Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us,
just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first1 were eyewitnesses2 and servants of the word.3
Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account4 for you, most excellent5 Theophilus,6
so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.7
In the time of Herod king of Judea8 there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah;9 his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron.
Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly.10
But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well along in years.
Once when Zechariah's division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God,11
he was chosen by lot,12 according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense.13
And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.14
Then an angel15 of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense.16