Forasmuch as many have undertaken to draw up a relation concerning the matters fully believed among us,
as those who from the beginning were eye-witnesses of and attendants on the Word have delivered them to us,
it has seemed good to *me* also, accurately acquainted from the origin with all things, to write to thee with method, most excellent Theophilus,
that thou mightest know the certainty of those things in which thou hast been instructed.
There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest, by name Zacharias, of the course of Abia, and his wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name Elizabeth.
And they were both just before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
And they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both advanced in years.
And it came to pass, as he fulfilled his priestly service before God in the order of his course,
it fell to him by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter into the temple of the Lord to burn incense.
And all the multitude of the people were praying without at the hour of incense.
And an angel of [the] Lord appeared to him, standing on the right of the altar of incense.
And Zacharias was troubled, seeing [him], and fear fell upon him.
But the angel said to him, Fear not, Zacharias, because thy supplication has been heard, and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
And he shall be to thee joy and rejoicing, and many shall rejoice at his birth.
For he shall be great before [the] Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with [the] Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.
And many of the sons of Israel shall he turn to [the] Lord their God.
And *he* shall go before him in [the] spirit and power of Elias, to turn hearts of fathers to children, and disobedient ones to [the] thoughts of just [men], to make ready for [the] Lord a prepared people.
And Zacharias said to the angel, How shall I know this, for *I* am an old man, and my wife advanced in years?
And the angel answering, said to him, *I* am Gabriel, who stand before God, and I have been sent to speak to thee, and to bring these glad tidings to thee;
and behold, thou shalt be silent and not able to speak, till the day in which these things shall take place, because thou hast not believed my words, the which shall be fulfilled in their time.
And the people were awaiting Zacharias, and they wondered at his delaying in the temple.
But when he came out he could not speak to them, and they recognised that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he was making signs to them, and continued dumb.
And it came to pass, when the days of his service were completed, he departed to his house.
Now after these days, Elizabeth his wife conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,
Thus has [the] Lord done to me in [these] days in which he looked upon [me] to take away my reproach among men.
But in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent of God to a city of Galilee, of which [the] name [was] Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name [was] Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name [was] Mary.
And the angel came in to her, and said, Hail, [thou] favoured one! the Lord [is] with thee: [blessed art *thou* amongst women].
But she, [seeing] [the angel], was troubled at his word, and reasoned in her mind what this salutation might be.
And the angel said to her, Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favour with God;
and behold, thou shalt conceive in the womb and bear a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus.
*He* shall be great, and shall be called Son of [the] Highest; and [the] Lord God shall give him the throne of David his father;
and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for the ages, and of his kingdom there shall not be an end.
But Mary said to the angel, How shall this be, since I know not a man?
And the angel answering said to her, [The] Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and power of [the] Highest overshadow thee, wherefore the holy thing also which shall be born shall be called Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, thy kinswoman, she also has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month to her that was called barren:
for nothing shall be impossible with God.
And Mary said, Behold the bondmaid of [the] Lord; be it to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
And Mary, rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah,
and entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elizabeth.
And it came to pass, as Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with [the] Holy Spirit,
and cried out with a loud voice and said, Blessed [art] *thou* amongst women, and blessed the fruit of thy womb.
And whence [is] this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For behold, as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the babe leaped with joy in my womb.
And blessed [is] she that has believed, for there shall be a fulfilment of the things spoken to her from [the] Lord.
And Mary said, My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he has looked upon the low estate of his bondmaid; for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For the Mighty One has done to me great things, and holy [is] his name;
and his mercy [is] to generations and generations to them that fear him.
He has wrought strength with his arm; he has scattered haughty [ones] in the thought of their heart.
He has put down rulers from thrones, and exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, and sent away the rich empty.
He has helped Israel his servant, in order to remember mercy,
(as he spoke to our fathers,) to Abraham and to his seed for ever.
And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her house.
But the time was fulfilled for Elizabeth that she should bring forth, and she gave birth to a son.
And her neighbours and kinsfolk heard that [the] Lord had magnified his mercy with her, and they rejoiced with her.
And it came to pass on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they called it after the name of his father, Zacharias.
And his mother answering said, No; but he shall be called John.
And they said to her, There is no one among thy kinsfolk who is called by this name.
And they made signs to his father as to what he might wish it to be called.
And having asked for a writing-table, he wrote saying, John is his name. And they all wondered.
And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue, and he spake, blessing God.
And fear came upon all who dwelt round about them; and in the whole hill-country of Judaea all these things were the subject of conversation.
And all who heard them laid them up in their heart, saying, What then will this child be? And [the] Lord's hand was with him.
