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Jesus the Bridegroom

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Phillip J. Long argues that Jesus combined the tradition of an eschatological banquet with a marriage metaphor in order to describe the end of the Exile as a wedding banquet. When Jesus says in Mark 2:19 that the wedding guests should not fast “while the bridegroom is with them,” he is claiming to be a bridegroom by intentionally alluding to a rich tradition from the Hebrew Bible. By eating and drinking with “tax collectors and other sinners,” Jesus was inviting people to join him in celebrating the eschatological banquet. While there is no single text in the Hebrew Bible or the literature of the Second Temple Period which states the “messiah is like a bridegroom,” the elements for such a claim are present in several texts in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Hosea. By claiming that his ministry was an ongoing wedding celebration, he signaled the end of the Exile and the restoration of Israel to her position as the Lord’s beloved wife.

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Resource Experts
  • Argues that Jesus uses banquet and marriage metaphors to describe the end of the Exile as a wedding banquet
  • Asserts that Jesus claimed his ministry was an ongoing wedding celebration
  • Emphasizes that Jesus signaled the end of the exile and the restoration of Israel as his beloved wife
  • Introduction
  • The Use of Hebrew Bible Imagery in the New Testament
  • Eschatological Banquet in Isaiah
  • A Banquet in the Wilderness
  • Israel as the Wife of the Lord
  • From the Hebrew Bible to the Historical Jesus: Banquet and the Marriage Metaphor in Second Temple Period Judaism
  • The Wedding Banquet in the Synoptic Gospels
  • Conclusions and Suggestions for Further Research

Top Highlights

“Jesus created this unique image by clustering three traditions drawn from the Hebrew Bible and applying them to his ministry. First, the eschatological age is inaugurated by a banquet eaten in the presence of God (Isa 25:6–8). Second, the end of the exile is often described as a new Exodus and a new journey through the wilderness (Isa 40–55). Third, the relationship of God and his people is often described as a marriage (Hosea, Jer 2–4).” (Page 2)

“I will therefore argue that Jesus’ combination of eschatological banquet and marriage metaphor constitutes a development of traditions present in the Hebrew Bible and that he re-applies these images to his own ministry in order to define its nature and his mission. Since this artful intertextual blending of scriptural traditions in all layers of the Synoptic Gospels (Mark, Q, M, L), this dissertation will argue that the historical Jesus is responsible for this unique combinations of traditions.” (Pages 32–33)

“Of the forty-six occurrences of the term in the Hebrew Bible, nearly half are found in Esther” (Page 45)

“When Jesus claims to be a bridegroom in Mark 2:19–20, the reader may hear echoes of previous texts such as Hos 1–3, Ps 45, or the Song of Solomon.” (Page 31)

“eschatological banquet by combining it with another common tradition drawn from the Hebrew Bible, the marriage metaphor” (Page 30)

This is a careful defense for the view that Jesus himself drew up this agenda for his mission, no matter how the New Testament crafted his actual words. . . . The book serves as a good resource for the Gospel passages dealing with these three themes.

—Mark Whitters, senior lecturer of Jewish studies, Eastern Michigan University

Long does both Old and New Testament scholarship a great service with the publication of his work on the interpretation and application of the eschatological banquet. . . . In my archaeological work at Qumran, I have seen the importance of the banquet motif to the eschatology of Second Temple Judaism, and this new study demonstrates how this carried over in Jewish-Christianity, and combined with the wedding metaphor, gave the understanding and expectation of Jesus as the Bridegroom. What a wonderful work!

—Randall Price, distinguished research professor, Liberty University

Phillip Long’s Jesus the Bridegroom is a fine contribution to the burgeoning field of intertextual studies. . . . Long’s work is characterized throughout by judicious analysis and application of both primary and secondary sources. I warmly commend this book to anyone interested in Jesus of Nazareth and his program for the renewal of Israel.

—Joe Hellerman, professor of New Testament language and literature, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, California

  • Title: Jesus the Bridegroom: The Origin of the Eschatological Feast as a Wedding Banquet in the Synoptic Gospels
  • Author: Phillip J. Long
  • Publisher: Pickwick Publications
  • Print Publication Date: 2013
  • Logos Release Date: 2015
  • Pages: 298
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Jesus Christ › Parables; Bible. N.T. Gospels › Criticism, interpretation, etc
  • ISBNs: 9781620329573, 1620329573
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-30T00:51:45Z

Phillip J. Long (Ph.D., Andrews University) is Chair of the School of Biblical Studies & Professor of Biblical Studies at Grace Christian University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Long is the author of Jesus the Bridegroom and he has contributed several articles and book reviews for theological journals. He currently serves as editor of the Journal of Grace Theology.


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    Save 25% off during the Memorial Day Sale!


    Digital list price: $27.99
    Regular price: $21.99
    Save $5.50 (25%)