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What Does the Bible Say About..Paul's Wife?

I understand that Paul never married, so can you explain for me a verse in 1st Corinthians 9:5-7 which confused me of a word “wife” there.


There are a couple of possible explanations for Paul’s reference to a wife in the passage you mention.

The first is that Paul may have been married. Eusebius, who wrote his history in about 325 AD uses this passage to show that Paul was married. His argument is that Paul is saying here, “don’t I have a right to bring my wife along with me, like Peter and the other apostles, instead of leaving her at home.” The whole context is saying he has a right to be paid for preaching. If so, shouldn’t he have the right to take his wife with him? The argument against this is that in 1 Corinthians 7:8 Paul equates himself with the unmarried and widows. It could be that when he visited Corinth the first time he was married, but had left her in Antioch, and that she died between that time and the writing of the letter.

The other possibility is that Paul is simply saying that he has given up some rights that the other apostles enjoyed in order to preach the gospel more effectively. He would be saying, then, that he has that right (power) if he chose to use it. In the same manner he has the right to be paid for his work, even though he didn’t always choose to do so.

I hope this helps you understand this passage.