Luke 1:28 "Full of Grace" not found in KJV or NAB

We’re taught Mary was full of grace and therefore did not have original sin and one place this can be found is in the CCC. CCC 490 “The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as ‘full of grace’”. 133 (Note 133: Luke 1:28)

490 references Luke 1:28. This is where I wanted to ask about the different wording found in different translations. The wording in the KJV is particularly problematic especially if we are speaking with an evangelical. I was attempting to pull the bible verses for a colleague who is not catholic in an attempt to show the Hail Mary prayer is from the bible (at least the first few sentences anyway.) However I opened my CATHOLIC bible NAB version and it does not say “full of grace” but instead “favored.” Why?

From the “Catholic Study Bible NAB Revised Edition” and KJV Luke 1:28:

NAB: “and coming to her he said ‘hail favored one the Lord is with you.’”

KJV: “And the angel came in unto her and said ‘Hail thou that art highly favored: blessed art thou among women.’” However, the KJV I have says in it’s notes “Or, graciously accepted, or much graced"

However, the Douay Rheims online does have “full of grace.”

From Luke 1:28 “And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.”

Why does the Douay Rheims say “full of grace” and the NAB and KJV say “favored” or “highly favored”?

Because the Greek “kecharitomene” cannot be elegantly translated and still keep the same precision of the word. Therefore, some editorial decisions had to be made.

The Latin Vulgate went “gratia plena” which comes to us as “full of grace.”

English texts translating directly from the Greek can go “highly favoured” or “favoured one”, also suitable.

But neither “highly favoured”, “favoured one” or even the highly-touted “full of grace” captures the full power of the Greek. If you’re debating an evangelical, you can’t use the English or even the Latin. You will have to “word-study” the Greek itself: kecharitomene.

Very cool, thanks for that. You learn something new each day.

If we’re to be precise, “kecharitomene” has a root of “charitoo”; grace, and is parsed as:

passive, perfect, participle, in the vocative case

The passive voice means the action is done To the subject, not By the subject.
The perfect tense means the action was done some time in the past but its effects are continuing to the present.
That it’s a participle means that the verb “to grace, to favour” is used to describe the subject, so Mary is graced, favoured.
And the vocative case means the whole word is used as a form of address, analogous to our English practice of putting “O” before a word, e.g. “O handsome one!”; this effectively makes the word a title (note that Mary’s name is not used here, but rather, the word stands in as a kind of title).

So to be precise in English, one would need to translate the passage as “Hail, O graced one who was so before and continues to be so till now”

Kinda awkward, so “full of grace”, “gratia plena” or “favoured one” would have to do, but none of these translations even approach the full elegance and precision of the Greek.

I don’t like using Douay Rheims.

From my understanding, they didn’t translate the that bible from the Greek. They went from Latin, taking it from the Vulgate.

So , Koine Greek to Latin to English.

Meaning can obviously get lost in translation that way.

kecharitomene can be translated as highly favored or full of grace. I’ve been told the meaning of it is actually, she who is graced.

Well explained.

No problem, to each his own. I’m about to defend the Douay Rheims, but do not take my defense as if I thought in any way that you should use the Douay Rheims or that you may not hold your opinion. I think you may hold to your opinion without any changes. But I disagree with your opinion for reasons which I am about to give.

From my understanding, they didn’t translate the that bible from the Greek. They went from Latin, taking it from the Vulgate.

They did take it from the Vulgate, while comparing it to the Greek. If you check the title page of the original, 1582 Douay Rheims, here is how they described their bible:

“translated faithfully into English, out of the authentical Latin, according to the best corrected copies of the same, diligently conferred with the Greek and other editions in divers languages…[with] necessary helps…especially for the discovery of the corruptions of divers late translations.” source

In an appendix of this 1582 Bible, the translators discuss passages where recent Protestant translators mistranslated the Greek text, showing how important it was to the Douay Rheims translators to maintain fidelity to the Greek:

“A table of certain places in the New Testament corruptly translated in favor of heresies of these days in the English Editions…Wherein we do not charge our adversaries for disagreeing from the authentical Latin text (whereof much is said in the Preface) but for corrupting the Greek itself, which they pretend to translate.”

