New Living Translation NLT
New International Version NIV
1 Many people have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us.
Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us,
2 They used the eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples.
just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.
3 Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write a careful account for you, most honorable Theophilus,
With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,
4 so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught.
so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
5 When Herod was king of Judea, there was a Jewish priest named Zechariah. He was a member of the priestly order of Abijah, and his wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron.
In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron.
6 Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations.
Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.
7 They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old.
But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.
8 One day Zechariah was serving God in the Temple, for his order was on duty that week.
Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God,
9 As was the custom of the priests, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense.
he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense.
10 While the incense was being burned, a great crowd stood outside, praying.
And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.
11 While Zechariah was in the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar.
Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense.
12 Zechariah was shaken and overwhelmed with fear when he saw him.
When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear.
13 But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John.
But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.
14 You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth,
He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth,
15 for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth.
for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born.
16 And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God.
He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God.
17 He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.”
And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
18 Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years.”
Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”
19 Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was he who sent me to bring you this good news!
The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.
20 But now, since you didn’t believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time.”
And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”
21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah to come out of the sanctuary, wondering why he was taking so long.
Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple.
22 When he finally did come out, he couldn’t speak to them. Then they realized from his gestures and his silence that he must have seen a vision in the sanctuary.
When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.
23 When Zechariah’s week of service in the Temple was over, he returned home.
When his time of service was completed, he returned home.
24 Soon afterward his wife, Elizabeth, became pregnant and went into seclusion for five months.
After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion.
25 “How kind the Lord is!” she exclaimed. “He has taken away my disgrace of having no children.”
“The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee,
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee,
27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David.
to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.
28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you! ”
The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.
30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God!
But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.
31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.
You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.
32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David.
He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,
33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”
and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
36 What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month.
Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month.
37 For the word of God will never fail. ”
For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
39 A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town
At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea,
40 where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth.
where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth.
41 At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
42 Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed.
In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!
43 Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me?
But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44 When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy.
As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
45 You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.”
Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
46 Mary responded, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord
47 How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me.
for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name.
50 He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him.
His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
51 His mighty arm has done tremendous things! He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands.
He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel and remembered to be merciful.
He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful
55 For he made this promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children forever.”
to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”
56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back to her own home.
Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.
57 When it was time for Elizabeth’s baby to be born, she gave birth to a son.
When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son.
58 And when her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had been very merciful to her, everyone rejoiced with her.
Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.
59 When the baby was eight days old, they all came for the circumcision ceremony. They wanted to name him Zechariah, after his father.
On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah,
60 But Elizabeth said, “No! His name is John!”
but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.”
61 “What?” they exclaimed. “There is no one in all your family by that name.”
They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.”
62 So they used gestures to ask the baby’s father what he wanted to name him.
Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child.
63 He motioned for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s surprise he wrote, “His name is John.”
He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.”
64 Instantly Zechariah could speak again, and he began praising God.
Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God.
65 Awe fell upon the whole neighborhood, and the news of what had happened spread throughout the Judean hills.
All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things.
66 Everyone who heard about it reflected on these events and asked, “What will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was surely upon him in a special way.
Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him.
67 Then his father, Zechariah, was filled with the Holy Spirit and gave this prophecy:
His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:
68 “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and redeemed his people.
“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
69 He has sent us a mighty Savior from the royal line of his servant David,
He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David
70 just as he promised through his holy prophets long ago.
(as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
71 Now we will be saved from our enemies and from all who hate us.
salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us—
72 He has been merciful to our ancestors by remembering his sacred covenant—
to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant,
73 the covenant he swore with an oath to our ancestor Abraham.
the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
74 We have been rescued from our enemies so we can serve God without fear,
to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear
75 in holiness and righteousness for as long as we live.
in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76 “And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord.
And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
77 You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins.
to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins,
78 Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us,
because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.”
to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
80 John grew up and became strong in spirit. And he lived in the wilderness until he began his public ministry to Israel.
And the child grew and became strong in spirit ; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation
. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica. All rights reserved worldwide.