Was Jesus Married?

All the available evidence points to an answer of "no."

BY: Darrell L. Bock

 

It has long been believed that Jesus was single. Every detail of Scripture indicates this. When he was in ministry, there is no mention of a wife. When he was tried and crucified, there is no mention of his having a wife. After his death, there is no mention of a wife. Whenever Jesus' family is referred to, it is his brothers and sisters who are mentioned, but never a wife. Nor is there any indication that he was widowed.

Attempts to suggest that any of the many women associated with his ministry were, in fact, his wife are empty speculation. This includes the woman with the alabaster container who anointed Jesus (read Luke 7:36-50). This woman's act was shocking and would not have been nearly so surprising had she been his wife.

We can contrast Jesus to the rest of the apostles, Peter, and the brothers of the Lord, all of whom are said to have had wives (1 Corinthians 9:5). This passage shows that the church was not embarrassed to reveal that its leaders were married-or to suggest that they had the right to be. The same would have been true of Jesus, if he had been married.

It is often suggested that because Jesus was a teacher and functioned like a rabbi that he would have been married as well, since that was the Jewish custom. Sometimes it is noted that the apostles called him 'rabbi' (Mark 11:21).

However, two factors make this argument weak. First, Jesus was not technically a rabbi, nor did he portray himself as one. The apostles addressed him as such to say he was their teacher, not because he held any kind of official Jewish office. The Jews asked Jesus 'by what authority' he did certain things because he did not hold any kind of formal office within Judaism. He did not have an official position that would have permitted him to do things like act within the temple (Mark 11:28). As far as the Jewish leaders were concerned, Jesus had no recognized role within Judaism. Read another view on whether Jesus acted as a rabbi.

Continued on page 2: »

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