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Was Peter Married In The Bible

“Was Peter Married In The Bible” is a topic that explores the marital status of one of the prominent figures in Christianity, the Apostle Peter. This topic delves into‍ the historical and biblical ‍references⁤ to shed light on whether or not Peter had a wife.



The features of “Was Peter Married​ In The Bible” include ‍an examination ‌of various biblical passages that may offer clues about Peter’s marital ​status. The discussion revolves around⁣ references to Peter’s mother-in-law, ​who ‍is mentioned in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. This prompts the question ⁢of whether Peter being referred‍ to as having‍ a mother-in-law implies that he‌ was married. Moreover, the topic explores early Christian traditions and extra-biblical sources that may provide additional insights into Peter’s marital status.



The​ discussion also⁢ delves into the ​significance of Peter’s marital status in relation ​to ⁣his role as ‍a leader in the⁤ early Christian community. The understanding of whether Peter had a wife can have

St. Matthew recorded in the Gospel, “Jesus entered Peter’s house and found Peter’s mother-in-law in bed with a fever. He took her by the hand and the fever left her” (Mt 8:14-15). Note that the passage does not mention St. Peter’s wife, but only his mother-in-law. The Gospels, however, make no mention of St. Peter’s wife, living or nonliving. Therefore, St. Peter’s wife must have died before Jesus called him to be an apostle.

For full disclosure, Clement of Alexandria (Stromata, III) (c. 202), said St. Peter was married, had children and witnessed his wife’s martyrdom in Rome. These terse points were recorded, citing Clement, in St. Eusebuis’ The History of the Church. Given the silence of other church fathers about St. Peter’s wife and children (who would have had some prominence in the history of the early church), and the lack of any archaeological evidence of ancient Rome, which holds the burial sites of St. Peter and so many other early martyrs, one would conclude St. Peter’s wife died before he had been called as an apostle.

Was Peter Married In The Bible

Apparently so, since he had a mother-in-law. Customarily the two go together. Sometimes they even remain together, both staying in a fellow’s home. This has been the source of many jokes and sad tales, none of which need be recounted here. Instead, let’s consider Matthew 8:14-15 and Luke 4:38-39, which say that Peter’s mother-in-law was sick with a fever. Jesus rebuked the fever. It left her, and she got up and served him and his companions.

What about Peter’s wife? She is nowhere mentioned. I find this strange. Imagine the scene. There is the mother-in-law, lying in bed. At her side, as one would expect, is her dutiful daughter—except that Matthew and Luke make no reference to her daughter. Leaving her out of the story is strange. It is not the way a writer would be expected to handle the incident, since a daughter usually is the one most frantic about a mother’s condition. The story is tantalizingly brief. Maybe the Evangelists decided to leave out all but the most salient facts. Or maybe it was because Peter’s wife wasn’t there—she already may have died. I think this is the most likely explanation for her non-appearance.

Those who disagree cite 1 Corinthians 9:5: “Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a wife, as the other apostles and the brethren of the Lord and Cephas?” (RSV-CE). This suggests that in his travels Peter (known as Cephas) journeyed with his wife. The issue is whether the RSV-CE and similar translations are correct. Should the underlying Greek be rendered as “wife” or as something else? I think the stronger case is with the something else.

Who Was Simon’s Wife In The Bible?

In this passage Paul defends himself and the other apostles against charges from a few disgruntled people. He says he is giving “my defense to those who would examine me” (1 Cor. 9:3). He talks about a situation that applies to himself, not just to the others, yet he certainly was not accompanied by his wife, since he had no wife. We know from other testimony of his that he was unmarried. He does not speak of a theoretical marriage, one that he might someday have but does not yet have. He responds to complaints concerning whichever women actually did accompany him and his male companions. This indicates to me that “wife” is not the right translation here.

The key Greek words in 1 Corinthians 9:5 are “adelphaen gunaika.” The first means “sister,” and the second can be translated as either “woman” or “wife.” This means the phrase translates as “sister woman” or “sister wife,” with “sister” indicating not a biological but a spiritual relationship. It would make sense for the apostles to be accompanied by “sister women” who could assist them in ministering to women—for example, at full-immersion baptisms, where a question of modesty could arise, or in cases where it would be more appropriate for a woman to perform a charitable or catechetical function.

This finds support in the Fathers. “Sister woman” is found in Jerome’s Vulgate, and Jerome wrote that “It is clear that [they] must not be seen as wives but, as we have said, as women who assisted [the apostles] with their goods” (Ad. Jovinian I, 26). Clement of Alexandria agreed, saying the women were not the wives of the apostles but were female assistants who could enter the homes of women and could teach them there (Stromata III, 6).

In short, I think Peter was a widower at the time his mother-in-law was healed.

Matthew 8:14The mention of “Peter’s wife’s mother” proves that Peter was married. His wife was likely still living, as Paul later asks in I Corinthians 9:5, “Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?” This indicates that several of the apostles were married during their ministries.Erroneously, Roman Catholics claim Peter to be the rock on which the church was built, the vicar of Christ, and the first Pope. How can they maintain, then, that it is wrong for “priests” to marry? If this were a sin, why did Christ not immediately reject Peter as an apostle, since he had a wife? It seems incredible that the Catholic Church would teach that Peter was its “first Pope,” a model to all his successors, yet forbid its priests to marry despite his being a married man!Priestly celibacy is specifically contrary to New Testament teaching (I Timothy 4:1, 3). Paul instructs, “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, . . . one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?)” (I Timothy 3:2, 4-5). Scripture makes no objection to God’s ministers having a wife. As Hebrews 13:4 declares, “Marriage is honorable among all.”


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