1Since many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,
2Even as they delivered them unto us, who from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
3It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto you in order, most excellent Theophilus,
4That you might know the certainty of those things, in which you have been instructed.
5There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zachariah, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
6And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
7And they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they both were now well advanced in years.
8And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course,
9According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.
10And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the time of incense.
11And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
12And when Zachariah saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
13But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zachariah: for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
14And you shall have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
15For 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 Spirit, even from his mother's womb.
16And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
17And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, 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.
18And Zachariah said unto the angel, How shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well advanced in years.
19And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stands in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto you, and to show you these glad tidings.
20And, behold, you shall be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because you believe not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their time.
21And the people waited for Zachariah, and marveled that he tarried so long in the temple.
22And 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.
23And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his service were accomplished, he departed to his own house.
24And after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,
25Thus has the Lord dealt with me in the days in which he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.
26And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
28And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, you that are highly favored, the Lord is with you: blessed are you among women.
29And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered in her mind what manner of greeting this should be.
30And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for you have found favor with God.
31And, behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS.
32He 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:
33And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God.
36And, behold, your cousin Elizabeth, she has also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.