What Was the Average Life Expectancy in Jesus Time?

In the time of Jesus, people lived in a very different world than we do today. The average life expectancy was much lower than it is in modern times. While it is difficult to determine an exact number, scholars estimate that the average life expectancy during this period was around 35 years.

What factors influenced this low life expectancy?

There were several factors that contributed to the low life expectancy in ancient times. One of the most significant was the prevalence of disease.

Without access to modern medicine and sanitation practices, people were much more susceptible to illness and infection. Diseases such as smallpox, typhoid fever, and tuberculosis were common and often deadly.

Poor nutrition was another major factor. People did not have access to a wide variety of foods, nor did they have knowledge about the importance of a balanced diet. Malnutrition was common, especially among the poor.

What about infant mortality?

Infant mortality was extremely high during this time period. It is estimated that up to one-third of infants died before their first birthday. This was due to a combination of factors including poor living conditions, lack of medical care for pregnant women and newborns, and inadequate nutrition.

The impact on society

The low life expectancy had a significant impact on society during this time period. People did not have the luxury of planning for long-term goals or investments in their future since they had little expectation of living past middle age. Families also had to deal with the emotional toll of losing loved ones at a much higher rate than we do today.

How did people cope?

Despite these challenges, people found ways to cope with their circumstances. Religion played an important role in providing comfort and hope for eternal life beyond death. Communities also came together to support one another through difficult times.

  • Prayer and faith provided comfort and hope.
  • Communities supported one another through difficult times.
  • Relatives and friends helped care for sick loved ones.

The impact on Jesus’ teachings

The low life expectancy during Jesus’ time likely influenced many of his teachings. He emphasized the importance of compassion and caring for those who were sick and suffering. He also spoke about the value of each individual life, regardless of their social status or wealth.


In conclusion, the average life expectancy during Jesus’ time was around 35 years. This was due to a combination of factors including disease, poor nutrition, and high infant mortality rates.

Despite these challenges, people found ways to cope with their circumstances through religion, community support, and caring for one another. These experiences likely influenced many of Jesus’ teachings about compassion and valuing each individual life.