Betroth or NOT to Betroth, that is the question.  

  Betroth or NOT to Betroth? That is the question. 

        Words this color in "quote marks" are from Michael Pearl's article.                 

Michael Pearl, editor of "No Greater Joy" wrote an article:  "To betroth or not to betroth?"  Like talk radio, the announcer/editor controls what is printed in their own publication.  Please be advised, information was sent to the contrary to Michael even thought it was ignored.  Therefore this web page is to set the record straight on a level playing field, for the honest internet researcher. If you will read this rebuttal of Pearl's article, you will see that he is wrong.  Mr. Pearl's article is hyperlinked above, so this answer to his article can be taken in correct context. I welcome you to read his article, though I don't expect the return favor, from him. Since he didn't even bother himself to acknowledge receiving my letter below, but pretended not to have received any opposing reply to his article.  It is sad that Mr. Pearl conveniently over-looked the KJV New Testament word, ESPOUSED; because it is the Greek translation of the Hebrew BETROTHED. (Matthew1:18, Luke 1:27, Luke 2:5, and 2 Corinthians 11:2) This is a very interesting context of the most important type.  2 Corinthians 11:2  "For I am jealous over you with godly jealously: for I have espoused (or betroth - check Strong's for confirmation) you to one husband, that I may present you as a  chaste virgin to Christ."

The Apostle Paul understands betrothal as both the Jewish cultural way for properly taking a wife; and as betrothal relates to Salvation in 2 Corinthians 11:2 in regards to individual people (in the church) as their present relationship to CHRIST.

Here the Apostle Paul is clearly stating that he has BETROTHED us to one husband, even CHRIST. ref: Roman 7:4 The context following 2Cor.11:2 warns that Eve was deceived and that we should beware, lest we become corrupted from the simplicity of ourselves presently being as a chaste virgin ESPOUSED or BETROTHED to Christ, IF we are true believers.  Then we are warned about being lead astray by another Jesus, another Gospel, or another spirit.  Could that also be interpreted as another way of entering a relationship with CHRIST, other than through BETROTHAL, as God has set forth here in scripture?  

The church is referenced as the Bride, the Lamb's wife; but we are presently his ESPOUSED WIFE or BETROTHED WIFE in that the marriage has not yet taken place.  Rev.19:7 is when the marriage (the consummation) shall take place. 1Thes.4:16&17 is a description of the Consummation happening at the rapture of the Church (those properly BETROTHED to CHRIST), will be taken.  The others shall be left behind.  Matthew 25:1-10 speaks of the Jewish method of taking the BETROTHED wife. CHRIST is the bridegroom of the church.  John 3:29 CHRIST came to the earth to cut (make the sacrifice) for the BETROTHAL COVENANT with and for HIS bride and to also PAY the Bride Price for her with HIS own blood and life on Calvary. As we have heard it preached that the New Testament was the last will and testament of the dying man.  Even so, it is also the BETROTHAL COVENANT of the everlasting, eternal, spiritual promised Jewish MESSIAH, saviour of the world, for whosoever will answer the call to be a partaker of this BETROTHAL COVENANT.

Now those, whosoever will, are becoming the WISE VIRGINS of Matthew 25:1-10 and faithful according to Ephesians chapter 5, especially verse 32.  Otherwise how can the Apostle BETROTH according to 2Cor.11:2? Those like Mr. Pearl which believe BETROTH has nothing to do with the pattern of marriage are more than "Out on a limb." Ladies and Gentlemen, it's the only way you are going to get saved.  You are going to have to ACCEPT and COMPLY with Christ's BETROTHAL COVENANT for HIS church... The New Testament or you just won't be a part of HIS Bride.  It's that simple.  Read these verses and compare.  But beware of those which attempt to smear BETROTHAL using "slavery, buying and selling females," in a Natural sense for today in America.  Yet each of you were the SLAVE of SIN until CHRIST paid for your SINS, cancelled your debt, and BOUGHT you.  It's not crude Mr. Pearl, it's SALVATION if; Ye are bought with a price.  1Cor.7:23 & 1Cor.6:20  But too many Christians in America believe they are going to SAVE themselves.  Sorry, it just isn't going to happen as Christ clearly explained using the five foolish virgins in Matthew 25.

