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Luke 1:26-38 The Passion Translation (TPT)

Angelic Prophecy of Jesus’ Birth

26–27 During the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, the angel Gabriel was sent from God’s presence to an unmarried girl[a] named Mary, living in Nazareth, a village in Galilee.[b] She was engaged[c] to a man named Joseph, a true descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Grace to you, young woman, for the Lord is with you[d] and so you are anointed with great favor.”

29 Mary was deeply troubled over the words of the angel and bewildered over what this may mean for her. 30 But the angel reassured her, saying, “Do not yield to your fear, Mary, for the Lord has found delight in you and has chosen to surprise you with a wonderful gift. 31 You will become pregnant with a baby boy, and you are to name him Jesus. 32 He will be supreme[e] and will be known as the Son of the Highest. And the Lord God will enthrone him as King on his ancestor David’s throne. 33 He will reign as King of Israel[f] forever, and his reign will have no limit.”

34 Mary said, “But how could this happen? I am still a virgin!”

35 Gabriel answered, “The Spirit of Holiness will fall upon you and almighty God will spread his shadow of power over you in a cloud of glory![g] This is why the child born to you will be holy,[h] and he will be called the Son of God. 36 What’s more, your aged aunt,[i] Elizabeth, has also become pregnant with a son. The ‘barren one’ is now in her sixth month. 37 Not one promise from God is empty of power, for nothing is impossible with God!”[j]

38 Then Mary responded, saying, “This is amazing! I will be a mother for the Lord![k] As his servant, I accept whatever he has for me. May everything you have told me come to pass.” And the angel left her.

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 1:26 Many translations have the word virgin. It is a possible translation of the Greek word parthenos, but its most common usage implies “a girl of marriageable age.” It is made explicit in Matt. 1:25 and Luke 1:34 that Mary was indeed a virgin.
  2. Luke 1:26 The Aramaic word translated “Galilee” here means “revealed.” It is only fitting that God would first be “revealed” in a village in Galilee. Nazareth means “branch.” Jesus grew up as the “Branch” of the Lord in the city of the “branch.”
  3. Luke 1:26 This betrothal period usually lasted one year, and unfaithfulness on the part of the bride during the engagement was punishable by death.
  4. Luke 1:28 For Gabriel to say, “the Lord is with you,” signified that Jesus, our Master, had been conceived in her womb. This was what bewildered Mary.
  5. Luke 1:32 As translated from the Aramaic text.
  6. Luke 1:33 Or “house of Jacob.”
  7. Luke 1:35 The Greek word used as a metaphor, “spread his shadow over you,” is also the word used at Jesus’ transfiguration when the cloud of glory “overshadowed” Jesus on the mountain (Mark 9:7).
  8. Luke 1:35 Jesus Christ is holy, born without sin in his bloodline, for his Father was God Almighty. He would become the only perfect sacrifice to take away our sin and remove its power and penalty from us.
  9. Luke 1:36 The Greek word is “relative.” Many scholars believe Elizabeth was Mary’s maternal aunt.
  10. Luke 1:37 This verse can be translated in two different ways: “There is nothing impossible with God” or “The word of God will never fail.” The translator has chosen to include both for this verse.
  11. Luke 1:38 As translated from the Aramaic text.
The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com

Matthew 1:18-25 The Passion Translation (TPT)

An Angel Comes to Joseph

18 This was how Jesus, God’s Anointed One, was born.

His mother, Mary, had promised Joseph to be his wife, [a] but while she was still a virgin[b] she became pregnant through the power[c] of the Holy Spirit.[d] 19 Her fiancé,[e] Joseph, was a righteous man full of integrity and he didn’t want to disgrace her, but when he learned of her pregnancy he secretly planned to break the engagement.[f] 20 While he was still debating with himself about what to do,[g] he fell asleep and had a supernatural dream. An angel from the Lord appeared to him in clear light and said, “Joseph, descendant of David, don’t hesitate to take Mary into your home as your wife,[h] because the power of the Holy Spirit has conceived a child in her womb. 21 She will give birth to a son and you are to name him ‘Savior,’[i] for he is destined to give his life[j] to save his people from their sins.”

22 This happened so that what the Lord spoke through his prophet would come true:

23 Listen! A virgin[k] will be pregnant,
    she will give birth to a Son,
    and he will be known as “Emmanuel,”
    which means in Hebrew,
    “God became one of us.”[l]

24 When Joseph awoke from his dream, he did all that the angel of the Lord instructed him to do. He took Mary to be his wife, 25 but they refrained from having sex until she gave birth to her son, whom they named “Jesus.”

