I was questioning the definition of the term fornicator in another thread http://www.timeforchess.com/board/showthread.php?threadid=23720&page=8 but the question was off topic and I decided to start a new thread here to see what input I get.
I am not convinced that a couple in a committed relationship having sex before they are married, is necessarily acting in sin. Especially if they are committed to getting married - and the intention was not the modern view of trying on the shoe before you buy it. The Bible does not seem clear to me on this issue - that premarital intercourse is a terrible sin in all cases. Nemesio replied to the effect that fornication is defined as sex outside of marriage and that is a clear sin. I said that he should justify his definition of fornication via scripture, because I don't think it is all that clear. I think his reply was something to the effect that the definition is the standard one that has been accepted for thousands of years. Later, to my surprise, he posted in impertinent question asking me if I considered myself a fornicator. I ignored the question since it has nothing to do with defining the term.
What I'm interested in, is seeing if someone knowledgeable about scripture can give me a solid biblical exegesis on the term fornication. I'm disappointed the Nemo resorted to simply saying that the meaning has been understood for thousands of years. As a Christian and a rational person, I find this answer rather poor. If people had a standard definition, then someone must have had a reason for it - and that is what I am after.
I searched through the scriptures and only find the term in the New Testimony.
(Mat 15:19 NASB) "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.
(Mar 7:21 NASB) "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries,
(Joh 8:41 NASB) "You are doing the deeds of your father." They said to Him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God."
(Act 15:20 NASB) but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood.
(Act 15:29 NASB) that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell."
(Act 21:25 NASB) "But concerning the Gentiles who have believed, we wrote, having decided that they should abstain from meat sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from fornication."
(1Co 6:9 NASB) Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,
(Heb 13:4 NASB) Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefined; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
The last verse seems to be the most relevant. It is the only verse that relates fornication to marriage. It does not clearly define the term, but it does give us some evidence of it's meaning.
The word Greek word in Heb 13 is pornos.
From pe´???µ? perne¯mi (to sell; akin to the base of G4097); a (male) prostitute (as venal), that is, (by analogy) a debauchee (libertine): - fornicator, whoremonger.
A further search revealed that pornos has been translated often as "sexually immoral" and "whoremonger" as well as "fornicator."
It's a very interesting term and I think it's meaning (fornicator) is not simply a person who has sex before marriage. The term seems to be stronger. An unmarried person who frequently has sex with various partners or with prostitutes would certainly be a fornicator.
Like more sins I have seen condemned - I think it those that are repetitive, habitual, and un-repentant that are most clearly condemned.
I haven't looked through the Old Testament yet but it does not have the word fornicate in it - which makes sense since the term comes from the Greek. I suspect that a clear understanding of the term would have to account for the bibles view of marriage and adultery, and the role and meaning of virginity to a marriage.
Any biblical insights would be appreciated - so if anyone has an additional verse or term that would help, let me know. I believe in letting scripture interpret scripture - so that is what I will find most convincing. I'd appreciate any scriptureal evidence.
I know many here do not accept scripture as God's word - but for the sake of argument - let's say it is. Froggy may consider his remarks about Pauline religion to be noted in absentia for the record.