1 SINCE many have undertaken to arrange a complete digest of the things fully believed among us, 2 as they delivered them to us who, from the beginning, were eye witnesses and ministers of the word, 3 it seemed good to me also, having traced all things accurately from the first, to write in order to you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 that you may know the certainty of the words concerning which you have been taught.
5 In the days of Herod the king of Judea, there was a certain priest by the name of Zachariah, of the class 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 in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7 And they had no son, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.
8 And when he was performing the priest's office in the order of his class before God, it fell to his lot, 9 according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord to burn incense; 10 and all the multitude of the people were praying without, at the hour of incense. 11 And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense; 12 and Zachariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. 13 And the angel said to him, Fear not, Zachariah, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth shall bear you a son; and you shall call his name John. 14 And he shall be to you a joy and rejoicing; and many shall rejoice at his birth; 15 for he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall not drink wine and strong drink, but shall be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his birth; 16 and many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 17 And he shall go before him 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 a people prepared for the Lord.
18 And Zachariah said to the angel, By what shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife advanced in years.
19 And the angel answered and said to him, I am Gabriel, who stand before God; and I was sent to speak to you, and to tell you this good news. 20 And behold you shall be silent, and not able to speak, till the day these things are accomplished; because you have not believed my words, which shall be fulfilled in their time.
21 And the people waited for Zachariah, and wondered that he staid 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 made signs to them, and continued dumb. 23 And when the days of his service were completed he departed to his house.
24 And after these days Elizabeth his wife became pregnant, and hid herself five months, saying, 25 Thus has the Lord dealt with me, in the days in which he looked upon me to take away my reproach among men.
26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee, by the name of Nazareth, 27 to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the name of the virgin was Mary. 28 And coming in to her, he said, Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you! 29 And she was troubled at his word, and doubted what this salutation meant. 30 And the angel said to her, Fear not, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold you shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall call his name Jesus. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God shall give him the throne of David his father, 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 upon you, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow you; and on that account the holy child shall be called the Son of God.
36 And behold Elizabeth, your relative, even she is pregnant with a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month to her called barren; 37 for nothing is impossible with God.
38 And Mary said, Behold, I am 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 in haste to the mountainous country, to the city of Juda. 40 And she went unto the house of Zachariah and saluted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and cried with a loud voice, and said, Blessed are you among women! and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord has come to me? 44 For, behold, when the voice of your salutation came to my ears, the babe leaped in my womb with exultation. 45 And blessed is she that believed; for there shall be an accomplishment of the words spoken to her by the Lord.
46 And Mary said, My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit exults in God my Saviour; 48 for he has looked on the low condition of his servant; for, behold, from this time all generations shall call me blessed, 49 because the mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name; 50 and his mercy is to generations and generations of them that fear him. 51 He has made strong his arm; he has scattered the proud with the thought of their hearts; 52 he has brought down the mighty from thrones, and exalted the humble; 53 he has filled the hungry with goods, and sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped Israel his servant, and remembered his mercy, 55 as he said to our fathers, to Abraham and his posterity forever.
56 And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house. 57 And when Elizabeth's time to bear had fully come, she bore a son; 58 and her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had magnified his mercy to her, and congratulated her.
59 And they came on the eighth day to circumcise the little child, and called it by the name of its father, Zachariah. 60 And his mother answered and said, No; but he shall be called John.
61 And they said to her, There is no one of your relations who is called by this name; 62 and they made signs to his father, what he wished it to be called. 63 And asking for a writing-tablet, he wrote, saying, His name is John. And all wondered. 64 And his mouth was immediately opened, and his tongue [loosed], and he spoke and blessed God. 65 And fear came on all living around them. All these things were talked of in all the mountainous country of Judea. 66 And all who heard laid them to heart, saying, What then is this child to be? For the hand of the Lord was also with him.
68 Blessed is the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and redeemed his people, 69 and raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David his servant; 70 as he said by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old; 71 A salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us, 72 to perform his mercy with our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath which he swore to Abraham our father, 74 to grant us without fear, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, to serve him 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. 76 And you, little child, shall be called a prophet of the Most High; for you shall go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways, 77 to give a knowledge of salvation to his people, with a forgiveness of sins, 78 on account of the compassionate mercies of our God, by which a morning from on high has visited us, 79 to illuminate those sitting in darkness and the shade of death, to direct our feet in the way of peace.