Was the apostle Paul ever married?

The Bible never specifically tells us whether Paul was ever married. Clearly he was not married when he wrote 1 Corinthians. He identifies himself as unmarried in 1 Corinthians 7:8: "To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am." In the prior verses he wrote about having the gift of celibacy. It is possible that he was widowed at the time of the writing, or that he had never been married but later was, or both.

Some believe Paul was married at one point based on his rhetorical question in 1 Corinthians 9:5: "Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?" Perhaps his wife had passed away as he does not make mention of a wife in any of his writings.

Some believe Paul was married based on his status as a Pharisee. History tells us that to join the Sanhedrin a man must be married. Though Paul was never identified as a member of the Sanhedrin, scholars say he may have been on the path to becoming a member. He says of himself, "And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers" (Galatians 1:14).

No one today really knows Paul's marital status. It is possible that he was married at some point or that he was single his entire life. All we can do is speculate.


Related Truth:

How many books of the Bible did Paul write?

The Pauline Epistles - What are they?

Should we accept the writings of the Apostle Paul as inspired (see 1 Corinthians 7:12)?

What does the Bible teach about marriage?

World missions – What does the Bible say?


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