ACV(i) 1 Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to arrange in order a narration about the deeds that have been brought to fullness among us, 2 just as they delivered them to us, who became from the beginning eyewitnesses and servants of the word, 3 it occurred to me also, having followed closely from the beginning all things accurately, to write to thee in order, eminent Theophilus, 4 so that thou might know the certainty of the declarations about which thou were instructed. 5 It came to pass in the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a certain priest, named Zacharias, from the division of Abijah, and his wife was from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, going in all the commandments and righteous things of the Lord blameless. 7 And there was no child to them because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both advanced in their days. 8 But it came to pass during his service as a priest in the course of his division in the presence of God, 9 that, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to burn incense after entering into the temple of the Lord. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. 11 And an agent of the Lord became visible to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And Zacharias having seen, was shaken, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the agent said to him, Fear not, Zacharias, because thy plea was heard, and thy wife Elizabeth will bear a son for thee. And thou shall call his name John. 14 And there will be joy and exultation for thee, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and he should, no, not drink wine and strong drink. And he will be filled of the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's belly. 16 And he will turn back many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go ahead, in front of him, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn back the hearts of fathers toward children, and the disobedient in a mentality of the righteous, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared. 18 And Zacharias said to the agent, How will I know this? For I am aged, and my wife is advanced in her days. 19 And having answered, the agent said to him, I am Gabriel who stand in the presence of God. And I was sent to speak to thee, and to announce these good news to thee. 20 And behold, thou will be mute, and not able to speak until that day these things will come to pass, because thou did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time. 21 And the people were waiting for Zacharias, and they wondered during his delay in the temple. 22 And when he came out, he could not speak to them, and they recognized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he was beckoning to them, and remained speechless. 23 And it came to pass, when the days of his service were fulfilled, he departed to his house. 24 And after these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and she concealed herself five months, saying, 25 Thus the Lord has done to me during the days in which he looked, to take away my shame among men. 26 Now in the sixth month the agent Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And the agent having come in near her, he said, Hail, thou who are highly favored. The Lord is with thee, thou who are blessed among women. 29 But having seen, she was perplexed at his saying, and was pondering what kind of greeting this might be. 30 And the agent said to her, Fear not, Mary, for thou have found favor with God. 31 And behold, thou will conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son. And thou shall call his name JESUS. 32 This man 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 father David. 33 And he will reign over the house of Jacob into the ages. And of his kingdom there will be no end. 34 And Mary said to the agent, How will this be, since I know not a man? 35 And having answered, the agent said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon thee, and the power of the Most High will overshadow thee. Therefore also the holy thing that is begotten will be called the Son of God. 36 And behold, Elizabeth thy kinswoman, she also has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For no word from God will be impossible. 38 And Mary said, Behold the maid-servant of the Lord. May it happen to me according to thy word. And the agent departed from her. 39 And having risen in these days, Mary went with haste into the hill country, into a city of Judah, 40 and entered into the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And it came to pass, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her belly. And Elizabeth was filled of the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed in a great voice, and said, Blessed are thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy belly. 43 And why is this to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? 44 For lo, when the voice of thy greeting happened in my ears, the babe leaped with joy in my belly. 45 And blessed is she who believed, because there will be a fulfillment of the things that were spoken to her from the Lord. 46 And Mary said, My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 because he has looked upon the lowliness of his bondmaid. For behold, from henceforth all generations will regard me blessed, 49 because the Mighty has done great things to me. And his name is holy. 50 And his mercy is for generations of generations to those who fear him. 51 He did a mighty work by his arm. He scattered the proud in the mentality of their heart. 52 He brought down potentates from thrones, and raised up lowly men. 53 He filled those who are hungry with good things, and those who are rich he sent away empty. 54 He helped his boy Israel to be reminded of mercy, 55 just as he spoke to our fathers: to Abraham and his seed into the age. 56 And Mary dwelt with her about three months, and returned to her house. 57 Now the time for Elizabeth was fulfilled for her to give birth, and she brought forth a son. 58 And her neighbors and her kinfolk heard that the Lord magnified his mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. 59 And it came to pass on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child, and they were calling it by the name of his father Zacharias. 60 And his mother having answered, said, No, but he will be called John. 61 And they said to her, There is no man among thy relatives who is called by this name. 62 And they made signs to his father, whatever he wanted to call him. 63 And having asked for a writing tablet, he wrote, saying, His name is John. And they all marveled. 64 And immediately his mouth was opened, and his tongue, and he spoke, praising God. 65 And fear developed in all who dwell around them. And all these sayings were talked about in the entire hill country of Judea. 66 And all who heard stored up in their heart, saying, What then will this child be? For the hand of the Lord was with him. 67 And his father Zacharias was filled of the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying, 68 Blessed is the Lord, the God of Israel, because he came to help, and made ransom for his people. 69 And he raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his boy David, 70 just as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, 71 salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us, 72 to do mercy with our fathers, and his holy covenant to be remembered, 73 the oath that he swore to Abraham our father, to give to us, 74 without fear from the hand of our enemies, having been saved to serve him 75 in piety and righteousness before him all the days of our life. 76 And thou, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High. For thou will go ahead, before the face of the Lord, to prepare his ways, 77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the remission of their sins, 78 because of the bowels of mercy of our God, by which the dayspring from on high came to help us, 79 to give light to those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into a way of peace. 80 And the child grew, and became strong in spirit. And he was in the desolate regions until the day of his manifestation to Israel.