1 Seeing indeed that many had taken in hand to re-arrange for themselves a narrative, concerning the facts which have been fully confirmed amongst us,—
2 according as they who from the beginning became eye-witnesses and attendants of the Word delivered them unto us
3 it seemed good even to me having closely traced from the outset all things accurately to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus:
4 that as touching the matters which thou hadst been taught by word of mouth thou mightest obtain full knowledge of the certainty.
5 It came to pass in the days of Herod king of Judaea that there was a certain priest by name Zachariah of the daily course of Abia; and that he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
6 Now they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and righteous appointments of the Lord blameless;
7 and they had no child, inasmuch as Elizabeth was barren and both had become advanced in their days.
8 But it came to pass as he was doing priestly service in the order of his daily course before God,
9 according to the custom of his priesthood it fell to his lot to offer incense, entering into the Temple of the Lord;
10 and all the throng of the people was praying outside at the hour of the incense offering.
11 And there appeared unto him a messenger of the Lord standing on the right hand of the altar of incense;
12 and Zachariah was troubled when he beheld and fear fell upon him.
13 But the messenger said unto him—Do not fear, Zachariah! Inasmuch as thy supplication hath been hearkened to,—And thy wife Elizabeth shall bring forth a son to thee, And thou shalt call his name John;
14 And there shall be joy to thee and exulting, And many over his birth shall rejoice;
15 For he shall be great before the Lord, And wine and strong drink in nowise may he drink And with Holy Spirit shall he be filled already from his mother’s womb;
16 And many of the Sons of Israel shall he turn towards the Lord their God;
17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah,—To turn the hearts of fathers unto children And the unyielding into the prudence of the righteous, And to prepare for the Lord a people made ready.
18 And Zachariah said unto the messenger—Whereby shall I know this? for I am aged, and my wife advanced in her days.
19 And the messenger answering said unto him—I am Gabriel,—he that standeth near before God; and have been sent forth to speak unto thee and to deliver the joyful message unto thee as touching these things.
20 And 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 in my words,—the which shall be fulfilled for their season.
21 And the people were expecting Zachariah, and began to marvel that he should tarry in the Temple;
22 and when he came forth he was not able to speak unto them, and they perceived that a vision he had seen in the Temple,—and he continued making signs unto them, and remained dumb.
23 And it came to pass when the days of his public ministration were fulfilled that he departed unto his house.
24 And after these days Elizabeth his wife conceived, and she disguised herself five months saying—
25 Thus for me hath the Lord wrought,—In the days in which he looked upon me to take away my reproach among men.
26 Now in the sixth month was the messenger Gabriel sent forth from God, into a city of Galilee the name of which was Nazareth,—
27 unto a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph of the house of David; and the name of the virgin was Mary;
28 and entering in unto her he said—Joy to thee, favoured one! The Lord be with thee!
29 And she at the word was greatly troubled, and began to deliberate of what kind this salutation might be.
30 And the messenger said unto her—Do not fear, Mary, For thou hast found favour with God,—
31 And lo! thou shalt conceive in thy womb And bring forth a son, And shalt call his name Jesus:
32 The same shall be great And Son of the Most High shall be called, And the Lord God will give unto him the throne of David his father,—
33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob unto the ages, And of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34 But Mary said unto the messenger—How shall this thing be Seeing that a man I know not?
35 And answering the messenger said unto her—The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, And the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee; Wherefore even that which is to be born Holy shall be called, Son of God.
36 And lo! Elizabeth thy kinswoman even she hath conceived a son in her old-age;—And this month is the sixth to her, the so-called barren one;
37 Because no declaration from God shall be void of power.
38 And Mary said—Lo! the handmaid of the Lord! Might it come to pass unto me according to thy declaration. And the messenger departed from her.
39 And Mary arising in these days journeyed into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah,—
40 and entered into the house of Zachariah and saluted Elizabeth.
41 And it came to pass that as Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary the babe leapt in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with Holy Spirit,—
42 and lifted up her voice with loud exclamation and said—Blessed art thou among women, And blessed is the fruit of thy womb;
43 And whence to me is this, That the mother of my Lord should come unto me?
44 For lo! as the sound of thy salutation came into mine ears The babe in my womb leapt in exultation.
45 And happy is she who hath believed, that there shall be a perfecting of the things which have been spoken to her from the Lord!
46 And Mary said—My soul doth magnify the Lord,
47 And my spirit hath exulted upon God my saviour;
48 Because he hath looked upon the humbling of his handmaid; For lo! from the present time all the generations will pronounce me happy.
49 Because he that is mighty hath done for me great things, And holy is his name;
50 And his mercy is unto generations and generations To them who revere him;
51 He hath wrought strength with his arm, He hath scattered men arrogant in the intention of their heart;
52 He hath deposed potentates from thrones, And uplifted the lowly;
53 The hungry hath he filled with good things, And the wealthy hath he sent empty away;
54 He hath laid hold of Israel his servant To be mindful of mercies:
55 According as he spake unto our fathers,—To Abraham and to his seed,—Unto times age-abiding.
56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned unto her house.
57 And to Elizabeth was the time fulfilled that she should be bringing forth,—and she gave birth to a son.
58 And her neighbours and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had magnified his mercy with her, and they were rejoicing with her.
59 And it came to pass on the eighth day that they came to circumcise the child, and were calling it after the name of its father Zachariah.
60 And his mother answering said—Nay! but he shall be called John.
61 And they said unto her—There is no one from among thy kindred who is called by this name!
62 And they began making signs unto his father as to what he might be wishing it to be called.
63 And asking for a small tablet he wrote saying—John is his name! and they marvelled all.
64 And his mouth was opened instantly and his tongue [loosed], and he began to speak blessing God.
65 And fear came upon all the neighbours themselves; and throughout all the hill-country of Judaea were all these matters being much talked of;
66 and all who heard laid [them] up in their hearts, saying—What then shall his child be? for even the hand of the Lord was with him.
67 And Zachariah his father was filled with Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying:—
68 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel! Because he hath visited and wrought redemption for his people,
69 And hath raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of David his servant:
70 According as he hath spoken by mouth of his holy ancient prophets,—
71 Of salvation from among our foes and out of the hand of all them that hate us:
72 To perform mercy with our fathers, And to be mindful of his holy covenant,—
73 The oath which he sware unto Abraham our father, To grant us,
74 without fear from the hand of enemies rescued To be rendering divine service unto him
75 in lovingkindness and righteousness Before him, all our days.
76 And even thou child prophet of the Most High shalt be called,—For thou shalt march on before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 Giving a knowledge of salvation unto his people By a remission of their sins.
78 Because of the yearning compassion of the mercy of our God, Wherein shall visit us a day-dawn from on high,—
79 To shine on them who in the darkness and shade of death are sitting, To guide our feet into a way of peace.
80 And the child went on growing and being strengthened in spirit, and was in the deserts until the day he was pointed out unto Israel.