The "Gospel of Matthew" portrays Jesus as a celibate 'bridegroom', whose presence disrupts traditional understandings of marriage and family and whose role as bridegroom involves not only joy but violence and separation. The bridegroom in "John" has received recent discussion, in Adeline Fehribach,'s "Women in the Life of the Bridegroom: A Feminist Historical-Literary Analysis of the Female Characters in the Fourth Gospel" (Liturgical Press, 1998), and in several articles published in "A Feminist Companion to John", vol. 2, edited by Amy-Jill Levine (Sheffield Academic Press, 2003). But the bridegroom in Matthew has not received scholarly attention. This study offers an analysis of the bridegroom and wedding imagery in the "Gospel of Matthew", specifically in the bridegroom saying (9.15), the two wedding parables (22.1-14, 25.1-13; the latter is unique to Matthew), and Matthew's teachings on marriage, divorce and family formation (e.g., 5.31-32; 19:1ff; 12:46-50). The "eunuch" saying (19:10-12) is explored in the context of a brideless and celibate bridegroom.Violence in the "Gospel of Matthew" is a topic of current discussion in Warren Carter's "Matthew in the Margins" (Orbis, 2000), and Barbara Reid's "Violent Endings in Matthew's Parables and an End to Violence" CBQ 66 (2004), pp. 237-55. This study builds on such concerns about Matthean violence and applies them specifically to Matthew's portrayal of Jesus as a bridegroom and the implications for marriage, family, gender and sexuality. For example, the "slaughter of the innocents" is discussed in terms of the bridegroom's association with violence and formation of a "fictive family." No other books address the combined issues of Jesus as a bridegroom and attendant violence of that role and how this association affects Matthew's teachings on marriage or divorce, gender and sexuality, and the formation of family.
While the Bridegroom is with Them by Marianne Blickenstaff was published by Continuum in June 2005. The ISBN for While the Bridegroom is with Them is 9780567041128.