1 Forasmuch as many took in hand to arrange in order a narrative concerning the facts that have been fully confirmed among us, 2 even as those who from the beginning were eye-witnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us; 3 it seemed good to me also, having traced all things accurately from the first, to write to you an orderly account, most noble Theophilus; 4 that you may fully know the certainty of the words wherein you were instructed.
5 There was in the days of Herod, king of Judaea, a certain priest, Zacharias by name, of the course of Abija; and he had a wife 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 law blameless. 7 And they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were far advanced in their days.
8 Now it came to pass, that, while he was doing priestly service in the order of his course before God, 9 it fell to his lot, according to the custom of the priest's office, having gone into the temple of the Lord, to offer incense; 10 and all the multitude of the people were praying without at the hour of the incense-offering. 11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And Zacharias, seeing him, was troubled; and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him, "Fear not, Zacharias; because your supplication was heard; and your wife Elizabeth shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness; and many will rejoice at his birth; 15 for he will be great before the Lord; and he will drink no wine nor strong drink; and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. 16 And many of the sons of Israel will he turn to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the disobedient to walk in the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.
18 And Zacharias said to the angel, "By what shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife is far advanced in her days."
19 And the angel, answering, said to him, "I am Gabriel, who have been standing near before God, and I was sent to speak to you, and to proclaim these glad tidings to you. 20 And, behold, you shall be silent, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall come to pass; because you did not believe my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season."
21 And the people were waiting for Zacharias, and they were wondering at his tarrying in the temple. 22 And, having come out, he was not able to speak to them, and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he kept making signs to them, and remained dumb. 23 And it came to pass, when the days of his ministration were fulfilled, he departed to his house;
24 and, after these days, Elizabeth his wife conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying, 25 "Thus hath the Lord done to me in the days wherein He looked upon me, to take away my reproach among men!"
26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, the name of which was 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, the angel, coming in to her, said, "Hail, highly favored one, the Lord is with you." 29 But she was troubled at the saying, and was deliberating as to what kind of salutation this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, "Fear not, Mary; for you found favor from God. 31 And, behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and shall bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to 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, answering, said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; wherefore also the Holy Thing that is begotten shall be called the Son of God.
36 And, behold, Elizabeth, your kinswoman, she also has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren; 37 because no word from God shall be without power."
38 And Mary said, "Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; may it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.
39 And Mary, arising in those days, went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah; 40 and entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elizabeth. 41 And it came to pass that, as Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit: 42 and she lifted up her voice, with a loud cry, 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 should come to me! 44 For, behold, as the voice of your salutation came into my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy! 45 And happy is she who believed, because there shall be a fulfillment of the things spoken to her from the Lord!"
46 And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord; 47 and my spirit exulted in God my Saviour; 48 because He looked upon the lowliness of His handmaid; for, behold, from the present time all generations will call me happy; 49 because the Mighty One did great things for me; and Holy is His name! 50 And His mercy is unto generations and generations to those who fear Him. 51 He wrought might with His arm; He scattered men proud in the imagination of their heart. 52 He deposed potentates from thrones, and exalted the lowly. 53 The hungry He filled with good things, and the rich He sent away empty. 54 He succored Israel His servant, to remember mercy, 55 (as He spake to our fathers), to Abraham and to his seed forever."
56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her house. 57 Now the time was completed for Elizabeth, that she should give birth, and she brought forth a son. 58 And her neighbors and kindred heard that the Lord was magnifying His mercy together with her; and they rejoiced with her.
59 And it came to pass, on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child; and they were calling him Zacharias, after the name of his father. 60 And his mother, answering, said; "No; but he shall be called John."
61 And they said to her, "There is no one of your kindred who is called by this name." 62 And they were making signs to his father, what he wished him to be called. 63 And, asking for a writing tablet, he wrote, saying, "John is his name." And they all marveled. 64 And his mouth was instantly opened, and his tongue loosed, and he was speaking, blessing God. 65 And fear came upon all those dwelling around them. And in all the hill country of Judea all these sayings were being much talked of; 66 and all who heard laid them up in their heart, saying, "What, then, shall this child be!" For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.
68 "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, because He visited, and wrought redemption for His people; 69 and raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David His servant; 70 (as He spake through the mouth of His holy prophets from of old), 71 salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us; 72 to show mercy towards our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant; 73 the oath which He swore to Abraham, our father; 74 to 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 our days. 76 "And you also, child, shall be called 'Prophet of the Most High;' for you shall go before the face of the Lord, to prepare His ways; 77 to give knowledge of salvation to His people in remission of their sins, 78 because of the tender compassions of the mercy of our God, wherein the day-spring from on high shall visit us, 79 to shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."