Luke 2 Lexham English Bible (LEB)
The Birth of Jesus Christ
2 Now it happened that in those days a decree went out from Caesar[a] Augustus to register all the empire. 2 (This first registration took place when[b] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to be registered, each one to his own town. 4 So Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David, 5 to be registered together with Mary, who was legally promised in marriage to him and[c] was pregnant. 6 And it happened that while they were there, the time came[d] for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son, and wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
The Shepherds and the Angels
8 And there were shepherds in the same region, living out of doors and keeping watch, guarding over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord stood near them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terribly frightened.[e] 10 And the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring good news to you of great joy which will be for all the people: 11 that today a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, was born for you in the city of David. 12 And this will be the sign for you: you will find the baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
15 And it happened that when the angels had departed from them into heaven, the shepherds began to say[g] to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has revealed to us!” 16 And they went hurrying and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the manger. 17 And when they[h] saw it,[i] they made known the statement that had been told to them about this child. 18 And all who heard it[j] were astonished concerning what had been said to them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary treasured up all these words, pondering them[k] in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.
21 And when eight days were completed so that he could be circumcised,[l] he was named Jesus, his name that he was called by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple
22 And when the days of their purification were completed according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him[m] to the Lord 23 (just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb will be called holy to the Lord”)[n] 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what was stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”[o]
The Prophecy of Simeon
25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was[p] Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he would see the Lord’s Christ.[q] 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus so that they could do for him according to what was customary under the law, 28 he took him in his[r] arms and praised God and said,
29 “Now dismiss your slave in peace, Lord,
33 And his father and mother were astonished at what was said about him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed[s]— 35 and a sword will pierce your own soul also, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed!”
The Testimony of Anna
36 And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel of the tribe of Asher (she was advanced in years,[t] having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage,[u] 37 and herself as a widow up to eighty-four years)[v] who did not depart from the temple with fastings and prayers, serving night and day. 38 And at that same hour she approached and[w] began to give thanks[x] to God, and to speak about him to all those who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.
39 And when they had completed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child was growing and becoming strong, filled with wisdom, and the favor of God was upon him.
Jesus in the Temple at Twelve Years Old
41 And his parents went every year to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to the custom of the feast. 43 And after[y] the days were completed, while they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. And his parents did not know it,[z] 44 but believing him to be in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. And they began searching for[aa] him among their[ab] relatives and their[ac] acquaintances, 45 and when they[ad] did not find him,[ae] they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. 46 And it happened that after three days they found him in the temple courts,[af] sitting in the midst of the teachers and listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard him were amazed at his insight and his[ag] answers. 48 And when they[ah] saw him, they were astounded and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you done this to us? Look, your father and I have been searching for you anxiously!” 49 And he said to them, “Why[ai] were you searching for me? Did you not know that it was necessary for me to be in the house[aj] of my Father?” 50 And they did not understand the statement that he spoke to them. 51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was submitting to them. And his mother treasured all these things in her heart.
52 And Jesus was advancing in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and with people.
Luke 2 New International Version (NIV)
The Birth of Jesus
2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 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.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel 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. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign 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,
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. 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. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God 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, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.
Jesus Presented in the Temple
22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”[b]), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”[c]
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.[e] She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.
The Boy Jesus at the Temple
41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”[f] 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.