More On The Parable Of The 10 Virgins

Q. Re: The parable of the 10 virgins. At the risk of beating an issue to death I have question about this parable. In reading different Bible translations for Matt. 25:10 sometimes marriage is used and others wedding banquet or wedding feast. I am a bit confused since going to the marriage is completely different than going to the feast. One way indicates the marriage is still to be and the feast indicates the marriage has taken place. In my view that changes the meaning quite a bit. If the “marriage” is a reference to the rapture this parable could be about that. If “feast” is used your view of this parable describing end of tribulation events makes more sense. Can you enlighten me as to the more correct translation?

A. In a general sense the Greek word in Matt. 25:10 can be translated marriage, but it specifically refers to the marriage feast (or wedding banquet). But there are lots of other problems trying to make this about the Church. First, like all the parables of Matt. 24-25 the timing is after the 2nd coming, not just at the end of the Tribulation. If it’s about the Church that would mean there’s no rapture.

Then, to believe it’s about the Church you have to accept that some will be admitted into the Kingdom while others will not. This means some will have exhausted their supply of the Holy Spirit (Oil), and therefore lost their salvation, while waiting for the Lord’s return. This contradicts Paul’s promise that the Holy Spirit was sealed within us at the time of belief as a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance (Ephes. 1:13-14), of which our marriage to the Lord is a major component.

And finally in no translation of the parable are these 10 women ever referred to as the bride. They’re either called virgins or bridesmaids. In fact the Greek word used here is parthenos, which simply means virgin. The Greek word for bride is nymphe. These women do not represent the Bride of Christ.

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