The Douay Rheims is translated from the Latin, yes, but they had the Greek right next to it, and they made sure their translation matched both. In my opinion, this means that, in a certain sense, it was translated out of both the Latin and the Greek. Moreover, the protestants translated their versions with the Latin bible right next to them, and occasionally translated out of Latin instead of the Greek. This shows up, for example, in the KJV translation of Hebrews 9:1, which I’ll give more detail about in a moment.

Another point also has to be brought out here since it is connected to the last one: neither the Protestants nor the Catholics at this time had access to modern, scientific reconstructions of the original Greek text. Catholics and Protestants all used the Greek text prepared by a Catholic scholar named Erasmus. Today, his edition of the Greek text is known as the Textus Receptus, and, in that time, this edition of the Greek text was well-known to contain errors which could not (at that time) be corrected. One example involves Hebrews 9:1, which I mentioned earlier.

For Hebrews 9:1, Erasmus’s Greek New Testament contains the words, in Greek, “the first tabernacle had also ordinances…” The Vulgate, as well as modern reconstructed Greek texts, all say, “the first covenant had also ordinances…” Now, Protestant scholars and Catholic scholars all knew that on this point, the Vulgate was correct and the Textus Receptus (Erasmus’s Greek New Testament manuscript) was wrong. So, the Protestants and the Catholics all translated this word from the Latin instead of the Greek. This is only one example – there are plenty of others.

This is one reason why Catholic scholars and some Protestant scholars, including Theodore Beza, who was an influential Calvinist at that time, all said that the Vulgate was superior to the Greek text. Not because the translation was superior to the original, that would be silly, but because their Greek texts were not the original, but error-ridden manuscripts with many variations that had not been corrected yet, whereas the Vulgate was (relatively) error-free. So it was actually quite reasonable, at the time, to translate the Latin instead of the Greek, so long as you compared the one to the other before translating and did your best to make them match. Before modern scientific reconstructions using the techniques of textual criticism, the relatively error-free Vulgate was simply more faithful to the original texts than the relatively error-ridden Textus Receptus.

All that said…don’t take this as implying that I think you must change your negative opinion about the Douay Rheims Bible. I use modern translations myself, and one reason is because modern reconstructions of the Greek text (like Nestle-Aland) are better than the Vulgate. But for their era, I think the Douay Rheims translators made a good choice, translating out of the Vulgate but keeping a Greek text right next to them and diligently comparing them to make sure they matched as best they could. And I think this fact should be more well-known today, because it was a very wise policy in my opinion.

A word about proof texts. Many denominations use Bible verses to “prove” a theological point. “Because it says so in the Bible, it must be true.” Catholic understanding of the Bible is different. The magesterium of the Church relies on two avenues of transmission, Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture. More often than not, the truth goes back to the days of the Apostles and scripture, rather than being the source of the truth, stands in the witness box to the truth. Mary’s fullness of grace is such a truth. We know that it is true because the Apostles taught it, and Luke’s gospel defends it, and to this day the Church tells us it is so. The Angelic Salutation is one of the oldest prayers of the Church. We are a people of the book, but we didn’t rely on the book for our origins.

So don’t be surprised that there are Catholic truths which Protestant Bibles, and even more scholarly recent Catholic translations, might project differently. There’s some theological editing that can go along with that, too. The deuterocanonical books were tossed by Protestant denominations because they supported such ideas as indulgences and praying for the dead. Maybe my favorite of all is using the verses from Timothy to prove that the Bible is all-sufficient, “All scripture is inspired of God” etc, when the books of the New Testament weren’t even canonized as scripture yet. Jehovah’s Witnesses translate the Great Commission in Matthew quite differently. Latter-day Saint Bibles record Jesus’ words at the Last Supper as “This is in remembrance of my body…” And don’t forget what Peter had to say about Paul’s writings, and those who would twist them to their own destruction. Look for the imprimatur, and be of good cheer.

