Dedication to Theophilus1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that a have been accomplished among us, 2 b just as those who c from the beginning were d eyewitnesses and e ministers of f the word g have delivered them to us, 3 it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write h an orderly account for you, i most excellent j Theophilus, 4 that you may have k certainty concerning the things l you have been taught.
Birth of John the Baptist Foretold5 m In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah ▼
▼ Greek Zachariaso of p the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both q righteous before God, walking r blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. 7 But they had no child, because s Elizabeth was barren, and t both were advanced in years. 8 Now u while he was serving as priest before God when v his division was on duty, 9 according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot w to enter x the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people y were praying z outside at the hour of incense. 11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of aa the altar of incense. 12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and ab fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for ac your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and ad you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will ae rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be af great before the Lord. And ag he must not drink wine or strong ah drink, and ai he will be aj filled with the Holy Spirit ak even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and al he will go before him am in the spirit and power of Elijah an to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and ao the disobedient to the wisdom of the just ap to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.” 18 And Zechariah said to the angel aq “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” 19 And the angel answered him, “I am ar Gabriel. as I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 And behold at you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” 21 And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in au the temple. 22 And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in av the temple. And aw he kept making signs to them and remained mute. 23 And ax when his time of ay service was ended, he went to his home. 24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, 25 “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, az to take away my reproach among people.”
Birth of Jesus Foretold26 In the sixth month the angel ba Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named bb Nazareth, 27 bc to a virgin betrothed ▼
▼ That is, legally pledged to be marriedto a man whose name was Joseph be of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings bf O favored one bg the Lord is with you!” ▼
▼ Some manuscripts add Blessed are you among women!29 But bi she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for bj you have found favor with God. 31 And behold bk you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and bl you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of bm the Most High. And the Lord God bn will give to him the throne of bo his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob bp forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” ▼
▼ Greek since I do not know a man35 And the angel answered her br “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of bs the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born ▼
▼ Some manuscripts add of youwill be called bu holy— bv the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her bw who was called barren. 37 For bx nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant ▼
▼ Greek bondservant; also verse 48of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And bz the angel departed from her.
Mary Visits Elizabeth39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into ca the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth cb was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry cc “Blessed are you among women, and cd blessed is ce the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of cf my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And cg blessed is she who believed that there would be ▼
▼ Or believed, for there will bea fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
Mary’s Song of Praise: The Magnificat46 And Mary said, ci “My cj soul ck magnifies the Lord,
47 cl and my cm spirit rejoices in cn God my Savior,
48 for co he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations cp will call me blessed;
49 for cq he who is mighty cr has done great things for me,
and cs holy is his name.
50 And ct his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 cu He has shown strength with his arm;
cv he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52 cw he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
cx and exalted those of humble estate;
53 he has filled cy the hungry with good things,
and the rich cz he has sent away empty.
54 He has da helped db his servant Israel,
dc in remembrance of his mercy,
55 dd as he spoke to our fathers,
de to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
56 And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.
The Birth of John the Baptist57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58 And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord df had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. 59 And dg on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, 60 but his mother answered, “No; dh he shall be called John.” 61 And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.” 62 And di they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. 63 And he asked for dj a writing tablet and wrote dk “His name is John.” And they all wondered. 64 dl And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue dm loosed, and he spoke dn blessing God. 65 And do fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all dp the hill country of Judea, 66 and all who heard them dq laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For dr the hand of the Lord was with him.
Zechariah’s Prophecy67 And his father Zechariah ds was filled with the Holy Spirit and dt prophesied, saying, 68 du “Blessed be the Lord dv God of Israel,
for he has dw visited and dx redeemed his people
69 and dy has raised up dz a horn of salvation for us
ea in the house of his servant David,
70 eb as ec he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71 ed that we should be saved from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us;
72 ee to show the mercy promised to our fathers
and ef to remember his holy eg covenant,
73 eh the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
74 that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him ei without fear,
75 ej in holiness and righteousness before him ek all our days.
76 And you, child, will be called el the prophet of em the Most High;
for en you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
eo in the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the ep tender mercy of our God,
whereby eq the sunrise shall er visit us ▼
▼ Or when the sunrise shall dawn upon us; some manuscripts since the sunrise has visited uset from on high
79 to eu give light to ev those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into ew the way of ex peace.”
80 ey And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was ez in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.
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