presentation in the temple (image)

This is a contemporary tempera/gouache on leather painting by an unknown Ethiopian artist. Source: Sacred Art Pilgrim website .

Following is a painting by Chen Yuandu 陳緣督 (1902–1967):

Housed in the Société des Auxiliaires des Missions Collection – Whitworth University.

Image taken from Chinese Christian Posters . For more information on the “Ars Sacra Pekinensis” school of art, see this article , for other artworks of that school in TIPs, see here.

complete verse (Luke 2:38)

Following are a number of back-translations of Luke 2:38:

  • Nyongar: “That moment, she arrived and thanked God. She spoke to all the people, those expecting God would liberate Jerusalem. Anna told them of the child.” (Source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang)
  • Uma: “So, when Yusuf and Maria were in the House of God, Hana also arrived, saying thank you to God, and continually talking about that child to all the people who were waiting for the time when God would free the Yerusalem people from their enemies.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “She came close and thanked God and spoke about the child to the people, to whoever hoped that God would save their tribe Isra’il.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And then, while Mary and Joseph were still in the church, she arrived and she praised God because of that child. And all the people who were gathered there, whose expectancy was true that God would set free the descendants of Israel, she caused them to understand who that child was.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “At that hour in which plural Jesus were in the Temple, she arrived and thanked God. Starting-from then, she was relating-about the baby to all who were waiting for God’s setting-free of those from-Israel.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “The words of Simeon hadn’t yet ended when Ana approached Jose and spouse. She gave thanks to God. And then she kept on relating concerning that child to anyone who was also longing for the saving/freeing of them who were the Judio.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)

Translation commentary on Luke 2:38


kai autē tē hōra ‘and at that very hour,’ i.e. at the time that Jesus was presented in the temple by his parents, stronger than ‘at that time’ and suggesting that the meeting with Anna was more than just a coincidence.

epistasa anthōmologeito tō theō ‘after coming up, she returned thanks to God.’ epistasa expresses an action which precedes the action of the main verb, and is to be connected with autē tē hōra. For ephistēmi cf. on v. 9. Here it suggests the idea of approaching somebody.

anthomologeomai ‘to return praise,’ ‘to thank’; anti brings out that she thanked God in return for what He had done, i.e. the birth of the Messiah.

kai elalei peri autou ‘and she spoke about him.’ The imperfect tense has durative meaning, and suggests that she spoke about Jesus till long afterwards. autou refers to the child.

pasin tois prosdechomenois lutrōsin Ierousalēm ‘to all who were expecting the redemption of Jerusalem.’ In Old Testament passages referring to Messianic redemption, Jerusalem often represents all Israel, cf. Is. 40.2; Zeph. 3.14-20; Zech. 9.9f. For lutrōsis cf. on 1.68.


Coming up, or, ‘coming near,’ or, co-ordinating the clause and specifying the participants, ‘she came (to) stand on their side’ (Sranan Tongo).

She gave thanks to God. Some languages can use a rendering built on their normal expression for ‘Thank(fulness),’ for which see on “ungrateful” in 6.35; other languages (e.g. Bahasa Indonesia) use a specific term for thank offered to God, or say, ‘she praised God’ (Bible de Jérusalem, Tae’), ‘she praised God for his gift/deed, or, for that child’ (Tboli).

Spoke of him (or, ‘the child’), or, ‘kept on talking about him’ (Ekari).

Redemption of Jerusalem, or, ‘(God’s) redeeming (lit. action redeem) Jerusalem’ (Thai), ‘that Jerusalem would be made free,’ ‘the time that God would pull Jerusalem from its distress’ (Sranan Tongo). For redemption see references on “redeemed” in 1.68.

Quoted with permission from Reiling, J. and Swellengrebel, J.L. A Handbook on the Gospel of Luke. (UBS Handbook Series). New York: UBS, 1971. For this and other handbooks for translators see here . Make sure to also consult the Handbook on the Gospel of Mark for parallel or similar verses.