1Inasmuch as many have undertaken to arrange a narrative of those things which are fully believed among us,
2even as they were delivered to us by those who were eye-witnesses from the beginning and became ministers of the word,
3it seemed good to me also, having accurately traced up all things from the first, to write to thee a connected account, most excellent Theophilus,
4that thou mightst know the exact truth with regard to those things in which thou wast instructed.
5There was in the days of Herod, king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zachariah, of the course of Abijah; and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
6And they were both righteous in the sight of God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
7And they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both far advanced in years.
8And it came to pass, that, while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his course,
9according to the custom of the priesthood the lot fell to him to go into the temple of the Lord and burn the incense.
10And the whole multitude of the people was praying without at the time of the incense.
11And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing on the right of the altar of incense.
12And Zachariah was troubled at the sight, and fear fell upon him.
13But the angel said to him, Fear not, Zachariah; for thy prayer was heard, and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son; and thou shalt call his name John.
14And thou wilt have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice for his birth.
15For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and will drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit from his very birth.
16And many of the sons of Israel will he turn to the Lord their God.
17And he will go before his face in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers to children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready for the Lord a prepared people.
18And Zachariah said to the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife is far advanced in years.
19And the angel answering said to him, I am Gabriel, who stand in the presence of God; and I was sent to speak to thee, and to tell thee these glad tidings.
20And lo! thou shalt be silent, and not able to speak, until the day when these things shall come to pass, because thou didst not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their season.
21And the people were looking for Zachariah, and wondering that he remained so long in the temple.
22And on coming out, he was not able to speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he was beckoning to them, and remained speechless.
23And it came to pass, when the days of his ministration were completed, that he returned to his house.
24And after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,
25Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me to take away my reproach among men.
26And in her sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, called Nazareth,
27to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
28And the angel came in to her and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored! the Lord is with thee.
29And she was troubled at the words, and was considering what this salutation could mean.
30And the angel said to her, Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favor with God.
31And lo! thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and hear a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.
32He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of David his father;
33and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34Then said Mary to the angel, How shall this be, since I know not a man?
35And the angel answering said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon thee, and the power of the Most High will overshadow thee; wherefore the holy one that is to be born will be called the Son of God.
36And lo! Elizabeth, thy kinswoman, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her who is called barren.
37For nothing will be impossible with God.
38And Mary said, Lo, the handmaid of the Lord! May it be to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
39And Mary arose and went in those days into the hill-country with haste, into a city of Judah.
40And she entered the house of Zachariah, and saluted Elizabeth.
41And it came to pass, when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit,
42and cried out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women; and blessed is the fruit of thy womb!
43And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44For lo! as soon as the voice of thy salutation came to my ears, the babe leaped in my womb in exultation.
45And blessed is she who hath believed that there will be an accomplishment of those things which were told her from the Lord.
46And Mary said, My soul magnifieth the Lord,
47and my spirit hath exulted in God my Saviour;
48for he hath looked upon the low estate of his handmaiden. For lo! from this time all generations will call me blessed;
49for the Mighty One hath done great things for me; and holy is his name;
50and his mercy is from generation to generation on them that fear him.
51He hath wrought mightily with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the device of their heart.
52He hath cast down princes from thrones, and exalted men of low degree.
53The hungry he hath filled with good things, and the rich he hath sent away empty.
54He hath given help to Israel his servant, in remembrance of his mercy
55toward Abraham and his offspring for ever, as he spoke to our fathers.
56And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.
57Now Elizabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.
58And her neighbors and her kinsfolk heard that the Lord had showed great mercy toward her; and they rejoiced with her.
59And it came to pass that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they were about to call him Zachariah, after the name of his father.
60And his mother answering said, Not so; but he shall be called John.
61And they said to her, There is no one of thy kindred that is called by this name.
62And they made signs to his father, how he would have him named.
63And he asked for a writing-tablet, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they all marveled.
64And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue was loosed; and he spoke, blessing God.
65And fear came on all that dwelt around them; and all these things were talked of throughout the whole of the hill-country of Judaea.
66And all that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What then will this child be? For the hand of the Lord was with him.
67And Zachariah his father was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying,
68Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel! for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
69and hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David his servant,—
70as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets of old,
71salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us,
72to accomplish his mercy toward our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant,
73the oath which he swore to Abraham our father,
74to grant to us, that being delivered from the hand of our enemies, we might worship him without fear,
75in holiness and righteousness before him, all our days.
76And thou, child, shalt be called a prophet of the Most High; for thou shalt go in advance before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways,
77to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the remission of their sins
78through the tender mercy of our God, whereby the day-spring from on high hath visited us,
79to give light to those sitting in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
80And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit; and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.