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Was the apostle Paul married?

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Answer

The Bible never says whether Paul was married or not. Some think that he was at one time based on what he said in 1 Corinthians 9:5, “don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas?” If Paul was married at one time, his wife likely passed away considering he never mentions her in any of his writings. Paul declared that he had the gift of celibacy in 1 Corinthians 7:1-7.

Paul’s statement to the unmarried and widows in the Corinthian church gives evidence that he was not married at the time of his writing the letter: “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion” (1 Corinthians 7:8-9). Clearly, he was not married at that time, but whether he married afterward is also a matter of speculation.

Some believe that the apostle Paul was married because history tells us that a member of the Sanhedrin was required to be married. However, Paul never stated that he was a member of the Sanhedrin. He definitely seemed to be on the path, “I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers” (Galatians 1:14). However, Paul might not have advanced that far before he converted to Christ.

So, was the apostle Paul married? It is possible that he was at one time, but again, the Bible does not specifically say.

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