And Zacharias his father was filled with [the] Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying,
Blessed be [the] Lord the God of Israel, because he has visited and wrought redemption for his people,
and raised up a horn of deliverance for us in the house of David his servant;
as he spoke by [the] mouth of his holy prophets, who have been since the world began;
deliverance from our enemies and out of the hand of all who hate us;
to fulfil mercy with our fathers and remember his holy covenant,
[the] oath which he swore to Abraham our father,
to give us, that, saved out of the hand of our enemies, we should serve him without fear
in piety and righteousness before him all our days.
And *thou*, child, shalt be called [the] prophet of [the] Highest; for thou shalt go before the face of [the] Lord to make ready his ways;
to give knowledge of deliverance to his people by [the] remission of their sins
on account of [the] bowels of mercy of our God; wherein [the] dayspring from on high has visited us,
to shine upon them who were sitting in darkness and in [the] shadow of death, to guide our feet into [the] way of peace.
-- And the child grew and was strengthened in spirit; and he was in the deserts until the day of his shewing to Israel.
But it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census should be made of all the habitable world.
The census itself first took place when Cyrenius had the government of Syria.
And all went to be inscribed in the census roll, each to his own city:
and Joseph also went up from Galilee out of the city Nazareth to Judaea, to David's city, the which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,
to be inscribed in the census roll with Mary who was betrothed to him [as his] wife, she being great with child.
And it came to pass, while they were there, the days of her giving birth [to her child] were fulfilled,
and she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him up in swaddling-clothes and laid him in the manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were shepherds in that country abiding without, and keeping watch by night over their flock.
And lo, an angel of [the] Lord was there by them, and [the] glory of [the] Lord shone around them, and they feared [with] great fear.
And the angel said to them, Fear not, for behold, I announce to you glad tidings of great joy, which shall be to all the people;
for to-day a Saviour has been born to you in David's city, who is Christ [the] Lord.
And this is the sign to you: ye shall find a babe wrapped in swaddling-clothes, and lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good pleasure in men.
And it came to pass, as the angels departed from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, Let us make our way then now as far as Bethlehem, and let us see this thing that is come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.
And they came with haste, and found both Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in the manger;
and having seen [it] they made known about the country the thing which had been said to them concerning this child.
And all who heard [it] wondered at the things said to them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things [in her mind], pondering [them] in her heart.
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all things which they had heard and seen, as it had been said to them.
And when eight days were fulfilled for circumcising him, his name was called Jesus, which was the name given by the angel before he had been conceived in the womb.
And when the days were fulfilled for their purifying according to the law of Moses, they brought him to Jerusalem to present [him] to the Lord
(as it is written in the law of [the] Lord: Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord),
and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of [the] Lord: A pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons.
And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was just and pious, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and [the] Holy Spirit was upon him.
And it was divinely communicated to him by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death before he should see [the] Lord's Christ.
And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and as the parents brought in the child Jesus that they might do for him according to the custom of the law,
*he* received him into his arms, and blessed God, and said,
Lord, now thou lettest thy bondman go, according to thy word, in peace;
for mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples;
a light for revelation of [the] Gentiles and [the] glory of thy people Israel.
And his father and mother wondered at the things which were said concerning him.
And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother, Lo, this [child] is set for the fall and rising up of many in Israel, and for a sign spoken against;
(and even a sword shall go through thine own soul;) so that [the] thoughts may be revealed from many hearts.
And there was a prophetess, Anna, daughter of Phanuel, of [the] tribe of Asher, who was far advanced in years, having lived with [her] husband seven years from her virginity,
and herself a widow up to eighty-four years; who did not depart from the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers;
and she coming up the same hour gave praise to the Lord, and spoke of him to all those who waited for redemption in Jerusalem.
And when they had completed all things according to the law of [the] Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own city Nazareth.
And the child grew and waxed strong [in spirit], filled with wisdom, and God's grace was upon him.
And his parents went yearly to Jerusalem at the feast of the passover.
And when he was twelve years old, and they went up [to Jerusalem] according to the custom of the feast
and had completed the days, as they returned, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, and his parents knew not [of it];
but, supposing him to be in the company that journeyed together, they went a day's journey, and sought him among their relations and acquaintances:
and not having found him they returned to Jerusalem seeking him.
And it came to pass, after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers and hearing them and asking them questions.
And all who heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
And when they saw him they were amazed: and his mother said to him, Child, why hast thou dealt thus with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee distressed.
And he said to them, Why [is it] that ye have sought me? did ye not know that I ought to be [occupied] in my Father's business?
And they understood not the thing that he said to them.
And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and he was in subjection to them. And his mother kept all these things in her heart.
And Jesus advanced in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men.
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