Who is the Bride of Christ

Revelation 19:7 (KJV)

7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

  Well, we know who is the husband - the Lamb, who is Jesus Christ. But who is the wife or bride? The consensus is that this is the Church (body of Christian believers). However, aside from a parable of the wedding feast in Matthew ch. 22, and scripture from Ephesians ch. 5 that says - "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church..."; and also - "Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave himself for it".

These appear to be examples of authority (head) and of demonstrating love, rather than a definite identification of the church as the bride.

In 2 Corinthians ch. 11, Paul writes that he "...espoused you to one husband, presenting you as a chaste virgin to Christ...". However, taking it in context with the following scriptures, the chaste (pure) is in contrast to corruption of false preaching and another gospel entirely.

The church is clearly depicted as the body of Christ in numerous verses in scripture, but, there is no scripture that definitively states that the church is the bride.

The idea that the church is the bride appears to be based on assumption, (howbeit good assumption), and may very well be correct, but, we would be remiss if we did not present other view points on this issue.

"His wife hath made herself ready" - The church needs no preparation, as we are already complete in Him. The marriage of the Lamb is the reconciliation of Israel with God as the prophets of old foretold.

The Old Testament depicts Israel as the Bride and as an adulterous wife:
*Hos. 2:19 - "and I will betroth thee unto me forever..."
*Joel 2:16 - "gather the people...let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet"
*Isa. 54:1,5-6 - "For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name: and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall he be called..."
*Jer. 3:14 - "Turn O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you..."
*Jer. 3:20 - "Surely as a wife treacherously depart from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the Lord".
*Ezek.16:15 - "But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and played the harlot..."
*Ezek.16:22 - "And in all thy abominations and thy whoredoms..."
*Ezek.16:38 - "And I will judge thee, as women that break wedlock..."
*Deu. 24 - if a husband were to divorce his wife, he is not to take her back, and she is only free from divorce once her husband dies.
1Cor. 7:39 - "The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord".
Rom. 7:2 - "For the woman which has an husband is bound by law to her husband so long as he lives; but if the husband dies, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
Mat. 18:11 - "For the Son of Man is come to save that which was lost".
Could it be that Christ died in order to clear the slate in order for the bride (Israel) to re-marry the husband (Christ)???

In this wedding scenario, we see that Christ is the husband, and the bride is the house of Judah. Just as Abraham sent Isaac to receive a bride from his own people, so has the groom (Christ).

The custom of the time was for the groom to return home to fulfill betrothal (covenant) obligations and to prepare a new dwelling place (John 14:1-3), better than where the bride previously lived. The Father of the groom makes arrangements, and determines where the dwelling place is to be and gives the go ahead to receive the bride. Because this was the custom, it was an easy analogy for the Jews to understand, and Jesus used this in his teachings.

John the Baptist declared:

John 3:29 (KJV)

29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

John is that friend, or the Best man. The bridesmaids are the 10 lost tribes of Israel. As for the church.... We (the Church) are the groomsmen, and serve the role that only groomsmen can fulfill according to Jewish tradition, which is to announce the wedding.

Revelation 19:6-7 (KJV)

6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

And this just might be the reason for the rapture of the Church - to announce the wedding!

Another view is the literal interruption of the scripture found in the book of Revelation.

Revelation 21:2 (KJV)

2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Revelation 21:9-10 (KJV)

9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

 And indeed, Paul tells us in Hebrews 11:10 that Abraham looked for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.Then there is the view that the Bride is actually BOTH! New Jerusalem, described as a bride "adorned for her husband", just as a bride's adornment today would be her dress and serves as a covering. The city is a covering for its people as a church is a house for its congregation. The city can't be separated from it's people - Isaiah 62:12; Dan. 9:19 & 24. Within the city are 12 gates which has the name of the children of Israel and 12 foundations which has the names of the 12 apostles representing the church. We also see what appears to be both the church and Israel depicted in chapters 7 & 14. And is it possible that the representation of Israel here, could actually be the 144,000 witnesses?


Perhaps, this has sparked your thought process. Perhaps, you are unwilling to consider anything other than what you have been told. Perhaps, the Church is the bride. Perhaps, the bride is the New Jerusalem or the reconciliation of Israel. Perhaps, the bride is both a people and a place at the same time. I must remind the reader that this question, this doctrine, in any manner in which it is taught, does not have anything to do with your salvation. The only way is Jesus Christ.

Your thoughts and opinions are welcome.