Godbey(i) 1 Inasmuch as many took it in hand to present a history concerning these things which have been fulfilled among us, 2 as those being eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word have delivered unto us; 3 it seemed good to me also, having followed carefully all things from the beginning, to write unto thee consecutively, O most noble Theophilus, 4 in order that thou mayest know the certainty of the words concerning which thou hast been instructed. 5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest, by name Zacharias, of the course of Ahijah, and his wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord, blameless. 7 And there was no child to them, as Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in their days. 8 And it came to pass, while he was officiating in the order of his course before God, 9 (according to the custom of the priesthood he was chosen by lot to offer incense), having gone into the temple of the Lord; 10 and all the multitude of the people were praying without at the hour of incense; 11 the angel of the Lord appeared unto him standing on the right hand of the altar of incense: 12 and Zacharias was troubled seeing him, and fear fell on him. 13 And the angel said to him; Fear not, Zacharias; because thy prayer has been heard, and thy wife Elizabeth shall bring forth a son to thee, and thou shalt call his name John. 14 And there shall be joy and rejoicing, and many shall rejoice at his birth. 15 For he shall be great before the Lord; and he shall not drink wine and strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost even from the womb of his mother. 16 And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord, their God. 17 And he will go before Him in the spirit and Power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient unto the understanding of the righteous, to prepare a people made ready for the Lord. 18 And Zacharias said to the angel: According to what shall I know this? for I am old and my wife advanced in her days. 19 And the angel responding said to him; I am Gabriel standing in the presence of God, and am sent to speak to you and to preach to you these things. 20 And behold thou shalt be dumb and unable to speak, unto the day upon which these things may take place; because thou didst not believe my words, which shall be fulfilled in their time. 21 And the people were waiting for Zacharias, and were wondering because he tarries in the temple. 22 And having come out he was unable to speak to them; and they recognized that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he was beckoning to them and remained dumb. 23 And it came to pass when the days of his ministry were fulfilled, he went away to his own house. 24 And after these days Elizabeth, his wife, conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, 25 That the Lord so hath done unto me, in the days in which He condescended to take away my reproach among men. 26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, to which was the name 27 Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man, to whom was the name Joseph of the house of David; and the name of the virgin was Mary. 28 And the angel having come to her said; Hail, thou blessed one; the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women. 29 And she seeing was troubled over his word, and was reasoning what kind this salutation might be. 30 And the angel said to her; Fear not, Mary; for thou didst find favor with God. 31 And behold, thou shalt conceive and hear a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus. 32 He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: 33 and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His Kingdom there shall be no end. 34 And Mary said to the angel; How shall this be, since I know not man? 35 And the angel responding said to her; The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore, indeed, that holy thing that is begotten shall be called the Son of God. 36 And behold Elizabeth thy kinswoman, indeed, herself having conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month, to her who is called barren. 37 Because no word shall be impossible with God. 38 And Mary said; Behold the handmaiden of the Lord; may it be done unto me according to thy word. And the angel went away from her. 39 And Mary, rising, departed into the mountainous land, with haste, into a city of Judah. 40 And she came into the house of Zacharias and saluted Elizabeth. 41 And it came to pass when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant in her womb leaped; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit; and she spoke with a loud voice and said; 42 Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 43 And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord may come unto me? 44 For behold when the voice of your salutation came into my ears, the infant in my womb leaped with joy. 45 And blessed is she that believeth, because there shall be a perfection to those things having been spoken to her by the Lord. 46 And Mary said; My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, 48 because He looked upon the low state of his handmaiden. 49 For behold from now all generations call me blessed; because the Mighty One did great things unto me, and His name is holy; 50 and His mercy unto generation of generations to them that fear Him. 51 He wrought power by his own arm; he dispersed the proud in the thought of their heart. 52 He cast down the mighty from thrones and exalted the humble. 53 He filled the poor with good things, and sent away the rich empty. 54 He delivered his son Israel, to remember mercy, 55 as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his seed forever. 56 And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her own house. 57 And the time of her parturition was fulfilled unto Elizabeth and she brought forth a son. 58 And the neighbors and her relatives heard, that the Lord was magnifying His mercy with her, and they continued to rejoice with her. 59 And it came to pass on the eighth day, they came to circumcise the little child; and they were calling him Zacharias, after the name of his father. 60 And his mother responding said; No, but he shall be called John. 61 And they said to her; That there is no one among thy kindred who is called by this name. 62 And they were beckoning to his father, what he might wish to call him. 63 And having asked for a writing tablet, he wrote saying; His name is John. 64 And all marveled. And his mouth immediately opened and his tongue loosed, and he continued to speak, praising God. 65 And fear came upon all of those dwelling around; and all these words were spoken abroad in all the mountainous regions of Judea. 66 And all those hearing placed them in their heart, saying; What then shall this little child be? And the hand of the Lord was with him. 67 And Zacharias his father was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied saying; 68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, because He looked upon us and wrought redemption to His people, and raised up unto us a horn of salvation 69 in the house of David His son. 70 As he spoke through the mouth of His holy prophets from the beginning; 71 salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all those who hate us, 72 to execute mercy with our fathers, and remember His holy covenant, 73 the oath which He swore to Abraham our father: 74 to grant unto us, having been delivered out of 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 thou, little child, shall be called a prophet of the Highest; for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, 77 to give knowledge of salvation to His people in remission of their sins, 78 through the bowels of mercy of our God, in which the dayspring from on high looked upon us, 79 to appear unto those sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death, to direct our feet in the way of peace. 80 And the little child continued to grow and waxed strong in spirit; and was in the deserts until the day of his showing unto Israel.