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Nancy Kimmet wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Where in the Bible does it talk about the sin of fornication?

I have a nephew that says there is nothing in the Bible about living together, so there should be nothing wrong with it.



  { Where in the Bible does it speak against fornication and living together before marriage? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Nancy —

Thanks for the question.

I'm not the Bible guy on the team but I created a list of Scriptures passages that support Catholic teachings. You can find them at:

This is what I found under the areas that deals with the sins of the flesh. (See below.)

Note: You may also want to read our FAQ section under Lust, sins of the flesh, and concupiscence.

The only time we won't struggle with this sin is when we are six feet in the ground. : )
Just encourage him to go to Confession on Saturdays. It's easy and the priest is their to counsel us, not judge us.

Chastity, Praised

Proverbs 22:11
"The LORD loves the pure of heart."
Wisdom 3:13
"blessed is she who ... knew not the transgression of the marriage bed"
Wisdom 4:1
"Better is childlessness with virtue"

Chastity, Virginity held in high esteem

Matthew 19:10-12
Jesus specifies only some are called to this vocation.
1 Corinthians 7:8-9
Paul says the unmarried and widow should stay as they are.
1 Corinthians 7:32-35
Married are anxious about their spouses; unmarried/virgins are free to focus on God.
Revelation 14:4
"they are virgins and these are the ones who follow the Lamb."

Chastity, Virginity preferable to marriage

Psalms 45:15
"In embroidered apparel she is led to the king"
Matthew 22:30
"at the resurrection they are neither married nor are given in marriage"
Titus 2:4-5
"train younger women ... to be ... chaste."

Chastity, Fornication provokes God's anger

Deuteronomy 22:21
Law calls for stoning of girls who fornicate in their father's house.
Proverbs 6:29
"[your] neighbor's wife - none who touches her shall go unpunished."
1 Corinthians 6:9
"neither fornicators ... nor adulterers ... will inherit the kingdom of God."
Hebrews 13:4
"God will judge the immoral and adulterers."
See also:
Jeremiah 5:7, Hosea 4:14

Chastity, Fornication should be avoided

Ecclesiasticus 42:12
"Let her not parade her charms before men."
Deuteronomy 5:18
"You shall not commit adultery."

Chastity, Impure thoughts should be forbidden

Exodus 20:17
"You shall not covet your neighbor's wife."
Matthew 5:28
"one who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery."
See also:
Ecclesiasticus 9:4, Ecclesiasticus 42:18-21, Proverbs 6:25
You said:
I have a nephew that says there is nothing in the bible about living together, so there should be nothing wrong with it.

First, Catholic Christians don't solely follow the Bible but follow the teaching authority of the Church. This teaching authority is passed down to us both orally since 33 A.D. and in writing since 382 A.D. when the canon of Scripture was decided on, so just because there is no place in the Bible that talks about living together before marriage, doesn't means it's OK to do so! Before ascending into Heaven Jesus instituted the sacrament of Matrimony.

Under Other offenses against the dignity of marriage, the Catechism states:

2390 In a so-called free union, a man and a woman refuse to give juridical and public form to a liaison involving sexual intimacy.

The expression "free union" is fallacious: what can "union" mean when the partners make no commitment to one another, each exhibiting a lack of trust in the other, in himself, or in the future?

The expression covers a number of different situations: concubinage, rejection of marriage as such, or inability to make long-term commitments. All these situations offend against the dignity of marriage; they destroy the very idea of the family; they weaken the sense of fidelity. They are contrary to the moral law. The sexual act must take place exclusively within marriage. Outside of marriage it always constitutes a grave sin and excludes one from sacramental communion.

2391 Some today claim a "right to a trial marriage" where there is an intention of getting married later. However firm the purpose of those who engage in premature sexual relations may be, "the fact is that such liaisons can scarcely ensure mutual sincerity and fidelity in a relationship between a man and a woman, nor, especially, can they protect it from inconstancy of desires or whim." Carnal union is morally legitimate only when a definitive community of life between a man and woman has been established. Human love does not tolerate "trial marriages." It demands a total and definitive gift of persons to one another.

Finally, let me refer you to an answer from our colleagues at Catholic Answers:

Hope this helps,


Nancy replied:

Thank you so much.

I knew the answer was in the Bible somewhere.


Eric replied:

Hi Nancy,

Sorry for the delay in chiming in, but here is my contribution. In the bible having sex without benefit of marriage between two unmarried parties is called fornication, and it's condemned,
in the New Testament, among other places:

Matthew 15:19
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders....

Mark 7:21
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, ...

Acts 15:20
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
Acts 15:29
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.”
Acts 21:25
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.”

Romans 1:29
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers

1 Corinthians 6:13
Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.
1 Corinthians 6:18
Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body.
1 Corinthians 7:2
Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
1 Corinthians 10:8
Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.

2 Corinthians 12:21
And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.

Galatians 5:19
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

Ephesians 5:3
But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

Colossians 3:5
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

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

There is lots more but that should be satisfactory I hope.


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