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 1:18 In the Jewish culture the engagement was a prenuptial contract (ketubah), which was entered into before witnesses, that gave legal rights over the girl to the bridegroom. This agreement could only be nullified by going through the formal divorce process. Since the girl still lived with her family, sexual relations were prohibited until after the second event of the public marriage ceremony. This engagement period was usually entered into when the girl turned thirteen. Mary was just a teenager when she gave birth to Jesus.
  2. Matthew 1:18 Or “without them being united (sexually).”
  3. Matthew 1:18 Implied in the text. Although it is the genitive of source, not agency, “the power of the Holy Spirit” is supplied for clarity. See Deut. 20:7.
  4. Matthew 1:18 The Holy Spirit” can also be translated “the Sacred Breath (Spirit-wind)” or “the Spirit of Holiness.”
  5. Matthew 1:19 Or “Her husband.” The Hebrew culture makes no distinction between a fiancé and a husband. The engagement period was a vital part of the marriage custom. See Deut. 22:23-28.
  6. Matthew 1:19 Or “divorce her.” The Jewish custom of breaking off an engagement was tantamount to a divorce.
  7. Matthew 1:20 Or “during his inward passion about these things.”
  8. Matthew 1:20 Or “take Miriam your wife.” Once again, the Jewish culture considered the betrothal period as part of the marriage custom.
  9. Matthew 1:21 Or “Jesus.” The Hebrew name for Jesus is Yeshua (or Y’hoshua) and means “Yahweh is salvation, restoration, and deliverance.” Implied in the text is that Hebrew (Aramaic) speakers would obviously understand how the name Yeshua and salvation were linked, reinforcing the theory that Matthew was originally written in Hebrew. This is lost in the Greek word Iesous (Jesus).
  10. Matthew 1:21 As translated from the Aramaic.
  11. Matthew 1:23 See also v. 25, which clarifies that Mary was indeed a virgin.
  12. Matthew 1:23 Or “God with us” or “God among us”; that is, God incarnated. See Isa. 7:14; 8:8, 10 (LXX).
The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com

Luke 2:1-21 The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Birth of Jesus

1–2 During those days, the Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus,[a] ordered that the first census be taken throughout his empire. (Quirinius was the governor of Syria at that time.) Everyone had to travel to his or her hometown to complete the mandatory census. 4–5 So Joseph and his fiancé, Mary, left Nazareth,[b] a village in Galilee, and journeyed to their hometown in Judea, to the village of Bethlehem,[c] King David’s ancient home. They were required to register there, since they were both direct descendants of David. Mary was pregnant and nearly ready to give birth.

6–7 When they arrived in Bethlehem, Mary went into labor, and there she gave birth to her firstborn son. After wrapping the newborn baby in strips of cloth, they laid him in a feeding trough since there was no available space in any upper room in the village.[d]

An Angelic Encounter

That night, in a field[e] near Bethlehem, there were shepherds watching over their flocks. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared in radiant splendor before them, lighting up the field with the blazing glory of God, and the shepherds were terrified! 10 But the angel reassured them, saying, “Don’t be afraid. For I have come to bring you good news, the most joyous news the world has ever heard! And it is for everyone everywhere! 11 For today in Bethlehem[f] a rescuer was born for you. He is the Lord Yahweh, the Messiah.[g] 12 You will recognize him by this miracle sign: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a feeding trough!”[h]

13 Then all at once, a vast number of glorious angels appeared, the very armies of heaven! And they all praised God, singing:

14 “Glory to God in the highest realms of heaven!
    For there is peace[i] and a good hope[j] given to the sons of men.”

15 When the choir of angels disappeared back to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go! Let’s hurry and find this Word[k] that is born in Bethlehem and see for ourselves what the Lord has revealed to us.” 16 So they ran into the village and found their way to Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in a feeding trough.

17 Upon seeing this miraculous sign, the shepherds recounted what had just happened. 18 Everyone who heard the shepherds’ story was astonished by what they were told.

19 But Mary treasured all these things in her heart and often pondered what they meant.

20 The shepherds returned to their flock, ecstatic over what had happened. They praised God and glorified him for all they had heard and seen for themselves, just like the angel had said.

Baby Jesus Dedicated in the Temple

21 On the day of the baby’s circumcision ceremony, eight days after his birth, his parents gave him the name Jesus, the name prophesied by the angel before he was born.

