International Standard Version
Luke’s Dedication to Theophilus
1 Since many people have attempted to write an orderly account of the events that have transpired among us, 2 just as they were passed down to us by those who had been eyewitnesses and servants of the word from the beginning, 3 I, too, have carefully investigated everything from the beginning and have decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
The Birth of John the Baptist is Foretold
5 During the reign[a] of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 Both of them were righteous before God, having lived blamelessly according to all of the commandments and regulations of the Lord. 7 They had no children because Elizabeth was barren and because both of them were getting old.[b]
8 When Zechariah[c] was serving with his division of priests in God’s presence, 9 he was chosen by lot to go into the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense, according to the custom of the priests. 10 And the entire congregation of people was praying outside at the time when the incense was burned.
11 An angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the incense altar. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled, and fear overwhelmed him. 13 But the angel told him, “Stop being afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to name him John. 14 You will have great joy,[d] and many people will rejoice at his birth, 15 because he will be great in the Lord’s presence. He will never drink wine or any strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring many of Israel’s descendants back to the Lord their God. 17 He is the one who will go before the Lord[e] with the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, and to prepare the people to be ready for the Lord.”
18 Then Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this, since I am an old man, and my wife is getting older?”[f]
19 The angel answered him, “I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. I have been sent to speak to you and to announce this good news to you. 20 But because you did not believe my announcement, which will be fulfilled at its proper time,[g] you will become silent and unable to speak until the day this happens.”
21 Meanwhile, the people kept waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed in the sanctuary so long. 22 But when he did come out, he was unable to speak to them. Then they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He kept motioning to them but remained unable to speak. 23 When the days of his service were over, he went home.
24 After this,[h] his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and remained in seclusion for five months. She said, 25 “This is what the Lord did for me when he looked favorably on me and took away my public disgrace.”
The Birth of Jesus is Foretold
26 Now in the sixth month of her pregnancy,[i] the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant[j] of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel[k] came to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you!”[l] 29 Startled by his statement, she tried to figure out what his greeting meant.
30 Then the angel told her, “Stop being afraid, Mary, because you have found favor with God. 31 Listen! You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will never end.”
34 Mary asked the angel, “How can this happen, since I have not had relations with[m] a man?”
35 The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come over you, and the power of the Most High will surround you. Therefore, the child will be holy and will be called the Son of God. 36 And listen! Elizabeth, your relative, has herself conceived a son in her old age, this woman who was rumored to be barren is in her sixth month. 37 Nothing is impossible with respect to any of God’s promises.”
38 Then Mary said, “Truly I am the Lord’s servant. Let everything you have said happen to me.” Then the angel left her.
Mary Visits Elizabeth
39 Later on,[n] Mary set out for a Judean city in the hill country. 40 She went into Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby jumped in her womb. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and she loudly exclaimed, “How blessed are you among women, and how blessed is the infant in[o] your womb! 43 Why should this happen to me, to have the mother of my Lord visit me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. 45 How blessed is this woman who believed that what the Lord told her would be fulfilled!”
Mary’s Song of Praise
46 Then Mary said,
“My soul praises the greatness of the Lord!
47 My spirit exults in God, my Savior,
48 because he has looked favorably on his humble servant.
From now on, all generations will call me blessed,
49 because the Almighty has done great things for me.
His name is holy.
50 His mercy lasts from generation to generation
for those who fear him.
51 He displayed his mighty power with his arm.
He scattered people who were proud in mind and heart.[p]
52 He pulled powerful rulers from their thrones
and lifted up humble people.
53 He filled hungry people with good things
and sent rich people away with nothing.
54 He helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful,
55 according to the promise he made[q] to our ancestors—
to Abraham and his descendants forever.”
56 Now Mary stayed with Elizabeth[r] about three months and then went back home.
The Birth of John the Baptist
57 When the time came for Elizabeth to have her child, she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.
59 On the eighth day they went to circumcise the child. They were going to name him Zechariah after his father, 60 but his mother said, “Absolutely not! He must be named John.”
61 Their friends[s] told her, “None of your relatives has that name.”
62 So they motioned to the baby’s[t] father to see what he wanted to name him. 63 He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And everyone was amazed.
64 Suddenly, Zechariah could open his mouth,[u] his tongue was set free, and he began to speak and to praise God. 65 Fear came over all their neighbors, and throughout the hill country of Judea all these things were being discussed. 66 Everyone who heard about it kept thinking what had happened and asked, “What will this child become?” because it was obvious that the hand of the Lord was with him.
The Prophecy of Zechariah
67 Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:
68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel!
