1 SINCE many have attempted to compose a narrative of facts, confirmed to us by the fullest evidence: 2 exactly as they delivered them to us, who were eve witnesses from the first, and ministers of the word; 3 it seemed right to me also, having obtained accurate knowledge of all things from above, to write to thee in regular order, most excellent Theophilus, 4 to the intent that thou mayest clearly know the certainty of those matters, concerning which thou hast been instructed.
5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abiah: and his wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name Elisabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7 And they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were far advanced in years.
8 And it came to pass, as he discharged his priestly office in the order of his periodical ministration before God, 9 according to the custom of the priesthood, it fell to his lot to burn the incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10 And all the multitude of people was praying without, at the time of the burning the incense. 11 And an angel of the Lord appeared to him standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And Zacharias was agitated greatly at the sight, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bring thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. 14 And it shall give thee joy and exultation; and many shall rejoice at his birth: 15 for he shall be great in the sight of the Lord; and he shall never drink wine, nor any intoxicating liquor; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. 16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn unto the Lord, their God. 17 And he shall go forth before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to convert the hearts of fathers with their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to prepare a people ready for the Lord.
18 And Zacharias said to the angel, By what shall I know this? for I am old, and my wife far advanced in her age.
19 And the angel answering said to him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and I have been sent to speak to thee, and to proclaim these glad tidings to thee. 20 And behold, thou shalt be dumb, and unable to speak, until that day when these things shall come to pass, because thou hast not believed my words, which shall be fulfilled at their exact time.
21 And the people were waiting for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple. 22 And when he came out, he could not speak to them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he himself made signs to them, and continued deaf and dumb. 23 And it came to pass, when the days of his ministry were fulfilled, he went to his own house.
24 And after those days Elisabeth his wife conceived, and kept herself in retirement five months, saying, 25 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days in which he looked upon me to take away my reproach among men.
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, the name of which was Nazareth, 27 to a virgin of the house of David, betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And the angel coming in to her said, All hail! O thou highly favoured one! the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was greatly agitated at his address: and reasoned in herself what kind of salutation this could be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father; 33 and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
35 And the angel answering said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee; wherefore also the Holy One that shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God.
36 And, behold, Elisabeth thy cousin, she also hath conceived in her old age: and this is the fifth month [of pregnancy] with her who was called barren. 37 For there is nothing impossible with God.
38 Then said Mary, Behold a servant of the Lord, be it to me according to thy declaration. And the angel departed from her.
39 Then Mary arose in those days, and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, 40 and entered into the house of Zachariah, and saluted Elisabeth. 41 And it came to pass, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped for joy in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: 42 and she exclaimed with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
43 And whence is this favour shewn me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For, lo! as the voice of thy salutation reached my ears, the babe leaped for joy in my womb. 45 And blessed is she that hath believed; for there shall be a fulfilment of the things told her from the Lord.
46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47 and my spirit hath exulted in God my Saviour: 48 for he hath looked upon the lowly state of his maid-servant: for, lo! henceforth shall all generations pronounce me blessed. 49 For the Mighty One hath done great things for me; and holy is his name. 50 And his mercy is upon those who fear him, from generation to generation. 51 He hath displayed strength from his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 52 He hath cast down potentates from the throne, and hath exalted the lowly. 53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. 54 He hath succoured Israel his servant, that he might be mindful of mercy for ever; 55 as he had spoken to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed.
56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned unto her home. 57 Now Elisabeth's time was up that she should be delivered; and she brought a son. 58 And her neighbours and her relations heard, that the Lord had magnified his mercy upon her; and they congratulated her.
59 And it came to pass, on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him after the name of his father, Zacharias. 60 And his mother spake and said, No; but he shall be called John.
61 And they said to her, There is not one among thy relations, who is called by this name. 62 And they made signs to his father, what he would have him called. 63 And desiring a writing tablet, he wrote, saying, John is his name. And they were all surprised. 64 Instantly then his mouth was opened, and his tongue loosed, and he burst out in praises to God. 65 And great awe fell on all those who dwelt around them: and in all the mountainous country of Judea, all these circumstances were the subject of conversation. 66 And all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, Well! what a child will this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.
68 Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel; for he hath visited and wrought redemption for his people; 69 and hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David: 70 as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been from the beginning: 71 even preservation from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72 to perform mercy towards our fathers, and to remember his own holy covenant: 73 the oath which he sware to Abraham our father, 74 to give us, that we, secure from fear, rescued from the hands of our enemies, should serve him, 75 in righteousness and holiness before him, all the days of our life. 76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Most High; for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; 77 to give the knowledge of salvation to his people, by the remission of their sins, 78 through the bowels of mercy of our God; with which he hath visited us, as the dawn of the morning from on high, 79 to illumine those who sat in darkness, and in the shadow of death, to direct our feet into the way of peace.