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FORASMUCH as many have taken in hand to set 1 forth in order a narration concerning the things believed among us, as they delivered them to 2 us, who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word; it seemed good to me also, 3 having accurately traced all from the very first, to write to thee in order, most excellent Theophilus ; that thou mightest know the certainty concerning 4 those things wherein thou hast been instructed.

There was in the days of Herod, the king of Ju- 5 dea, a certain priest named Zachariah, of the course of Abijah; and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they 6 were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because Elisabeth was 7

V. 1. or, the things accomplished among us

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barren; and they both were now far advanced in years.

8 And it came to pass that while he executed the 9 priest's office before God, in the order of his course, it fell to his lot, according to the custom of the priest's office, to burn incense, going into the temple of the 10 Lord. And the whole multitude of the people were 11 praying without at the hour of incense. And there ap

peared to him an angel of the Lord, standing on the 12 right side of the altar of incense. And Zachariah

seeing him was troubled, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him: Fear not, Zachariah;

for thy prayer was heard, and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name 14 John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and 15 many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be

great before the Lord; and he shall not drink wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the 16 Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. And

many of the sons of Israel shall he turn to the Lord 17 their God. And 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 prepared people for the Lord.


And Zachariah said to the angel: Whereby shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is 19 far advanced in years. And the angel answering said to him: I am Gabriel, that stands in the presence

of God; and I was sent to speak to thee, and to bring thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou 20 shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou didst not believe my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.

And the people were waiting for Zachariah, 21 and wondered at his long tarrying in the temple. And when he came out he could not speak to them; 22 and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he beckoned to them, and remained speechless.

And it came to pass, when the days of his minis- 23 tration were completed, that he departed to his own house.

And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceiv- 24 ed; and she hid herself five months, saying: thus 25 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 26 sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was 27 Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel having come to 28 her, said: Hail, highly favored! The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women. And she 29 was troubled at the saying; and was considering what manner of salutation this might be. And 30

the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary; for thou 31 hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, 32 and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of David his 33 father; and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

34 Then said Mary to the angel : How shall this be, 35 seeing that I know not a man? And the angel answering said to her The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also the Holy One that is 36 born shall be called the Son of God. And, behold,

Elisabeth thy kinswoman, she also has conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with 37 her who is called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.



And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

And Mary arose in those days, and went into the 40 hill-country with haste, into a city of Judah; and

entered into the house of Zachariah, and saluted 41 Elisabeth. And it came to pass, as Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the 42 Holy Spirit. And she spake out with a loud voice, V. 37. or, no word shall be

and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is 43 this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, behold, as the voice of thy salutation 44 came into my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And happy is she, who believed that there 45 shall be a fulfillment of the things told her from the Lord.

And Mary said: My soul magnifies the Lord; 46 and my spirit rejoiced in God my Savior. Be- 47 cause he looked upon the low estate of his hand- 48 maid; for, behold, henceforth all generations will call me happy. Because the Mighty One has done 49 great things for me; and holy is his name. And 50 his mercy is from generation to generation, to them that fear him. He wrought might with his arm; 51 he scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He cast down princes from thrones, and 52 exalted them of low degree. The hungry he filled 53 with good, and the rich he sent empty away. He 54 helped Israel, his servant; to remember mercy (as 55 he spake unto our fathers) for Abraham and for his seed forever

And Mary abode with her about three months, 56 and returned to her own house.

Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be 57 delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her 58

V. 45. or, for there shall be

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