The modern dictionary says that fornication is voluntary sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons or two persons not married to each other. Mostly all prostestant churches follow the modern way of thinking when it comes to this word. But, did the biblical authors believe that the definition above was their way of thinking on fornication. Here are some definitions of the biblical fornication:
Porneia: por-ni'-ah from 4203; harlotry (including adultery and incest); figuratively, idolatry:--fornication
porneuo: porn-yoo'-o from 4204; to act the harlot, i.e. (literally) indulge unlawful lust (of either sex), or (figuratively) practise idolatry:--commit (fornication).
porne: por'-nay feminine of 4205; a strumpet; figuratively, an idolater:--harlot, whore.
As you can see, the biblical view of fornication always involves harlotry, whoredom, and prostitution. And guess what? Do you know what those words really mean. They all have several things in common. One is that all of them committ unlawful sex(having sex with a married person). Second, they all have sex with more than one person.
Most christians believe that sex between 2 virgins is considered a sin, but thats never seen as sin in the bible.
Everywhere, the Old testament and new testament talks about fornication, it ALWAYS refers to those several things, having sex with a married person, and or having sex with multiple partners. It NEVER talked about 2 virgins having sex, and waiting for a ceremony, or sex between 2 persons that does not practice such sins.
What does the word married mean? That word in the ancient word meant "committed to a person". Marriage was never seen as "ceremonial", although they had ceremonies, but they never made the marriage. If you find "the one" for you, and you commit to him/her, than you consummate that commitment through sex. That, in no way is sin. If those 2 were whores, according to the biblical definition, they would be sinning. If they were not practicing porneia, then they are not sinning. If 2 virgins consummate their relationship through sex, it is not a sin.
Rings, and marriage ceremonies do not make a marriage. Sex is what seals it. Sex is a covenant act that 2 people seal for their marriage.
Another thing is that Fornication and Adultery run hand in hand. You commit adultery by having sex with someone thats not your spouse. You commit fornication by literally breaking the covenant you made with your first spouse through sex. That becomes unlawful sex.
Sex should be between 2 committed people that will stay with each for life. Sex seals it as a lifetime commitment. This is what we need to teach our churches.
Today, churches are teaching that it is a sin to have sex before marriage(that is, walking down the isle). This is false, and we must teach these words according to the biblical view, and NOT the modern view.
We cannot modernize the bible. In order to understand the bible, we must understand how the first audience understood it. God bless!