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Was Paul Married?

There has been some debate over whether the Apostle Paul was married. There is no difinitive statement in the Bible either way. However, 1 Corinthians Ch:7 raises and perhaps answers some questions. Here are the first nine verses:

1Now for the matters you wrote about. You say, "It is a good thing for a man not to have intercourse with a woman." 2Rather, in the face of so much immorality, let each man have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3The husband must give the wife what is due to her, and equally the wife must five the husband his due. 4The wife cannot claim her body as her own; it is her husband's. Equally, the husband cannot claim his body as his own; it is his wife's. 5Do not deny yourselves to one another, except when you agree to devote yourselves to prayer for a time, and to come together again afterwards; otherwise, through lack of self-control, you may be tempted by Satan. 6I say this by way of concession, not command. 7I should like everyone to be as I myself am; but each person has the gift God has granted him, one this gift and another that. 8To the unmarried and to widows I say this: it is a good thing if like me they stay as they are; 9but if they do not have self-control, they should marry. It is better to marry than to burn with desire.

This is from the Revised English Bible. The salient verses are seven and eight, the others are included for context. In verse seven Paul wishes everyone were as he was. He may be talking of his marital state, or he may be talking about his self-control. Then in next verse he says,"To the unmarried and to widows I say this: it is a good thing if like me they stay as they are." It is hard to read this any other way than that he was not married when this letter was written. However, this does not preclude that he might not have been a widower.

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Much of what we know about Paul's life is from the Book of Acts. So a good way to learn more about the life of the Apostle Paul and his teachings is to take an on-line study course covering Acts.

To learn more about his theology, study Paul's Letters:
Galatians Ephesians


We answer the question: Was the Apostle Paul Married?

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