Proverbs 14:12 "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Proverbs 16:25

Mr. Pearl; how can you say out of one corner of your mouth, "Nothing of their customs was God ordained." Then out of the other corner, "If parents and children walk after the Spirit, and the community and family put in place reasonable safeguards to prevent the flesh from running away, God will have the liberty to bring couples together as he sees fit."  That's exactly what God did through the Father of  Faith for Isaac, or do you have a higher example from scripture?  You seem to have forgotten to tell us what it is.  Therefore truly you must ask yourself the question, wasn't that exactly the situation for Abraham, the FATHER of FAITH? But you demean Abraham's method's in taking a wife for Isaac his son. We would expect that from a man that quits  FATHERING   after his children reach age 18. FATHERING  is hyperlinked. But Abraham was an example of a good faithful FATHER and kept FATHERING his adult son until he died.  Is it any wonder we don't have many REAL MEN today in Christendom, when the dad's quit fathering when the child reached their 18th birth day, if not before.  We have not many FATHERS. 1Cor.4:15

Mr. Pearl wrote; "All scripture on betrothal"

"Finally, let us examine every passage were the word betrothal appears,".  Michael you totally missed the above verses and issues of the New Testament.  Either you didn't know it or you avoided it on purpose to intentionally mislead people that read your article.  Only God and you know which it is.  I would humbly recommend changing it and I would also be happy to remove my page from the net upon your repentance, correction of facts, whatever you want to call it. But until that event and change of your article, this one also needs to be available to the honest researcher.



Dale H. Sabin 
19591 Kelsay Road
Barnett, MO  65011
(573) 378-1917


This letter is not intended to be a JUDGMENT against Mr. Michael Pearl personally or his publication, NO GREATER JOY, but limited strictly to the topic and doctrine of  B E T R O T H A L ...


Mr. Michael Pearl
1000 Pearl Road
Pleasantville, TN  37033  

Dear Sir,

Greetings in the name of YaHWe-shua (the Saviour's proper Hebrew name).  Grace, peace, and wisdom be multiplied upon you.

I am writing because of your conclusion, "NOT TO BETROTH."  I realize that the word, BETROTH, is probably one of those words like: charismatic, love, or Jew. Those words have so many different meanings depending on who is using them. The nation of Israel cannot even come to a solid legal definition of, JEW.  That is to say WHO is and WHO is not one.

I am pleased and happy for your two married children.  Sounds like they are off on a good start.  Personally I believe that even they were in THE BETROTHAL STATE before becoming ONE FLESH, from the time they both said,  - I DO - entering the legal or lawful portion of marriage (or The BETROTHAL State) until that was CONSUMMATED in the flesh physically, when the twain become ONE FLESH in God's sight. Some people think without a piece of paper from the State you are not really married.  Plus,   Some people believe that - THE VOWS - is what makes twain ONE FLESH, but I don't honestly believe that and neither does common law marriage (Gen.2:24) Ordained by God in the Garden of Eden before sin nor does Black's Law Dictionary. Mr. Pearl do you have two authorities to quote from greater than mine?

Your daughter's experience came very close to what I call BETROTHAL except for three points.   

(1) I keep my daughters home under my authority until they are married (unless they rebel and roam the world) 

(2) Our approach to mate selection is on a Prayer, Discernment, UNemotional decision agreed upon by both sets of parents, the young man, and preferably the young lady being last.

Instead of a children lead - Esau Operation - waiting for the emotional butterfly of love to fall as the final decision making factor before the ritual of (asking?) her father for the RUBBER STAMP approval.  

