Dedication to Theophilus
Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a
narrative of those things which have been fulfilled
among us, 2
just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses
and ministers of the word delivered them to us,
seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding
of all things from the very first, to write to you an
orderly account, most excellent Theophilus,
you may know the certainty of those things in which you
John’s Birth Announced to Zacharias
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
they were both righteous before God, walking in all the
commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
they had no child, 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,
according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell
to burn incense when he went into the temple of the
And the whole multitude of the people was praying
outside at the hour of incense.
an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the
right side of the altar of incense.
when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear
fell upon him.
the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for
your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear
you a son, and you shall call his name John.
you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at
his birth. 15
For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall
drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be
filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s
And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the
Lord their God.
17 He will also 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 a people prepared for the
Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For
I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.”
the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who
stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to
you and bring you these glad tidings.
behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the
day these things take place, because you did not believe
my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”
the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he
lingered so long in the temple.
when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they
perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for
he beckoned to them and remained speechless.
23 So it
was, as soon as the days of his service were completed,
that he departed to his own house.
after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she
hid herself five months, saying,
the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked
on me, to take away my reproach among people.”
Christ’s Birth Announced to Mary
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 whose name was Joseph, of the
house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.
having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly
favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed
are you among women!”
when she saw him,
she was troubled at his saying, and considered what
manner of greeting this was.
the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you
have found favor with God.
behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a
Son, and shall call His name JESUS.
will be great, and will be called the Son of the
Highest; and the Lord God will give 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.”
Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not
know a man?”
the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy
Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest
will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who
is to be born will be called the Son of God.
indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son
in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her
who was called barren.
with God nothing will be impossible.”
Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it
be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed
Mary Visits Elizabeth
Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill
country with haste, to a city of Judah,
entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.
41 And it
happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary,
that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was
filled with the Holy Spirit.
she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed
are you among women, and blessed is the fruit
of your womb!
43 But why is this granted to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in
my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a
fulfillment of those things which were told her from the
The Song of Mary
46 And Mary said:
“ My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call
For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.
And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the
imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.
He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,
As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed forever.”
Mary remained with her about three months, and returned
to her house.
Birth of John the Baptist
Now Elizabeth’s full time came for her to be delivered,
and she brought forth a son.
her neighbors and relatives heard how the Lord had shown
great mercy to her, they rejoiced with her.
Circumcision of John the Baptist
59 So it was, on the eighth day, that they came to
circumcise the child; and they would have called him by
the name of his father, Zacharias.
mother answered and said, “No; he shall be called John.”
they said to her, “There is no one among your relatives
who is called by this name.”
they made signs to his father—what he would have him
63 And he
asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, saying, “His name
is John.” So they all marveled.
Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue
loosed, and he spoke, praising God.
fear came on all who dwelt around them; and all these
sayings were discussed 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 prophesied, saying:
“ Blessed is the Lord God of Israel,
For He has visited and redeemed His people,
And has raised up a horn of salvation for us
In the house of His servant David,
As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets,
Who have been since the world began,
That we should be saved from our enemies
And from the hand of all who hate us,
To perform the mercy promised to our fathers
And to remember His holy covenant,
The oath which He swore to our father Abraham:
To grant us that we,
Being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
Might serve Him without fear,
In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of
“ And you, child, will be called the prophet of the
For you will go before the face of the Lord to
prepare His ways,
To give knowledge of salvation to His people
By the remission of their sins,
Through the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Dayspring from on high has visited
To give light to those who sit in darkness and the
shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.”