Who was the bridegroom?
So who was the bridegroom at the marriage in Cana of
Galilee? Jesus? Perhaps we should attack the question
by first trying to ascertain precisely how many guests
Firstly, I would point out that the first guest
mentioned is, in fact, Jesus' mother: "And the third
day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the
mother of Jesus was there:" (John 2,1).
So what are the precedents for women attending wedding
parties? Given the status of women in Israel (even
Hellenised Israel), I would have to say that this one
statement tells us that Jesus' mother was not only
present at the wedding, but also that she was a very
powerful, very important figure (hence the murder of
It is often claimed that the number of pots 'after the
manner of the purifying of the Jews' is an indicator
of the number of guests - six pots, therefore six
Yet Strongs provides us with this piece of
"And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto
the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
"When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that
was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the
servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of
the feast called the bridegroom," (John 2.8-9)
The terms 'governor of the feast' and 'ruler of the
feast' are Greek architriklinos, a word which actually
tells us that there were only three couches - three
couches, therefore three guests.
So were there two pots for washing per guest, or were
half the guests women who did not indulge in the
drinking games which followed Hellenic supper? The
fact that Jesus' mother was present when the wine ran
out suggests the former, and so there appear to have
been only three guests.
The foregoing is even more startling when considered
that John 2.2 tells us that 'both Jesus was called,
and his disciples, to the marriage' - a). I can hardly
envisage that the bridegroom would have been called to
his own marriage, so I doubt that this was Jesus'
wedding; and b). Jesus' disciples do not appear to
have been guests - this means that they must have been
the servants whom Jesus ordered (this actually makes
perfect sense, given both the talk of masters and
servants switching places and the Roman festivity of
But what of Jesus himself? If his disciples were
called, yet were not guests, is there any reason to
assume that Jesus was? Was Jesus a guest, or merely
master of servants?
So, three quests, one of whom was Jesus' mother, the
other the 'governor of the feast' (who was neither
bridegroom, nor Jesus) - so who occupied the third
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