and then as a widow until the age of 84), who did not depart from the temple, serving with fasting and prayers night and day. Bible other translations

“as a widow until the age of eighty-four.” There are differences among commentators and translators as to whether Anna was eighty-four years old, or was a widow for eighty-four years on top of her seven years of marriage and the time before she was married. The Greek can be understood either way. It reads literally, “and she a widow up to eighty-four years,” which could mean she was a widow for eighty-four years or she lived as a widow up to her eighty-fourth year. On the former view, if she was married at age 14 then she would be 105 (14+7+84=105) (Hendriksen). KJV and HCSB go with the interpretation of an older Anna: e.g., “and was a widow for 84 years” (HCSB). However, we have sided with translations such as ESV and NIV, which suppose the younger age. Hendriksen provides a good summary of the arguments and sides with our translation. As he points out, verse 37 portrays Anna as being very active, daily in the temple performing the service of religious duties, praying, and fasting. This is much more likely to be the case if she were 84 rather than 105.

Commentary for: Luke 2:37