So many others have tried their hand at putting together a story of the wonderful harvest of Scripture and history that took place among us,
using reports handed down by the original eyewitnesses who served this Word with their very lives.
Since I have investigated all the reports in close detail, starting from the story's beginning, I decided to write it all out for you, most honorable Theophilus,
so you can know beyond the shadow of a doubt the reliability of what you were taught. A Childless Couple Conceives
During the rule of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest assigned service in the regiment of Abijah. His name was Zachariah. His wife was descended from the daughters of Aaron. Her name was Elizabeth.
Together they lived honorably before God, careful in keeping to the ways of the commandments and enjoying a clear conscience before God.
But they were childless because Elizabeth could never conceive, and now they were quite old.
It so happened that as Zachariah was carrying out his priestly duties before God, working the shift assigned to his regiment,
it came his one turn in life to enter the sanctuary of God and burn incense.
The congregation was gathered and praying outside the Temple at the hour of the incense offering.
Unannounced, an angel of God appeared just to the right of the altar of incense.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)