Was Paul married before he became a disciple?. My friend is telling me that he was married and it was because you had to be married in order to be in the Jewish ruling council? She is also saying that because Paul was married and his wife abandoned him, Paul is saying it’s better not to be married.  Is there any evidence that Paul was married before he became a christian?


The Bible does not specify whether Paul was married or was not married.   As far as I know, although Paul was a Pharisee, and a powerful and influential one at that, he was not an actual member of the Jewish ruling council.   He answered to them and he did their bidding, but as far as I know, he was not a member of that council.  If you have evidence to the contrary, please inform me.

About the comment of your friend, this is gross speculation.  We do not even know that he was married, and on what basis does she tell you she abandoned Paul?   Even if we can conclude that he was married (we cannot) how does your friend know that Paul’s wife abandoned him?  It is far more likely that his wife, if she existed, died.

Besides, Paul does not say that it is better not to be married.  He does say that in certain specific circumstances, it might be better to not marry.  For example if one were to be a traveling evangelist for a very persecuted church in the first century, then perhaps it might be better to not be married.  However, to say that Paul is advising in a broad sense for all circumstances that it is better not to marry is not true.

Was Paul married?  We simply do not know and anyone who is sure should be taken with a big grain of salt.  What I would conclude is that if he was married, most likely his wife died young and more likely than not he had no children who survived to adulthood.  This, if it happened, would have freed Paul for his ministry as an apostle.   Not that a married person cannot be an apostle.  There is evidence that Peter was married.   However, there is no direct evidence that Paul was married.

John Oakes

Comments are closed.