how old was mary when jesus was born


One of the most significant events in human history is the birth of Jesus Christ, known as the central figure of Christianity. In this article, we explore the age of Mary, the mother of Jesus, at the time of his birth.

Mary’s Background

Mary, also referred to as the Virgin Mary or Saint Mary, holds a revered position in Christian faith. According to biblical accounts, she was a young Jewish woman who lived in the town of Nazareth, in the region of Galilee, during the first century.

The Annunciation

how old was mary when jesus was born

The story begins with an event known as the Annunciation, where the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary. It was during this encounter that Gabriel informed Mary that she had been chosen by God to conceive and bear His son, the Messiah.

Mary’s Age

While the exact age of Mary at the time of Jesus’ birth is not explicitly mentioned in the Bible, scholars have variously estimated it based on historical and cultural contexts.

In first-century Jewish society, it was common for girls to be married at a younger age than what is typical in modern times. Most scholars agree that Mary was likely in her early-to-mid teens when Jesus was born. Some estimates suggest she could have been as young as 12 or 13, while others propose she may have been around 15 or 16.

During this period, the age of marriage was determined not only by physical maturity but also by societal and cultural norms. It is important to note that while the age of marriage was often younger in ancient times, the expectations and responsibilities placed on individuals at that age were also different from what they are today.

Cultural Context

Understanding the cultural context of the time helps shed light on the age of Mary. In ancient Jewish society, the primary purpose of marriage was procreation, and this goal was often prioritized over considerations of age or personal choice.

Families made arrangements for marriages, and young girls were typically married off when they reached a suitable age for childbearing. It is believed that Mary’s engagement to Joseph, her betrothed, would have happened at a relatively young age, with the wedding taking place soon after.


While the exact age of Mary at the time of Jesus’ birth remains uncertain, various historical and cultural factors suggest that she was likely a young teenager. This understanding provides insight into the societal norms and expectations of the time, highlighting the unique circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ. Mary’s role as the mother of Jesus holds immense significance in Christian beliefs, symbolizing her faith, devotion, and obedience to God’s plan.

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