Many people have already applied themselves to the task of compiling an account of the events that have been fulfilled among us.
They used what the original eyewitnesses and servants of the word handed down to us.
Now, after having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, I have also decided to write a carefully ordered account for you, most honorable Theophilus.
I want you to have confidence in the soundness of the instruction you have received.
During the rule of King Herod of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah. His wife Elizabeth was a descendant of Aaron.
They were both righteous before God, blameless in their observance of all the Lord's commandments and regulations.
They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to become pregnant and they both were very old.
One day Zechariah was serving as a priest before God because his priestly division was on duty.
Following the customs of priestly service, he was chosen by lottery to go into the Lord's sanctuary and burn incense.
All the people who gathered to worship were praying outside during this hour of incense offering.
An angel from the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense.