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sex before marriage

08-11-2011 - Posted by Andre Piet

premature Paul in 1 Corinthians 7 begins with writing:

…because of prostitutions, let each man have a wife for himself and each woman have her own husband. 1 Corinthians 7:2

Prostitution in the Bible is having sex with someone other than their own husband or wife. Sex before marriage is a borderline case, because sharing the bed with someone who is not yet your own ‘man’ or ‘woman’, but who will be. Premarital sex is premature (a too-early action), because…

…. a man shall… cling to HIS WIFE, and THEY TWO become one flesh. Gen. 2:24 (CLV)

“… they two”, that is to say: a man and his wife become one flesh. Hence, since time immemorial, virginity (for both), until the wedding night has been the standard. if they do not control themselves Fairness, however, demands us to say that this ideal in practice, for many is too high. Paul writes concerning this to the (proverbial) licentious Corinthians …

Yet if they are not controlling themselves, let them marry, for it is better to marry than to be on fire. 1Corinthians 7:9

Paul is talking here about sex before marriage. It is not clear in most translations, because the word ‘can’ has been added to the sentence: “If they cannot contain….” This addition leaves it open whether or not sexual intercourse is indulged in. Paul’s wording simply implies that unmarried people do not control themselves. And then? Does Paul condemn the unmarried couple who do not control themselves? No, he writes, short and straightforward: “Let them marry.” Which incidentally, refutes the claim that premarital sex constitutes the couple married. A marriage is a wedding ceremony (the same word in Greek) and is a legal matter (Romans 7:2), regardless of how it is regulated by law, because it varies by culture. Sex (“one flesh”; 1Cor.6:16) in the Bible is reserved for a man and his wife. Hence, Paul has only one advice for single people who do not control themselves: let them marry. ——————————— translation: Peter Feddema