We have no ages given in the bibles or various other historical files to determine exactly how old Mary and Joseph to be at the time of your betrothal, or at the bear of Jesus. However, us do have actually an idea of once other young women and men to be betrothed and married throughout those times, and also therefore, we could assume that Mary’s and Joseph’s households followed those customs. So, if the complying with information is no definitive, it provides us much food because that thought.

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Question 1) exactly how old was Mary when she was espoused, or betrothed to Joseph?

Richard & Jeni Holzapfel:“The usual age of a girl’s betrothal was in between twelve and also twelve and a half…at puberty or a small before. The engagement made up a legally ratified marriage, since it began her deliver from her father’s authority to her husband’s, providing the legal rights over her and also giving she the status of a married woman for numerous purposes. She can be dubbed his wife or become his widow. The betrothal…lasted around a year…. the wedding proper….When the point of view of the Lord very first appeared come the young Mary, she was probably not an ext than twelve years of age and nearly certainly not an ext than fourteen” (Sisters in ~ The Well, p. 48).

Susan Easton Black: “Typically, Jewish guys were betrothed at period sixteen or seventeen, and almost never later on than period twenty. Jewish ladies were betrothed at the rather younger age, generally fourteen. It deserve to be assumed that both Joseph and Mary were young, also though apocryphal story depict Joseph as an yonsei widower” (Life and also Times of Jesus Christ, Questions and also Answers, p. 11).

Donna B. Nielsen: “The age for marital relationship was quite early on in Israel. Many rabbis hosted that young human being ought to it is in married by age eighteen, at the latest. Lock were frequently married younger 보다 that. Technically, one month after his Bar Mitzvah (Son of the Law) at period thirteen, a boy was thought about to it is in of marriageable age. Because that girls, the youngest acceptable age was twelve years and also one month” (Beloved Bridegroom, p. 2).

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Question 2) What to be Joseph’s alternatives when he discovered that mar was pregnant?

Richard & Jeni Holzapfel:“The only two logical explanations because that Mary’s condition were adultery or rape. Nevertheless, Joseph made decision not to have actually a publicly hearing to recognize whether Mary had actually been seduced or raped. In deciding versus the hearing, he was shielding her and himself not just from windy shame and questioning involved in the listening but also from the opportunity of one accusation and also conviction on the charge of seduction and adultery. “Such a conviction could result either in death by stoning as the law of Moses inquiry or much more likely in a degrading divorce (which was the only way to end the betrothal), probably with attendant indignities (such together physical and also emotional abuses) and also certainly v a bleak future because that Mary. Amongst the abuses a young mrs was exposed to to be a series of curses chanted by the world of the village: ‘Cursed it is in he that begot her, cursed be he who carried her up, cursed be he from whose loins she sprang’ (Babylonian Talmud). Joseph decided the kindest and also most humane different that the law offered.” (Sisters at The Well, p. 49)

Susan Easton Black: “According to Jewish law an annulment or divorce the a betrothal can occur in among two ways: 1) a windy trial, in i beg your pardon testimonies were openly expressed and also a referee rendered, or 2) a private agreement attested by a written record known together a bill of divorce and signed in the existence of 2 witnesses. The witnesses might be household members and also the factors for the divorce kept within a close up door circle, outside the kingdom of civil authorities.” (Life and Times the Jesus Christ, Questions and Answers, p. 11)

Question 3) If Mary offered birth come Jesus somewhere between the eras of 13 and 15, why do Christmas cards, art, and other nativities depict a woman who shows up to be in her really late teenagers or early twenties?

I think it is probably complicated for our western religious modern-day age to expropriate such a notion, due to the fact that it is clear mindboggling for united state in our American Sunday institution class. Us are certain in ours minds that kids this young couldn’t maybe be all set for marriage or childrearing. But, together Bruce R. McConkie stated, mar was about the age of Joseph Smith once he had his an initial vision…which reflects that advanced souls in spirituality things favor the Prophet Joseph and Mary, the mother of the son of God, were ready at young eras to it is in given an excellent spiritual understanding and divine appointments. Yet the human being doesn’t watch that. However, as much more and much more historical records arise from the moment period, such together the Dead Sea Scrolls, etc., more and much more facts might come out, and also perhaps newer imaginative depictions may put the “holy family” together the young adolescents they most most likely were.