Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us,
just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us,
it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus,
that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.
There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife [was] of the daughters of Aaron, and her name [was] Elizabeth.
And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.
So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division,
according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.
And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense.
Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
And when Zacharias saw [him,] he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
"And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.
"For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.
"And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.
"He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, 'to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,' and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
And Zacharias said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years."
And the angel answered and said to him, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings.
"But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time."
And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple.
But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless.
And so it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house.
Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying,
"Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on [me,] to take away my reproach among people."
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name [was] Mary.
And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored [one,] the Lord [is] with you; blessed [are] you among women!"
But when she saw [him,] she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.
Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
"And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.
"He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.
"And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."
Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?"
And the angel answered and said to her, "[The] Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.
"Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.
"For with God nothing will be impossible."
Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.
Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah,
and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.
And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed [are] you among women, and blessed [is] the fruit of your womb!
"But why [is] this [granted] to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
"For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
"Blessed [is] she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord."
And Mary said: "My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy [is] His name.
And His mercy [is] on those who fear Him From generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered [the] proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from [their] thrones, And exalted [the] lowly.
He has filled [the] hungry with good things, And [the] rich He has sent away empty.
He has helped His servant Israel, In remembrance of [His] mercy,
As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and to his seed forever."
And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.
Now Elizabeth's full time came for her to be delivered, and she brought forth a son.
When her neighbors and relatives heard how the Lord had shown great mercy to her, they rejoiced with her.
So it was, on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child; and they would have called him by the name of his father, Zacharias.
His mother answered and said, "No; he shall be called John."
But they said to her, "There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name."
So they made signs to his father -- what he would have him called.
And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, saying, "His name is John." So they all marveled.
Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue [loosed,] and he spoke, praising God.
Then fear came on all who dwelt around them; and all these sayings were discussed throughout all the hill country of Judea.
And all those who heard [them] kept [them] in their hearts, saying, "What kind of child will this be?" And the hand of the Lord was with him.
Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:
"Blessed [is] the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited and redeemed His people,
And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His servant David,
As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, Who [have been] since the world began,
That we should be saved from our enemies And from the hand of all who hate us,
To perform the mercy [promised] to our fathers And to remember His holy covenant,
The oath which He swore to our father Abraham:
To grant us that we, Being delivered from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear,
In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.
"And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways,
To give knowledge of salvation to His people By the remission of their sins,
Through the tender mercy of our God, With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us;
To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace."
So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.
And it came to pass in those days [that] a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.
This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.
So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.
So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
"For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
"And this [will be] the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
"Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"
So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us."
And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.
Now when they had seen [Him,] they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.
And all those who heard [it] marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things and pondered [them] in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called JESUS, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present [Him] to the Lord
(as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the LORD"),
and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons."
And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law,
he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:
"Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word;
For my eyes have seen Your salvation
Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,
A light to [bring] revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel."
And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him.
Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this [Child] is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against
"(yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."
Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity;
and this woman [was] a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served [God] with fastings and prayers night and day.
And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their [own] city, Nazareth.
And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.
His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover.
And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast.
When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know [it;]
but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day's journey, and sought Him among [their] relatives and acquaintances.
So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him.
Now so it was [that] after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions.
And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.
So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, "Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously."
And He said to them, "Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?"
But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.
Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart.
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene,
while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.
And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins,
as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough ways smooth;
And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.' "
Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
"Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as [our] father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
"And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."
So the people asked him, saying, "What shall we do then?"
He answered and said to them, "He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise."
Then tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, "Teacher, what shall we do?"
And he said to them, "Collect no more than what is appointed for you."
Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, "And what shall we do?" So he said to them, "Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages."
Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ [or] not,
John answered, saying to all, "I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
"His winnowing fan [is] in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire."
And with many other exhortations he preached to the people.
But Herod the tetrarch, being rebuked by him concerning Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done,
also added this, above all, that he shut John up in prison.
When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened.
And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, "You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased."
Now Jesus Himself began [His ministry at] about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) [the] son of Joseph, [the son] of Heli,
[the son] of Matthat, [the son] of Levi, [the son] of Melchi, [the son] of Janna, [the son] of Joseph,
[the son] of Mattathiah, [the son] of Amos, [the son] of Nahum, [the son] of Esli, [the son] of Naggai,
[the son] of Maath, [the son] of Mattathiah, [the son] of Semei, [the son] of Joseph, [the son] of Judah,
[the son] of Joannas, [the son] of Rhesa, [the son] of Zerubbabel, [the son] of Shealtiel, [the son] of Neri,
[the son] of Melchi, [the son] of Addi, [the son] of Cosam, [the son] of Elmodam, [the son] of Er,
[the son] of Jose, [the son] of Eliezer, [the son] of Jorim, [the son] of Matthat, [the son] of Levi,
[the son] of Simeon, [the son] of Judah, [the son] of Joseph, [the son] of Jonan, [the son] of Eliakim,
[the son] of Melea, [the son] of Menan, [the son] of Mattathah, [the son] of Nathan, [the son] of David,
[the son] of Jesse, [the son] of Obed, [the son] of Boaz, [the son] of Salmon, [the son] of Nahshon,
[the son] of Amminadab, [the son] of Ram, [the son] of Hezron, [the son] of Perez, [the son] of Judah,
[the son] of Jacob, [the son] of Isaac, [the son] of Abraham, [the son] of Terah, [the son] of Nahor,
[the son] of Serug, [the son] of Reu, [the son] of Peleg, [the son] of Eber, [the son] of Shelah,
[the son] of Cainan, [the son] of Arphaxad, [the son] of Shem, [the son] of Noah, [the son] of Lamech,
[the son] of Methuselah, [the son] of Enoch, [the son] of Jared, [the son] of Mahalalel, [the son] of Cainan,
[the son] of Enos, [the son] of Seth, [the son] of Adam, [the son] of God.