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FORASMUCH as many have taken in hand to draw up a narrative concerning those matters which have 2 been 'fulfilled among us, even as they delivered them 1 or fully estab unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitness3 es and ministers of the word, it seemed good to me also, having traced the course of all things accurately from the first, to write unto thee in order, most 4 excellent Theophilus; that thou mightest know the 2 Gr. words. certainty concerning the 'things wherein thou wast 3 Or, which thou wast taught by instructed. word of mouth

THERE was in the days of Herod, king of Judæa, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abijah: and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, 6 and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the command7ments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years. Now it came to pass, while he executed the priest's 9 office before God in the order of his course, accord


4 Gr. advanced in their days.

ing to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to enter into the temple of the Lord and burn in- 5 Or, sanctuary 10 cense. And the whole multitude of the people were 11 praying without at the hour of incense. And there

appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on 12 the right side of the altar of incense. And Zacharias

was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: be

cause thy supplication is heard, and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name 14 John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and

many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great 15 in the sight of the Lord, and he shall drink no wine

1 Gr. sikera.

2 Or, Holy Spirit: nor 'strong drink; and he shall be filled with the 'Holy and so through- Ghost, even from his mother's womb. And many 16

out this book.

Some ancient au- of the children of Israel shall he turn unto the Lord

thorities read

their God. And he shall go before his face in the 17 spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to walk in the wisdom of the just; to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him. And Zacharias 18 said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for 4 Gr. advanced in I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said unto him, I 19 am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and I was sent to speak unto thee, and to bring thee these good tidings. And behold, thou shalt be silent and 20 not able to speak, until the day that these things shall come to pass, because thou believedst not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.

her days.

And 21

come nigh before his face.

5 Or, at his tarry- the people were waiting for Zacharias, and they maring velled while he tarried in the temple. And when 22 6 Or, sanctuary he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the 'temple: and he continued making signs unto them, and remained dumb. And it came to pass, when the 23 days of his ministration were fulfilled, he departed unto his house.

And after these days Elisabeth his wife conceived; 24 and she hid herself five months, saying, Thus hath 25 the Lord done unto me in the days wherein he looked upon me, to take away my reproach among men.

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent 26 from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to 27 a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, 7 Or, endued with of the house of David; and the virgin's name was


8 Many ancient au- Mary. And he came in unto her, and said, Hail, 28 thorities add thou that art 'highly favoured, the Lord is with thee.

blessed art thou

See ver. 42.

among women. But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and cast 29 in her mind what manner of salutation this might be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: 30 for thou hast found 'favour with God. And behold, 31 thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be 32 great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house 33

10 Gr. unto the ages. Of Jacob 1ofor ever; and of his kingdom there shall

be no end. And Mary said unto the angel, How 34

9 Or, grace


35 shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: wherefore* also 'that which is to be born 3shall be called holy, the Son 36 of God. And behold, Elisabeth thy kinswoman, she also hath conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her that was called barren. For no word from God shall be void of power. And 4 or, is Mary said, Behold, the "handmaid of the Lord; be it 5 Gr. bondmaid. unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.





39 And Mary arose in these days and went into the 40 hill country with haste, into a city of Judah; and entered into the house of Zacharias and saluted Eli41 sabeth. And it came to pass, when Elisabeth heard

the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; 42 and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost; and she lifted up her voice with a loud cry, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the 43 fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that 44 the mother of my Lord should come unto me? For behold, when the voice of thy salutation came into 45 mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And

blessed is she that "believed; for there shall be a ful- 6 Or, believed that

there shall be

filment of the things which have been spoken to her 46 from the Lord. And Mary said,






My soul doth magnify the Lord,

And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath looked upon the low estate of his

For behold, from henceforth all generations shall
call me blessed.

For he that is mighty hath done to me great

And holy is his name.

And his mercy is unto generations and genera-

1 Or, the holy thing

which is to be born

shall be called the

Son of God.

or, is begotten

Some ancient au

thorities insert of

He hath put down princes from their thrones,
And hath exalted them of low degree.

The hungry he hath filled with good things;

On them that fear him.

He hath shewed strength with his arm;

He hath scattered the proud in the imagination 8 Or, by
of their heart.



*Let the text run "wherefore also the holy thing which is begotten shall be called the Son of God" with the present text in the margin.-Am. Com.

7 Gr. bondmaiden.


And the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen Israel his servant, That he might remember mercy (As he spake unto our fathers) Toward Abraham and his seed for ever. And Mary abode with her about three months, 56 and returned unto her house.


Now Elisabeth's time was fulfilled that she should 57 be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And 58 her neighbours and her kinsfolk heard that the Lord had magnified his mercy towards her; and they rejoiced with her. And it came to pass on the eighth 59 day, that they came to circumcise the child; and they would have called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and 60 said, Not so; but he shall be called John. And 61 they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs 62 to his father, what he would have him called. And 63 he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all. And his 64 mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, blessing God. And fear came 65 on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judæa. And all that heard them laid 66 them up in their heart, saying, What then shall this child be? For the hand of the Lord was with him.

And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy 67 Ghost, and prophesied, saying,

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;


For he hath visited and wrought redemption for
his people,

And hath raised up a horn of salvation for us 69
In the house of his servant David

(As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets 70 which have been since the world began*),

Salvation from our enemies, and from the hand 71 of all that hate us;


To shew mercy towards our fathers,
And to remember his holy covenant;

The oath which he sware unto Abraham our 73


To grant unto us that we being delivered out of 74 the hand of our enemies

*For "since the world began " read "of old" Similarly Acts iii. 21; xv. 18.-Am. Com.

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Should serve him without fear,

In holiness and righteousness before him all our

Yea and thou, child, shalt be called the prophet
of the Most High:

For thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to
make ready his ways;

To give knowledge of salvation unto his people
In the remission of their sins,

Because of the 'tender mercy of our God,
"Whereby the dayspring from on high shall 3 Many

visit us,

To shine upon them that sit in darkness and the
shadow of death;


To guide our feet into the way of peace. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.

1 Or, heart of mercy 2 Or, Wherein

ancient authorities read hath visited us.


Now it came to pass in those days, there went out


a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world 4 Gr. the inhabited 2 should be enrolled. This was the first enrolment 3 made when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And

all went to enrol themselves, every one to his own 4 city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out

of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was 5 of the house and family of David; to enrol himself

with Mary, who was betrothed to him, being great 6 with child. And it came to pass, while they were there, the days were fulfilled that she should be de7 livered. And she brought forth her firstborn son; and she wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.


And there were shepherds in the same country abiding in the field, and keeping watch by night 5 Or, nightwatches 9 over their flock. And an angel of the Lord stood

by them, and the glory of the Lord shone round 10 about them: and they were sore afraid. And the

angel said unto them, Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be 11 to all the people: for there is born to you this day


in the city of David a Saviour, which is "Christ the 6 Or, 12 Lord. And this is the sign unto you; Ye shall find

a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a 13 manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,


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