There is no evidence that Jesus had children. But is there anything in the Bible indicating that he certainly did not?

The reason for asking about the evidence of the negative: If someone says "Jesus might have children, I might have his blood in my veins" I may answer "I don't believe that Jesus had children because..." - is there anything in Bible supporting this attitude?

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    Are you asking if there is evidence that Jesus had no children?! Is there any evidence that Jesus did have children? Sep 16, 2012 at 20:28
  • Thanks, after your edit your question is more clear to me. Btw, if you want to reply to someone, please use the @<their name> syntax. Then they will be triggered that you have sent them a message. (Not necessary in this context when I reply below your question. Sep 17, 2012 at 19:35
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    Downvoters: please reconsider after the edits, personally I think it is a great question, because it is looking for a Biblical answer. Sep 17, 2012 at 19:37
  • On this topic, I can recommend Bart Ehrman's Truth and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code. Whatever else can be said about Dr. Ehrman, he makes a strong case for a historical view of Jesus as a celibate Jew. Sep 17, 2012 at 20:36

4 Answers 4


I think the clearest is prophecy in Isaiah 53:7-9:

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.

He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

  • Btw, the reference to offspring in verse 10 is apparently to spiritual offspring. Sep 17, 2012 at 19:51
  • Interesting: the meaning in Czech translation is something like and who thinks about his descendants? and the Hebrew transcription is even more surprising: generation-of him who he-shall-meditate see here
    – user508
    Sep 17, 2012 at 20:07
  • @JanTuroň: you could be right, perhaps the NIV is not so clear. In these circumstances, I look to the Amplified which does not (for me) give a clear answer on this occasion. Sep 17, 2012 at 20:16

If Jesus had children then who took care of them as he wandered from one city to another? He wouldn't be there for his wife and children.

It was mentioned in the Bible about his father, mother, and brothers but his wife nor children were not mentioned. The people around said "Your mother is here" and he gave the another definition of who his mothers or brethren should be.

Matthew 12:49-50

49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

Jesus said my meat is to do the will of who sent me, and not to eat every food I see around. Jesus knew what was before him and he couldn't mix pleasure of having a wife, children, family, life activities with the task at hand.

Matthew 19:10-12

10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the *kingdom of heaven*. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

Jesus fits the third category of eunuchs he described and as a leading and perfect example, I believe he went in that direction so others could follow. The disciples did not ask him "But you are married?"


Proving a negative is philosophically a very difficult argument to make, and in many cases is impossible. The onus would be on an historian to make a case that he did have children.

No one disputes that Moses had children. There is a record in Exodus, and a tradition. That Charlemagne had children is "proven" in that there are records of his children.

Proving that George Washington, for example, had no children is difficult. Saying that he had no legitimate heirs is simply a matter of saying, there is no evidence that he did. (Though with all the Claims, "George Washington slept here," doubtless some future historian is bound to say he bedded someone!). Proving that he had no children is only as valid as saying that no record of any progeny exists.

In the case of Jesus, there is zero evidence of any children, and zero evidence he was even married.

Because the record is so ancient, some might not consider that sufficient, however. That said, there being no evidence for, the only rational answer is to fallback on "you can't prove a negative." whilest completely true, it will nevertheless be unsatisfactory for those with an axe to grind. As such, I propose a more modern example of the same.

There is no evidence for George Washington having any children either, though I'm sure some mischievous person might choose to start a rumor. (don't believe me? Google 'Grover Cleveland' and ' Ma, Ma, Where's my Pa? Gone to the White House, Ha Ha Ha. )

In short, absent any kind of historical tradition or contemporary account (of which there is none) there is simply no way of sustaining such a claim.

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    I am looking for evidence not proof. For example, women had not the same social status as men in ancient jewish society. Shelah lived 30yrs, fathered Eber, he lived 34yrs, fathered Peleg. No mention about their wives. This is the evidence that Jesus' potential wife just might not be mentioned. Since almost everyone had children and Jesus was "like a man" means that it is more probable that he had children, no? It is not so unfounded thought as Jesus was a Martian. Or is there something somewhere in the Bible, like Messiah won't have childs?
    – user508
    Sep 16, 2012 at 23:33
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    There is nothing to suggest in Scripture that the Messiah would have progeny (in fact, I think it even says in Isaiah that he would be "cut off" from his people. ). In the case of Peleg, he had progeny, sothere is reasonable evidence to suppose a mate. In Jesus' case, there is simply nothing to indicate marriage or progeny. Sep 16, 2012 at 23:36
  • And, no - many priests and rabbis had no children. So, assuming that just bc he is a man means he had kids is rather unfOunded. Sep 16, 2012 at 23:37
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    But Jesus was neither priest, nor rabbi. I mean he was not socially obligated to follow their lifestyle. And he didn't: the Pharisee were confused about that. I mean: of course there is possible that he had no children. But it is also possible that he had some children, and nothing in the Bible is against it, is that so?
    – user508
    Sep 16, 2012 at 23:54
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    So, that was the kind of nonsense that garnered hostile reactions - I apologize, in that I thought you were making veiled reference to this theory. This theory is out there (in many many ways), but nothing that dates even close to the time period. It's all exceedingly flimsy stuff - even this fragment is nearly 400 years after the fact. The latest Gospels could not have been written after 90 AD (since we extant fragments from that period). Frankly, this theory smells like a hoax to me. Sep 19, 2012 at 23:27

I would find it very hard to believe that Jesus had children. Jesus, during the time of His ministry, took special care to talk to children, and to encourage His followers and disciples to do the same. His ministry, however, would have prevented Him from caring for and being there for His own children during their late pre-teen to early teenage years. While this wouldn't be too terrible if He had no male progeny, as daughters married away quite frequently prior to or around their early teens (although she would have been extremely poor, having no dowry, and would have been extremely devalued in that culture), a male child would have suffered much stigma for having no inheritance, no land, and no home. Additionally, the Bible very clearly labels a man who doesn't provide for his family as being worse than an infidel, yet according to Jesus, He didn't even have a stone to call a pillow.

Lastly, if He did have children, then He must surely have also had a wife, as having children out of wedlock was extremely taboo in those days in the Jewish culture. Jesus lived by the Levitical law, and would have been required to marry any woman He had intercourse with, unless she refused Him. There's never any mention of a woman traveling with Jesus, so for Him to have been married he would have had to have left his wife homeless somewhere... I think that the implications there are strong that Jesus had no children. There is, however, no conclusive proof that I am aware of in either regard.

I would dare to say that if Jesus did have children of His own it would invalidate nearly His entire ministry, as it would seem quite hypocritical the disparities between His teaching and His life if He did have children and a family for which He obviously did not provide.


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