Were the Apostles Married?
Could you tell me if there is any reference in the Bible of wives and/or children of the twelve Apostles?

Excellent question.  The best reference I have to wives is the mention of Peter's wife in Matthew 8:14.  Her mother was ill and Jesus healed her.  As you probably know, Jesus made Capernaum his home after leaving Nazareth and some people believe that Jesus lived with or near Peter and his family.  In Capernaum today there is a ruin of a home that possibly could be Peter's home as it has traditionally been revered as such from ancient times.

Matthew 8:14
 14 ¶ And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever. And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.

There are several references made to the 'women' who followed the disciples.  Most scholars agree that these women were the wives, daughters, and even in many cases the mothers of these men who cared for them while they ministered.

Mark 15:40 (setting: the crucifixion in Jerusalem)
 40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.

These good women are the unsung heros of the Bible that took care of everything from cooking and laundry to charitable work and the list goes on.  They were essential to the ministry and a large group of such good women followed the Apostles wherever they went even though they are seldom mentioned.

Another thing you must understand is that in 1st century Jewish culture it was normal to be married and to have children.  Jewish thought was clear: marriage was ordained of God and was the greatest blessing and goal of all righteous men and women.  Rabbinical law required that Rabbis be married.  Marriages were arranged by parents and these unions solemnized when the children reached puberty.  Nearly all young girls and boys were betrothed during the years of 12 to 15 and they starting families immediately.  These new marriages were connected closely to the father's home so girls would generally go with their husbands to live in or near the home of her father in law.  Tents were enlarged or houses added to.  The custom continues today in the middle east especially with the arab people who will typically add another floor to their home as the children marry and start their own home.  A 3 level home is typical and the oldest family (i.e.. the grandparents) will live on the main floor and the newly weds will live on the top floor.

Bottom line is that the scriptures say little about this subject because it was normal to be married and to have children and the apostles, being Jewish, would have been no exception to this.  Paul taught Timothy that Bishops when selected should be married and have children who were obedient.  It stands to reason that if one must be married to be a bishop then likewise a man should be married to be an apostle.

 1 Timothy 3:1-6 ¶ THIS [is] a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;  Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

For more information on this subject see the article MARRIAGE AND FAMILY RELATIONS IN NEW TESTAMENT TIMES

Return