Since many have undertaken to compile a narrative concerning the matters that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, 3 it seemed good to me also, having followed everything carefully from the start, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,a 4 so that you may know the certainty of the thingsb you have been taught.
5 In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah, and {he had a wife}c from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 Both were righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly. 7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.
8 Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, 9 according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of {the Lord}d and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude [of the people]e were praying outside at the hour of incense.
11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him.
13 {But}f The angel [[of the Lord]]g said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear [you]h 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 shall not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit,i even from his mother's womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel 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 the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”j
18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”
19 And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day these things come to pass, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.”
21 And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were amazed at his delay in the temple. 22 And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he was making signs to them and remained mute.
23 And it happened that when the days of his service were completed, he went to his house.
24 And after these days, his wife Elizabeth conceived and hid herself for five months, saying 25 “Thus the Lord has done to me in the days when he looked upon me, to take away my reproach among men.”
26 In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent {from}k God to a city of Galilee [named Nazareth],l 27 to a virgin {engaged}m to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
28 And having entered, {he}n said to her, “Greetings [, favored one]!o The Lord is with you. [[Blessed are you among women]]”p 29 But she [[seeing,]]q was greatly troubled [at {the}r saying]s and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.
30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
34 And Mary said to the angel, “[How can this be, since]t I do not know a man?”u
35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spiritv will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, the one being born [[from you]]w will be called holy, the Son of God.”x
36 “And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren; 37 for nothing will be 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.]y
39 And Mary, having arisen in those days, went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit,z 42 and she cried out with a {shout}a and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And why is this granted to me, that the mother of {my}b Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
46 And {Mary}c said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has looked on the humble state of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 49 for the Mighty {One}d has done great things for me, and holy is his name. 50 And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. 51 He has shown strength 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 humble; 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 offspring forever.”
56 And Mary stayed with her [about]e three months and returned to her home.
57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58 And the neighbors and her 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 they would have called him by the name of his father, Zechariah. 60 But his mother answered, “No; he will be called; [[his name]]f John.” 61 And they said to her, “There is no one [among your relatives]g who is called by this name.” 62 And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. 63 And he asked for a writing tablet, he wrote [, saying]:h “John is his name.” And all were amazed.
64 And his mouth was opened [immediately, and his tongue loosed,]i and he spoke, blessing God. 65 And [[great]]j fear came on all their neighbors and [all]k these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. 66 And all [who heard them]l laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” [For]m The hand of the Lord was with him.
67 And Zechariah, his father, was filled with the Holy Spirit {and [prophesied,]n saying},o 68 “Blessed is [the Lord,]p the God of Israel, for he has visited and brought redemption to his people, 69 and has raised up a horn of salvationq for us in the house of David, his servant, 70 just as he spoke 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 to our fathers [and]r to remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath that he swore to Abraham, our father, to grant us 74 to serves him without fear, having been rescued from the hand of [[our]]t enemies, 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all {our days}.u
76 “And you, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go before [[the face of]]v the Lord to prepare his ways; 77 [to give]w knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, 78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun {will visit}x us from on high, 79 to {appear}y 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.