Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a
narrative of the things which have been accomplished
 just as they were delivered to us by those
who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers
of the word,
 it seemed good to me also, having followed
all things closely for some time past, to write an
orderly account for you, most excellent The-oph'ilus,
 that you may know the truth concerning the
things of which you have been informed.
 In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there
was a priest named Zechari'ah, of the division of
Abi'jah; and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron,
and her name was Elizabeth.
 And they were both righteous before God,
walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the
 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was
barren, and both were advanced in years.
 Now while he was serving as priest before God
when his division was on duty,
 according to the custom of the priesthood, it
fell to him by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and
 And the whole multitude of the people were
praying outside at the hour of incense.
 And there appeared to him an angel of the
Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
 And Zechari'ah was troubled when he saw him,
and fear fell upon him.
 But the angel said to him, "Do not be
afraid, Zechari'ah, for your prayer is heard, and your
wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call
his name John.
 And you will have joy and gladness,
and many will rejoice at his birth;
 for he will be great before the Lord,
and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink,
and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit,
even from his mother's womb.
 And he will turn many of the sons of Israel
to the Lord their God,
 and he will go before him in the spirit and
power of Eli'jah,
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."
 And Zechari'ah said to the angel, "How
shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is
advanced in years."
 And the angel answered him, "I am
Gabriel, who stand in the presence of God; and I was
sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news.
 And behold, you will be silent and unable to
speak until the day that these things come to pass,
because you did not believe my words, which will be
fulfilled in their time."
 And the people were waiting for Zechari'ah,
and they wondered at his delay in the temple.
 And when he came out, he could not speak to
them, and they perceived that he had seen a vision in
the temple; and he made signs to them and remained dumb.
 And when his time of service was ended, he
went to his home.
 After these days his wife Elizabeth
conceived, and for five months she hid herself, saying,
 "Thus the Lord has done to me in the
days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach
 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was
sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name
was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name
 And he came to her and said, "Hail, O
favored one, the Lord is with you!"
 But she was greatly troubled at the saying,
and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this
 And the angel said to her, "Do not be
afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
 And behold, you will conceive in your womb
and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
 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
 and he will reign over the house of Jacob
and of his kingdom there will be no end."
 And Mary said to the angel, "How shall
this be, since I have no husband?"
 And the angel said to her, "The Holy
Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you;
therefore the child to be born will be called holy,
the Son of God.
 And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her
old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth
month with her who was called barren.
 For with God nothing will be
 And Mary said, "Behold, I am the
handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your
word." And the angel departed from her.
 In those days Mary arose and went with haste
into the hill country, to a city of Judah,
 and she entered the house of Zechari'ah and
 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of
Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was
filled with the Holy Spirit
 and she exclaimed with a loud cry,
"Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the
fruit of your womb!
 And why is this granted me, that the mother
of my Lord should come to me?
 For behold, when the voice of your greeting
came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.
 And blessed is she who believed that there
would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the
 And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the
 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
 for he has regarded the low estate of his
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me
 for he who is mighty has done great things