We know that Peter was married because Christ healed his mother-in-law. Do we know if he had children? Do we know whether any of the other apostles were married and if they had children?

5 Answers 5


Eusebius of Caesarea's Church History talks a bit about this.

He says St. Philip, at least, had 4 daughters and Sts. Peter and Paul had wives.

Clement, indeed, whose words we have just quoted, after the above-mentioned facts gives a statement, on account of those who rejected marriage, of the apostles that had wives. "Or will they," says he, "reject even the apostles? For Peter and Philip begot children; and Philip also gave his daughters in marriage. And Paul does not hesitate, in one of his epistles, to greet his wife, whom he did not take about with him, that he might not be inconvenienced in his ministry."

Church History Book III

Regarding St. Paul (although not one of the 12):

Paul was obviously unmarried when he wrote this verse. Some interpreters believe that he had previously been married and widowed; there is no clear evidence either for or against this view, which was expressed already at the end of the second century by Clement of Alexandria.

NABRE - Commentary on 1 Cor 7:8

  • Paul says he is single in his writings to the church in Corinth
    – warren
    Commented Nov 7, 2011 at 18:41
  • 2
    @warren yeah, I thought he was too, but I guess it's ambiguous - especially owing to the lack of punctuation in the ancient Greek.
    – Peter Turner
    Commented Nov 7, 2011 at 19:02
  • 1
    Did Paul not even say it was good to not have a wife like he did?
    – Neil Meyer
    Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 14:59
  • 1
    This is probably what Eusebius is referring to. - And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy. Acts 21:8-9
    – McGafter
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 9:26
  • @NeilMeyer You are referring to 1 Corinthians 7:7. I think you are right.
    – McGafter
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 9:29

There’s nothing that I know of in the Scriptures that indicate whether or not they did, aside from the mention of Peter’s mother-in-law. So, it seems we can’t know for sure.

However, the norm was that men would have wives and children. When things conform to the norm, it isn’t necessary to mention that. It is only notable if something goes against the norm. So, one reason to conclude that the apostles did have families was that this would have been the norm, and we have no mention of them being different from this norm.

I do understand that this is an argument from silence, but either side would need to be that way.

Another consideration is that if the marital status of the apostles had been in any way significant or important for us to know, then there would have been ample mention of it. We do know that Peter had a wife. The normal occurrence would be that they were all married and that they all had children.

  • Saying the Bible is totally silent on this topic is a false statement. Matthew 8:14, Mark 1:30; and Luke 4:38 talk all talk about Jesus healing Peter's Wife's Mother, which tells us that at least Peter was married. We can infer others were also married from 1 Corinthians 9:5. Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 21:44

Based upon Paul's comment in 1 Corinthians 9:5, it would certainly seem logical to conclude that each of the Disciples had wives that traveled with them in ministry. Certainly we cannot conclude that each one did have a wife as a traveling companion but the statement certainly would cause us to conclude that many if not most did. If that be the case, I believe we could also conclude that ministry was a family mission as a whole not just a "Dad" thing.

Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? 1 Corinthians 9:5

  • Welcome to the forum! It is customary to include the biblical text inline when referencing it. We want people to be able to read and understand the entire answer right here without having to go to Bible Gateway or some other site. That being said, this is an excellent reference and answer.
    – Narnian
    Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 22:06
  • @Paster Phil Stephen Welcome, how do you address that the word for "Woman"and the Word for "wife" is the exact same word? Also, how do you address the word "Adelphen" or "sister" in the discription of the Woman? Why are the Names of the Apostles Spouses never mentioned when the names of other spouse are, "the wife of Clopus" for example. I suggest to you that the english translation, as they often do, removes from the translation the actual heart of the Gospel. Which is that the apostles, after thier ministry with Christ,were fully dedicated to that ministry, and not to an earthly Spouse.
    – Marc
    Commented May 18, 2015 at 13:35

Comparing Acts 1:15-20, particularly vs. 20, with Psalm 109:6-20 demonstrates that Judas was married and that he had several children. The passage in Psalm 109 is not hyperbole; it is meant to be literal. Judas had a wife and several children. If Judas had children and was away from home for 3 1/2 years being trained for future ministry just like the other apostles, it seems reasonable to assume that the other apostles had children also since they were definitely married.

  • Welcome to the site! This next has nothing to do with the quality of your answer, it's just standard to help new visitors avoid misunderstanding the site (as I did at first.) As a new visitor, I'd recommend checking out the following two posts, which are meant to help newcomers "learn the ropes": the help page and How we are different than other sites? Commented Feb 3, 2014 at 18:25

Matthew 17:24-27 probably takes place at the house of Peter in Capernaum (Peter, being the master of the house, would have been the one to go outside to meet the tax collector). Therefore, as the narrative in this location continues into Chapter 18, when Jesus calls a child over in v2 to serve as an illustration for His teaching, it is reasonable to infer this child (likely male though the gender of the word is neutral), is Peter's as any children the other disciples had would likely not have traveled with them.

You must log in to answer this question.