Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Bloodless Covenant of Marriage?

O. Palmer Robertson has a book (that we are reading) called The Christ of the Covenants. In it, he defines a covenant as "an oath in blood sovereignly administered", the blood referring both to the gravity of the covenant and to the fact that it is usually accompanied, usually initiated, by a sacrifice.

The point that I want to get to is the covenant of marriage, as it is one of the few "bloodless" covenants in Scripture, or so it is labeled.

In my opinion, this nomenclature is absurd.

One of the points that Robertson raises in this book is that the phrase "to make a covenant" would more appropriately be rendered "to cut a covenant". The first marriage covenant was accomplished by God (the sovereign administration) cutting open the side of Adam and creating the necessary (don't tell the Episcopals) component for marriage. The archetypal marriage--that of Christ and the church--is the same thing: the side is opened, and out flow the two sacraments, the two signs of the church, blood and water. And we refer to marriages as bloodless?

"The life of the flesh is in the blood", and the life of the one flesh union is in the one blood that is shared. If there is no one blood, the union is death and merely joins rotting flesh.


savonarolla said...

We're agreed on this point. Curious, what constitutes a marriage in your view?

Jesse Broussard said...

I would have to say that a marriage could be defined in two ways: Biblically and practically.

A Biblical marriage is when a man takes an oath (before God and the church) to emulate the actions of Christ toward His Bride in his relationship to one woman until death parts them, and the woman responds in like manner.

Practically, a marriage is a legal contract (arranged between a man and a woman) stating that each will remain sexually faithful to the other.

Poor definitions, I know, but they'll have to do for now.

By the way, who are you, might I ask?

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