1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of athose things which are most surely believed among us,
2cEven as they delivered them unto us, which bfrom the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
3dIt seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee ein order, fmost excellent Theophilus,
4gThat thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
5 THERE was iin the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, hof the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
6 And they were both jrighteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.
8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God kin the order of his course,
9 According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was lto burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.
10mAnd the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.
11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
12 And when Zacharias saw him,nhe was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for othy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.14And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.15For he shall be rgreat in the sight of the Lord, and qshall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, peven from his mother's womb.16sAnd many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.17uAnd he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the tLord.18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, vWhereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.
19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am wGabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.20And, behold, xthou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.21 And the people ywaited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple.
22 And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless.
23 And it came to pass, that, as soon as zthe days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.
24 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,
25 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to atake away my reproach among men.
26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27 To a virgin bespoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.31cAnd, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.32He shall be dgreat, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:33eAnd he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called fthe Son of God.36And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.37For gwith God nothing shall be impossible.38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, hinto a city of Juda;
40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.
41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled iwith the Holy Ghost:
42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, jBlessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
46 And Mary said, kMy soul doth magnify the Lord,
47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
48 For lhe hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth mall generations shall call me blessed.
49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
50 And nhis mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
51oHe hath shewed strength with his arm; phe hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52qHe hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
53rHe hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
54 He hath holpen his servant Israel, sin remembrance of his mercy;
55tAs he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.
57 Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.
58 And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.
59 And it came to pass, that uon the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.
60 And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.
61 And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.
62 And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.
63 And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all.
64 And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.
65 And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea.
66 And all they that heard vthem laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And wthe hand of the Lord was with him.
67 And his father Zacharias xwas filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,
68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
70yAs he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:
71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;
72zTo perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
73aThe oath which he sware to our father Abraham,
74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might bserve him without fear,
75cIn holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for dthou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the edayspring from on high hath visited us,
79fTo give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
80 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.