The most powerful defense of the Immaculate Conception I’ve seen in quite awhile. Thanks!

Dear Porthos,

That was an excellent and informative post. Thank you. :thumbsup:

Grace means ‘favor’ sure. However, look at the actual words ‘grat’ and ‘grac’. That is a clue. Like Baptism is close to the word Bathing (not clearning).

Anyhow, this looks find to me:

Luke 1:28 angelus(angel) ad(the) eam(her) dixit(said) have(hail) [Mary] gratia(grace) plena(full)

Luke 1:28 the agnel said [to] her, hail [Mary] full [of] grace

In my experience, I have found the most translation based LIES, DECEIT and ODDITIES are around Mary specifically. You will learn just how much Satan hates Mary when you uncover these.

Anyhow, once upon a time I corresponded the Lord’s Prayer to scripture.

(Lk 1:28,42,43, Jdt 8:31 (NABRE), Jn 12:27, Tob 14:5?) Hail [Mary], full of grace; the Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb [Jesus]. [Holy Mary] mother of [God] pray for us [sinners] [now] AND AT the hour of [our] death. Amen.

The Scripture Alone ‘hypocrites’ - the Evangelical/Fundamentalist/Charismatics didn’t care at all that it was in scripture because they truly hate Mary in their heart and soul. Scripture always comes LAST for these people so they WILL LIE about translations at the highest levels. They care NOTHING at all about the good things Calvin or Luther said about Mary.

These people are Golems. Almost like a different creation who really exist to promote wars in the middle east and missionize Catholics world wide. They are wolves who steal Catholic sheep. Scripture is the last of their concerns. But these Golems can’t hide their hatred for Mary.

You have to witness their hatred first hand to understand it. Their souls have a core opposition and resentment toward her. Kind of like how in hell people will be mashing their teeth (in anger and opposition).

Here’s the growth in Benin (Africa) proving beyond a shadow of a doubt these monsters… these beasts… these REFORMATION-CREATED GOLEMS exists solely to STEAL Catholic sheep and work to destroy the Church and One Faith. They are not brothers and sisters in Christ. Only the topic of Mary seems to reveal who these wolves are.


I don’t trust anything English from the ‘translation industry’ as they corrupted the the Faith for English speakers until this very day. Other languages and cultures don’t have this problem. Here’s how it happened:

“The genesis of what is today called the state of “Israel” was the brainwork of 2 French Latin Church priests: John Calvin and Theadore Beza. Besides being priests, both men were trained in the legal profession.”

Theadore Beza was a French Latin Church priest, Bible translator, and the author of the English language “Geneva Bible.”

From their HQ in Geneva, Switzerland, both men (Calvin and Theadore) developed the scheme of a future state of “Israel” inhabited by “Jews.”

Beza was the first to insist, in explanatory marginal notes, that the words ‘Israel’ and ‘Zion’ always and everywhere in the Bible referred to the Jewish people or their physical homeland. (Clark, Allies for Armageddon: The Rise of Christian Zionism p. 30).

Beza’s Geneva Bible had a tremendous impact in 16th century Britain because many Christians mistook his crafty marginal notes for the inspired text itself

Beza also changed the word SO to THEN [Romans 11:26]. Then (future) all Israel shall be saved. Thus was born the system called FUTURISM or DISPENSATIONALISM which eventually led to the establishment of the state of "Israel’

2 British politicians adopted the warped scheme expounded by Calvin and Beza: Lord Shaftesbury and Lord Palmerston. Lord Shaftesbury and Lord Palmerston were the British “Fathers” of the modern state of “Israel.” Lord Palmerston is infamous as the man who instigated the U.S. Civil War.

