Tuesday, May 26, 2015

There is no Marriage Ritual ordained in The Bible

Think about that for a minute.

The Torah has laws related to marriage.  And has lots of rituals laid out to be performed.  But no Marriage ritual.

People talking about The Church as The Bride of Christ doctrine talk a lot about the "Jewish Wedding" but this Jewish wedding is never laid out in Scripture.  It seems to have developed by New Testament times and therefore was maybe in the minds of some New Testament authors for certain statements.  But that would make it canonical no more then any other Extra-Biblical writings alluded to in the New Testament, like the many Pagan Greek writers Paul showed familiarity with.

Revelation 19,  has no wedding ceremony.  We are told it is time for The Lamb's Marriage.  Then there is a marriage supper to celebrate it, but no ceremony.

In Genesis 29 Jacob was married back in the country Abraham was told to leave, the Jews didn't have their own nation and laws yet.  Yet even there, there is only a feast, no ceremony with vow saying.

That's interesting to think about in light of the origin and destiny of Marriage in The Bible.

Now under the Law of Moses marriage certainly wasn't like how it is for Tolkien's fictional Elves, where Heterosexual potentially reproductive Intercourse and Marriage are the same thing.

But there is no evidence the NT Christians didn't do it somewhat like that.  Jesus said a Husband and Wife become "one flesh" and lots of people interpret that terminology as if it were about sex rather then marriage.

The end of Genesis 24 has Isaac and Rebecca consummating their relationship as soon as they meet.  And Adam and Eve certainly never had a formal marriage.

Also Hagar, Bilhah and Zilhah are all refereed to as becoming wives as soon as Abraham or Jacob "knew" them.

In The State, The Church and Marriage, I mentioned how I could talk about how "Legal Marriage" in the Law of Moses was different then Legal Marriage in the modern Western World but chose not in light of a greater point.  I will explain it here.

The Law of Moses was Imperfect.  It tolerated certain things not part of God's will that Man wasn't ready to abandon.  Among those things was Slavery.

The "legal marriage" practiced in Ancient Israel and the Near East was effectively slavery.  It was based on seeing women as property, as an asset.  Legal Marriage was how one family bought a woman from another.  Now you'll find a lot written on Apologetics websites about how women had more rights under the Law of Moses then they did in other ancient Near Eastern cultures, and that is all valid.

But the fact remains the Law of Moses still acknowledges that system, that's why the fathers of brides are constantly getting paid money.  That's why there was no ritual in-spite of the legal status, the marriage was legal when the financial transaction was complete.

The aspects of The Law and even secular customs that imply the woman to be property are implied in passages about The Church as the Bride of Christ only because Jesus shed his Blood to purchase us from The World.  Now that we belong to Christ we are not bound to such barbaric worldly customs as "legal" marriage.  The Marriage of Genesis 3 is done away with, only the Marriage of Genesis 2 still stands.

And the Greco-Roman world still saw Marriage that way, just without the tolerance of Polygamy the OT had and NT not as much. That's the only reason the Greeks never had Gay Marriage for the same sex relationships that were accepted in their culture, and none of those Gay/Bi men had a problem with it.  If a Man with wealth and/or property wanted to legally give his male lover legal rights to his wealth or property, he did it by adopting him.

That is why no where in Paul's statements about how Christian Marriage should work does he recommend going to get legally married by the local Greek or Roman authorities.  Because under the New Covenant the separation of the Genders is over just as the separation of Jews and Gentiles is over.

The only Biblical Requirement for Marriage is for the Man and the Woman to agree to be married, to make a commitment to one another.

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