Most honorable Theophilus: Many people have written accounts about the events that took place a among us.
They used as their source material the reports circulating among us from the early disciples and other eyewitnesses of what God has done in fulfillment of his promises.
Having carefully investigated all of these accounts from the beginning, I have decided to write a careful summary for you,
to reassure you of the truth of all you were taught.
It all begins with a Jewish priest, Zechariah, who lived when Herod was king of Judea. Zechariah was a member of the priestly order of Abijah. His wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron.
Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God's eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord's commandments and regulations.
They had no children because Elizabeth was barren, and now they were both very old.
One day Zechariah was serving God in the Temple, for his order was on duty that week.
As was the custom of the priests, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary and burn incense in the Lord's presence.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)