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The Birth of Jesus

At that time, Augustus Caesar sent an order to all people in the countries that were under Roman rule. The order said that they must list their names in a register. This was the first registration[a] taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone went to their own towns to be registered.

So Joseph left Nazareth, a town in Galilee. He went to the town of Bethlehem in Judea. This town was known as the town of David. Joseph went there because he was from the family of David. Joseph registered with Mary because she was engaged to marry him. (Mary was now pregnant.) While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have the baby. She gave birth to her first son. There were no rooms left in the inn. So she wrapped the baby with cloths and laid him in a box where animals are fed.

Some Shepherds Hear About Jesus

That night, some shepherds were in the fields nearby watching their sheep. An angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord was shining around them, and suddenly they became very frightened. 10 The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, because I am bringing you some good news. It will be a joy to all the people. 11 Today your Savior was born in David’s town. He is Christ, the Lord. 12 This is how you will know him: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a feeding box.”

13 Then a very large group of angels from heaven joined the first angel. All the angels were praising God, saying:

14 “Give glory to God in heaven,
    and on earth let there be peace to the people who please God.”[b]

15 Then the angels left the shepherds and went back to heaven. The shepherds said to each other, “Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened. We will see this thing the Lord told us about.”

16 So the shepherds went quickly and found Mary and Joseph. 17 And the shepherds saw the baby lying in a feeding box. Then they told what the angels had said about this child. 18 Everyone was amazed when they heard what the shepherds said to them. 19 Mary hid these things in her heart; she continued to think about them. 20 Then the shepherds went back to their sheep, praising God and thanking him for everything that they had seen and heard. It was just as the angel had told them.

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Footnotes

  1. 2:2 registration Census. A counting of all the people and the things they own.
  2. 2:14 and . . . God Some Greek copies read “and on earth let there be peace and goodwill among people.”

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