Revised: 10 January 2021
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The commandment “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28) has always been strongly emphasized in Judaism, both today and in the first century. It is therefore surprising that Jesus, who in every other way observed the commandments, did not marry—at least the New Testament gives no indication that he had a wife or children. On the other hand, it is not explicitly stated in the gospels that Jesus was not married. As Hilton and Marshall point out, the silence of the gospels might suggest that Jesus was married. A Jew reading the gospels might assume that Jesus was married. If Jesus had not been married, his unusual status probably would have been mentioned in the gospels (Michael Hilton with Gordian Marshall, The Gospels and Rabbinic Judaism: A Study Guide [Hoboken, NJ: Ktav, 1988], 135).