Was Paul married at one time?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Pastor_Bob, May 10, 2010.

  1. Pastor_Bob

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    I have heard recent debate on whether Paul the Apostle was married at some point. Some believe he was married because marriage was required of members of the Sanhedrin. Was Paul ever a member of the Sanhedrin? We know that he wasn't married when he wrote I Corinthians, but could he have been married before that?
     
  2. Crabtownboy

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    Somewhere in the past I heard it was a requirement to be married to be a Pharisee. Can't remember when or where I heard that.
     
  3. Scarlett O.

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    To me, the Bible doesn't really say. I don't recall Paul ever claiming to be a member of the Sanhedrin.

    I think some married people would like for him to be married because they can't imagine a single person doing what he did. (There are those who believe that single people just aren't as righteous as married people.)

    And I think that some single people really push the idea of him being single because they love to identify with him. (There are some single people who have a chip on their shoulder and wear it proudly.)

    The truth is that the Bible isn't specific as to whether he was married at one time prior to his conversion or not.
     
  4. lori4dogs

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    Interesting question. My first thought was that I couldn't imagine him traveling as he did around the world with a wife. Travel in those days was, of course, much more difficult and physically demanding. However, I found an article written about the subject which indicates that Clement of Alexander seemed to believe St. Paul was married but 'excercised his right not to take her on his journey's'. Included in this article is speculation as to who might have been his wife. Who knows.


    http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/corpus-paul/20001023/002254.html
     
  5. RAdam

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    1 Corinthians 7:8, 9 - "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."

    That seems to say Paul was either unmarried or a widower. He didn't seem to be married at the time this was written.
     
  6. lori4dogs

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    It would seem that way to me as well. This is what is speculated in the article I read:

    'Paul arrives in Philippi a single man. He is invited to the
    house of Lydia which becomes his base of ministry. He marries Lydia to
    avoid scandal, though their marriage may be no more than a convenience.
    When Paul moves on, he leaves Lydia in Philippi.'
     
  7. Scarlett O.

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    lori4dogs, that's an awful lot of presumption in that article. Too much for me. :flower:

     
  8. Revmitchell

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    Why would anyone care?
     
  9. sag38

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    It seems quite clear from the Biblical record that Paul was not married. No where is there even a hint. So why the nagging persistence? I think Scarlett O. gave the best reasons for this belief to continue to hang around and, the reasons seem to be more about personal agendas than actually promoting Biblical truth.
     
  10. Crabtownboy

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    There is no indication that Paul was ever married or not married. Considering the society he grew up in I expect he was married and that his wife had died by the time he became a Christian. No one can prove this either way.
     
  11. RAdam

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    And there's not a single bit of evidence to back that up. In fact, there is evidence against it. Paul wrote 1 Corinthians after his visit to Philippi. He hadn't even been to Corinth when he first arrived at Philippi. In that letter he groups himself in with the unmarried and widows. He was either unmarried or a widower.
     
  12. RAdam

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    And if that is so it works. That text from 1 Corinthians suggests he was either unmarried or a widower. Either one could be true, we don't know for sure.
     
  13. Pastor_Bob

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    Some might feel that if he were married at some point he would have a personal connection to the key passages that he wrote relative to marriage. Of course, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, all of his writing are authoritative regardless. However, there were certain instructions that Paul gave that he clearly stated were his own words and not the Lord's.

    1 Corinthians 7:12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. (KJV)
     
  14. Pastor_Bob

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    Friend, I see no "nagging persistence" whatsoever. A question has been raised and discussion has followed. I do not see where anyone has been dogmatic about it either way.
     
  15. sag38

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    The "nagging persistence" wasn't necessarily directed at you. In the past when I've heard this question asked (not in your case) it was cloaked with an agenda.
     
  16. Revmitchell

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    It is all scripture and therefore all inspired. If people want to discover this for personal reasons but it has not theological implications.
     
  17. DHK

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    The key question is: Was Paul a member of the Sanhedrin?
    I am fairly sure that all members of the Sanhedrin had to be married. If that part is true, then look at the evidence to see if he was a member of the Sanhedrin or not.

    Acts 7:58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.
    --Why was it Paul that was holding the clothes of Saul after he was stoned? This gesture would indicate that it was Saul that began the proceedings and had authority over them. It would be an indication that his authority would be directly linked to the Sanhedrin or that he was a member of it.

    Acts 22:4-5 And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.

    The expression "the estate of the elders" refers to the Sanhedrin. It was from them that he received letters of authority. This would indicate that he was in their presence, presumably part of them. His authority to persecute Christians came directly from the Sanhedrin. It seems that he was a part of them.

    Acts 22:3 I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.
    ---He was groomed and educated to be a part of the Sanhedrin. No person in that day could have received a better education than Paul. There was no better or famous teacher than Gamaliel. If you wanted to be among the "in crowd" among the Pharisees, that is where you would go to receive your education. He was taught "according to the 'perfect manner' of the law of the fathers. His education alone would point him toward being a member of the Sanhedrin.

    Taking all the evidence above and putting it together, I would say that he definitely was a member of the Sanhedrin, and that being the case was at some time in his life became a widower.
     
  18. Loveday

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    It would be interesting to me from a purely historical perspective to know if he was married at any point in time. But from a theological perspective, to me it's totally unimportant.
     
  19. billwald

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    >However, there were certain instructions that Paul gave that he clearly stated were his own words and not the Lord's.

    1 Corinthians 7:12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. (KJV)

    Then this verse should be ignored?
     
  20. lori4dogs

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    I see no theological importance one way or the other. St. Paul's writings concerning marriage are by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, therefore it doesn't matter whether or not he had the experience of marriage.
     

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