is in christ, old things have passed away and everything is new. If she has repented from her old ways then it is ok. We should show love to them and accept them because no matter what we do, God accept them.

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+1 for the Hosea reference! –  Affable Geek Aug 24 '12 at 14:44
    
In addition to Hosea, consider the custom of levirate marriage. If a married man dies childless, his brother was required, under the Law of Moses, to marry her as a surrogate for his brother. Assuming they weren't childless for lack of trying, this would not only not forbid the brother to marry a non-virgin, but require him to. –  Mason Wheeler Jun 23 at 5:40

I challenge your statement that "meeting people who avoid premarital sex in this modern age" is difficult in practice. Today social networks allow you to find people according to such criteria. Additionally, I perceive the culture to be more morally polarized. In other words, there is less incentive to feign virginity, making it easier to discern who holds themselves to the standard.

The simple answer to your question is no. There is no scripture forbidding marriage to non-virgins. However, there is of plenty scripture forbidding sexual relations of married people with others. It's called adultery. Similarly, sexual relations outside of marriage is fornication. Both adultery and fornication are forbidden, but not marrying a non-virgin.

A wife is bound as long as her husband is living. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to anyone she wants—only in the Lord. (HCSB 1 Cor. 7:39)

For example, a married woman is legally bound to her husband while he lives. But if her husband dies, she is released from the law regarding the husband. (HCSB Romans 7:2)

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To clarify, there is Scripture forbidding marriage to non-virgins. Leviticus 21:13 forbids that a high priest (or any priest, I'm not sure) marry anyone but a Jewish virgin. –  Andrew Jun 22 at 22:03

It is not sinful to marry someone who is not a virgin. But it is not more holy to marry someone that is a virgin.

Here is my preoccupation with the question. Mariage is the union of one sinner to another. Where both party convenant with one other to be faithful all the way to the end to the other. The problem lies when young men and women view a possible husband or women as less attractive because of that sin, as if that sin was bigger then any other sins. There is no second class christians.

My heart does out to the young ones who have committed sexual sin before knowing Christ and are now living to please Him or to does who fell in this area. They do get looked down by some christian virgin and that is plain old hypocrisy.

I did not covert the consequences that are brought in the marriage in consequence of that sin, but on the other hand, all sins bring consequences in the marriage.

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I agree with you that it is not more holy. My justification is pragmatic. I would prefer to not deal with the emotional baggage of a woman's previous relation. Kudos to those saints who are willing to. –  user1907 Sep 3 '12 at 8:43

Not only is it not a sin to marry someone who is not a virgin, it is sometimes commanded. In Old Testament times, if a husband dies then the brother of the husband has a right - sometimes duty - to marry the widow.

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