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.

Footnotes

  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

Jesus’ Birth in Bethlehem

Now in those days a decree went out from [the emperor] [a]Caesar Augustus, that all the inhabited world (the Roman Empire) should be [b]registered [in a census]. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone went to register for the census, each to his own city. So Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register with Mary, who was [c]betrothed to him, and was with child.(A) While they were there [in Bethlehem], the time came for her to give birth, and she gave birth to her Son, her firstborn; and she wrapped Him in [[d]swaddling] cloths and laid Him in a [e]manger, because there was no [private] room for them in the inn.

In the same region there were shepherds staying out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone around them, and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for [f]all the people. 11 For this day in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (the Messiah).(B) 12 And this will be a sign for you [by which you will recognize Him]: you will find a Baby wrapped in [swaddling] cloths and lying in a manger.”(C) 13 Then suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host (angelic army) praising God and saying,

14 
“Glory to God in the highest [heaven],
And on earth peace among men with whom He is well-pleased.”

15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying one to another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem, and see this [wonderful] thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they went in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the Baby as He lay in the manger. 17 And when they had seen this, they made known what had been told them about this Child, 18 and all who heard it were astounded and wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured all these things, giving careful thought to them and pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as it had been told them.

Jesus Presented at the Temple

21 At the end of eight days, when He was to be circumcised, He was named Jesus, the name given [to Him] by the angel [Gabriel] before He was conceived in the womb.

22 And when the time for their purification came [that is, the mother’s purification and the baby’s dedication] according to the Law of Moses, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord [set apart as the Firstborn](D) 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy [set apart and dedicated] to the Lord)(E) 24 and [they came also] to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord [to be appropriate for a family of modest means], “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”(F)

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout [carefully observing the divine Law], and looking for the [g]Consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed). 27 Prompted by the Spirit, he came into the temple [enclosure]; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, [h]to do for Him the custom required by the Law, 28 Simeon took Him into his arms, and blessed and praised and thanked God, and said,

29 
“Now, Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to leave [this world] in peace,
According to Your word;
30 
For my eyes have seen Your Salvation,(G)
31 
Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 
A Light for revelation to the Gentiles [to disclose what was previously unknown],
And [to bring] the praise and honor and glory of Your people Israel.”(H)

33 And His [legal] father and His mother were amazed at what was said about Him. 34 Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Listen carefully: this Child is appointed and destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for [i]a sign that is to be opposed—(I) 35 and a sword [of deep sorrow] will pierce through your own soul—so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

36 There was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old, and had lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage,(J) 37 and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She did not leave the [area of the] temple, but was serving and worshiping night and day with fastings and prayers. 38 She, too, came up at that very moment and began praising and giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all who were looking for the redemption and deliverance of Jerusalem.

Return to Nazareth

39 And when they had done everything [in connection with Jesus’ birth] according to the Law of the Lord, they went back to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. 40 And the Child continued to grow and become strong [in spirit], filled with wisdom; and the grace (favor, spiritual blessing) of God was upon Him.(K)

Visit to Jerusalem

41 Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year for the Passover Feast.(L) 42 And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem, according to the custom of the Feast; 43 and as they were returning [to [j]Nazareth], after spending the required number of days [at the Feast], the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem. Now His parents did not know this, 44 but supposed Him to be in the caravan, and traveled a day’s journey; and [then] they began searching [anxiously] for Him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 When they did not find Him, they went back to Jerusalem looking for Him [everywhere]. 46 Three days later they found Him in the [court of the] temple, sitting among the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47 All who heard Him were amazed by His intelligence and His understanding and His answers. 48 When they saw Him, they were overwhelmed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us like this? Listen, Your [k]father and I have been [greatly distressed and] anxiously looking for You.” 49 And He answered, “Why did you have to look for Me? Did you not know that I had to be [l]in My Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what He had said to them. 51 He went down to Nazareth with them, and was continually submissive and obedient to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

52 And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and men.(M)

Footnotes

  1. Luke 2:1 Augustus, Rome’s first and possibly greatest emperor was born Gaius Octavius in 63 b.c. He was the great-nephew, adopted son and heir of the dictator, Julius Caesar. Under Augustus’ intelligent leadership (27 b.c.-a.d. 14) Rome entered the period of peace and prosperity known as the Pax Romana.
  2. Luke 2:1 This was the first general census conducted outside Rome that included the people of the Roman provinces.
  3. Luke 2:5 See note 1:27.
  4. Luke 2:7 This was customary among the Jews, and quite comfortable and protective for the baby. Wrapping the baby in strips of cloth was intended to strengthen the back and bones for good growth.
  5. Luke 2:7 I.e. feeding trough for animals.
  6. Luke 2:10 I.e. Gentiles as well as Jews.
  7. Luke 2:25 A Messianic title.
  8. Luke 2:27 I.e. offer the turtledoves as a sacrifice.
  9. Luke 2:34 The rejecting of the Messiah, culminating in the crucifixion.
  10. Luke 2:43 Nazareth of Galilee was about 65 miles north of Jerusalem.
  11. Luke 2:48 Joseph was recognized as the legal father of Jesus.
  12. Luke 2:49 Or occupied with My Father’s business.