The Dedication to Theophilus
1Many have undertaken to compile a narrative about the events that have been fulfilled1:1 Or events that have been accomplished, or events most surely believed among us,1:1 Rm 4:21; 14:5; Col 2:2; 4:12; 1Th 1:5; 2Tm 4:17; Heb 6:11; 10:22
2just as the original eyewitnesses1:2 Jn 15:27; Ac 1:21; 2Pt 1:16; 1Jn 1:1 and servants of the word1:2 Ac 26:16; 1Co 4:1; Heb 2:3 handed them down to us.
3So it also seemed good to me, since I have carefully investigated everything from the very first, to write to you in an orderly sequence, most honorable1:3 Ac 23:26; 24:3; 26:25 Theophilus,1:3 Ac 1:1
Gabriel Predicts John’s Birth
5In the days of King Herod1:5 Mt 2:1 of Judea, there was a priest of Abijah’s division1:5 1Ch 24:10 named Zechariah. His wife was from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
6Both were righteous in God’s sight,1:6 Gn 7:1; Ac 2:25; 8:21 living without blame1:6 Php 2:15; 3:6; 1Th 3:13 according to all the commands and requirements of the Lord.
8When his division was on duty1:8 1Ch 24:19; 2Ch 8:14; 31:2 and he was serving as priest before God,
9it happened that he was chosen by lot,1:9 Jos 18:6,8,10; 1Ch 24:31; 25:8; 26:13–14; Neh 10:34; 11:1; Ac 1:26 according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense.1:9 Ex 30:7–8
10At the hour of incense the whole assembly of the people was praying outside.
11An angel of the Lord1:11 Mt 2:13–14; 28:2; Lk 2:9; Ac 5:19; 8:26; 12:7 appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense.1:11 Mk 16:5; Ac 2:33
12When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified and overcome with fear.1:12 Gn 21:17; Jdg 6:22–23; 2Kg 1:15; Mt 1:20; 28:5; Lk 2:10; Ac 10:3–4; 27:23–24
13But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid,1:13 Gn 15:1; Mt 14:27; Lk 1:30 Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard.1:13 Gn 25:21; 1Kg 8:45,49; 2Kg 20:5; Ps 6:9; Is 38:5 Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John.1:13 Gn 16:11; 17:15,19; Is 8:3; Hs 1:4,9; Mt 1:20,23; Lk 1:60,63
14There will be joy and delight for you, and many will rejoice at his birth.
15For he will be great in the sight of the Lord and will never drink wine or beer.1:13–15 Nm 6:3; Jdg 13:3–5; Mt 11:18; Lk 7:33 He will be filled with the Holy Spirit1:15 Ex 28:3; 31:3; 35:31; Dt 34:9; Mc 3:8; Lk 1:41,67; Ac 2:4; 4:8,31; 7:55; 9:17; 13:9; 13:52; Eph 5:18 while still in his mother’s womb.1:15 Is 44:2; Lk 1:41,44
18“How can I know this?” Zechariah asked the angel. “For I am an old man, and my wife is well along in years.”
19The angel answered him, “I am Gabriel,1:19 Dn 8:16; 9:21; Lk 1:26 who stands in the presence of God,1:19 Mt 18:10 and I was sent to speak to you and tell you this good news.
20Now listen. You will become silent and unable to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”
21Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah, amazed that he stayed so long in the sanctuary.
22When he did come out, he could not speak to them. Then they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He was making signs to them1:22 Lk 1:62 and remained speechless.
23When the days of his ministry were completed, he went back home.
24After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived and kept herself in seclusion for five months. She said,
Gabriel Predicts Jesus’s Birth
26In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel1:26 Lk 1:19 was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth,1:26 Mt 2:23
27to a virgin engaged1:27 Lit betrothed1:27 Dt 21:23; Is 7:14; Mt 1:18,23 to a man named Joseph, of the house of David.1:27 Mt 1:20; Lk 2:4 The virgin’s name was Mary.
28And the angel came to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you.”1:28 Other mss add Blessed are you among women.
29But she was deeply troubled1:29 Lk 1:12 by this statement, wondering what kind of greeting this could be.
30Then the angel told her, “Do not be afraid, Mary,1:30 Mt 14:27; Lk 1:13 for you have found favor with God.1:30 Gn 6:8; Ex 33:12–17; Jr 31:2
31Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.1:31 Is 7:14; Mt 1:21,25; Lk 2:21
32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High,1:32 Lk 1:35,76; 3:38; 6:35; 8:28; 9:35; Jn 1:34,49; 11:27; Ac 7:48 and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David.1:32 2Sm 7:12–13; 1Kg 2:12; Ps 132:11; Is 9:7; Jr 33:17; Mk 11:10
34Mary asked the angel, “How can this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?” 1:34 Lit since I do not know a man
35The angel replied to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you,1:35 Mt 1:18 and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.1:35 Mt 14:33; Lk 4:3,9,41; 22:70
36And consider your relative Elizabeth — even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless.
38“See, I am the Lord’s servant,” said Mary. “May it happen to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
Mary’s Visit to Elizabeth
39In those days Mary set out and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judah
40where she entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth.
41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped inside her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.1:41 Lk 1:67; Ac 2:4; 4:8; 9:17; 13:9
42Then she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and your child will be blessed!1:42 Lit and the fruit of your abdomen (or womb) is blessed
43How could this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44For you see, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy inside me.
45Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill what he has spoken to her!”
46And Mary said:
My soul magnifies the Lord,1:46–53 1Sm 2:1–10
48because he has looked with favor
on the humble condition of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations
will call me blessed,1:48 Lk 11:27
and his name1:49 Lv 20:3; 22:2,32; 1Ch 16:10,35; 29:16; Ps 30:4; 99:3; 103:1; 111:9; Is 57:15 is holy.
on those who fear him.
he has scattered the proud
52he has toppled the mighty from their thrones
and exalted the lowly.1:52 1Sm 2:7–8
and sent the rich away empty.
54He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering his mercy
just as he spoke to our ancestors.
56And Mary stayed with her about three months; then she returned to her home.
The Birth and Naming of John
57Now the time had come for Elizabeth to give birth, and she had a son.
59When they came to circumcise the child on the eighth day,1:59 Gn 17:12; Lv 12:3; Lk 2:21; Php 3:5 they were going to name him Zechariah, after his father.
61Then they said to her, “None of your relatives has that name.”
63He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they were all amazed.
64Immediately his mouth was opened1:64 Lk 1:20 and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God.
65Fear came on all those who lived around them, and all these things were being talked about throughout the hill country of Judea.
because he has visited
70just as he spoke by the mouth
71salvation from our enemies
and from the hand of those who hate us.
to grant that we,
74having been rescued
from the hand of our enemies,
would serve him without fear
75in holiness and righteousness
in his presence all our days.
76And you, child, will be called
a prophet of the Most High,1:76 Mt 11:9
for you will go before the Lord
77to give his people knowledge of salvation
78Because of our God’s merciful compassion,
the dawn from on high1:78 Is 58:8; Jr 23:5; Zch 3:8; 6:12 LXX; Mal 4:2; Lk 24:49; Eph 4:8; 2Pt 1:19 will visit us
79to shine on those who live in darkness
to guide our feet into the way of peace.
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