Was Paul married before his conversion?

BibleAsk Team

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Was Paul Married?

The scriptures can’t conclusively prove that Paul was married before his conversion. But Acts 26:10, says that he gave his “voice against” the saints. This indicates that he held a position in the Jewish leadership and was a member of the Sanhedrin. And members of the Sanhedrin were required to marry according the Jewish law (Talmud Sanhedrin 36b, Soncino ed., vol. 1, p. 229).

Furthermore, from his writings, it is clear that the apostle was a strict Pharisee. And a strict Pharisee would not have neglected what the Jews regarded as a sacred obligation to be united in marriage (Mishnah Yebamoth 6. 6, Soncino ed. of the Talmud, vol. 1, p. 411). And the scriptures say that he was well esteemed among the Jews for keeping his religious obligations (Acts 7:58; 8:1; 9:1, 2; 22:4, 5).

Also, his detailed counsel about being married in his epistles suggests that he was well acquainted with the problems that are common in the marriage bond. Therefore, there seems to be evidence that at some time the apostle had been united in marriage.

However, the apostle’s statement to the un-married and widows in the Corinthian church shows that he was not united in marriage at the time of his writing the letter. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn” (1 Corinthians 7:8, 9).

And since there is no mention to the apostle’s wife in his writings, it is assumed that his wife probably passed away earlier. After that, he decided that he will not marry for he declared that he had the gift of celibacy (1 Corinthians 7:1-7). And Jesus specifically referred to that gift in Matthew 19:12.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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