RKJNT(i) 1 Since many have undertaken to set forth in order a narrative of those things which have happened among us, 2 Just as they have been delivered to us, by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; 3 It seemed good to me also, having carefully investigated all these things from the very beginning, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, 4 That you might know the certainty of those things, about which you have been instructed. 5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abija: and his wife was one of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord. 7 And they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both now well along in years. 8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's service before God while his division was on duty, 9 According to the custom of the priest's office, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of people were praying outside at the time of incense offering. 11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And when Zechariah saw him, he was troubled, and fear came upon him. 13 But the angel said to him, Fear not, Zechariah: for your prayer has been heard; and your wife Elizabeth shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you shall have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. 15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. 16 And he shall turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he shall go 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 just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. 18 And Zechariah said to the angel, How shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife is well along in years. 19 And the angel answered him, I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God; and have been sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news. 20 Behold, you shall be silent, unable to speak, until the day that these things come to pass, because you have not believed my words, which shall be fulfilled in their time. 21 And the people waited for Zechariah, and wondered why he delayed so long in the temple. 22 And when he came out, he could not speak to them: and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned to them, and remained speechless. 23 And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his service were finished, he departed to his own house. 24 And after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, 25 Thus has the Lord dealt with me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my disgrace among men. 26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And the angel came to her, and said, Hail, you who are highly favoured, the Lord is with you. 29 And she was troubled at his words, and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, Fear not, Mary, for you have found favour with God. 31 And behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High: and the Lord God shall give to 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 Then Mary said to the angel, How shall this be, since I am a virgin? 35 And the angel answered her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow you: therefore the holy child to be born shall be called the Son of God. 36 And, behold, your cousin Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age: and she who was called barren is in her sixth month. 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38 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. 39 And at that time Mary arose, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah; 40 And entered into the house of Zechariah, and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And it came to pass, that, when Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit: 42 And she spoke out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And why do I deserve to have the mother of my Lord come to me? 44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that those things which were told her from the Lord would be fulfilled. 46 And Mary said, My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 And my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour. 48 For he has looked upon the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 49 For he who is mighty has done great things for me; and holy is his name. 50 And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation. 51 He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered those who were proud in the imagination of their hearts. 52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he has sent away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; 55 As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed forever. 56 And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her own house. 57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth; and she brought forth a son. 58 And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shown great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her. 59 And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they were going to call him Zechariah, after the name of his father. 60 And his mother answered and said, No; he shall be called John. 61 And they said to her, There is no one of your family who is called by this name. 62 And they made signs to his father, what he would have him called. 63 And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, His name is John. And they all marvelled. 64 And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, and praised God. 65 And fear came upon all who lived around them: and all these things were spoken of throughout all the hill country of Judaea. 66 And all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What shall this child shall turn out to be! And the hand of the Lord was with him. 67 And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying, 68 Blessed is the Lord God of Israel; for he has visited and redeemed 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 mouths of his holy prophets, from long ago: 71 That we would be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us; 72 To show the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73 The oath which he swore to our father Abraham, 74 That he would grant to us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, 75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our lives. 76 And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High: for you shall go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; 77 To give to his people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins; 78 Through the tender mercy of our God, the sunrise from on high will visit us, 79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. 80 And the child grew, and grew strong in spirit, and lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel.