Mary as the New Eve and the significance of the word "Woman"


So, I understand the typology involved with Mary as the new Eve as displayed by Jesus calling her “woman” in John 2 and again later on the cross in John 19:26.

But what about the other places where Jesus refers to other women as “woman”? I’ll use John 4:21 as an example as it is an example from John, the same book used to make the typological examples in John 2 and 19.

(Btw, if you haven’t heard the typology explained, check out this link for an explanation. It’s very good!


There is a huge difference between “The Woman” Mary, and other women. All females are women. God Bless, Memaw


Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough with my question.

I know there’s a difference, but I’m wondering what it is.

Adam addresses Eve as “woman” in Genesis 2:23.

Jesus addresses his mother as “woman” in John 2:4 AND in John 19:26. Jesus addressing his mother as “woman” is where we (as Catholics) derive some of this Mary as the new Eve typology.

So my question is what about other places in Scripture where Jesus addresses other women (not his mother) as “woman”? Are we wrong to assume the significance of Jesus’ address, perhaps that’s just how he addresses all womenfolk?


Two differences come to mind in the way Jesus addressed Mary and the way he addressed the woman in John 4:21.

First, perhaps a major difference is that the woman in John 4:21 did not have the typological backdrop that Mary has. All the other parallels between Eve and Mary provide a context for why Jesus calls her “woman,” and that context is not there for the other women (should that be plural? I think John 4:21 is the only example) he calls “woman”.

Second, it does not strike me as unusual that Jesus would call a woman he just met “woman,” but it does strike me as unusual that He would call His mother “woman.” Perhaps Jesus intended that striking form of address to call attention to His mother, but since it’s not striking in John 4:21, it doesn’t have the same effect.

Anyway, those are my thoughts.


I think you will find your answers in Luke 11: 27-28, and Mark 3: 31-35. These cleared up the issue for me.


In Aramaic, “Woman” was a polite form of address. (Aside from the typology.)

Some have preferred to translate it “Lady” or “Madam,” but there are connotations of a noblewoman’s title in that word. Still, that’s about the level of politeness.

So yeah, Jesus is addressing his mother, and the other woman, in a very courtly, polite, formal way. It was pretty flattering for a rabbi to deign to talk with J. Random Woman (some Pharisees wouldn’t, for fear people would think they were up to no good with the woman), much less to address her as “Woman.”

Addressing your mother that way is almost too courtly and polite, which is why people see typology in it.


How do those passages clear things up? I mean, no offense, but it seems to me Jesus is pushing aside the fact He’s related to the people. Just wondering…


Typical Protestant verses used to show, in their opinion, that Mary was nothing special to Jesus, just another ordinary woman. Interpreting scripture in this way is the singular reason why there are thousands of different Protestant denominations in the world today. Not using the full content of scripture to come to a correct understanding or interpretation of something biblical is extremely dangerous. You may want to read again Acts 8:26-40 to find out why you need true successive apostolic teaching to come to an accurate understanding of scripture, then you can at last get the issue cleared up.


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