Jesus’ Birth in Bethlehem

Now in those days a decree went out from (A)Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of (B)all [a]the inhabited earth. [b]This was the first census taken while [c]Quirinius was governor of (C)Syria. And all the people were on their way to register for the census, each to his own city. Now Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because (D)he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was [d]betrothed to him, and was pregnant. While they were there, the [e]time came for her to give birth. And she (E)gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a [f]manger, because there was no [g]room for them in the inn.

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock at night. And (F)an angel of the Lord suddenly (G)stood near them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 And so the angel said to them, “(H)Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a (I)Savior, who is [h](J)Christ (K)the Lord. 12 And (L)this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a [i]manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly [j]army of angels praising God and saying,

14 (M)Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among people [k](N)with whom He is pleased.”

15 When the angels had departed from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem, then, and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the [l]manger. 17 When they had seen Him, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18 And all who heard it were amazed about the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary (O)treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds went back, (P)glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

Jesus Presented at the Temple

21 And when (Q)eight days were completed [m]so that it was time for His circumcision, (R)He was also named Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.

22 (S)And when the days for [n]their purification according to the Law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord: “(T)Every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what has been stated in the Law of the Lord: “(U)A pair of turtledoves or two young doves.”

25 And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was (V)righteous and devout, (W)looking forward to the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And (X)it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not (Y)see death before he had seen the Lord’s [o]Christ. 27 And he came [p]by the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, [q](Z)to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, 28 then he took Him in his arms, and blessed God, and said,

29 “Now, Lord, You are letting Your bond-servant depart in peace,
(AA)According to Your word;
30 For my eyes have (AB)seen Your salvation,
31 Which You have prepared in the presence of all the peoples:
32 (AC)A light for revelation [r]for the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”

33 And His father and (AD)mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to (AE)His mother Mary, “Behold, this Child is appointed for (AF)the fall and [s]rise of many in Israel, and as a sign to be [t]opposed— 35 and a sword will pierce your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

36 And there was a (AG)prophetess, [u]Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of (AH)the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in [v]years (AI)and had lived with her husband for seven years after her [w]marriage, 37 and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She did not leave the temple grounds, serving night and day with (AJ)fasts and prayers. 38 And at that very [x]moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak about Him to all those who were (AK)looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

Return to Nazareth

39 And when His parents had completed everything in accordance with the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to (AL)their own city of Nazareth. 40 (AM)Now the Child continued to grow and to become strong, [y]increasing in wisdom; and the favor of God was upon Him.

Visit to Jerusalem

41 His parents went to Jerusalem every year at (AN)the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when He was twelve years old, they went up there according to the custom of the feast; 43 and as they were returning, after spending the (AO)full number of days required, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but His parents were unaware of it. 44 Instead, they thought that He was somewhere in the caravan, and they went a day’s journey; and then they began looking for Him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 And when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, looking for Him. 46 Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Him (AP)were amazed at His understanding and His answers. 48 When Joseph and Mary saw Him, they were bewildered; and (AQ)His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, (AR)Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You!” 49 And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that (AS)I had to be in My Father’s [z]house?” 50 And yet (AT)they on their part did not understand the statement which He had [aa]made to them. 51 And He went down with them and came to (AU)Nazareth, and He continued to be subject to them; and (AV)His mother (AW)treasured all these [ab]things in her heart.

52 And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and [ac]stature, and in (AX)favor with God and people.


  1. Luke 2:1 I.e., the Roman Empire
  2. Luke 2:2 Or This took place as a first census
  3. Luke 2:2 Gr Kyrenios
  4. Luke 2:5 Unlike engagement, a betrothed couple was considered married, but did not yet live together
  5. Luke 2:6 Lit days were completed
  6. Luke 2:7 Or feeding trough
  7. Luke 2:7 Or space
  8. Luke 2:11 I.e., the Messiah
  9. Luke 2:12 Or feeding trough
  10. Luke 2:13 Or host
  11. Luke 2:14 Lit of good pleasure; or of goodwill
  12. Luke 2:16 Or feeding trough
  13. Luke 2:21 Lit so as to circumcise Him
  14. Luke 2:22 I.e., Mary’s, with Joseph’s support
  15. Luke 2:26 I.e., Messiah
  16. Luke 2:27 Or in
  17. Luke 2:27 Lit to do for Him according to
  18. Luke 2:32 Lit of the Gentiles
  19. Luke 2:34 Or resurrection
  20. Luke 2:34 Or refused
  21. Luke 2:36 Or Hannah
  22. Luke 2:36 Lit days
  23. Luke 2:36 Lit virginity
  24. Luke 2:38 Lit hour
  25. Luke 2:40 Lit becoming full of
  26. Luke 2:49 Or affairs; or business; lit in the things of My Father
  27. Luke 2:50 Lit spoken
  28. Luke 2:51 Lit words
  29. Luke 2:52 Or age

The Visit of the Magi

Now after Jesus was (A)born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of (B)Herod the king, behold, [a]magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born (C)King of the Jews? For we saw (D)His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the [b]Messiah was to be born. They said to him, “(E)In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written [c]by [d]the prophet:

(F)And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah;
For from you will come forth a Ruler
Who will (G)shepherd My people Israel.’”

Then Herod secretly called for the magi and determined from them the exact [e]time (H)the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.” After hearing the king, they went on their way; and behold, the star, which they had seen in the east, went on ahead of them until it came to a stop over the place where the Child was to be found. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And after they came into the house, they saw the Child with (I)His mother Mary; and they fell down and [f](J)worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And after being (K)warned by God (L)in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.

The Escape to Egypt

13 Now when they had gone, behold, an (M)angel of the Lord *(N)appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to kill Him.”

14 So [g]Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. 15 He [h]stayed there until the death of Herod; this happened so that what had been spoken by the Lord through [i]the prophet would be fulfilled: “(O)Out of Egypt I called (P)My Son.”

Herod Slaughters Babies

16 Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by (Q)the magi, he became very enraged, and sent men and (R)killed all the boys who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity [j]who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi. 17 Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled:

18 (S)A voice was heard in Ramah,
Weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children;
And she refused to be comforted,
Because they were no more.”

19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord *(T)appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, and said, 20 “Get up, take the Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel; for those who sought the Child’s life are dead.” 21 So [k]Joseph got up, took the Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Then after being (U)warned by God in a dream, he left for the regions of Galilee, 23 and came and settled in a city called (V)Nazareth. This happened so that what was spoken through the prophets would be fulfilled: “He will be called a (W)Nazarene.”


  1. Matthew 2:1 A caste of educated men specializing in astronomy, astrology, and natural science
  2. Matthew 2:4 From Gr Christos, which means Messiah (Heb for Anointed One)
  3. Matthew 2:5 Or through
  4. Matthew 2:5 I.e., Micah
  5. Matthew 2:7 Lit time of the appearing star
  6. Matthew 2:11 Lit prostrated themselves to; i.e., lay face down in a prone position to indicate worship
  7. Matthew 2:14 Lit he
  8. Matthew 2:15 Lit was
  9. Matthew 2:15 I.e., Hosea
  10. Matthew 2:16 Lit from two...and under
  11. Matthew 2:21 Lit he

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