1 Since many took in hand to draw up an account concerning the matters which have been borne out among us, 2 even as those who from the beginning delivered to us, becoming eye-witnesses and ministers of the Word, 3 it seemed good to me also, following all things accurately from the very first, to write to you in order, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you might know the certainty of those things in which you have been instructed.
5 In the days of Herod, the king of Judea, there was a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abijah. And his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking blameless in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord. 7 And they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren. And both were advanced in their days.
8 And it happened in his serving in the order of his course, before God, 9 according to the custom of the priests, it was his lot to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10 And all the multitude of the people were praying outside at the time of incense. 11 And an angel of the Lord appeared to him as he was standing on the right of the altar of incense. 12 And seeing this, Zacharias was troubled, and fear fell on him. 13 But the angel said to him, Do not fear, Zacharias. For your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you shall have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice at his birth. 15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall neither drink wine nor strong drink. And he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. 16 And he shall turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he shall 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.
18 And Zacharias said to the angel, By what shall I know this? For I am old, and my wife is advanced in her days.
19 And answering, the angel said to him, I am Gabriel, who stands before God. And I am sent to speak to you and to show you these glad tidings. 20 And behold, you shall be silent and not able to speak until the day that these things shall be performed, because you did not believe my words which shall be fulfilled in their time.
21 And the people waited for Zacharias and marveled that he stayed 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. And he was making signs to them, and remained speechless. 23 And as soon as the days of his service were accomplished, he departed to his own house.
24 And after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived and hid herself five months, saying, 25 So the Lord has dealt with me in the days in which He looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.
26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in to her and said, Hail, one receiving grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, Do not fear, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold! You shall conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call His name JESUS. 32 He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest. And the Lord God shall give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end.
35 And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Spirit shall come on you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you. Therefore also that Holy One which will be born of you shall be called Son of God.
36 And behold, your cousin Elizabeth also conceived a son in her old age. And this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
38 And Mary said, Behold the servant of the Lord. Let it be to me according to your word. And the angel departed from her.
39 And Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah. 40 And she entered into the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And it happened as Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and cried out with a loud voice and said, Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
43 And from where is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For lo, as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believes, for there shall be a perfecting of those things which were told her from the Lord.
46 And Mary said, My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. 48 For He looked on the humiliation of His slave woman. For, behold, from now on all generations shall count me blessed. 49 For the Mighty One has done great things for me; and holy is His name. 50 And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. 51 He has worked power with His arm, He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their heart. 52 He has put down rulers from their seats and exalted the lowly, 53 He has filled the hungry with good things, and He has sent away the rich empty. 54 He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, 55 as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever.
56 And Mary stayed with her about three months, and returned to her own house. 57 And the time was fulfilled to Elizabeth for her to bear. And she bore a son. 58 And her neighbors and her kinsfolk heard how the Lord had magnified His mercy with her, and they rejoiced with her.
59 And it happened that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and were calling it Zacharias, after his father's name. 60 And his mother answered and said, No, but he shall be called John.
61 And they said to her, There is none of your kindred that is called by this name. 62 And they made signs to his father as to how he would have him called. 63 And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they all marveled. 64 And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosened. And he spoke and praised God. 65 And fear came on all who lived all around them. And all these things were talked about throughout all the hill country of Judea. 66 And all those who heard laid them up in their hearts, saying, What kind of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.
68 Blessed is the Lord, the God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people 69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David, 70 as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from eternity; 71 that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us, 72 to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant, 73 the oath which He swore to our father Abraham, 74 that He would grant to us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear 75 in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life. 76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest, for you shall go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, 77 to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins, 78 through the tender mercy of our God; by which the Dayspring from on high has visited us, 79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.