(3) This being the BIGGEST ISSUE is that after Prayerful selection and GENERAL acquaintance and the general agreement between all six parties.  BETROTHAL is the next step in legally solidifying the decision - WHILE THE GIRL AND BOY UP TO AND UNTIL ENTERING THE BETROTHAL / MARRIAGE COVENANT are instructed and kept apart so as not to become emotionally inflamed.  At this point any fact finding, deep revealing question, discovery is to take place, with full disclosure ... for after this COVENANT IS SIGNED BY THE COUPLE it is irreversible except for the cause of fornication. To end a Betrothal must only be done under VERY SERIOUS circumstances as breach of contract. Time and allowance should also be made for any breach to be cured.

After signing the couple are allowed to BOND EMOTIONAL --- which has already happened in a much deeper degree using DATING/COURTING and ENGAGEMENT (which is easily broken), at will.  Within this safety net of BETROTHAL emotions are not to be DAMAGED. Then at the appointed time the couple are allowed to set-up house keeping of their own and CONSUMMATE THE COVENANT, (GEN.2:24) into ONE FLESH, until death do you part.

It should be added that it takes up to six mature people to properly follow the Betrothal method. Any two hot pants can "run ... to the nearest tent" Mr. Pearl.  It takes a mature young man able to speak with his parents and the bride's parents to enter Betrothal properly.  Any thing can be half done and fail.  America will take sometime for the serious committed people to find others that are fully open and honest without which betrothal will not work.  So it is the best method of finding compatibility without inflamed emotions and damage from repeated break-ups.  Any person is hurt to some measure when their expectations are not met be it a hot dating relationship or ended hopes of a betrothal. Yet in honesty who can better pick a suitable life-mate? The parents or their children? The temporary fire of emotional LOVE decision making has proven faulty for "until death do us part," witnessed by a 50% divorce rate in America.  Breaking up is hard to do, but American youth have learned to do it through multiple encounters with the opposite sex, look for that mutual magic love potion.  Betrothal has a much better track record built on commitment and family respect instead of primarily emotions.

I believe the mechanics and details are under the control of the parents, so there is no "cut and dried" method... but then again the same can be said as to the formula of - the vows - ...  no set formula or method Biblically.  No special magic words, no magic priest, no magic license, no magic papers, just simple agreement between the parties and a consummation of that agreement. So that decision can be made as logically with a clear mind for commitment using the Betrothal method, then the couple can emotionally bond... The courtship/dating model primarily leaves the couples final decision to whether they can mutually achieve emotional LOVE FIRE feelings between themselves as the final decision factor, to marry.  Some people just haven't learned we can't trust our emotions. Emotions don't yield life long commitment.

My frame work allows for yours ! But your article is very insulting and I believe even to CHRIST and the Church.  You said not one thing positive about BETROTHAL but used it in the most degrading, demeaning fashion, twisting the scriptures so much that I couldn't believe what I was reading. 

Our 21 yr. old daughter and 26 yr. old son-in-law were BETROTHED a year ago on Thanksgiving 1999, then they were given leave to come together on 2-26-00 and delivered together alone in home-birth Anna Mae on 1-2-01.  So let it not be said you have NEVER heard of a POSITIVE BETROTHAL, you now have and I have heard of several. As of this writing 12-03 they now have three children and are very happy. I hope your children are doing as well. You also have to desire to see THE TRUTH to the sacrificing of our heathen American "cherry picking"2 mentality, abortion, murderous love culture and be ready to BETROTH into the Kingdom of God. (Eph.5:32)

God has ALWAYS USED BETROTHAL so far as salvation and drawing close to God is concerned.  You don't see it but it's true. Mr. Pearl, you missed every BETROTHAL verse in the N.T. including:  2Cor.11:2  "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused (BETROTHED) you to one husband, that I may present you as a CHASTE VIRGIN to CHRIST."  By the way this is the only marriage that will last for an eternity! Because the wife is bound unto the husband as long as HE liveth.  Mr.Pearl, you call that "nothing of their customs was God ordained."  And Isaac by proxy thru Eliezer at the commandment of THE FATHER OF FAITH was betrothed to Rebekah (at her home), not when they met and consummated as you wrote (that was becoming ONE FLESH) - we haven't MET Christ yet in that way, but you tainted this one clear, perfect, example in scripture even to demean  2Cor.11:2. Shame on you, any preacher should know better or quit preaching until he understands biblical marriage.