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 2:1 It is ironic that the Roman emperors viewed themselves as “gods” while the little baby born in a feeding trough was the true God incarnate.
  2. Luke 2:4 “Nazareth” is taken from a Hebrew word for “branch” (Isa. 11:1).
  3. Luke 2:4 The distance from Nazareth to Bethlehem is about sixty-five miles (105 kilometers) and would have taken a number of days for them to arrive. Bethlehem, or Byt-lehem, means “house of bread,” the prophesied birthplace of Messiah. However, the Hebrew word lechem is a homonym for “fighter” or “warrior.” Jesus was born in “the house of fighters.” This is the city of David, one of the greatest fighters in the entire Bible. Perhaps this is why the people of Jesus’ day expected him to fight the Romans and free their land from foreign occupation. Jesus fulfilled both aspects of the meaning of Bethlehem in Gethsemane and on the cross, where he fought the “Goliath” of our souls and won, becoming bread for the world. God controls all events, proven by the prophecy that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem, even though his parents were living in Nazareth. See Mic. 5:2.
  4. Luke 2:6 This is the Greek word kataluma. This is not an “inn” but simply the upstairs level of a home where guests would stay. It means there was no guest room available in Bethlehem for Mary to give birth. Since all of Joseph’s and Mary’s family also made the journey because of the census, every home of a relative would have been full. In that day Bethlehem was far too small of a village to have an actual inn, all the katalumai there were occupied. It is likely that Joseph and Mary had to sleep downstairs in the main room of a relative’s house. The downstairs of a village home in that day was like an all-purpose room that served as a workshop during the day, and at night it was used to shelter frail animals, while the rest of the flock was left outdoors. The kataluma was not a full-fledged barn or stable, but it did contain a drinking trough or manger cut in the bedrock. This was the likely place where the baby Jesus was placed after his birth.
  5. Luke 2:8 Many scholars believe that these could be the same fields where sacrificial flocks were kept for temple worship. How fitting that these shepherds would hear the announcement of the birth of the Lamb of God. Others believe these fields could have been near the field of Boaz, or the fields where David once watched over the flocks of his father, Jesse.
  6. Luke 2:11 The Greek text says, “the city of David.”
  7. Luke 2:11 Translated literally from the Aramaic text. This is one of the most amazing statements found in the Gospels declaring the deity of Jesus Christ.
  8. Luke 2:11 A baby lying in a feeding trough where animals were kept nearby, wrapped in strips of cloths, became a sign of the Man-Savior’s life on earth. He entered the world as a lowly baby, and though he is the mighty God, he lived his life on earth in gentleness before all. The shepherds that night were possibly near Bethlehem at Migdal Eder, “the [watch] tower of the flock.” This would fulfill both the prophecies of Mic. 5:2 and Mic. 4:8, which say, “to you it [he] will come, your dominion [kingdom] from old will arrive.” It was at the lower floor of the watchtower (Migdal Eder) that the birthing of the Passover lambs would take place. Selected ewes that were about to give birth would be brought there. After the birth of the lambs, the priestly shepherds would wrap the lambs in cloth and lay them in a manger lined with soft hay to prevent them from hurting themselves, for Passover lambs must be unblemished with no bruise or broken bone. The miracle sign for these priestly shepherds would be a baby boy lying where the Passover lamb should be—in a manger, wrapped in strips of cloth. It was at the cradle of Jesus Christ that the kingdom from ancient times arrived on earth.
  9. Luke 2:14 Luke’s Gospel is the Gospel of peace. The four prominent sacrifices of the Old Testament are emphasized in the four Gospels. In Matthew we see the death of Christ in the figure of the trespass offering, in Mark the sin offering, in Luke the peace offering, and in John the burnt offering. The peace God gives us is emphasized in Luke’s Gospel, which is why the angels announced peace and hope. On the day of his resurrection Jesus said, “Peace to you.”
  10. Luke 2:14 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “good will.”
  11. Luke 2:15 Or “Manifestation” in the Aramaic text. The Greek is the word rhema.
The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com

Matthew 2:1-12 The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Wise Men Visit

Jesus was born in Bethlehem[a] near Jerusalem[b] during the reign of King Herod.[c] After Jesus’ birth a group of spiritual priests[d] from the East came to Jerusalem and inquired of the people, “Where is the child who is born king of the Jewish people? We observed his star rising in the sky[e] and we’ve come to bow before him in worship.”

King Herod was shaken to the core when he heard this, and not only him, but all of Jerusalem was disturbed when they heard this news.[f] So he called a meeting of the Jewish ruling priests and religious scholars, demanding that they tell him where the promised Messiah was prophesied to be born.

“He will be born in Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,” they told him. “Because the prophecy states:

And you, little Bethlehem,
    are not insignificant among the clans of Judah,
    for out of you will emerge
    the Shepherd-King[g] of my people Israel!”[h]

Then Herod secretly summoned the spiritual priests from the East to ascertain the exact time the star first appeared. And he told them, “Now go to Bethlehem and carefully look there for the child, and when you’ve found him, report to me so that I can go and bow down and worship him too.”

