Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that 1have been accomplished among us,
2just as those who 3from the beginning were 4eyewitnesses and 5ministers of 6the word 7have delivered them to us,
it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write 8an orderly account for you, 9most excellent 10Theophilus,
that you may have 11certainty concerning the things 12you have been taught.
13In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah,14of 15the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
And they were both 16righteous before God, walking 17blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.
But they had no child, because 18Elizabeth was barren, and 19both were advanced in years.
Now 20while he was serving as priest before God when 21his division was on duty,
according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot 22to enter 23the temple of the Lord and burn incense.
And the whole multitude of the people 24were praying 25outside at the hour of incense.
And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of 26the altar of incense.
And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and 27fear fell upon him.
But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for 28your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and 29you shall call his name John.
And you will have joy and gladness, and many will 30rejoice at his birth,
for he will be 31great before the Lord. And 32he must not drink wine or strong 33drink, and 34he will be 35filled with the Holy Spirit, 36even from his mother's womb.
And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God,
and 37he will go before him 38in the spirit and power of Elijah, 39to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and 40the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, 41to make ready for the Lord a people prepared."
And Zechariah said to the angel, 42"How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years."
And the angel answered him, "I am 43Gabriel. 44I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.
And behold, 45you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time."
And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in 46the temple.
And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in 47the temple. And 48he kept making signs to them and remained mute.
And 49when his time of 50service was ended, he went to his home.
After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying,
"Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, 51to take away my reproach among people."