He has taken care of his people and has set them free.
69 He has raised up a mighty Savior[v] for us
from the family of his servant David,
70 just as he promised long ago
through the mouth of his holy prophets
71 that he would save us from our enemies
and from the grip of all who hate us.
72 He has shown mercy to our ancestors
and remembered his holy covenant,
73 the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham.
He granted us 74 deliverance from our enemies’ grip
so that we could serve him without fear
75 and be holy and righteous before him all of our days.
76 And you, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High,
because you will go ahead of the Lord to prepare his way
77 and to give his people knowledge of salvation
through forgiveness of their sins.
78 Because of the tender mercy of our God,
his light[w] from on high has visited us,
79 to shine on those who sit in darkness and in death’s shadow,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
80 Now the child continued to grow and to become spiritually strong.[x] He lived in the wilderness until the day he appeared in Israel.
- Luke 1:5 Lit. In the days
- Luke 1:7 Lit. were advancing in their days
- Luke 1:8 Lit. he
- Luke 1:14 Lit. have joy and gladness
- Luke 1:17 Lit. before him
- Luke 1:18 Lit. is advancing in her days
- Luke 1:20 Lit. in their times
- Luke 1:24 Lit. After those days
- Luke 1:26 The Gk. lacks of her pregnancy
- Luke 1:27 Lit. of the house
- Luke 1:28 Lit. He
- Luke 1:28 Other mss. read is with you! How blessed are you among women!
- Luke 1:34 Lit. I have not known
- Luke 1:39 Lit. In those days
- Luke 1:42 Lit. the fruit of
- Luke 1:51 Lit. in the mind of their heart
- Luke 1:55 Lit. just as he spoke
- Luke 1:56 Lit. with her
- Luke 1:61 Lit. They
- Luke 1:62 Lit. to his
- Luke 1:64 Lit. his mouth was opened
- Luke 1:69 Lit. a horn of salvation
- Luke 1:78 Or dawn
- Luke 1:80 Or become strong in the Spirit
New International Version
1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled[a] among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first(B) were eyewitnesses(C) and servants of the word.(D) 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account(E) for you, most excellent(F) Theophilus,(G) 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.(H)
The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold
5 In the time of Herod king of Judea(I) there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah;(J) his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6 Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.(K) 7 But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.
8 Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God,(L) 9 he was chosen by lot,(M) according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense.(N) 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.(O)
11 Then an angel(P) of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense.(Q) 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear.(R) 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid,(S) Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.(T) 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth,(U) 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink,(V) and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit(W) even before he is born.(X) 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord,(Y) in the spirit and power of Elijah,(Z) to turn the hearts of the parents to their children(AA) and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”(AB)
19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel.(AE) I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak(AF) until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”
21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs(AG) to them but remained unable to speak.
23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace(AH) among the people.”
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel(AI) to Nazareth,(AJ) a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph,(AK) a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid,(AL) Mary; you have found favor with God.(AM) 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.(AN) 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.(AO) The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,(AP) 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom(AQ) will never end.”(AR)
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you,(AS) and the power of the Most High(AT) will overshadow you. So the holy one(AU) to be born will be called[b] the Son of God.(AV) 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child(AW) in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”(AX)
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Mary Visits Elizabeth
39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea,(AY) 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.(AZ) 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women,(BA) and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord(BB) should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
46 And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord(BD)
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,(BE)
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.(BF)
From now on all generations will call me blessed,(BG)
49 for the Mighty One has done great things(BH) for me—
holy is his name.(BI)
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.(BJ)
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;(BK)
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.(BL)
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.(BM)
53 He has filled the hungry with good things(BN)
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful(BO)
55 to Abraham and his descendants(BP) forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”
56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.
The Birth of John the Baptist
57 When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.
61 They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.”
62 Then they made signs(BS) to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. 63 He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.”(BT) 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak,(BU) praising God. 65 All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea(BV) people were talking about all these things. 66 Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him.(BW)
68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,(BZ)
because he has come to his people and redeemed them.(CA)
69 He has raised up a horn[c](CB) of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David(CC)
70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),(CD)
71 salvation from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us—
72 to show mercy to our ancestors(CE)
and to remember his holy covenant,(CF)
73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham:(CG)
74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
and to enable us to serve him(CH) without fear(CI)
75 in holiness and righteousness(CJ) before him all our days.
76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet(CK) of the Most High;(CL)
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,(CM)
77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,(CN)
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun(CO) will come to us from heaven
79 to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,(CP)
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”(CQ)