Mary's betrothal to Joseph


#1

I was wondering. Mary’s betrothal to Joseph is recorded in Scripture, right? That is the legal contract in which they are promised to each other *without * yet consumating the marriage, is that correct?
Is there another ceremony that marks the end of the betrothal and the beginning of the consumated married life, and if so, is that ceremony between Mary and Joseph recorded in Scripture?


#2

I have had associations (not close enough to call ‘friendships’) with people of Middle Eastern descent.

It is my understanding that the end of the betrothal is their consummation. If this is the case, no, Mary and Joseph never had that.


#3

Matthew 1:18-25
The Birth of Jesus Christ
18Now the birth of(A) Jesus Christ[a] took place in this way.(B) When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph**, **before they came together **she was found to be with child© from the Holy Spirit. 19And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling(D) to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20But as he considered these things, behold,(E) an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will bear a son, and(F) you shall call his name Jesus,(G) for he will save his people from their sins.” 22(H) All this took place(I) to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23(J) “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name(K) Immanuel”

(which means, God(L) with us). 24When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And(M) he called his name Jesus.**


#4

Neither says that they ever came together, or that he knew her.


#5

[19] and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.
[20] But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit;
[24] When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife,
[25] but knew her not until she had borne a son…

It is clear Joseph took Mary as his wife, not simply as his betrothed. This does not mean they had to have had sexual relations. Having said that, the Scriptures never tell us if they had a marriage ceremony or a celebration like we see in the Wedding at Cana. But, simple silence on the matter does not indicate that it did not happen.


#6

Well, I’m asking not because I challenge Mary’s Perpetual Virginity. I’m actually trying to ascertain whether or not there is any biblical record that they did proceed as protestants insist that they did.
The protestants are assuming that because there was a betrothal that there was a consumation, which seems to violate their own doctrine.
I’m in full agreement with Holy Mother Church that “until” doesn’t mean what martin says it means.


#7

but knew her not until she had borne a son…


#8

Mt 28: 20 “And know that I am with you UNTIL the end of the world.”

What a truly unfortunate Gospel passage.

Jesus is only going to be with us UNTIL the end of the world. After that, well, no more Jesus.

Right?

DJim


#9

Which is why I pointed to my associations with those modern people from the Middle East

The Betrothal is a step beyond what we typical Americans refer to as engagement. It’s a ceremony that links the two of you. You are no longer on the market, so to speak. In all matters (short of consummation) you are husband and wife, and treat each other as such.

He provides for her financially. He takes care of her material needs. She begins to make a home for him.

They are no longer Boyfriend/Girlfirend or Fiances. They are 'betrothed.

Then, there is the consummation.

The wedding ceremony takes place to begin the betrothal. They have the white dress and all the trimmings (at least, today it’s this way). There is the wedding reception, and all the typical festivities. But the Wedding Night? That is about six months off.

There is no ceremony before that happens.


#10

That helps quite a bit in understanding Mary and Joseph’s situation–especially why Joseph was considering putting Mary away quietly instead of making an example of her. Thanks! :slight_smile:

As her betrothed it was his duty to decide what would be best for Mary. I’ve read that he wasn’t considering putting her aside because he thought she sinned, but because he no longer felt he was her husband since the Holy Spirit had “claimed” her for God. But, Gabriel reassured him that he was Mary’s rightful husband, her guardian, and would have the privilege of naming, bringing up, and protecting the Messiah himself. Quite a calling, wasn’t it? :yup:


#11

Right, care to give any sort of reference to this being the case…
BETROTHED AND ALMOST DIVORCED. That’s what it speaks of in Matthew 1!
It appears your making up a prenuptual purgatory without any scriptural basis or basis in general…:confused:


#12

Where’d you read this? just curious, if you remember.
Claimed her for God, what do you mean? the HS is God


#13

No, I can’t.

As I have stated (several times) this is referenced from the way that MODERN people of Middle Eastern DESCENT living in AMERICA do it.

But it fits, doesn’t it?

They are married (by OUR description) in order to start the Betrothal. Once they have had their marriage ceremony, they are betrothed. The way out of that is divorce.

I’m not sure what it is that you are not getting? What is it that you would like to see?

If I could put my hands on some etiquette books for Old World Customs, I’d be glad to share.


#14

Originally Posted by Della:
I’ve read that he wasn’t considering putting her aside because he thought she sinned, but because he no longer felt he was her husband since the Holy Spirit had “claimed” her for God.

Unfortunately no. :frowning: I read it on a website in which the author discussed the Mosiac Law and how Joseph would have interpreted his relationship with Mary considering she had been overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, and so claimed for God alone–in much the same way the tabernacle was overshadowed, and so set aside for God.

Claimed her for God, what do you mean? the HS is God

The Holy Spirit claimed Mary for his own, as well as for the Father and the Son, which is what I meant. God cannot be separated from himself, after all.


#15

An interesting article on the “until” argument is here for those who are interested.


#16

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