How Old Was Joseph When He Married Mary?
Scripture tells us that Joseph was an older man when he married Mary, but there are varying views on how old Joseph was when he married her. Some conservative Christians say Joseph was an older man in his 50s or even 60s. In contrast, many other Christians say that he was closer to Mary’s age, perhaps in his 20s or 30s.
How old was Joseph when he married Mary? The answer might surprise you!1st, we look at the different beliefs about Joseph’s age when he married Mary, and last we will tell you the exact age of Joseph when he married Mary.
Men generally got married around the age of 26 during Joseph’s time
An average man would wait until he was 26 years old to get married during Jesus’ time. That’s roughly 20 years older than the typical American male is today. In other words, it’s not surprising that Joseph was at least 35-something when he married Mary.
This is an important detail because it might provide some context as to why they didn’t have kids or had children late in life. It also may shed light on why John the Baptist was so surprised when Jesus told him that he wasn’t the Messiah (Matthew 3:14).
Regardless, this information can help us better understand and appreciate what it meant to be a first-century Jewish family living in Judea under Roman occupation. It also gives us insight into how people decided who to marry back then.
Joseph was older than Mary when they married?
Joseph was much older than Mary when they married. He was over twice her age! That’s right: the Bible says that Joseph was a widower and very old when he took on responsibility for caring for Mary.
And, since he was not only responsible for taking care of his wife (likely in her last years) but also his stepson Jesus (who grew to manhood), then this means that Joseph would have been at least in his 60s or 70s by the time Jesus came into the world.
So even if we don’t know how old Joseph was when Jesus was born, it is clear from Scripture that Mary would have been no more than 16-18 years old at their wedding.
There are many questions about what happened between them and why they got married so quickly.
For example, what Joseph did during these years as an ageing widower who suddenly found himself with a young pregnant bride, etc., but whatever the circumstances were that led up to this event, I’m sure there’s nothing in scripture that teaches us that these two people had a normal relationship before marriage.
After all, think about it: how many of your friends do you know when one person is in their late 20s, and the other person is almost 50? If anything, because she was younger, there would be less opportunity for temptation.
As such, it’s reasonable to assume that Joseph never touched Mary sexually before they were married. It’s entirely possible that he never touched her sexually again after they became husband and wife, either.
Indeed, there must have been some awkwardness and shame when Joseph began raising Mary like his daughter rather than his sister-in-law once she had given birth to Jesus Christ Himself.
Again, while we don’t know precisely how old Joseph was when he died, tradition has him dying at the ripe old age of 106. But whether that was true or not, the bottom line is that he wasn’t anywhere near 14 years old when he married Mary.
Joseph was probably in his 30s when he married Mary?
Some Christians believe Joseph was an older man and not one to give in to what the culture of the time dictated. In those days, there were set ages for marriage ranging from 12-18 years old, with 18 being the most common age for young women and men to marry.
However, he would likely have been in his 30s when he married Mary. Some even claim Joseph might have been as much as ten years older than her.
There are a few reasons why we can’t know for sure:
- The Bible doesn’t specify the age difference between them
- The Gospel writers weren’t concerned about making a distinction in terms of their ages
- How long they were friends before they got married is unknown
- Joseph was quite a bit older than Mary and may have had much more worldly experience
Some scholars believe Joseph was as old as 50 when he married Mary?
Among the most hotly contested topics throughout all of Christian history is Joseph’s age when he married Mary.
In his gospel, Luke tells us that he was a righteous man hoping for the Messiah (Luke 1:5). Some scholars believe Joseph was as old as 50 when he married Mary.
Joseph would have been a widower and thus past childbearing age. Jews often remarried after the death of a spouse. However, this theory has drawn criticism because there are no examples given by rabbinic sources where an older widower remarries a younger virgin widow with children from her previous marriage.
So what was the exact age of Joseph when he married Mary?
This was one of many documents to do so. Christ tells the story of his stepfather in another early text, The History of Joseph the Carpenter, written in Egypt between the 6th and 7th centuries, claiming Joseph was 60-65 years old when he married Mary.
Based on the story of Jesus’ birth, it is still determined how old Joseph was when he married Mary. Some people believe he was a young man, but others believe he may have been an elderly widower.
For most of history, people did not live as long as they do now. So we are still determining how old he was when he married her or if she had been married and widowed before becoming his wife.