And so they left, and on their way to Bethlehem, suddenly the same star they had seen in the East reappeared! Amazed, they watched as it went ahead of them and stopped directly over the place where the child was. 10 And when they saw the star, they were so ecstatic that they shouted and celebrated with unrestrained joy.[i] 11 When they came into the house and saw the young child with Mary, his mother, they were overcome. Falling to the ground at his feet they worshiped him.[j] Then they opened their treasure boxes[k] full of gifts and presented him with gold, frank-incense, and myrrh. 12 Afterward they returned to their own country by another route because God had warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 2:1 Bethlehem, or Byt-lehem, means “house of bread,” the prophesied birthplace of Messiah. However, the Hebrew word lehem can also mean “fighters.” Jesus was born in “the House of Fighters!” This is the city of David, one of the greatest fighters in the entire Bible. Perhaps this is why the people of Jesus’ day expected him to fight the Romans and free their land from foreign occupation. Jesus fulfilled both aspects of the meaning of Bethlehem in Gethsemane and on the cross, where he fought the “Goliath” of our souls and won, becoming Bread for the world. God controls all events, proven by the prophecy that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem even though his parents were living in Nazareth. See Mic. 5:2; Luke 2:1-19.
  2. Matthew 2:1 Or “in the land of Judea.” The Hebrew Gospel of Matthew is “the land of Judah.”
  3. Matthew 2:1 Herod died in 4 BC, which helps in dating the birth of Christ.
  4. Matthew 2:1 Or “astrologers,” known as dream interpreters. These wealthy priests would have traveled with an entourage for protection as officials from the East. The Greek word magos is taken from the Mede language and means “spiritual advisors” or simply “priests.” They were appointed by Darius over the state religion as priests of Persia, which is modern-day Iran, and served as official advisors to the king. By the time of Jesus’ birth, Persia had been conquered and was being governed by successors to Alexander the Great. It is possible these Magos came from the Mesopotamian region of Seleucia. See also Dan. 2 and 5:11, where the prophet Daniel is given the title of “Chief of the Magio.” It is probable that these Magos were descendants of those who had been taught by Daniel, and because of his prophecy of the Messiah being “cut off,” they may have been able to decipher the date of his birth along with the interpretation of his star rising.
  5. Matthew 2:2 Or “his star in the east” or “shooting star” or possibly “comet.” Note that it is also called “his star,” not the star of Bethlehem.
  6. Matthew 2:3 Although we are not told how many “wise men” came to visit Bethlehem, it was likely quite a large entourage. It is doubtful that three men from Persia would cause such an uproar and commotion in the city. There were possibly over one hundred who traveled in the caravan from the East arriving in Jerusalem.
  7. Matthew 2:6 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “the Leader who will shepherd my people Israel.”
  8. Matthew 2:6 See Mic. 5:2. Both the Septuagint and the Shem-Tob (Hebrew Matthew) have “out of you will come to me a Ruler who will be King of Israel.” The Septuagint adds, “He will shepherd my people in the strength of the Lord.”
  9. Matthew 2:10 The Greek is hard to translate since it contains so many redundant words for joy in this one verse. It is literally “They rejoiced with a great joy exceedingly.” They were ecstatic!
  10. Matthew 2:11 Turning their backs on human wisdom, these “wise men” bowed low before the true Wisdom of God. See 1 Cor. 1:24.
  11. Matthew 2:11 These “wise men” were extremely wealthy. They presented gifts that totaled a great sum of money—not tiny presents wrapped with bows, but treasure chests full of financial wealth. Although we are not given the monetary value of each type of gift, we know that frankincense and myrrh were extremely costly. These gifts would have financed Joseph and Mary and Jesus’ exodus to Egypt and supplied their living expenses for a number of years, even after returning to Israel. Gold is an often-used symbol of the deity of Christ. Frankincense points to his perfect life of holiness, excellence, and devotion. Myrrh, an embalming spice, speaks to us of the suffering love that would lead him to the death on the cross.
The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com

Luke 2:39-40 The Passion Translation (TPT)

39 When Mary and Joseph had completed everything required of them by the law of Moses, they took Jesus and returned to their home[a] in Nazareth in Galilee. 40 The child grew more powerful in grace, for he was being filled with wisdom, and the favor of God was upon him.

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 2:39 Luke omits their journey to Egypt to spare Jesus from the death decree of Herod. That information is given to us by Matthew. But none of the Gospels gives all the details of this period. Luke also has nothing about the visit of the wise men (Matt. 2:1-12), and Matthew tells nothing of the shepherds or of Simeon and Anna (Luke 2:8-28). All four Gospels supplement one another. A long period of time likely transpired between vv. 38 and 39.
The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com

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