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Anna the Prophetess

Anna at the presentation of Jesus (right), from Giotto, Chapel of Scrovegni.

Anna (Hebrew: חַנָּה‎, Ancient Greek: Ἄννα) or Anna the Prophetess is a woman mentioned in the Gospel of Luke. According to that Gospel, she was an elderly Jewish woman who prophesied about Jesus at the Temple of Jerusalem. She appears in Luke 2:36–38 during the presentation of Jesus at the Temple.

Contents

  • New Testament 1
  • Church traditions and veneration 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

New Testament

The passage mentioning Anna is as follows:

From these three verses in Luke, the following is known of Anna:

Luke describes Anna as "very old." Many Bibles and older commentaries state that she was 84 years old.[1][2]

The Greek text states that "she was a widow of eighty four years".[3] The passage is ambiguous: it could mean that she was 84 years old, or that she had been a widow for 84 years,[4][5] Some scholars consider the latter to be the more likely option.[6] On this option, she could not have married younger than about age 14, and so she would have been at least 14 + 7 + 84 = 105 years old.[7]

Church traditions and veneration

The Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church commemorate Anna as a saint, Anna the Prophetess. The Eastern Orthodox Church consider Anna and Simeon the God-Receiver as the last prophets of Old Testament and observes their feast on February 3/February 16 as the synaxis (afterfeast) following the Presentation of Christ, which Orthodox tradition calls "The Meeting of Our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ".[8] Along with Simeon, the prophetess Anna is commemorated on February 3 in the Byzantine rite of the Catholic Church.[9]

Also her figure is drawn in the icons of the Presentation of Christ, together with the Holy Child and the Virgin Mary, Joseph and Simeon the God-Receiver. Orthodox tradition considers that Christ met his people, Israel, in the persons of those two, Simeon and Anna.[10]

References

  1. ^ Cyclopædia of Biblical, theological, and ecclesiastical literature Vol 1 p.235. John McClintock,James Strong. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  2. ^ Easton's Dictionary
  3. ^ UBS Greek NT καὶ αὐτὴ χήρα ὡς ἐτῶν ὀγδοηκοντατεσσάρων
  4. ^ Twelve Extraordinary Women: How God Shaped Women of the Bible, and ... – Page 136 John MacArthur – 2008 "The Greek text is ambiguous as to her exact age. (“This woman was a widow of about eighty-four years.”) It might mean literally that she had been a widow for eighty-four years. Assuming she married very young (remember, thirteen was a ..."
  5. ^ Green, Joel B., The Gospel of Luke, Eerdmans, 1997, ISBN 0-8028-2315-7, p. 151.
  6. ^ Marshall, I. Howard, The Gospel of Luke: A commentary on the Greek text, Eerdmans, 1978, ISBN 0-8028-3512-0, p. 123.
  7. ^ Elliott, J.K., "Anna's Age (Luke 2:36–37)," Novum Testamentum, Vol. 30, Fasc. 2 (Apr., 1988), pp. 100–102.
  8. ^ "Afterfeast of the Meeting of our Lord in the Temple". Orthodox Church of America. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  9. ^ February 3 is the feast day of the elder Simeon and the prophetess Anna Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh)
  10. ^ "The Meeting of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the Temple". Orthodox Church of America. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-05. 

External links

  •  "Anna".  
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