aForasmuch as bmany have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things cwhich are most surely believed among us,
2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were aeyewitnesses, 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 aTheophilus,
4 That thou mightest aknow 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 aZacharias, of the course of bAbia: 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 aordinances of the Lord blameless.
7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was abarren, and they both were now well bstricken in years.
8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the apriest's office before God in the order of his bcourse,
9 According to the custom of the apriest'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 praying without at the time of incense.
11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
13 But the angel said unto him, aFear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a bson, and thou shalt call his name John.
14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither awine nor strong drink; and he shall be bfilled with the cHoly 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 aElias, to turn the hearts of the bfathers to the children, and the cdisobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people dprepared for the Lord.
18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I aknow this? for I am an bold man, and my wife well cstricken in years.
19 And the aangel answering said unto him, I am bGabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.
20 And, behold, thou shalt be adumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou bbelievest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.
21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple.
22 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.
23 And it came to pass, that, as soon as the adays of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.
24 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,
25 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my areproach among men.
26 And in the sixth month the aangel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27 To a avirgin 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 awomen.
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, aFear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name aJesus.
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the aSon of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the bthrone of his father cDavid:
33 And he shall areign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no bend.
34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I aknow not a man?
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The aHoly 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 bSon of God.
36 And, behold, thy acousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her bold age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
37 For with God nothing shall be aimpossible.
38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And 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 entered into the house of Zacharias, and asaluted Elisabeth.
41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was afilled with the Holy Ghost:
42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among awomen, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
43 And awhence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
46 And Mary asaid, My soul doth bmagnify the Lord,
47 And my spirit hath arejoiced in God my bSaviour.
48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his ahandmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me bblessed.
49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great athings; and bholy 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 aproud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of alow degree.
53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
54 He hath aholpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
55 As he spake to our afathers, to Abraham, and to his bseed for ever.
56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.
57 Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.
58 And her neighbours and her acousins heard how the Lord had shewed great bmercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.
59 And it came to pass, that on the aeighth day they came to bcircumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.
60 And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.
61 And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.
62 And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.
63 And he asked for a awriting table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all.
64 And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.
65 And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were anoised 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 aprophesied, saying,
68 aBlessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath bvisited and credeemed his people,
69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
70 As he aspake by the mouth of his holy bprophets, which have been since the world began:
71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;
72 To perform the mercy apromised to our fathers, and to remember his holy bcovenant;
73 The aoath which he sware to our bfather Abraham,
74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without afear,
75 In aholiness 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 aprepare his ways;
77 To give aknowledge of salvation unto his people by the bremission of their sins,
78 Through the atender mercy of our God; whereby the bdayspring from on high hath visited us,
79 To give alight to them that sit in bdarkness and in the shadow of cdeath, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
80 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.
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