1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to arrange a narrative of those things which are fully believed among us, 2 even as they were delivered to us by those who were eyewitnesses from the beginning and became ministers of the word, 3 it seemed good to me also, having accurately traced up all things from the first, to write to thee a connected account, most excellent Theophilus, 4 that thou mightst know the exact truth with regard to those things in which thou wast instructed.
5 There was in the days of Herod, king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zachariah, of the course of Abijah; and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous in the sight of God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7 And they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both far advanced in years.
8 And it came to pass, that, while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his course, 9 according to the custom of the priesthood the lot fell to him to go into the temple of the Lord and burn the incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people was praying without at the time of the incense. 11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing on the right of the altar of incense. 12 And Zachariah was troubled at the sight, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him, Fear not, Zachariah; for thy prayer was heard, and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son; and thou shalt call his name John. 14 And thou wilt have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice for his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and will drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit from his very birth. 16 And many of the sons of Israel will he turn to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go before his face in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers to children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready for the Lord a prepared people.
18 And Zachariah said to the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife is far advanced in years.
19 And the angel answering said to him, I am Gabriel, who stand in the presence of God; and I was sent to speak to thee, and to tell thee these glad tidings. 20 And lo! thou shalt be silent, and not able to speak, until the day when these things shall come to pass, because thou didst not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their season.
21 And the people were looking for Zachariah, and wondering that he remained so long in the temple. 22 And on coming out, he was not able to speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he was beckoning to them, and remained speechless. 23 And it came to pass, when the days of his ministration were completed, that he returned to his house.
24 And after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, 25 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me to take away my reproach among men.
26 And in her sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgins name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in to her and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored! the Lord is with thee. 29 And she was troubled at the words, and was considering what this salutation could mean. 30 And the angel said to her, Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favor with God. 31 And lo! thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and hear a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to 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.
34 Then said Mary to the angel, How shall this be, since I know not a man?
35 And the angel answering said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon thee, and the power of the Most High will overshadow thee; wherefore the holy one that is to be born will be called the Son of God.
36 And lo! Elizabeth, thy kinswoman, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her who is called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.
38 And Mary said, Lo, the handmaid of the Lord! May it be to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
39 And Mary arose and went in those days into the hillcountry with haste, into a city of Judah. 40 And she entered the house of Zachariah, and saluted Elizabeth. 41 And it came to pass, when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, that 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 art thou among women; and blessed is the fruit of thy womb!
43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For lo! as soon as the voice of thy salutation came to my ears, the babe leaped in my womb in exultation. 45 And blessed is she who hath believed that there will be an accomplishment of those things which were told her from the Lord.
46 And Mary said, My soul magnifieth the Lord, 47 and my spirit hath exulted in God my Saviour; 48 for he hath looked upon the low estate of his handmaiden. For lo! from this time all generations will call me blessed; 49 for the Mighty One hath done great things for me; and holy is his name; 50 and his mercy is from generation to generation on them that fear him. 51 He hath wrought mightily with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the device of their heart. 52 He hath cast down princes from thrones, and exalted men of low degree. 53 The hungry he hath filled with good things, and the rich he hath sent away empty. 54 He hath given help to Israel his servant, in remembrance of his mercy 55 toward Abraham and his offspring for ever, as he spoke to our fathers.
56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house. 57 Now Elizabeths full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. 58 And her neighbors and her kinsfolk heard that the Lord had showed great mercy toward her; and they rejoiced with her.
59 And it came to pass that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they were about to call him Zachariah, after the name of his father. 60 And his mother answering said, Not so; but he shall be called John.
61 And they said to her, There is no one of thy kindred that is called by this name. 62 And they made signs to his father, how he would have him named. 63 And he asked for a writingtablet, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they all marveled. 64 And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue was loosed; and he spoke, blessing God. 65 And fear came on all that dwelt around them; and all these things were talked of throughout the whole of the hillcountry of Judaea. 66 And all that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What then will this child be? For the hand of the Lord was with him.
67 And Zachariah his father was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying,
68 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel! for he hath visited and redeemed his people, 69 and hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David his servant, 70 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets of old, 71 salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us, 72 to accomplish his mercy toward our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath which he swore to Abraham our father, 74 to grant to us, that being delivered from the hand of our enemies, we might worship him without fear, 75 in holiness and righteousness before him, all our days. 76 And thou, child, shalt be called a prophet of the Most High; for thou shalt go in advance before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways, 77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the remission of their sins 78 through the tender mercy of our God, whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, 79 to give light to those sitting in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
80 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit; and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.