When is Mary & Joseph’s Wedding Anniversary

I noticed today (23rd January) on Twitter someone put forward the fact that it is Mary & Joseph’s Wedding Anniversary. Given the level of fake news around I figured I’d at least check this before blindly retweeting. Oh boy, I wish I hadn’t.

Firstly, religious scholars differ on whether they were married when Jesus was born and if you can’t agree on this fact how can you decide when they were actually married!

The things that can be determined seem to come mostly from the gospels of Matthew and Luke. The details get blurred when translations from ancient languages to modern struggle with the intent of words. For example, the ancient word to describe a wife can in certain contexts also simply refer to a woman.

The whole basis of the difference seems to be on whether betrothed is a state of marriage in ancient Hebrew scriptures means they were engaged or married.

There are plenty of resources, if you search, discussing these points however none address the actual date of when they married and thus their actual wedding anniversary. From our perspective it would seem they were married before Jesus was born, otherwise, why would Mary travel to Bethlehem with Joseph for the Census? He was from there and she was not thus would have travelled to her town if not married to him.

The Marriage of the Virgin (Raphael)

It is all a bit frustrating as we cannot confirm what date even if they wed before or after Jesus was born and the closest we came was someone declaring that they married in 2BC based on the latest astronomical calculations. No day through! Some photos would be good, sadly though the earliest know image was not produced until the 5th Century and it had no babies in it!

Given the slow decline in the quality of material available through the search engines I suspect we’ll not easily find an answer to this question so cannot endorse this being their wedding anniversary. I would love to hear any thoughts on their specific marriage day, feel free to comment.