Please comment on Luke 2:36–38. Was Anna 84 years old, or had she been a widow for 84 years after 7 years of marriage?

Verse 37 reads,

And she [Anna] was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

To answer your question, we do not know what Luke intended here. Even in the Greek, the original language of the New Testament, a case could be made for either. However, if his wording does not mean that Anna was simply 84 years old, she would have had to marry extremely young (not an impossibility), even as young as 12. And then she would have been more than 100 years old when she saw Jesus (not an impossibility either).

A lesson we can learn from Anna’s age is simply that we need not let age keep us from actively serving, worshiping, and praising the Lord.

Do you have feedback or a Bible question to submit? Send to nolson@garbc.org or mail to Norman A. Olson in care of the Baptist Bulletin, 1300 N. Meacham Rd., Schaumburg, IL 60173-4806.

Reprinted from the Baptist Bulletin (January 1997).
© 1997 Regular Baptist Press. All rights reserved.
Used by permission.