Was Paul married?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Salty, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,126
    Likes Received:
    220
    Do you think that the Apostle Paul was married?

    Was she the "thorn in the flesh" (vs 8 )

    If he was married was he an effective husband by constantly being on missionary journeys?
     
  2. Martin

    Martin
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2005
    Messages:
    5,228
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't think we can know for sure if Paul was ever married. Based on his wording in 1Corinthians 7:8 it is possible he may had been married at one point. However it is clear that at the time he pinned 1Cor. 7:8 he was single. So no, Paul was not married and he did not have to worry about a wife at home when he was on his journeys (1Cor. 7:32,35).

    As for 2Cor. 12:7-10, it is a physical problem (maybe his eyesight) that prevented him from being prideful.
     
  3. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    16,632
    Likes Received:
    158
    In the Jewish culture that Paul grew up in it was expected that every male would be married by their mid-twenties. Paul says he was a Pharisee and the son of a Pharisee. It would be extremely unlikely that Paul's father had not arranged a marriage for him.

    Paul plainly states (Acts 22:3; Phil 3:4-6; and especially Gal
    1:13-14) that he followed the traditions of his people

    Many believe Paul, [Saul], was a member of the Sanhedrin. To be a member a man had to be married.

    I have read that in 1 Cor 7:8 Paul classifies himself with people who were previously married. I am not a Greek scholar and will have to let others discuss the Greek word Paul uses.


     
  4. kyredneck

    kyredneck
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    Messages:
    10,558
    Likes Received:
    273
    I've heard it preached along these lines, and generally agree. Whether Paul was ever a member of the Sanhedrin or not is not known, but it appears he was well on his way to be. Was he not, as Saul, carrying out the orders of the Sanhedrin in persecuting the Church?

    I personally believe he may have been a widower.

    ------------------------------------

    There is scriptural support for the notion that this 'thorn in the flesh' was most likely a speech impediment (like Moses), and not bad eyesight.

    And by reason of the exceeding greatness of the revelations, that I should not be exalted overmuch, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, that I should not be exalted overmuch. 2 Cor 12:7

    For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not in wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made void. 1 Cor 1:17

    1 And I, brethren, when I came unto you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.
    3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
    4 And my speech and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
    13 Which things also we speak, not in words which man`s wisdom teacheth, but which the Spirit teacheth; combining spiritual things with spiritual words. 1 Cor 2

    For, His letters, they say, are weighty and strong; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account. 2 Cor 10:10

    But though I be rude in speech, yet am I not in knowledge; nay, in every way have we made this manifest unto you in all things. 2 Cor 11:6
     
  5. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    Research showed that to be a member of the Sanhedrin one must have xyz academic and religious qualifications AND be the father of a male heir (it was an inherited position).

    Paul "suffered the loss of all things" and this may have been his wife and son(s). I think after he got saved his wife might have divorced him and he was counted as "dead" to her, her family, and Jews. Or that he was a widower, now free from the burdens of family and allowed to do his missionary/apostolic work.

    Remember, as much as "divorce" has been elevated to the unpardonable sin amoung Baptists today, it was extremely common in Paul's day, especially in Judaism. Among the Romans it was not as common since they put little value on marriage (except for alliance) and had casual sexual relations with slaves, etc.

    The sanctity of marriage and elevation of the woman is found in New Testament writing, much by Paul. Perhaps from the hardships he had faced.
     
  6. kyredneck

    kyredneck
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    Messages:
    10,558
    Likes Received:
    273
    Shame on me; I do believe that could well be the case also, but was hesitant to say it.
     
  7. John Toppass

    John Toppass
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,062
    Likes Received:
    7
    Some have speculated that Paul may have been a widower.
     
  8. Steadfast Fred

    Steadfast Fred
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,983
    Likes Received:
    0
    Paul was a Pharisee who is believed to be a member of the Sanhedrin Council. The Sanhedrin Council consisted of 71 men who were at least 30 years of age and married. As a Sanhedrin, he would have been married.

    From Easton's Bible Dictionary:
    As to whether he was divorced or not, we are not told. We do know that at the time he wrote to the Church at Corinth, he was not married... either divorced or widowed. Many believe his wife may have divorced him after his Damascus Road experience, but that is speculation.

    I do not believe his wife was his "thorn in the flesh." I believe the "thorn in the flesh" was Alexander the Coppersmith who did him much evil.
     
  9. Steadfast Fred

    Steadfast Fred
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,983
    Likes Received:
    0
    I do not believe Paul's "thorn in the flesh" was a speech impediment, nor do I believe it was visual impairment.

    I feel it was a human being that was his 'thorn in the flesh,' because Paul said it was "a messenger of satan to buffet me." Had it been a physical impairment or impediment, I believe Paul would have said, 'a message of satan to buffet me.'

    Messenger implies a person or entity.
     
  10. kyredneck

    kyredneck
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    Messages:
    10,558
    Likes Received:
    273
    ...by reason of the exceeding greatness of the revelations, that I should not be exalted overmuch, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me.....

    As a former stutterer/stammerer in my childhood, I am acutely aware of how humiliating a speech impediment can be; it certainly will keep one from being 'exalted overmuch'.

    Your thoughts/comments on this?:

    http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?t=67364
     
  11. Steadfast Fred

    Steadfast Fred
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,983
    Likes Received:
    0
    But again, the impediment would be a message, not a messenger.

