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1 Theophilus, inasmuch as many have undertaken to recite the things that have been consummated among us 2 as those who from the first had been eyewitnesses and agents of the word delivered them to us, 3 I also, having followed up everything accurately from the beginning, have resolved to write it for your excellency consecutively, 4 that you might be acquainted with the certainties about the matters in which you were instructed. 5 There was in the days of Herod king of Palestine a certain priest, by name Zachariah, of the course of Abijah; and he had a wife from among the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. 6 And both of them were upright before God, going by all the Lord’s commandments and prescriptions irreproachably. 7 And they had no child, as Elisabeth was barren and both were advanced in years. 8 And when he was performing his priestly functions before God 9 in the order of his course, in the customary drawing of lots for the priestly service it fell to him to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense; 10 and the whole body of the people were praying outside at the hour of the incense-burning; 11 and there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right of the altar of incense. 12 And Zachariah was alarmed at the sight, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him “Do not be afraid, Zachariah, because your petition has been listened to, and your wife Elisabeth shall bear you a son, and you shall name him John; 14 and you shall have joy and gladness, and many shall be glad at his birth. 15 For he shall be a great man before the Lord, and shall not drink wine or beer, and shall be filled with Holy Spirit from his very birth; 16 and many of the sons of Israel shall he bring back to the Lord their God; 17 he shall go before him with Elijah’s power and spirit, to bring the hearts of fathers back to their children and disobedient men into the mind of the upright, to get ready for the Lord a prepared people.” 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 him “I am Gabriel who attend on God, and I was sent to speak to you and bring you this word; 20 and lo, you shall be silent and not able to speak till the day that this comes to pass, for your not believing my words, which shall be fulfilled in their time.” 21 And the people were expecting Zachariah to come out, and wondering at his staying late in the temple; 22 but when he came out he could not speak to them, and they recognized that he had seen a manifestation in the temple. And he communicated with them by signs, and remained dumb. 23 And when his days of service were full, he went home. 24 And after these days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and secluded herself five months, saying 25 “Thus has the Lord done to me in the days in which he turned his eye to remove my disgrace among men.” 26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee whose name was Nazareth, 27 to a maiden engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the family of David; and the maiden’s name was Mary. 28 * And he came in where she was and said “Hail, maiden highly favored, the Lord be with you”; 29 and she was disconcerted at the words, and wondered what sort of salutation that was. 30 And the angel said to her “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God; 31 and lo, you will conceive and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David; 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and there will be no end to his reign.” 34 And Mary said to the angel “How is this to be, since I do not know man?” 35 and the angel answered her “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; wherefore what is born will be called holy too, the Son of God. 36 And lo, your kinswoman Elisabeth has herself conceived a son also in her old age, and this is her sixth month, she who was called barren; 37 * for from God nothing will be impossible.” 38 And Mary said “Here I am, the Lord’s property; be it with me according to your word.” And the angel left her. 39 * And during those days Mary started out and took her way in haste to the highlands, to a city in Judah, 40 and came into Zachariah’s house and greeted Elisabeth. 41 And when Elisabeth heard Mary’s greeting the child leaped in her body, and Elisabeth was filled with Holy Spirit 42 and gave a great shout and said “Blessed are you among women, and blessed the fruit of your body! 43 And to what do I owe this, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 for here the child leaped in my body for glee when the sound of your greeting came into my ears. 45 And happy is she who believed that there would be an accomplishment of what she had been told from the Lord.” 46 And Mary said“My soul is magnifying the Lord, 47 And my spirit exults in God my Savior, 48 Because he has taken notice of his servant’s obscurity.For lo, henceforth all generations shall celebrate my happy lot, 49 Because the Mighty One has done great things for me,—The Mighty One, and holy is his name, 50 And his mercy is to generations and generations for those who fear him. 51 He has done mightily with his arm,He has scattered men proud in inward thought, 52 Brought potentates down from their thrones and set lowly men on high, 53 Filled hungry men with good things and sent rich men away empty. 54 He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,Remembering mercy, 55 as he told our fathers,To Abraham and his issue forever.” 56 And Mary stayed with her about three months, and returned to her home. 57 And Elisabeth came to her full time for bearing, and had a son. 58 And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. 59 And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and were naming him Zachariah after his father; 60 and his mother answered “No, he is to be named John.” 61 And they said to her “There is no one in your family who bears that name”; 62 and they made signs to his father to know what name he would wish to have given him. 63 And he asked for a tablet and wrote “His name is John”; and they all wondered. 64 * And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue liberated, and he spoke, blessing God. 65 And fear came upon all who lived in the neighborhood; and in all the highland of Judea all these matters were talked of, 66 * and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying “What, then, will this child be?”—for the Lord’s hand was with him. 67 And his father Zachariah was filled with Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying 68 “Blessed be 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 his servant David 70 as he spoke by the mouths of his old-time holy prophets— 71 salvation from our enemies and from the hands of all who hate us, 72 to show mercy to our fathers and remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath that he swore to Abraham our father— 74 to grant to us that without fear, delivered from enemies’ hands, we should worship him in his presence 75 in godliness and honesty all our days. 76 And you too, child, you shall be called the prophet of the Most High; for you shall go in advance of the Lord to get ready his roads, 77 to give his people knowledge of salvation in the pardoning of their sins 78 because of our God’s heart of pity, whereby a sunrise from on high 79 shall visit us to shine on those who are sitting in darkness and the shadow of death, that it may guide our feet into the way of peace.” 80 And the child grew, and strengthened in spirit, and was in the wildernesses till the day of his commission to Israel.
^ 1:28 The words might also mean Hail, beauty; the Lord be with you
^ 1:37 Or from God no ward will be impotent
^ 1:39 Or the city of Judah If this record was originally in Hebrew the words probably meant the province of Judea
^ 1:64 Lit. his mouth was opened, and his tongue; and he spoke
^ 1:66 Var. be?—for the Lord’s hand is with him.”