Questions, Insights, & Responses

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#73 - Were other Apostles in addition to Peter married?

by Robert Nguyen Cramer

This BibleTexts website administrator has very much enjoyed questions and insights that have been emailed to him ever since this site was launched in September of 1996. On this page I share with BibleTexts browsers a few of the questions, insights, and responses, so that we all can further learn from and with each other.


Question/insight #73a:

I know Peter was/had been married. Were there other Apostles who were known to be married at the time when they were Apostles?

Response #73a:

According to the synoptic gospels (Mat 8:14; Mar 1:30; Luk 4:38) and according Paul (1Co 9:5), Peter continued to be married and to take his wife with him when he traveled. Paul's authentic letters (certainly including Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, 1 Thessalonians, Galatians, Philippians, and Philemon) predated the four gospels and Acts. So he provided us with the earliest written pieces of Christian history. In one of his letters to the Christian community in Corinth, he wrote:

The biblical record in Paul's writings as well as in the gospels and Acts points to Apostles and other 1st Century Christians traveling with their wives. (Of course, Kephas, more commonly anglicized as "Cephas," was Peter's Aramaic name.)

Then there is the case of Prisca and Aquila, who are described by the writer of Acts (in Acts 18) as wife and husband. When Apollos "began to speak boldly in the synagogue" about Jesus, "Priscilla and Aquila... took him aside and explained the Way of God to him more accurately." (Acts 18:26, NRSV) This was a wife-and-husband team ministry.

In two different letters indisputably written by Paul, he mentions this wife and husband team. In Romans 16 Paul refers to them as "Prisca and Aquila" (Rom 16:3), and in 1 Corinthians 16 he refers to them as "Aquila and Prisca" (1Co 16:19) The order in which Paul refers to them (i.e., male first or female first) does not seem to be theologically important to Paul, but it may have been important for his intended purpose.

It is also very significant to note that Romans 16 was not part of Paul's letter to the Christian community in Rome, but most likely was written to the Christians in Ephesus as a letter of introduction for Phoebe, to whom Paul refers as a "deacon" and who at the time was the organizational leader of the Christian community in Cenchreae. For more details, you can read:

Follow-up Question/insight #73b:

In reading my Jerusalem Bible I see that the word "woman" is used instead of "wife." A footnote says, "Lit. 'a sister, a woman (wife?)'. To look after the apostle's needs." Why do you think the word "wife" is a preferable interpretation?

Follow-up Response #73b:

Deacon Charlie Perrin, Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, responded first by writing:

Bob Nguyen Cramer then responded by writing:

Josef (, another Ordination of Women forum participant, adds:


Copyright 1996-2002 Robert Nguyen Cramer