Bishops(i) 1 Forasmuche as manye haue taken in hande, to set foorth in order, ye declaration of those thynges whiche are moste surelye to be beleued among vs 2 Euen as they deliuered them vnto vs, which from the begynnyng sawe them them selues with their eyes, and were ministers of the worde 3 I determined also, assoone as I had searched out diligently all thinges from the begynnyng, that then I woulde write vnto thee, moste excellent Theophilus 4 That thou myghtest knowe the certentie of those thinges wherof thou hast ben infourmed 5 There was in the dayes of Herode the kyng of Iurie, a certaine priest, named Zacharias, of the course of Abia, & his wyfe was of the daughters of Aaron, & her name was Elizabeth 6 They were both ryghteous before God, and walked in all the lawes and ordinaunces of the Lorde, that no man coulde fynde fault with them 7 And they had no chylde, because that Elizabeth was barren: and they both were nowe well stricken in age 8 And it came to passe, that when Zacharie executed the priestes office before God, as his course came 9 Accordyng to ye custome of the priestes office, his lot was to burne incence, whe he went into the temple of the Lorde 10 And the whole multitude of the people were without in prayer, whyle the incence was burnyng 11 And there appeared vnto hym an Angel of the Lorde, standyng on the ryght syde of the aulter of incence 12 And when Zacharias sawe him, he was troubled, and feare came vpo him 13 But the Angel sayde vnto him: Feare not Zacharie, for thy prayer is hearde: and thy wyfe Elizabeth shall beare thee a sonne, & thou shalt cal his name Iohn 14 And thou shalt haue ioy and gladnesse, and many shall reioyce at his birth 15 For he shalbe great in the syght of the Lorde, and shall neither drynke wine nor strong drynke: and he shalbe fylled with the holy ghost, euen from his mothers wombe 16 And many of the chyldren of Israel, shall he turne to their Lorde God 17 And he shall go before hym, with the spirite and power of Elias, to turne the heartes of the fathers to the chyldren, and the disobedient to the wisedome of the iust men, to make redy a perfect people for the Lorde 18 And Zacharias saide vnto the Angel: By what token shall I know this? For I am olde, and my wyfe well stricken in yeres 19 And the Angel aunswered, and sayde vnto hym: I am Gabriel that stande in the presence of God, and am sent to speake vnto thee, and to shewe thee these glad tydynges 20 And beholde, thou shalt be dumbe, & not be able to speake, vntyll the day that these thynges be perfourmed, because thou beleuedst not my wordes, whiche shalbe fulfylled in their season 21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marueyled that he taried so long in the temple 22 And when he came out, he coulde not speake vnto them. And they perceaued that he had seene a vision in the temple: For he beckened vnto them, and remayned speachlesse 23 And it came to passe, that assoone as the dayes of his office were out, he departed into his owne house 24 And after those dayes, his wyfe Elizabeth conceaued, and hyd her selfe fiue monethes, saying 25 Thus hath the Lorde dealt with me, in the dayes wherein he loked on me, to take fro me my rebuke among men 26 And in the sixth moneth, the Angel Gabriel was sent from God, vnto a citie of Galilee, named Nazareth 27 To a virgin, spoused to a man whose name was Ioseph, of the house of Dauid, and the virgins name was Marie 28 And the Angel went in vnto her, and sayde: Hayle [thou that art] freelie beloued, the Lorde is with thee, blessed art thou among women 29 And when she sawe hym, she was troubled at his saying, and caste in her mynde what maner of salutation that shoulde be 30 And the Angel saide vnto her: Feare not Marie, for thou hast founde grace with God 31 For beholde, thou shalt conceaue in thy wombe, and beare a sonne, & shalt call his name Iesus 32 He shalbe great, & shalbe called ye sonne of the hyest: & the Lord God shall geue vnto him the seate of his father Dauid 33 And he shall reigne ouer the house of Iacob for euer, and of his kyngdome there shalbe none ende 34 Then said Marie vnto ye Angel: How shall this be, seing I knowe not a man 35 And the Angel aunswered, & saide vnto her: The holy ghost shall come vpon thee, & the power of the hyest shall ouershadowe thee. Therefore also that holy thyng whiche shalbe borne, shalbe called