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Question 205

Q: My pastor preaches that Paul had to be married because he was a member of the Sanhedrin.

I’ve searched the Scriptures, and I’ve found nothing stating he was. My pastor also says this was a great loss, and was one of the crosses Paul had to carry because he lost his wife and children when he found Jesus. Why did Paul not mention this in 2 Corinthians 11?

I have discussed this with some Jewish believers who are well versed in Judaism and they totally disagree. Another question is: why would someone make a stand on a position that is not in Scripture? This bothers me. Why would a teacher or pastor be so convinced on a subject that Paul never discussed?

Asked by: Steve

A: Well my brother, first of all let me say I can’t answer that last question. I don’t know why your pastor has become so dogmatic, evidently, on a point that is not mentioned in Scripture.

On his part, I think that it’s unwise and that all we can do is recognize that sometimes we may perhaps overextend ourselves in areas where we shouldn’t. Having said that, so far as I know, nowhere does the Bible say that Paul was a member of the Sanhedrin. It might be implied in certain places. It may well be that this is what Paul was moving toward, but it doesn’t say expressly in the Scriptures that he was a member of the Sanhedrin.

Furthermore, it seems to me that Paul does imply in Corinthians that he isn’t married. For us to say that he was married and lost his wife is going well beyond what the Scriptures teach. So I would say that we need to have a word of caution here. According to Scripture, it seems as if Paul wasn’t married, and until we receive further light on that, we should leave it as that.

Scripture references

  • 2 Corinthians 11

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