Was Mary in the upper room during Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out?

by Matt Slick

An email recently where a person askedif Mary was in the upper room during Pentecost. I thought it was an interesting question so I researched it. Basically, the evidence seems to suggest that she was, but it is not definitive.  Let me explain by going to the Scripture.

  • Acts 1:13-16, "When they had entered the city, they went up to the upper room where they were staying; that is, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. 14 These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. 15 At this time Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons was there together), and said, 16 ' “Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus."
  • Acts 2:1, "When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place."


We can see that Mary was in the upper room among the 120 before Pentecost. It says in Acts 1:13-16 that the disciples were present in the upper room (v. 13) and that Mary was with them (v. 14). Though we don't know for sure, it is possible that it was the same upper room where Jesus had celebrated his Passover and the first Communion supper (Luke 22:12). But, this cannot be definitively known since Acts 2:2 says they were in a house.  But, perhaps the house had a huge upper room. 

Anyway, Peter then preached to the 120 who were present (v. 15).  He spoke of the necessity of replacing Judas.  They drew lots and Matthias was chosen (Acts 1:21-26).  Peter's preaching and their selection of Matthias would've taken time, but nothing in this text tells us how long it was. Conceivably, it would not have taken that long. 

Then at the chapter break in our English Bibles, it says "When the day of Pentecost had come (v. 2:1).  We cannot glean from the text the amount of time that passed between the teaching of Peter with the selection of Matthias, and the arrival of Pentecost (Lev. 23:15-16). We do not know if it was the same day or the next day or a day after that.

If it were the next day, it does not state if the same people were present, though it would make sense to infer that they were. After all, they had all been gathered previously (Acts 1:13-14) in that 'same?' upper room, and since Peter had been speaking about the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies, it would make sense to infer that they were all regathered or had remained together in that room. But, again the text is not clear.


So from the text we cannot definitively say that Mary was there during Pentecost. But, I think it's safe to infer that she was.





About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.