the sonne of God 36 And beholde, thy cosin Elizabeth, she hath also conceaued a sonne in her olde age: & this is her sixth moneth, whiche was called barren 37 For with God, shall nothyng be vnpossible 38 And Marie saide: Beholde the handmayden of the Lorde, be it vnto me accordyng to thy worde. And the Angel departed from her 39 And Marie arose in those dayes, & went into the hyll countrey with haste, into a citie of Iuda 40 And entred into the house of Zacharie, and saluted Elizabeth 41 And it came to passe, that when Elizabeth hearde the salutation of Marie, the babe sprang in her wombe, and Elizabeth was fylled with the holy ghost 42 And she cryed with a loude voyce, and saide: Blessed art thou among women, because ye fruite of thy wombe is blessed 43 And whence commeth this to me, that ye mother of my lord should come to me 44 For loe, assoone as the voyce of thy salutation sounded in mine eares, the babe sprang in my wombe for ioy 45 And blessed is she that beleued: For those thinges shalbe perfourmed, which were tolde her from the Lorde 46 And Marie saide: My soule magnifieth the Lorde 47 And my spirite reioyceth in God my sauiour 48 For he hath loked on the lowe degree of his handmayden: For loe, now from hencefoorth shal all generations call me blessed 49 Because, he that is mightie, hath done to me great thinges, & holy is his name 50 And his mercy is on them that feare him, from generation to generation 51 He hath shewed stregth with his arme, he hath scattered them that are proude, in the imagination of their heartes 52 He hath put downe the myghtie fro their seates, and exalted them of lowe degree 53 He hath fylled the hungry with good thynges, & sent away the riche emptie 54 He hath helped his seruaunt Israel, in remembraunce of his mercy 55 ( Euen as he promised to our fathers, Abraham, and to his seede) for euer 56 And Marie abode with her about three monethes, and returned agayne to her owne house 57 Elizabethes tyme came, that she shoulde be deliuered, and she brought foorth a sonne 58 And her neyghbours, and her cosins hearde howe the Lorde hadde shewed great mercy vpo her, and they reioyced with her 59 And it came to passe, that on the eyght day they came to circumcise the chylde, and called his name Zacharias, after the name of his father 60 And his mother aunswered, and said: not so, but he shalbe called Iohn 61 And they sayde vnto her: There is none in thy kinrede that is named with this name 62 And they made signes to his father, howe he woulde haue hym called 63 And he asked for wrytyng tables, and wrote, saying, his name is Iohn. And they marueyled all 64 And his mouth was opened immediatly, and his tounge [loosed] & he spake, and praysed God 65 And feare came on all them that dwelt nye vnto them: And all these sayinges were noysed abrode throughout all the hyll countrey of Iurie 66 And all they that hearde them, layde them vp in their heartes, saying: What maner of chylde shall this be? And the hande of the Lorde was with hym 67 And his father Zacharias was filled with ye holy ghost, & prophesied, saying 68 Praysed be ye Lord God of Israel, for he hath visited & redeemed his people 69 And hath raysed vp an horne of saluation vnto vs, in the house of his seruaunt Dauid 70 Euen as he promised by the mouth of his holy prophetes, whiche were sence the worlde began 71 That he would saue vs from our enemies, and from the hande of all that hate vs 72 That he would deale mercyfully with our fathers, and remember his holy couenaunt 73 And that he woulde perfourme the oth, which he sware to our father Abraham, for to geue vs 74 That we, beyng deliuered out of the handes of our enemies, might serue him without feare 75 All the dayes of our life, in [such] holynesse and righteousnes [as are accepted] before hym 76 And thou childe shalt be called the prophete of the hyghest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lorde, to prepare his wayes 77 To geue knowledge of saluation vnto his people, by the remission of their sinnes 78 Through ye tender mercy of our God, wherby the day spryng from an hygh hath visited vs 79 To geue lyght to them that sitte in darknesse, and in the shadowe of death, to guide our feete into the way of peace 80 And the chylde grewe, and waxed strong in spirite, and was in wildernesse till the day came when he should shewe hym selfe vnto the Israelites