THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO
1 Since many have undertaken to compile an account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, 3 it seemed good to me also, having carefully investigated all things from the beginning, to write an orderly account for yoʋ, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that yoʋ may know the certainty of the things about which yoʋ have been instructed.
5 In the days of Herod, the king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah who belonged to the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 They were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. 7 But they had no children because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both advanced in their days.
8 While Zechariah was serving as a priest before God when his division was on duty, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 At the hour of incense the whole multitude of the people was praying outside. 11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to Zechariah, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for yoʋr prayer has been heard. Yoʋr wife Elizabeth will bear yoʋ a son, and yoʋ shall name him John. 14 Yoʋ will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink any wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. 16 He will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers back to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” 18 Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I know this for certain? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in her days.” 19 The angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God and was sent to speak to yoʋ and bring yoʋ this good news. 20 But behold, yoʋ will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because yoʋ did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their appointed time.”
21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering about his delay in the temple. 22 When he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, because he kept making signs to them and remained unable to speak. 23 When the days of his service had come to an end, he returned to his home.
24 After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived and kept herself in seclusion for five months, saying, 25 “The Lord has done this for me. In these days he has looked upon me with favor and taken away my reproach among the people.”
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, 27
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28
The angel came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with yoʋ! *
Blessed are yoʋ among women!” 29
when Mary saw him, she was greatly perplexed by ‡
his statement and began wondering what sort of greeting this might be. 30
Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for yoʋ have found favor with God. 31
And behold, yoʋ will conceive in yoʋr womb and give birth to a son, and yoʋ shall 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
He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34
Mary said to the angel, “How will this §
be, since I am a virgin?” 35
The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon yoʋ, and the power of the Most High will overshadow yoʋ; therefore the holy child that is to be *
born will be called the Son of God. 36
And behold, yoʋr relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37
For nothing is impossible with God.” 38
Then Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; may it happen to me according to yoʋr word.” And the angel went away from her.
In those days Mary arose and went with haste to the hill country, to a town of Judah, 40
where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42
Then she exclaimed with a loud †
voice, “Blessed are yoʋ among women, and blessed is the fruit of yoʋr womb! 43
How has this happened to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44
For behold, when the sound of yoʋr greeting came into my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45
Blessed is she who has believed, for what the Lord has spoken to her will be fulfilled.”
46 Then Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 because he has looked favorably on the humble state of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 because the Mighty One has done great things for me;
holy is his name.
50 From generation to generation his mercy is upon
those who fear him.
51 He has done a mighty deed with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
and exalted the lowly.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things,
but the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering his mercy,
55 just as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring ‡
56 And Mary remained with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned to her house.
Now the time was fulfilled for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58
Then her neighbors and her relatives heard that the Lord had magnified his mercy with her, and they rejoiced with her. 59
On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to give him the name of his father Zechariah. 60
But the child's mother responded, “No! He is to be called John.” 61
But they said to her, “There is no one among yoʋr relatives who has that name.” 62
Then they began making signs to the child's father to find out what he wanted to name him. 63
So he asked for a tablet and wrote, “His name §
is John.” And they were all amazed. 64
At once Zechariah's mouth was opened and his tongue was released, and he began to speak, blessing God. 65
Then fear came upon all who dwelt around them, and in the entire hill country of Judea all these things were being discussed. 66
All who heard about this laid it up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child become?” *
And the hand of the Lord was with him.
67 Then Zechariah, the child's father, was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:
68 “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
for he has visited his people and brought them redemption.
69 He has raised up for us a horn of salvation
in the house of his servant David
70 (just as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets long ago),
71 salvation from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us—
72 to deal mercifully with our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,
73 the oath he swore to Abraham our father,
to grant us 74 that we, having been rescued from the hands of our enemies,
might serve him without fear, 75 in holiness and righteousness
before him all †
the days of our life.
76 And yoʋ, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High,
for yoʋ will go before ‡
the presence of the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give his people knowledge of salvation
through the remission of their sins,
78 through the tender mercy of our God,
by which the sunrise §
has visited us from on high,
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.”
80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.