The Birth of Jesus

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus(A) that the whole empire[a] should be registered. This first registration took place while[b] Quirinius was governing Syria.(B) So everyone went to be registered, each to his own town.

Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth(C) in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem,(D) because he was of the house and family line of David,(E) to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him[c] and was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. Then she gave birth to her firstborn son, and she wrapped him tightly in cloth and laid him in a manger,[d] because there was no guest room available for them.

The Shepherds and the Angels

In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. Then an angel of the Lord(F) stood before them,(G) and the glory of the Lord(H) shone around them, and they were terrified.[e] 10 But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid,(I) for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people:[f] 11 Today in the city of David a Savior(J) was born for you, who is the Messiah,(K) the Lord.(L) 12 This will be the sign for you:(M) You will find a baby wrapped tightly in cloth and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host[g] with the angel, praising God and saying:

14 Glory to God in the highest heaven,(N)
and peace on earth(O) to people he favors![h][i](P)

15 When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”

16 They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the manger. 17 After seeing them, they reported the message they were told about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed(Q) at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart(R) and meditating on them. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God(S) for all the things they had seen and heard, which were just as they had been told.

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Footnotes

  1. 2:1 Or the whole inhabited world
  2. 2:2 Or This registration was the first while, or This registration was before
  3. 2:5 Lit betrothed
  4. 2:7 Or feeding trough, also in vv. 12,16
  5. 2:9 Lit they feared a great fear
  6. 2:10 Or the whole nation
  7. 2:13 Lit heavenly army
  8. 2:14 Other mss read earth good will to people
  9. 2:14 Or earth to men of good will

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