Introduction(A)

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled[a] among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first(B) were eyewitnesses(C) and servants of the word.(D) 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) so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.(H)

The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold

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. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.(K) But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.

Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God,(L) 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)

18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this?(AC) I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”(AD)

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!”

Mary’s Song(BC)

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.

59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise(BQ) 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.”(BR)

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)

Zechariah’s Song

67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit(BX) and prophesied:(BY)

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)

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

Footnotes

  1. Luke 1:1 Or been surely believed
  2. Luke 1:35 Or So the child to be born will be called holy,
  3. Luke 1:69 Horn here symbolizes a strong king.
  4. Luke 1:80 Or in the Spirit

Dedication to Theophilus

Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those (A)things which [a]have been fulfilled among us, just as those who (B)from the beginning were (C)eyewitnesses and ministers of the word (D)delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having [b]had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, (E)most excellent Theophilus, (F)that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.

John’s Birth Announced to Zacharias

There was (G)in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, (H)of the division of (I)Abijah. His (J)wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.

So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, according to the custom of the priesthood, [c]his lot fell (K)to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10 (L)And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. 11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of (M)the altar of incense. 12 And when Zacharias saw him, (N)he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.

13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and (O)you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and (P)many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be (Q)great in the sight of the Lord, and (R)shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, (S)even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 (T)He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

18 And Zacharias said to the angel, (U)“How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.”

19 And the angel answered and said to him, “I am (V)Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you [d]these glad (W)tidings. 20 But behold, (X)you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”

21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple. 22 But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless.

23 So it was, as soon as (Y)the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house. 24 Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying, 25 “Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to (Z)take away my reproach among people.”

Christ’s Birth Announced to Mary

26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin (AA)betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, (AB)“Rejoice, highly favored one, (AC)the Lord is with you; [e]blessed are you among women!”

29 But [f]when she saw him, (AD)she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found (AE)favor with God. 31 (AF)And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and (AG)shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, (AH)and will be called the Son of the Highest; and (AI)the Lord God will give Him the (AJ)throne of His (AK)father David. 33 (AL)And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I [g]do not know a man?”

35 And the angel answered and said to her, (AM)The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called (AN)the Son of God. 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For (AO)with God nothing will be impossible.”

38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, (AP)to a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was (AQ)filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, (AR)“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 (AS)Blessed is she who [h]believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”

The Song of Mary

46 And Mary said:

(AT)“My soul [i]magnifies the Lord,
47 And my spirit has (AU)rejoiced in (AV)God my Savior.
48 For (AW)He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth (AX)all generations will call me blessed.
49 For He who is mighty (AY)has done great things for me,
And (AZ)holy is His name.
50 And (BA)His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.
51 (BB)He has shown strength with His arm;
(BC)He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 (BD)He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.
53 He has (BE)filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.
54 He has helped His (BF)servant Israel,
(BG)In remembrance of His mercy,
55 (BH)As He spoke to our (BI)fathers,
To Abraham and to his (BJ)seed forever.”

56 And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.

Birth of John the Baptist

57 Now Elizabeth’s full time came for her to be delivered, and she brought forth a son. 58 When her neighbors and relatives heard how the Lord had shown great mercy to her, they (BK)rejoiced with her.

Circumcision of John the Baptist

59 So it was, (BL)on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child; and they would have called him by the name of his father, Zacharias. 60 His mother answered and said, (BM)“No; he shall be called John.”

61 But they said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name.” 62 So they made signs to his father—what he would have him called.

63 And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, saying, “His name is John.” So they all marveled. 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, praising God. 65 Then fear came on all who dwelt around them; and all these sayings were discussed throughout all the hill country of Judea. 66 And all those who heard them (BN)kept them in their hearts, saying, “What kind of child will this be?” And (BO)the hand of the Lord was with him.

Zacharias’ Prophecy

67 Now his father Zacharias (BP)was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:

68 “Blessed(BQ) is the Lord God of Israel,
For (BR)He has visited and redeemed His people,
69 (BS)And has raised up a horn of salvation for us
In the house of His servant David,
70 (BT)As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets,
Who have been (BU)since the world began,
71 That we should be saved from our enemies
And from the hand of all who hate us,
72 (BV)To perform the mercy promised to our fathers
And to remember His holy covenant,
73 (BW)The oath which He swore to our father Abraham:
74 To grant us that we,
Being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
Might (BX)serve Him without fear,
75 (BY)In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.

76 “And you, child, will be called the (BZ)prophet of the Highest;
For (CA)you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways,
77 To give (CB)knowledge of salvation to His people
By the remission of their sins,
78 Through the tender mercy of our God,
With which the [j]Dayspring from on high [k]has visited us;
79 (CC)To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To (CD)guide our feet into the way of peace.”

80 So (CE)the child grew and became strong in spirit, and (CF)was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.

Footnotes

  1. Luke 1:1 Or are most surely believed
  2. Luke 1:3 Lit. accurately followed
  3. Luke 1:9 he was chosen by lot
  4. Luke 1:19 this good news
  5. Luke 1:28 NU omits blessed are you among women
  6. Luke 1:29 NU omits when she saw him
  7. Luke 1:34 Am a virgin
  8. Luke 1:45 Or believed that there
  9. Luke 1:46 Declares the greatness of
  10. Luke 1:78 Lit. Dawn; the Messiah
  11. Luke 1:78 NU shall visit

Dedication to Theophilus

Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first,[a] to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed.

The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold

In the days 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. Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years.

Once when he was serving as priest before God and his section was on duty, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense. 10 Now at the time of the incense offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. 11 Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. 14 You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. 16 He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” 18 Zechariah said to the angel, “How will I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years.” 19 The angel replied, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 But now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur.”

21 Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah, and wondered at his delay in the sanctuary. 22 When he did come out, he could not speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He kept motioning to them and remained unable to speak. 23 When his time of service was ended, he went to his home.

24 After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she remained in seclusion. She said, 25 “This is what the Lord has done for me when he looked favorably on me and took away the disgrace I have endured among my people.”

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”[b] 29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”[c] 35 The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born[d] will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36 And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40 where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44 For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be[e] a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

Mary’s Song of Praise

46 And Mary[f] said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
    Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.
50 His mercy is for those who fear him
    from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
    he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
    and lifted up the lowly;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
    in remembrance of his mercy,
55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
    to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

56 And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

The Birth of John the Baptist

57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore 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 came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. 60 But his mother said, “No; he is to be called John.” 61 They said to her, “None of your relatives has this name.” 62 Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him. 63 He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And all of them were amazed. 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 Fear came over all their neighbors, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. 66 All who heard them pondered them and said, “What then will this child become?” For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.

Zechariah’s Prophecy

67 Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy:

68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
    for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.
69 He has raised up a mighty savior[g] for us
    in the house of his servant David,
70 as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71     that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.
72 Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
    and has remembered his holy covenant,
73 the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham,
    to grant us 74 that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies,
might serve him without fear, 75 in holiness and righteousness
    before him all our days.
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
    by the forgiveness of their sins.
78 By the tender mercy of our God,
    the dawn from on high will break upon[h] us,
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
    to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

80 The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day he appeared publicly to Israel.

Footnotes

  1. Luke 1:3 Or for a long time
  2. Luke 1:28 Other ancient authorities add Blessed are you among women
  3. Luke 1:34 Gk I do not know a man
  4. Luke 1:35 Other ancient authorities add of you
  5. Luke 1:45 Or believed, for there will be
  6. Luke 1:46 Other ancient authorities read Elizabeth
  7. Luke 1:69 Gk a horn of salvation
  8. Luke 1:78 Other ancient authorities read has broken upon