Lord Shaftesbury’s spying cover was “Evangelical” and he was always spouting Bible verses about the Second Coming of Christ and the** end of the world**. He believed that he had to** get “Jews” back to Palestine before that event could take place**.

In 1841, Prussian King Friedrich William IV entered into an agreement with Lord Palmerston to establish an** outpost in Jerusalem**. Michael Solomon Alexander was ordained in '41 and arrived in Jerusalem in 1842.

Alexander acquired a small plot of land inside the Old City of Jerusalem and began to build a church. That church also doubled as the British consulate and a spying station.

Alexander’s mission was a dual one: encourage British Empire “Jews” to move to Palestine and throw water on the Holy Fire in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. In November 1917, prime minister Lloyd George issued the Balfour Declaration which set aside Palestine as a homeland for the British Empire “Jews.”

Financed by the BIS (Bank for International Settlements), Mussolini began a military buildup with the ultimate goal of replacing the British Mandate. In 1929, Mussolini created Vatican City State out of a small section of the city of Rome.

After the Battle of Stalingrad, unless Hitler acquired his atomic bomb, all hopes faded for Italian hegemony over Jerusalem.

Israel Zolli, the chief Rabbi of Rome, coordinated the exodus of hundreds of thousands of British Empire “Jews” from Germany, Poland, and Hungary. (CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION ALL OVER ASIA MINOR BEGINS)

With financing provided by the United States, the country was turned into a British spying base, or stationary aircraft carrier, parked in the Mideast. The [Christian] Palestinians who lived there for centuries were** expelled by force**.

There is indeed nothing more evil or Satanic in the universe than Futurism or Dispensationalism

No one asked, but IMO, the NAB and NAB/RE are in the running for weakest English language Catholic bibles ever printed. Maybe on a par with the Good News Translation, but a step below the Catholic Living Bible. NOT what Pope Pius XII had in mind as far as translating from the original languages.

Look at the footnotes regarding Mary’s Magnificat. The NAB/RE suggests that Luke made the Magnificat up and inserted it into his gospel since it fit so nicely. AYKM? The NAB/RE has Stephen the Martyr “full of grace” (Acts 6:8), but Mary is only “favored.” It goes on and on.

The RSVCE (and 2nd CE), the Knox, the 1941 Confraternity :thumbsup:, the Oxford Revised English Bible, and almost any Protestant translation with the Deuterocanon (“Apocrypha”) is substantially better.

At thrift store/eBay/Amazon prices, one may amass a decent reference library of bibles without making a major expenditure. I have both NAB and NAB/RE on my shelf, but they collect a lot of dust.

Did the King James bible ever have ‘Hail Mary, full of grace’ or did it always have ‘favoured one’?

My replica 1611 has “Haile thou that art highly favoured . . .”. The italicization indicates words that aren’t in the Greek.

I’ve heard that before about the NAB. So, what’s a good English bible?

The Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (1st or second edition) is always a good choice.

The NAB 2011 (NABRE) is also fine. It will have its detractors, but as a translation, it’s quite good, an improvement over its previous editions. If you have a 2011 NABRE, you don’t need to chuck it.

Regarding the temptations of Christ in the desert, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said "The theological debate between Jesus and the devil is a dispute over the correct interpretation of scripture and it is relevant to every period of history." Jesus of Nazareth, Vol 1, page 36

I can’t contribute anything to translating the Greek to modern English, but I know what follows the angel’s remark, is that Mary wondered what that greeting could possibly mean. Of course, that is answered by what the angel speaks next.

What I wonder is, was Jesus already incarnated when the angel spoke, was He incarnated at that moment that the angel spoke, or was He incarnated only after Mary’s response, her “fiat”?

I didn’t know this, so Erasmus had access to Greek versions of the new testament we dont? What happened to them?

Super, it is the 2nd edition 2011 version. I have another version too. It is the NAB St. Joseph ed. 1986. Assuming that is not as good?

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