Seeing that many have attempted to draw up a narrative of the facts which are received with full assurance among us
on the authority of those who were from the beginning eye-witnesses and were devoted to the service of the divine Message,
it has seemed right to me also, after careful investigation of the facts from their commencement, to write for you, most noble Theophilus, a connected account,
that you may fully know the truth of the things which you have been taught by word of mouth.
There was in the time of Herod, the king of Judaea, a priest of the name of Zechariah, belonging to the class of Abijah. He had a wife who was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
They were both of them upright before God, blamelessly obeying all the Lord's precepts and ordinances.
But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren; and both of them were far advanced in life.
Now while he was doing priestly duty before God in the prescribed course of his class,
it fell to his lot--according to the custom of the priesthood--to go into the Sanctuary of the Lord and burn the incense;
and the whole multitude of the people were outside praying, at the hour of incense.