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Some believe the Church is the Bride of Christ. Yet that term is never used in the New Testament. In Revelation the bride who is the wife of the Lamb is used (DRA):

And there came one of the seven angels, who had the vials full of the seven last plagues, and spoke with me, saying: Come, and I will shew thee the bride, the wife of the Lamb. (Rev 21:9)

Obviously Jesus Christ is the Lamb, but John's calling of Him as "The Lamb" seems to be referring to Him as John the Baptist did and is looking at the day when Israel is married to Christ. This would explain why John also refers to the bride as "the wife." 1

Paul states the Church is the Body of Christ (Romans 7:4, 12:5, 1 Corinthians 12:27) and in Ephesians seems to make the same statement using the analogy of marriage:

Being subject one to another, in the fear of Christ. Let women be subject to their husbands, as to the Lord: Because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church. He is the saviour of his body. Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so also let the wives be to their husbands in all things. (Ephesians 5:21-24)

According to Roman Catholicism is Paul's example of marriage in Ephesians the basis for the Bride of Christ and if so is the Church both the Body and the Bride of Christ?


1. If Revelation is used as the basis for the term "Bride of Christ" it is incomplete. If Christ replaces the Lamb, the correct term would be "The Bride, the Wife of the Lamb." Since John is purposeful to include both terms, his purpose should be preserved.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Flimzy, Lee Woofenden, Nathaniel, Dan, KorvinStarmast Jan 17 '17 at 2:36

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    As you know, to be in scope the question must ask for the teaching of a particular denomination or limited group of Christians. Do you want the teaching of the Catholic Church, or perhaps the Lutheran Church on this? As it stands, this looks like a 'Truth' question and is open to a wide range of opinions. – Dick Harfield Jan 16 '17 at 20:46
  • @DickHarfield Thank you for pointing that out. I have adjusted the question accordingly. – Revelation Lad Jan 16 '17 at 21:53
  • Now that you have specified a particular denomination, I happily retract my close vote. – Dick Harfield Jan 16 '17 at 22:04
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    This seems, at least on the surface, quite similar to another question: According to Catholicism, is the Body of Christ the same as the Bride of Christ? Perhaps you could explain how yours is different, or how the answers there (particularly Andrew Leach's) don't answer your question? – Nathaniel Jan 16 '17 at 23:23
  • This is NOT an opinion based question. If I wasn't eating chickens wings with one hand and typing with the other. I would be more specific. Ephesians; the Body of Christ, how, and why. Romans 7: 1-4 or maybe up to 5. the Church is the bride of Christ, and to deliverance from the curse of the law, impossible to ignore. Both appellations of the church are accurate and relevant to critical Christian doctrine. Seriously? can the Apostle be clearer? – Abstraction is everything. Jan 17 '17 at 11:20
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I think the big 3 (Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism) generally teach that both the images of the Church as the bride and body of Christ are both valid and instructive. Here is a statement from a Greek Orthodox church (The Church: Procedures for Becoming a Member of the Orthodox Christian Church):

The close association between Christ and His Church is reflected in the images from the Scriptures which declare that Christ is the Head and the Church is His Body, and that Christ is the Bridegroom and the Church is His bride. These images express the reality that the Church does not exist independently from Christ.

The image of the Church as the body of Christ is fulfilled as the Church does the will of Christ in the world. The Church carries out the instructions of Our Lord as the members of a body do what the head commands (at least this is what is supposed to happen).

The reality of the Church as the bride of Christ is fulfilled in the Eucharist as the members assemble and partake of the body and blood of the Lord.

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    Unfortunately, this answer is too broad because it covers most of Christianity, not just the Catholic Church as the OP has now clarified. Do you think you could amend it to focus on the teaching of the RCC? – Dick Harfield Jan 16 '17 at 22:03
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    "...this answer is too broad because it covers most of Christianity..." Should we avoid the attempt to gain the broadest consensus? Do the few outweigh the majority, in terms of clarifying a Christian perspective? This makes no sense to me. I think 'covering most' of Christianity should be ideal, or even half & half. I don't understand your logic here @DickHarfield. I do see an advantage in the case, being that one affiliation, greatly simplifies the search criteria. How about--What do the Patristics say, it takes work to find and synthesize the majority. It is the best evidence. – Abstraction is everything. Jan 17 '17 at 12:25

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