Was Mary, Mother of God, an unwed mother?
No, she was married…to Joseph. We need to understand the marriage customs of the times.
There were three states of a marriage in the Bible:
Stage 1: signing the “ketubbah” contract (Creating the marriage bond)
i. The bride would chose her husband and her father would sign a legal contract with him called a “ketubbah”.
ii. Once this is signed the couple is 100% married but do not have sex yet.
iii. Young children were often married, (arraigned marriage) but did not consummate until of age.
Stage 2: The “chuppah”: sexual consummation.
i. Up to 7 years later, the groom is able to raise the money as set out in the ketubbah contract and notifies the father of the bride, who then sets a date to consummate the marriage at the bride’s home.
ii. The bride waits with her maidens, for the arrival of the groom and his companions.
iii. The couple enters the chuppah room and consummates the marriage while the companions of the bride and groom wait and celebrate outside or in the next room.
iv. The groom hands the bloodied "proof of virginity cloth" to the witnesses chosen by the bride's parents, who then give it to the bride for safekeeping.
Stage 3: The wedding feast
i. After consummation, the entire wedding party walks to the house of the groom in a procession for a wedding feast.
ii. At the conclusion of the wedding feast, the couple has completed the ancient ritual of marriage.
There was no “wedding ceremony” in the synagogue in the first century, performed under a canopy where the bride and groom would hold hands and say, “I do” before an audience of friends and family. This didn’t develop for hundreds of years after Jesus died on the cross as the Passover lamb for the sins of mankind.
Remember, Joseph was thinking of quietly divorcing Mary. How do you divorce someone unless you are married to her?