Mary is considered a significant person in the Bible from the moment she is introduced in Luke 1:26, yet little is known about her. In the Bible, there are instances where God gives women the ability to conceive at an old age. It is common knowledge that Mary was a virgin, but many people often wonder, “How old was Mary when Jesus was born?”
Although the Bible does not clearly indicate how old Mary was during the birth of Jesus, many Christian historians speculate that Mary was around 15-16. It is important to note that according to the scriptures, Mary was betrothed to Joseph and not yet wedded. This means that Mary was relatively young since the Jewish betrothed their women at ages as early as 12.
So, does the Bible give hints of Mary’s age when she had Jesus? What do religious scholars believe was Mary’s age when she had Jesus? Are there any historical hints of Mary’s age when she had Jesus? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions.
Does the Bible give hints of Mary’s age when she had Jesus?
To begin with, Luke 1:27 clearly states that Mary was a virgin. When translated into Hebrew, the Virgin meant a young woman who has never had sexual intercourse. From that statement alone, we can speculate that Mary was young.
Another hint from the Bible on Mary’s age was her response to Angel Gabriel when he broke the news to her. In Luke 1:34, Mary asked the angel, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” This shows that Mary was mature enough to understand what it took to conceive a child, knowledge that most women would be exposed to once they got to their teenage years.
From the Bible, we can also tell that Mary is mature when she willingly accepts the Lord’s will in Luke 1:38. She is mature enough to trust in God and to believe His word without question. Mary knew the consequences of accepting God’s will would be many, as his son would be called a bastard born of fornication, as seen in John 8:41, but she was ready to deal with the consequences. This portrayed high levels of resilience that needed a mature mind.
The Bible mentions Elizabeth, who was Mary’s cousin. Elizabeth had a pregnancy that was supernatural as well. She conceived a son and was six months pregnant despite being barren. When Mary heard this, she traveled seventy miles on foot to the province of Galilee to see her cousin, as is seen in Luke 1:39. In the KJV version, the scripture states that “Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda.” Mary traveling seventy miles on foot would hint that she had abundant energy proving that she was pretty young when she gave birth to Jesus.
Therefore, despite the Bible not giving a clear and concise statement of Mary’s age when she had Jesus, we can approximate and speculate on her age bracket.
What do religious scholars believe was Mary’s age when she had Jesus?
Since there is no information in the Bible on Mary’s age when she had Jesus, many religious scholars have done extensive research that helps answer this question. Religious scholars emphasize the ancient Jewish customs concerning betrothal. It was customary for Jewish women to get engaged while young, as early as 12 years old.
The betrothal period served as a period where the couple would get to know each other and allow adequate preparation for the wedding. Although the couple lived together, they were not allowed to engage in sexual intercourse, as seen in Mary and Joseph’s relationship. This historical information aided religious scholars in approximating Mary’s age when she had Jesus.
According to Jewish customs, the betrothal period lasted about one year, leading scholars to speculate that Mary could have been 13, 14, or 15 years old. Nevertheless, no scholars suggest that Mary was 18 years or older; therefore, we can rule that age out and narrow it down to early or mid-teens.
Historical hints of Mary’s age when she had Jesus?
All drawings, paintings, and statues of Mary have one similarity. They all depict Mary as a young woman, presumably in her 20’s. This creates a common ground for all believers concerning Mary’s age. In addition to the hints in the scriptures and extensive research from scholars, the ancient historical paintings and drawings, it is evident that Mary was not at all an old woman when she had Jesus.
Whenever historians write about Mary or Theologians talk about Mary, the term “Virgin Mary” is used by most. It is common knowledge that Jesus was uniquely conceived by God’s spirit in Mary’s womb. According to history, Mary was a virgin, showing that she was young and chaste.
The other historical hint of Mary’s age when she had Jesus, which is indisputably the most common hint, is that once Jewish maidens reached the age of thirteen or fourteen, they would become marriageable. Based on this history of the Jewish custom, we are given a timeframe in which we can speculate Mary’s age when she had Jesus.
According to Britannica, Mary remained a virgin even after Jesus was born. Unlike her cousin Elizabeth who was old, it is implied that Mary was a young girl living in Nazareth. Since she remained a virgin throughout her life after giving birth to Jesus, this could imply that she still could conceive.
From this information, we can deduce that Mary had Jesus when she was in her prime fertile years presumably her teenage years. This has also been implied by many religious scholars. Therefore, she could have easily conceived another child later through sexual intercourse, but she did not.
- Does the Bible state Mary’s age during the birth of Jesus?
- Mary’s betrothal period
- Mary’s journey to Galilee
- Mary’s historical paintings and drawings
- Did Mary conceive another child?
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.