We know that Paul, a Pharisee, is single as he writes his First Letter to the Corinthians:

1 Corinthians 7:8: "But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I."

However, he also defends his perfect, Pharisaical credentials to the saints at Philippi:

Philippians 3:4b-6: "If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless."

In the New Testament, we seem to be given a glimpse of what God expects from elders (i.e. overseers, shepherds, bishops, pastors) in the service of the Church:

Titus 1:6: "An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient."

As a Pharisee, an elder of Israel, would the apostle be required to have been married, at least at one time or another?

  • Yes - Paul would have been married. Whether his wife died, or divorced him, or something else we are not told. However at the time of writing his contributions to the NT, Paul did not have a wife.
    – Dottard
    Jun 23 at 6:52
  • 1
    There is no evidence whatsoever that a Pharisee had to be married. There is no indication anywhere in scripture that Saul of Tarsus, thereafter named Paul, was ever married.
    – Nigel J
    Jun 23 at 12:47
  • Wouldn't this be more suited for judaism stackexchange?
    – Robert
    Sep 6 at 20:43