Who is the bride of Christ?


#1

My sister told me about 2 people who were misleading Catholics (in her friend’s town) with their seemingly “biblical” arguments.

They said that since God created man and woman in his image, Jesus (man) must have a wife (woman). They explained that the new Jerusalem (described in Revelation) is the bride of Christ. This new Jerusalem existed even before man and woman were created and it is the bride of Christ. Man is the image of Jesus and woman is the image of the new Jerusalem.

I don’t agree. I know the Catholic teaching that the church is the bride of Christ, but I don’t have enough material on that. Can someone strongly refute the above nonsensical argument?


#2

Pure goofiness. Do they believe that Jesus had a wife while living on earth?

God is not an exalted man; He has no need of arms, legs - or a wife. God, being Pure Spirit is not a divided spirit of two parts, man and woman. Man is made in God’s image because man has an immortal and intellectual soul, and thus is able to know himself and know God - he has been created to know God. I was in an earlier discussion about this truth here:

forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=3685451&postcount=62

They explained that the new Jerusalem (described in Revelation) is the bride of Christ. This new Jerusalem existed even before man and woman were created and it is the bride of Christ. Man is the image of Jesus and woman is the image of the new Jerusalem.

I don’t agree. I know the Catholic teaching that the church is the bride of Christ, but I don’t have enough material on that. Can someone strongly refute the above nonsensical argument?

They are not incorrect about the Church existing from all time; this is because the Son of God, Who is the Head of His Church, has existed from all time; in and through Him the Church came to be on earth. But, as with all heretics, they take one truth and take it to an extreme end. A man who has been ordained to the priesthood is the image of Jesus since through the priest Christ makes Himself present on our altars. But the entire Church, man and woman, is the Bride. The Church, as Christ’s Bride, is also His Body, one in Flesh with Him through His Incarnation. Man and woman are united in this One Body by Christ’s grace.

Now, the Blessed Virgin Mary is THE type of the Bride, the one who faithfully says “yes” in love to God.

Further, the Church has a visible, authoritative aspect (which these folks, no doubt, deny). Thus, members of Christ’s Body on earth, have a visible identity, authority, and Sacraments forging their union with Him.


#3

No, they’re not saying that the Church existed from all time, but that the new Jerusalem existed from all time. The church is not the same as the new Jerusalem, is it?

Ya, but I was looking for some biblical references which clearly show that the church is the bride of Christ.

And one more question which has puzzled me. God created man in his image. In whose image is woman created? Is she also created in God’s image? I am puzzled coz St. Paul says man reflects the glory of God and woman reflects the glory of man.


#4

Ephesians 5:22-33 is an extended analogy: Husbands are to wives as Christ is to His Church. Thus, the Church is the bride of Christ.

In order to prove their point in the face of this passage, they would have to show that when Paul says “the church” in the passage, he really means the new Jerusalem of Revelation.


#5

This is what Ephesians 5 says:

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her*** 26 ****** to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word,****** 27 ****** that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.****** 28 ****** So (also) husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.****** 29 ****** For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the church,****** 30 ****** because we are members of his body.****** 31 ****** “For this reason a man shall leave (his) father and (his) mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”****** 32 ****** This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church***.

Can it be any clearer?


#6

No one has answered this question as yet.


#7

Each individual is made in the image of God. But Adam and Eve as a Married couple image God together since God is a family of persons, Father , Son and Holy Spirit. Hence, the dignity of Holy Matrimony of which Adam and Eve’s was a blueprint.


#8

They were arguing based on the fact that Revelation states that the new Jerusalem is the bride of Christ.

“And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Rev 21: 2)

““Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high , mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God.” (Rev 21:9-10)

So now, who’s the bride? I’m confused. Ephesians says the church is the bride and revelation says the new Jerusalem is the bride. Their argument is backed by two biblical verses.

What’s the right explanation?


#9

**757 **

"The Church, further, **which is called **‘that Jerusalem which is above’ and ‘our mother’, is described as the spotless spouse of the spotless lamb. It is she whom Christ ‘loved and for whom he delivered himself up that he might sanctify her.’ It is she whom he unites to himself by an unbreakable alliance, and whom he constantly ‘nourishes and cherishes.’"149

**For more on The Church in God’s Plan

I. Names and Images of the Church, Symbols of the Church, The Church’s Origin, Foundation, and Mission and The Mystery of the Church…**

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

ARTICLE 9
"I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH"

usccb.org/catechism/text/pt1sect2chpt3art9.htm#149

And for more on the book of Revelation…
**
The Lamb’s Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth** reawakens a surprising ancient view of the Eucharist, as the harbinger of the supernatural drama described by the New Testament book of Revelation. Catholic theologian Scott Hahn thinks that many worshippers receive the sacrament of communion without ever considering its links to the end of the world, the Apocalypse, and the Second Coming.

amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0385496591/stpaulcenterf-20/002-0802523-7455220


#10

The Church has three parts:

  • The Church Militant - those working out their salvation with fear and trembling here in the earthly realm.
  • The Church Suffering - those in Purgatory
  • The Church Triumphant - those saints in heaven.

Now, if I’m correct, on the day of the last Judgement, these three Churches will be united and as the completely restored New Jerusalem, will be the bride that you see described in Revelation.


#11

Thanks, “fellowChristian” and “NotWorthy”!


#12

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