Thomson(i) 1 Whereas many have undertaken to compose a history of those things which have been accomplished among us, 2 as they who were from the beginning eye witnesses, and are ministers of the word, have delivered them to us; 3 it seemed good to me. also, when I had accurately traced every thing from the very first, immediately afterwards to write to thee, most excellent Theophilus, 4 that thou mayst know the certainty of those doctrines in which thou hast been instructed. 5 In the days of Herod, the king of Judea, there was a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia; and his wife, whose name was Elizabeth, was of the race of Aaron. 6 They were both righteous in the sight of God, walking in all the commandments and precepts of the Lord, without blame. 7 Now they had no child, as Elizabeth was barren. And they were both advanced in years. 8 And it came to pass that when he was performing the priest's office before God, in the order of his course, 9 it fell to his lot, according to the order of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord, to burn incense, 10 while the whole multitude of the people were praying without, at the time of the incense offering. 11 And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense, 12 at the sight of whom Zacharias was greatly discomposed and terrified. 13 Whereupon the angel said to him, Fear not, Zacharias; for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife, Elizabeth, will bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. 14 He will indeed be to thee matter of joy and exultation; and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must not drink wine, nor any fermented liquor. With a holy spirit he will be filled, even from his mother's womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 He will go before in his presence, with the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and prepare disobedient persons, by a deep sense of righteous things, to be for the Lord a well disposed people. 18 Thereupon Zacharias said to the angel, How can I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife is far advanced in years. 19 In reply to which, the angel said to him, I am Gabriel, who attend in the presence of God: and I am sent to speak to thee, and to tell thee these glad tidings. 20 Now, behold, thou shalt be dumb and unable to speak, until the day when these tidings shall be accomplished; because thou hast not believed my words, which shall be confirmed in their season. 21 Now the people were waiting for Zacharias, and wondered at his tarrying so long in the temple. 22 And when he came out, he could not speak to them. So they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he made signs to them and continued deaf and dumb. 23 And when the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. 24 And after these days, his wife Elizabeth conceived; and kept herself retired five months, saying, 25 The Lord hath dealt thus with me in the days in which he looked on me to take away my reproach among men. 26 Arid in the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin contracted to a man, whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And when the angel entered, he said to her, Hail, favourite of heaven! The Lord is with thee! Blessed thou among women! 29 Upon seeing him she was greatly discomposed at his speech, and revolved in her mind what sort of a salutation this might be. 30 Whereupon the angel said to her, Fear not, Mary. For thou hast found favour with God. 31 Now behold thou shall conceive, and bear a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the 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 forever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then Mary said to the angel, How can this be, since I know not man. 35 And the angel answering, said to her, A holy spirit will come upon thee, and the power of the Most High will overshadow thee, therefore the holy offspring will be called the son of God. 36 Now behold Elizabeth thy cousin, even she hath conceived a son in her old age. And this is the sixth month with her, who hath been called barren. 37 For with God nothing is impossible. 38 Thereupon Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it to me according to thy word. 39 And the angel left her. And in those days Mary set out and travelled with speed to the hill country, to a city of Juda, 40 and went to the house of Zacharias and saluted Elizabeth. 41 And soon as Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb: and Elizabeth was filled with a holy spirit, 42 and with a loud acclamation said, Blessed thou among women! and blessed the fruit of thy womb. 43 How have I this honour, that the mother of my Lord should come to me! 44 For behold! soon as the sound of thy salutation reached mine ear, the babe within me leaped for joy. 45 Happy indeed is she who believed that there shall be an accomplishment of the things spoken to her from the Lord. 46 Then Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord: 47 and my spirit exulteth in God, my Saviour: 48 because he hath regarded the low condition of his handmaid. For behold! henceforth all generations will call me happy. 49 Because the Mighty One hath done great things for me; therefore hallowed be his name. 50 Indeed his mercy on them who fear him, extendeth to generations of generations. 51 With his arm he hath displayed strength. He hath scattered them who were elated with the imagination of their heart. 52 From thrones he hath hurled potentates, and exalted them of low degree. 53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and sent away the rich empty. 54 He hath supported his servant Israel, remembering [as he spoke to our fathers] mercy 55 for Abraham and his seed forever. 56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and then returned home. 57 Now when the time for Elizabeth's delivery was come, she8 brought forth a son. 58 And her neighbours and her relations, hearing that the Lord had magnified his mercy to her, rejoiced with her. 59 And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. 60 But his mother interposing, said, No. He shall be called John. 61 And they said to her, There is none among thy kindred who is called by that name. 62 Then they made signs to his father to know what he would have him called. 63 And he, having demanded a table book, wrote, saying, His name is John. At which they were all surprised. 64 And his mouth was immediately opened, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, praising God. 65 And all in the neighbourhood were struck with awe. And the fame of all these things spread through the whole hill country of Judea. 66 And all who heard laid them up in their mind, saying, What will this child be? And the hand of the Lord was with him. 67 And Zacharias his father was filled with a holy spirit, and he prophesied, saying, 68 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; because he hath visited and delivered his people. 69 He indeed hath raised up for us a horn of salvation in the house of his servant David 70 [as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets of old] 71 a deliverance from our enemies, and out of the hand of all who hate us 72 in kindness to our fathers, and in remembrance of his holy covenant 73 [as he sware to our father Abraham] 74 that he would grant us, that we, being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, may serve him without fear, 75 in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. 76 Now as for thee, child, thou shalt be called a prophet of the Most High; for thou shall go before in the presence of the Lord, to prepare his ways; 77 to give his people a knowledge of salvation, by a remission of their sins, 78 through the tender mercy of our God, by which the Anatole [the day spring] from on high hath visited us 79 to give light to them who are sitting in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet to the way of peace." 80 And the child grew, and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of the manifestation of him to Israel.