BLB(i) 1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to draw up a narration concerning the things having been accomplished among us, 2 just as those from the beginning having been eyewitnesses and servants of the word delivered them to us, 3 it seemed good also to me, having been acquainted with all things carefully from the first, to write with method to you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty concerning the things which you were instructed. 5 There was in the days of Herod king of Judea a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah, and his wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking blameless in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord. 7 And to them there was no child, inasmuch as Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in their years. 8 Now it came to pass, in his fulfilling the priestly service before God in the order of his division, 9 according to the custom of the priesthood, it fell to him by lot to burn incense, having entered into the temple of the Lord. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of the incense. 11 And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right of the altar of the incense. 12 And having seen him, Zechariah was troubled, and fear fell upon him. 13 And the angel said to him, “Fear not, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard, and Your wife Elizabeth will bear to you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And he will be joy and gladness to you, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great before the Lord. And he shall never drink wine and strong drink, and he will be full of the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go forth 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 righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” 18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “By what will I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in her years.” 19 And the angel answering, said to him, “I am Gabriel, the one standing before God; and I was sent to speak to you, and to bring these glad tidings to you. 20 And behold, you will be silent, and not able to speak until that day these things shall take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their season.” 21 And the people were expecting Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delaying in temple. 22 And having come out, he was not able to speak to them, and they recognized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he was making signs to them, and remained mute. 23 And it came to pass, when the days of his service were fulfilled, he departed to his home. 24 And after these days, his wife Elizabeth conceived, and she hid herself five months, saying, 25 “Thus the Lord has done to me, in the days in which He looked upon me to take away my disgrace among men.” 26 And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee whose name was Nazareth, 27 to 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 having come to her, he said, “Greetings, you favored with grace! The Lord is with you.” 29 And she was troubled at the statement and was pondering what kind this salutation might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Fear not, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in womb, and will bring forth a son, and you shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and He will be called Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob to the ages. And of His kingdom there will be no end!” 34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I do not know a man?” 35 And the angel answering, said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore also the Holy One being born will be called the Son of God. 36 And behold your relative Elizabeth, she also has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month to her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, the Lord’s handmaid. May it happen to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. 39 And in those days Mary, having risen up, went with haste into the hill country, to a town of Judah, 40 and she entered into the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And it came to pass, as Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby in her womb leaped. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she cried out in a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit your of womb. 43 And from where is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, as the voice of your greeting came into my ears, the baby in my womb leaped in exultation. 45 And blessed is the one having believed that there will be a fulfillment to the things spoken to her from the Lord.” 46 And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. 48 For He has looked upon the humiliation of His handmaiden. For behold, from henceforth all the generations will count me blessed. 49 For the mighty One has done great things to me. And holy is His name. 50 And His mercy is to generations and generations, to those fearing Him. 51 He has shown strength with His arm, He has scattered the proud in the thought of their heart. 52 He has brought down rulers from thrones, and exalted the humble. 53 He has filled those hungering with good things, and those being rich He has sent away empty. 54 He has helped Israel His servant, remembering mercy, 55 as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his to descendants to the age.” 56 And Mary dwelt with her about three months, and returned to her home. 57 Now the time was fulfilled to Elizabeth for her to give birth, and she bore a son. 58 And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord was magnifying His mercy with her, and they were rejoicing with her. 59 And it came to pass on the eighth day, they came to circumcise the child, and were calling it after the name of his father, Zechariah. 60 And his mother answering said, “No, but he will be called John.” 61 And they said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name.” 62 And they were making signs to his father, what he might wish him to be called. 63 And having asked for a writing tablet, he wrote, saying, “John is his name.” And they all marveled. 64 And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue, and he was speaking, blessing God. 65 And fear came upon all those dwelling around them. And in all the hill country of Judea all these words were being talked about. 66 And all those having heard laid them up in their heart, saying, “What then will this child be?” And indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him. 67 And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying, 68 “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has visited and has performed redemption on His people, 69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us, in the house of His servant David; 70 as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets of old, 71 salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all those hating us, 72 to fulfill mercy toward our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant, 73 the oath that He swore to Abraham our father, to grant us, 74 having been saved from the hand of our enemies, to serve Him without fear, 75 in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life. 76 And you, child, will be called prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare His ways, 77 to give knowledge of salvation to His people, in forgiveness of their sins, 78 through the affections of compassion of our God, in which the Sunrise will visit us from on high, 79 to shine upon those sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death, to direct our feet into the way of peace.” 80 And the child continued to grow and was strengthened in spirit; and he was in the deserted places until the day of his appearance to Israel.