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.

59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise(A) the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, 60 but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.”(B)

61 They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.”

62 Then they made signs(C) 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.”(D) 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak,(E) praising God. 65 All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea(F) 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.(G)

Zechariah’s Song

67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit(H) and prophesied:(I)

68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,(J)
    because he has come to his people and redeemed them.(K)
69 He has raised up a horn[a](L) of salvation for us
    in the house of his servant David(M)
70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),(N)
71 salvation from our enemies
    and from the hand of all who hate us—
72 to show mercy to our ancestors(O)
    and to remember his holy covenant,(P)
73     the oath he swore to our father Abraham:(Q)
74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
    and to enable us to serve him(R) without fear(S)
75     in holiness and righteousness(T) before him all our days.

76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet(U) of the Most High;(V)
    for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,(W)
77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation
    through the forgiveness of their sins,(X)
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
    by which the rising sun(Y) will come to us from heaven
79 to shine on those living in darkness
    and in the shadow of death,(Z)
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”(AA)

80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit[b];(AB) and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.

The Birth of Jesus

In those days Caesar Augustus(AC) issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.(AD) (This was the first census that took place while[c] Quirinius was governor of Syria.)(AE) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem(AF) the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him(AG) and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel(AH) of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.(AI) I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior(AJ) has been born to you; he is the Messiah,(AK) the Lord.(AL) 12 This will be a sign(AM) to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace(AN) to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.(AO) 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.(AP) 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God(AQ) for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child,(AR) he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.(AS)

Footnotes

  1. Luke 1:69 Horn here symbolizes a strong king.
  2. Luke 1:80 Or in the Spirit
  3. Luke 2:2 Or This census took place before