I for ONE believe you owe your GOOD READERS and the other "95%"2 of home schoolers an apology, for CHRIST's sake. (Eph.4:32)

As for me and my house, we will BETROTH, which is the Bible way and YaHWeH's culture established before the foundation of the world.  If you're going to be in the Body of Christ, you will have to BETROTH, now in this life.

Sincerely Yours In Christ,  


P.S. your article argues with itself and sorry brother, but you really blow-it this time sending your "DOG"2 to do the work of righteousness. And don't forget, Adam paid the Bride Price of one rib BONE, and his Father picked out the Bride and decided the time frame for taking her.  BETROTHAL was there before SIN was, and it was God's way for Adam to take a wife. If you are a Son of God by grace being Betrothed to CHRIST, perhaps, just perhaps Betrothal is the correct way for us to take a wife today by faith. If we believe the Bible is our basis for faith and conduct in this present wicked and adulterous generation where even the States (as Massachusetts has) will soon join Sodomites by their marriage law and custom; we are going to have to reclaim the truth of marriage from God's word instead of men's traditions.

If you don't follow Biblical Betrothal then you might find yourself just preaching an Americanized Gospel of the tradition of men.

End of letter


"QUOTED WORDS" within the quote marks, " ", are words used in Mr. Pearl's originally printed article, except for the quote of 2 Cor.11:2.  There has been no reply from Mr. Pearl as of 12-12-2003 from the time the original letter was sent to him on 2-2-01.  Now almost three years later it is time to put this information on the internet, since Mr. Pearl has demeaned BETROTHAL in print form for a long time already.  The BLUE words in the above letter have been added to the original and second edited letters sent to Mr. Pearl.  Black print above represents the original letter sent to Mr. Pearl.

Slight changes have been made in this letter since the original was sent on the above date.  A revised copy has also been mailed to Mr. Pearl.  This letter was intended to be a short reply, for a longer explanation of the issues referenced within please contact Dale Sabin with exact questions at:


Listen to a message "I, Isaac, Take Thee Rebekah"  by a nationally known speaker and Apologist by clicking below:

Radio Program Archives - Download MP3 - RZIM

I, Isaac, Take Thee Rebekah (part 2 of 2). by Ravi Zacharias ... To download mp3: Right-click "Free mp3 download" and select "Save Target As". ... php?p=LMPT&v=detail&id=467 - 15k - Cached - Similar pages

Radio Program Archives - Download MP3 - RZIM

2005-07-31, I, Isaac, Take Thee Rebekah (part 2 of 2). 2005-07-24, I, Isaac, Take Thee Rebekah (part 1 of 2). 2005-07-17, Brittle Clay In Tender Hands (part ... php?p=LMPT&o=0&i=100 - 49k - Cached - Similar pages

I, Isaac, Take Thee, Rebekah - Planning for Marriage / Newlyweds ...

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I, Isaac, Take You, Rebekah I-II - All - Radio Broadcasts - Focus ...

I, Isaac, Take You, Rebekah I-II. ... Dr. Ravi Zacharias uses the story of Isaac and Rebekah from Genesis 24 to illustrate ... I, Isaac, Take Thee, Rebekah ... singles/cd045+i,+isaac,+take+you, - 61k - Cached - Similar pages


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Furthermore Mr. Sabin is interested in putting Betrothal Minded families in contact with one another.  If your family believes in Betrothal as the proper way to take a wife and are interested in getting to know other families with the same belief.  Then click on this to email. Please include a brief overview of your family and beliefs.  Thank you..


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