1 Since many have attempted to arrange a narrative about the matters which have taken place among us,
2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered [them] to us,
3 it seemed good to me also, having followed up accurately all things from above, to write to you in orderly fashion, most distinguished Theophilus,
4 so that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.
5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. 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 But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.
8 So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division,
9 according to the custom of the priesthood, he was selected to burn incense when he entered into the temple of the Lord.
10 And all the multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense.
11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
13 But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, because your prayer has been heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear a son to you, 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 shall be great before the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, while still in his mother's womb.
16 And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God.
17 And he himself will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, 'to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,' and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
18 And Zacharias said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years."
19 And the angel answered and said to him, "I am Gabriel, who stands before God, and I was sent to speak to you and to proclaim the good news to you of these things[.]
20 But behold, you shall be silent and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which shall be fulfilled in their season."
21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and they marveled at his delaying in the temple.
22 But having come out, he was unable to speak to them; and they recognized that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he was making signs to them and remained speechless.
23 And it happened, as soon as the days of his service were fulfilled, that he went away to his house.
24 Now after those days Elizabeth his wife conceived; and stayed in seclusion five months, saying,
25 "Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on [me], to take away my reproach among men."
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
27 to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name [was] Mary.
28 And the angel came to her and said, "Greetings, O favored [one], the Lord is with you; blessed [are] you among women!"
29 But when she saw [him], she was greatly perplexed by his saying, and she wondered what sort of greeting this was.
30 Then the angel said to her, "Fear not, Mary, for you have found grace with God.
31 And behold, you shall conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and you 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 His father David.
33 And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end."
34 Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?"
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; therefore, also, that Holy Baby which is to be born shall be called the Son of God.
36 And behold, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for she who was called barren.
37 For with God nothing shall be impossible."
38 Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! May it be to me according to your word."And the angel departed from her.
39 Now Mary rose up in those days and traveled into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah,
40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.
41 And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
43 And why am I favored thus, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44 For behold, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby leaped for joy in my womb.
45 And blessed is she who has believed, because there shall be a fulfillment to the things having been spoken to her from the Lord."
46 And Mary said: "My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
48 Because He looked upon the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
49 For He that is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.
50 And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He has overthrown the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty.
54 He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy,
55 As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever."
56 And Mary remained with her about three months, and she returned to her house.
57 Now Elizabeth's full time came for her to be delivered, and she bore a son.
58 And when her neighbors and relatives heard how the Lord had shown great mercy to her, they rejoiced with her.
59 Now it came to pass on the eighth day, [that] they came to circumcise the child; and they started to call him by the name of his father, Zacharias.
60 His mother answered and said, "No; he shall be called John."
61 But they said to her, "There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name."
62 So they made signs to his father about what he wished him to be called.
63 And asking for a writing tablet, he wrote, saying, "His name is John."And they all marveled.
64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he started to speak, praising God.
65 Then fear came on all who lived around them; and all these things were being talked about throughout all the hill country of Judea.
66 And all those who heard them kept them in their hearts, saying, "What kind of child will this be?"And the hand of the Lord was with him.
67 Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he prophesied, saying,
68 "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people,
69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David,
70 as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, who have been since the world began,
71 that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us,
72 to perform the mercy [promised] to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant,
73 the oath which He swore to our father Abraham:
74 to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear,
75 in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.
76 "And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins,
78 through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us;
79 to give light to them that sit in darkness and [in ]the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."
80 So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.