Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are
most surely believed among us,
 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were
eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
 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,
 That thou mightest
know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
 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.
 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the
commandments 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.
 And it came to pass, that while he executed
the priest's office before God in the order of his course,
 According to the custom of the priest's office,
his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.
 And the whole multitude of
the people were praying without at the time of incense.
 And there appeared unto him an angel of
the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
 And when Zacharias saw him, he was
troubled, and fear fell upon him.
 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is
heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
 And thou
shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
 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.
 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
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.
Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken
 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.
 And, behold, thou shalt be dumb,
and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my
words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.
 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled
that he tarried so long in the temple.
 And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they
perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless.
And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his
 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,
Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among
 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named
 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the
virgin's name was Mary.
 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.
 And when she saw him, she was troubled
at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
 And the angel said
unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in
thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
 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:
And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
said Mary unto the angel, How 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 Highest shall overshadow
thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
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.
 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
 And Mary said, Behold
the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;
entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.
 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:
And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb.
 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
 For, lo,
as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.