Bill Mounce

For an Informed Love of God

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Monday, June 19, 2023

Was Mary One of “the Women”? (Acts 1:4)

This is a little picky thing, but it does illustrate the ascensive use of καί. Luke writes, “They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and (καί) Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers” ( NIV). My question is whether Mary was considered part of the group called “the women,” or was she outside the group?

Translating καί as “and” makes it sound like she was not part of the group (NIV, ESV). The NASB adds a comma, “women, and Mary” which separates her out even more.

I must not be the only one who feels this incongruity. The CSB has “along with the women, including Mary the mother of Jesus.” NRSV writes, “together with certain women, including Mary.” Mary was part of the group.

However, the NET has “women, along with Mary.” The NLT changes the order. “They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.” Mary was not part of the group.

Viewing καί as ascensive comes under BDAG’s second heading: “marker to indicate an additive relation that is not coordinate to connect clauses and sentences, also, likewise.

This may feel a little picky, but effective communication is clear. It may still require you to process what the words mean, but any unnecessary processing is done away with. Of course, you first have to decide what nuance you think Luke intends.


If you say” and” it seems that it will separate the fact that there were women disciples…that spread the word as did the apostles. His brother are separated because they were not disciples, in fact they weren’t even believers at first. To me the same would be true of Mary his mother. The women were disciples that followed Jesus because of who they believed he was. Not just his blood family. Of course that is just an interpretation. It’s interesting to me how we question the separation of the women but not of the brothers. If you think Luke intended to show that people of different backgrounds and genders and beliefs need to come together and pray for the Holy Spirit in order for it to be fully poured out you may understand more the separation. Men and women didn’t pray together. The learned, didn’t have respect for the doubters like Jesus brothers. Everyone must set aside gender bias, family bias, stereotypes of who can receive the Holy Spirit. Everyone had to come together in one accord before the Holy Spirit was fully poured out. Just a thought.

Good afternoon, I am having a Bible study with a Catholic friend and I was hoping to get some help with a paragraph found on a leading Catholic website ( I would appreciate any insights. Believing that Mary is full of grace is a big deal concerning the Catholic dogmas surrounding Mary's veneration; would you consider writing a newsletter addressing this? "An implicit reference can also be found in the angel’s greeting to Mary in Luke 1:28: “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you.” The phrase “full of grace” is a translation of the Greek word kecharitomene. This word represents the proper name of the person being addressed by the angel, and it therefore expresses a characteristic quality of Mary. Kecharitomene is a perfect passive participle of charitoo, meaning “to fill or endow with grace.” Since this term is in the perfect tense, it indicates a perfection of grace that is both intensive and extensive." Thank you! I appreciate the time and energy you’ve given to the students of God’s word. - Laura Riggs

Interesting comment. The lexical form of kecharitomene is χαριτόω. It is only used twice in the NT. The other reference is from Ephesians 1:6, where it is obvious that bestowing of grace is applicable to all Christians (the elect). I am quite happy to consider mary as special, but it doesn't seem to me that Luke 1:28 is conclusive.

This may also be picky, but I was just studying Acts 1:4 this morning, in the Greek, and the verse referenced here is definitely Acts1:14!

Observed the same- It's Acts 1:14 and surely not 1:4; but that is a slip of the chalk.