1:1 Since many have undertaken to draw up a narrative of the matters that have been fully accomplished among us,
2 as those, who, from the beginning became eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, delivered them to us,
3 it seemed good to me also, after having accurately traced all things from the first, to write them in order for thee, most noble Theophilus,
4 that thou mightst know the certainty of the words concerning which thou hast been instructed.
5 There was in the days of Herod king of Judea a priest, named Zachariah, of the class of Abijah, and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizebeth.
6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
7 And they had no child, because Elizebeth was barren, and both were advanced in their days.
8 But it came to pass while he acted as priest, in the order of his class, before God,
9 according to the custom of the priesthood his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord;
10 and all the multitude of the people were praying without at the hour of incense.
11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
12 And Zachariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him.
13 But the angel said to him: Fear not, Zachariah, for thy prayer is heard, and thy wife Elizebeth shall bear thee a son; 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 before the Lord, and wine and strong drink he shall by no means drink, and he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb;
16 and many of the sons of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God;
17 and he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers to children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.
18 And Zachariah said to the angel: By what means shall 1 know this? for I am an aged man, and my wife is advanced in her days.
19 And the angel answered and said to him: I am Gabriel that stand in the presence of God, and I am sent to speak to thee, and bring thee these good tidings.
20 And behold, thou shalt be dumb and not able to speak, till the day in which these things shall be accomplished, because thou didst not believe my words, which shall be fulfilled in their time.
21 And the people were waiting for Zachariah, and wondered that he stayed so long in the temple.
22 But when he came out he was not able to speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he made signs to them, and remained speechless.
23 And it came to pass when the days of his service were completed, he departed to his house.
24 And after those days his wife Elizebeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying:
25 Thus has the Lord dealt with me in the days in which he looked on me to take away my reproach among men.
26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27 to a virgin betrothed to a man, whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the name of the virgin was Mary.
28 And coming in to her, the angel said: Hail, highly favored, the Lord is with thee.
29 But she was troubled at the word, and was reasoning what manner of salutation this could be.
30 And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favor with God.
31 And behold, thou shalt conceive in the womb and bear a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus.
32 He shall be great, and Son of the Highest shall he be called; and the Lord God shall give him the throne of David his father,
33 and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34 But Mary said to the angel: How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35 And the angel answered and said to her: The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: wherefore also the holy one that is born shall be called the Son of God.
36 And behold, thy relative Elizebeth, she also has conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren:
37 for no word from God shall be impossible.
38 And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord: let it be done for me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
39 And Mary arose in those days and went into the mountainous country with haste to a city of Judah,
40 and entered the house of Zachariah, and saluted Elizebeth.
41 And it came to pass when Elizebeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe in her womb leaped. And Elizebeth was filled with the Holy Spirit,
42 and spoke out with a loud cry, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
43 And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come, to me?
44 For behold, as the voice of thy salutation came into my ears, the babe in my womb leaped with joy.
45 And blessed is she who believed that there shall be a fulfillment of the things spoken to her from the Lord.
46 And Mary said: My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoiced in God my Saviour,
48 because he looked upon the lowly condition of his handmaid. For behold, from this time shall all generations call me blessed,
49 because the mighty One has done great things for me. And holy is his name;
50 and his mercy is from generation to generation on them that fear him.
51 He has shown might with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the understanding of their heart:
52 he has cast down the mighty from thrones, and exalted the lowly:
53 the poor has he filled with good things and the rich has he sent empty away.
54 He has helped Israel his servant, by remembering mercy,
55 (as he spoke to our fathers), to Abraham and to his posterity forever.
56 And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.
57 But the time for Elizebeth to bring forth was completed, and she bore a son.
58 And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had magnified his mercy to her and they rejoiced with her.
59 And it came to pass on the eighth day that they came to circumcise the child, and they called it by the name of its father, Zachariah.
60 And its mother answered and said: No; but it shall be called John.
61 And they said to her: There is no one of thy kindred that is called by this name.
62 And they made signs to his father what he would have him called.
63 And having asked for a writing tablet, he wrote, saying: His name is John. And they all wondered.
64 But his mouth was immediately opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God.
65 And fear came on all that dwelt about them; and all these things were much talked of in all the mountainous country of Judea;
66 and all that heard laid them up in their heart, saying: What then will this child be? for the hand of the Lord was with him.
67 And Zachariah his father was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:
68 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and redeemed his people;
69 and has raised up for us, in the house of David his servant, a horn of salvation,
70 as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets of ancient times,
71 salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us,
72 to show mercy to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant,
73 the oath that he swore to Abraham our father, to grant to us
74 that being delivered from the hand of enemies we might serve him without fear,
75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76 And thou also, O child, shalt be called prophet of the Highest; for thou shalt go before the face of the. Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give to his people the knowledge of salvation in remission of their sins,
78 through the tender mercies of our God, in which the dawn from on high has visited us,
79 to give light to them that sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.