Proponents of a rapture sometimes say that Jewish weddings staged a mock kidnapping of the bride, which is a symbol for the future rapture of the church. For example another answer quotes Nancy Missler who writes
The second part of the Jewish marriage was called the nissuin or the marriage ceremony itself. The groom often surprised his bride by his unexpected or early return.
All Jewish brides were said to be “stolen, caught up, or snatched up by surprise.” The bride was then led to the groom’s house by a wedding procession of women carrying lighted lamps, similar to the Parable of the Ten Virgins
This aspect of rapture theology would make a lot of sense if it were true. There would be a strong multi-stage parallel between the Jewish wedding custom and the history of the Church:
- an initial betrothal
- the departure of the groom for a time to build a house (John 14:2-3), while the bride prepares herself (Rev 19:7)
- the surprise return of the groom who snatches away the bride for a short time
- the public wedding ceremony and banquet with the families and community (many passages use a wedding banquet as a symbol for the afterlife)
The surprise return of the groom is easy to see in, for example, the parable of the ten virgins/bridesmaids (Matt 25:1-13), but I'm sceptical of the staging of a mock kidnapping of the bride. I haven't seen rapture proponents give any reliable references to ancient Jewish sources describing such a custom.
So is there evidence of such a custom? Or should I conclude that it was made up by rapture proponents?