Add parallel Print Page Options

The Birth of Jesus

At that time, Augustus Caesar sent an ·order [decree] that all people in the ·countries under Roman rule [empire; Roman world] must ·list their names in a register [register for taxation]. ·This was the first registration; it was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria [or This was the first census while Quirinius was governor of Syria; or This census occurred before Quirinius was governor of Syria]. And all went to their own towns to be registered.

So Joseph left Nazareth, a town in Galilee, and went to the town of Bethlehem in Judea, known as the town of David [C Bethlehem was David’s hometown]. Joseph went there because he was from the ·family [L house and family line] of David. Joseph registered with Mary, to whom he was ·engaged [pledged to be married; see 1:27] and who was now pregnant. While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have the baby, and she gave birth to her first son. She wrapped the baby ·with pieces of cloth [in cloths; T in swaddling clothes] and laid him in a ·feeding trough [T manger], because there ·were no rooms [was no space/room] left in the ·inn [or guest room (of a private residence); or caravan shelter].

Shepherds Hear About Jesus

·That night [L At night], some shepherds were [living out] in the fields ·nearby [L in that region/place] watching their ·sheep [L flock]. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord ·was shining around [surrounded] them, and they became very frightened. 10 The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. [L …for/because] I am bringing you good news that will ·be a [or bring] great joy to all the people. 11 Today your Savior was born in the town of David. He is ·Christ [the Messiah], the Lord. 12 This ·is how you will know him [will be the sign for you]: You will find a baby wrapped in ·pieces of cloth [cloths; T swaddling clothes] and lying in a ·feeding trough [T manger].”

13 ·Then [L And suddenly] a ·very large group [or great army] of angels from heaven ·joined [appeared with] the first angel, praising God and saying:

14 “Give glory to God in ·heaven [the highest place/heaven],
    and on earth let there be peace among the people ·who please God [or he favors; L of his pleasure/approval].”[a]

15 When the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem. Let’s see this thing that has happened which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So the shepherds went quickly and found Mary and Joseph and the baby, who was lying in a ·feeding trough [T manger]. 17 When they had seen him, they ·told [spread the word about; let people know] what the angels had said about this child. 18 Everyone [L who heard] ·was amazed [wondered; marveled] at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary ·treasured [kept; preserved] these things and ·continued to think about them [L pondered/considered them in her heart]. 20 Then the shepherds went back to their sheep, ·praising [glorifying] God and ·thanking [praising] him for everything they had seen and heard. It had been just as the angel had told them.

21 When ·the baby was eight days old [L eight days were fulfilled; Gen. 17:12; Lev. 12:3], he was circumcised [1:59] and was named Jesus, the name given by the angel before ·the baby began to grow inside Mary [L he was conceived in the womb].

Jesus Is Presented in the Temple

22 When the ·time came [L days were fulfilled] for ·Mary and Joseph to do what the law of Moses taught about being made pure [L their purification according the law of Moses; C an animal sacrifice and ritual cleansing forty days after the birth of a son; see Lev. 12:2–8], they took Jesus [L up] to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. 23 ([L Just as] It is written in the law of the Lord: “Every ·firstborn male [L male who opens the womb; C an idiom for a firstborn] shall be ·given [set apart; consecrated; L called holy] to the Lord” [Ex. 13:2].) 24 Mary and Joseph also went to offer a sacrifice, as the law of the Lord says: “You must sacrifice two ·doves [or turtledoves] or two young pigeons [Lev. 5:11; 12:8].”

Simeon Sees Jesus

25 [Now; L And behold] In Jerusalem ·lived [L was] a man named Simeon who was ·a good man [righteous; just] and ·godly [devout; reverent]. He was waiting for the ·time when God would take away Israel’s sorrow [restoration/consolation of Israel; Is. 40:1] and the Holy Spirit was ·in [or upon] him. 26 ·Simeon had been told [L It had been revealed to him] by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he saw ·the Christ promised by the Lord [L the Lord’s Messiah/Anointed One]. 27 The Spirit led Simeon to the Temple. When ·Mary and Joseph [L the parents] brought the ·baby [child] Jesus to the Temple to do [L for him] what ·the law said they must do [the custom of the law required], 28 Simeon took the baby in his arms and ·thanked [praised; blessed] God:

29 “Now, Lord, you can let me, your servant,
    ·die [L depart; be dismissed] in peace ·as you said [L according to your word].
30 With my own eyes I have seen your salvation [Is. 52:10],
31     which you prepared ·before [in the presence of] all ·people [nations; people groups].
32 It is a light ·for the Gentiles to see [L of revelation for the Gentiles/nations; Is. 42:6; 49:6]
    and ·an honor [the glory] for your people, ·the Israelites [L Israel].”

33 Jesus’ father and mother were amazed at what Simeon had said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to ·Mary [L his mother], “·God has chosen this child [L Look/T Behold, this one is destined/appointed] to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel. ·He will be a sign from God that many people will not accept [L …and to be a sign that is spoken against] 35 so that the thoughts of many [L hearts] will be made known. And ·the things that will happen will make your heart sad, too [L a sword will pierce your own soul; C Mary will experience deep sorrow over the death of Jesus].”

Anna Sees Jesus

36 There was a prophetess, ·Anna, [L Hannah] ·from the family [L the daughter] of Phanuel ·in [who was from] the tribe of Asher. She was very old and had once been married for seven years. 37 Then her husband died, and she was a widow ·for [or to the age of] eighty-four years. She never left the Temple but worshiped God, ·going without food [fasting] and praying day and night. 38 ·Standing there [or Coming up to them] at that time, she ·thanked [praised; blessed] God and spoke about ·Jesus [L him] to all who were waiting for ·God to free [L the redemption/deliverance of] Jerusalem.

Joseph and Mary Return Home

39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything the law of the Lord commanded, they went home to Nazareth, their own town in Galilee [Matt. 2:22–23]. 40 The little child grew and became strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s ·goodness [favor; grace] was upon him.

Jesus as a Boy

41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover ·Feast [festival; C annual festival that celebrates God’s rescue of Israel from Egypt; Ex. 12]. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went to the ·feast [festival] ·as they always did [or according to Jewish custom]. 43 After the feast days were over, they started home. The boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. 44 Thinking that Jesus was with them in the group, they traveled for a whole day. Then they began to look for him among their family and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him there. 46 After three days [C probably three days since they left Jerusalem—one out, one back, and one searching] they found Jesus sitting in the Temple ·with [among; in the middle of] the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and answers. 48 When Jesus’ parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “·Son [Child], why ·did you do this to us [have you treated us this way]? [L Look; T Behold] Your father and I were ·very worried [distressed; in pain] about you and have been looking for you.”

49 Jesus said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that I must be ·in my Father’s house [or about my Father’s business]?” 50 But they did not understand the meaning of what he said.

51 Jesus went with them to Nazareth and ·was obedient to them [lived under their authority]. But his mother ·kept in her mind all that had happened [L kept/treasured all these things/words in her heart]. 52 Jesus ·became wiser and grew physically [grew in wisdom and stature/height]. ·People liked him, and he pleased God […and in favor with God and people; 1 Sam. 2:26].


  1. Luke 2:14 and … God Some Greek copies read “and on earth let there be peace and goodwill among people.”