1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,
2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,
4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife [was] of the daughters of Aaron, and her name [was] Elisabeth.
6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
7 And they had no childe, because that Elisabet was barren: and both were well stricken in age.
8 And it came to passe, as he executed the Priestes office before God, as his course came in order,
9 According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.
10 And the whole multitude of the people were without in prayer, while the incense was burning.
11 Then appeared vnto him an Angel of the Lorde standing at the right side of the altar of incense.
12 And when Zacharias sawe him, he was troubled, and feare fell vpon him.
13 But the Angel saide vnto him, Feare not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard, and thy wise Elisabet shall beare thee a sonne, and thou shalt call his name Iohn.
14 And thou shalt haue ioy and gladnes, and many shall reioyce 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 Ghost, even from his mother's womb.
16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, 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 Then Zacharias said vnto ye Angel, Whereby shall I knowe this? For I am an olde man, and my wife is of a great age.
19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.
20 And beholde, thou shalt be domme, & not be able to speake, vntill the day that these things be done, because thou beleeuedst not my words, which shalbe fulfilled in their season.
21 Now the people waited for Zacharias, and marueiled that he taried so long in the Temple.
22 And when hee came out, hee coulde not speake vnto them: then they perceiued that hee had seene a vision in the Temple: For he made signes vnto them, and remained domme.
23 And it came to passe, when the daies of his office were fulfilled, that he departed to his owne house.
24 And after those daies, his wife Elisabet conceiued, and hid her selfe fiue moneths, saying,
25 Thus hath the Lorde dealt with me, in the daies wherein he looked on me, to take from me my rebuke among men.
26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name [was] Mary.
28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, [thou that art] highly favoured, the Lord [is] with thee: blessed [art] thou among women.
29 And when she saw [him], she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 For loe, thou shalt conceiue in thy wobe, and beare a sonne, and shalt call his name Iesus.
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 hee shall reigne ouer the house of Iacob for euer, and of his kingdome shall bee none ende.
34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
37 For with God shall nothing be vnpossible.
38 Then Marie said, Behold the seruant of the Lord: be it vnto me according to thy woorde. So the Angel departed from her.
39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;
40 And entred into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabet.
41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed [art] thou among women, and blessed [is] the fruit of thy womb.
43 And whence commeth this to mee, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44 For loe, assoone as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine eares, the babe sprang in my bellie for ioye,
45 And blessed is shee that beleeued: for those things shall be perfourmed, which were tolde her from the Lord.
46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
47 And my spirite reioyceth in God my Sauiour.
48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49 Because hee that is mightie, hath done for me great things, and holy is his Name.
50 And his mercy [is] on them that fear him from generation to generation.
51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He hath put down the mighty from [their] seats, and exalted them of low degree.
53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
54 He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of [his] mercy;
55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
56 And Marie abode with her about three moneths: after, shee returned to her owne house.
57 Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.
58 And her neighbours, and cousins heard tell howe the Lorde had shewed his great mercie vpon her, and they reioyced with her.
59 And it was so that on the eight day they came to circumcise the babe, and called him Zacharias after the name of his father.
60 But his mother answered, and saide, Not so, but he shalbe called Iohn.
61 And they saide vnto her, There is none of thy kindred, that is named with this name.
62 Then they made signes to his father, howe he would haue him called.
63 So hee asked for writing tables, and wrote, saying, His name is Iohn, and they marueiled all.
64 And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue, and he spake and praised God.
65 And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea.
66 And all they that heard [them] laid [them] up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.
67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,
68 Blessed [be] the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
70 As he spake by ye mouth of his holy Prophets, which were since the world began, saying,
71 That he would sende vs deliuerance fro our enemies, and from the hands of all that hate vs,
72 To perform the mercy [promised] to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
73 And the othe which he sware to our father Abraham.
74 Which was, that he would graunt vnto vs, that we being deliuered out of the handes of our enemies, should serue him without feare,
75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and [in] the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
80 And the childe grewe, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the wildernesse, til the day came that he should shewe him selfe vnto Israel.