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Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by following-Him, Dec 14, 2004.
Was he ever married ?
Some theologians say he was---some say he wasn't!
i agree with balckbird
Yep. RNK, that sure is a bold position to take!
It hinges on whether or not he was a member of the Sanhedrin. If he was a member, marriage was a requirement. There is no definitive proof that he was.
Ac 22:20 And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him.
If the "consenting unto his death" meant a formal participation in the vote, Paul would have been a member. But the word "cheirotonew" is not the word that is used. Paul says that he "consented" or "gave his approval" to the action (suneudokew, a less specific word). If "cheirotonew" had been used we would know for sure as it indicates the stretching forth of the hand in a formal vote.
The more general word does not rule out formal vote, but neither is it limited to such a use.
As the text stands, the issue is unresolved. This is the closest that Scripture comes to providing a resolution to the quesion, and it stops short.
Agree, prince. Best assumption from the evidence (implicit, not explicit) he was married, with a male heir. Probably lost both before his conversion, since he is unmarried by the time of his trips/writing I Corinthians.
Or maybe he as divorced? Many Jewish women would divorce when a spouse became Christians and their husband declared "dead".
This has always been my thinking on this subject (with the exception of the male heir part). I've never heard or read anything definitive on it though. I have a book that I've read a couple of times called The Apostle . It's about Paul and addresses this very subject early on. I can't remember who wrote it, though.
Any time that I have suggested that Paul was likely divorced, I've been met with severe tongue lashings! I'm certainly not dogmatic on the subject. I don't think that you can be, though.
Eusebius' records a tradition, if I remember correctly, that Paul was married and lived apart from his wife. But it sounds unlikely in light of I Corinthians 7. Eusebius lived in a time when husbands could become monks and wives nuns even though they were still married, and this was considered and honorable thing. that kind of things seems unlikely to me for the first century.
I do not see anything that really demands that Paul be married. we often hear that only the Sanhedrin had power to put people to death. But we also see mobs of Jews trying to kill people, so I suspect there were some executions that didn't make it through the Roman government. If Paul were involved in these, I doubt the requirements for bing a witness or a judge were as strict. The part about Paul getting letters from the high priest is interesting. Is it possible for a young rabinnically trained unmarried man to do that?
Paul was a young man when he came on the scene in Acts. Apparently he started persecuting when he was a young man. He wasn't an old man yet, so I think it unlikely he had worked and politicked his way all the way to being a member of the Sanhedrin.
Also, how do we know that the requirements for judges, etc. were really followed in the first century? The source I know of for these things is Maimoinodes, who lived 300 years later. Are there any other lists of requirements besides Maimoinodes', for example in the Jerusalem Talmud?