    Think about the story of Zacharias and Elisabeth. A messenger came to give a message to them that they would bear a son. (John the Baptist) Zacharias doubted, and because of this, he was delivered another message. He would be dumb until the birth and naming of the child. The inability to talk was the message that Zacharias was burdened with.
     
  12. kyredneck

    kyredneck
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    Messages:
    10,558
    Likes Received:
    273
    I think you are putting the emPHASis on the wrong sylLAHbull; emphasis is on the buffeting and not message or messenger; i.e., The messenger/angel/demon/evil spirit from Satan buffeted Paul.

    The 'buffeting' was in frustrating his efforts to plainly articulate what he so desparately wanted to convey. His speech was made 'rude and of no account'. But that's JMHO. Take it or leave it. The point is: There IS scriptural support, from Paul himself, that there was something lacking in his speech.

    Again, JMHO, I wouldn't be surprised if Moses was also given this same exact 'thorn in the flesh' for the same exact reason Paul was given it; "....by reason of the exceeding greatness of the revelations, that I should not be exalted overmuch".
     
    #12 kyredneck, Aug 8, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2010
  13. Steadfast Fred

    Steadfast Fred
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,983
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, the word 'buffet,' according to the Greek, means "to rap with the fist."

    Paul was not speaking of a speech impediment, nor of visual impairment. He was speaking of someone who worked for satan who literally was using him as a punching bag.

    Paul's not being articulate had nothing to do with what he proclaimed in 2 Corinthians 12:7.
     
    #13 Steadfast Fred, Aug 8, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2010
  14. Martin

    Martin
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2005
    Messages:
    5,228
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dr. Craig Blomberg takes this position in his book, "From Pentecost To Patmos":

    "All members of the Sanhedrin had to be married (b. Sanh. 36b), and almost all rabbis were. For that matter, only a small percentage of Jewish men in the overall populace ever stayed single their whole lives. Paul's reference to being single in 1Corinthians 7:8-9 could then imply that by the mid-50s he was either a widower or a divorcee. The former would have been much more likely since few women in Jewish circles were able to divorce their husbands and, in light of Paul's own teaching in this chapter (vv. 10-16), it is highly unlikely he would have ever initiated a divorce, even if his wife had not become a follower of Jesus." (pg. 88)
     
  15. Eagle

    Eagle
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    0
    kyredneck, I am actually agreeing with you on this one! Mehbe, yer not so bad, adder all? :tongue3:

    Seriously, I think it is too much, to try to sort out messenger/message for any kind of definitive answer to this - the context of all the data together, will have to give the strength. It did seem to be a thorn in his flesh, tho.

    Moses and Paul, with similar failings, for similar reasons, by their one same Lord, for their own good, and God's glory - sounds good to me!...based on all the evidences of course. Whether eyesight, or speech, specifically, makes no difference - same effect.
     
  16. kyredneck

    kyredneck
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    Messages:
    10,558
    Likes Received:
    273
    I suggest that you are literalizing what is meant to be a metaphor. I fail to see how Alexander the coppersmith (or anyone else) literally, physically beating Paul up and pummeling him with their fists would prevent Paul from 'being over much exalted' due to 'the the exceeding greatness of the revelations' that he had recieved. I do, however, see how a speech impediment that hinders him from freely, fluently articulating these exceeding great revelations would do just that.

    Remember, Paul was 'caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter'. This thorn in the flesh may well also been given him for his own welfare.
     
  17. Steadfast Fred

    Steadfast Fred
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,983
    Likes Received:
    0
    Many believe Paul was speaking of himself being caught up into paradise in 2 Corinthians 12. I do not. I believe if Paul had been caught up into paradise, he would have been able to tell if it was in the body or out of the body. The fact that he could not tell and the fact that he said he once knew a man and that how such an one was caught up, tells me it was not him.

    And I do not believe 2 Corinthians 12:7 was a metaphor.
     
    #17 Steadfast Fred, Aug 8, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2010
  18. kyredneck

    kyredneck
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    Messages:
    10,558
    Likes Received:
    273
    You know (this could be a topic for another thread, maybe), I see a likeness or connection or similarity in a couple of other characters from Old to New Testaments.

    The connection between John the Baptist and Elijah is easy to show, but there also seems to be a likeness between Daniel and the apostle John to me in that they both seem to be favored above others, and of course, they both wrote apocolyptic books. And Moses and Paul were two great 'revelators' of their Covenants.
     
    #18 kyredneck, Aug 8, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2010
  19. RAdam

    RAdam
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    2,100
    Likes Received:
    0
    First of all, we cannot definitively know what the thorn in the flesh was. God didn't tell us so it's really not hugely important.

    Now, about a speech impediment - what would that do. Well, someone that had this problem would be more susceptible to the suggestion that he/she could not speak effectively in public to a mass gathering. I know. I would stutter and stammer all through a sermon were it not for the Lord blessing me. That is a humbler right there. It is hard to get lifted up in pride when you know for an absolute fact that you cannot get up and speak effectively to people without the Lord's help.

    Now, I'm not saying that is what Paul had. I have no idea and neither do any of you.
     
  20. Steadfast Fred

    Steadfast Fred
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,983
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know. The Bible tells me what it was...

    "... the messenger of satan to buffet me."

    It was a messenger, not a message.


    It was a messenger sent to strike him with the fist, not a speech impediment.
     

Share This Page

Loading...