International Standard Version
Luke’s Dedication to Theophilus
1Since many people have attempted to write an orderly account of the events that have transpired among us, 2just as they were passed down to us by those who had been eyewitnesses and servants of the word from the beginning, 3I, too, have carefully investigated everything from the beginning and have decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
The Birth of John the Baptist is Foretold
5During the reigna of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6Both of them were righteous before God, having lived blamelessly according to all of the commandments and regulations of the Lord. 7They had no children because Elizabeth was barren and because both of them were getting old.b
8When Zechariahc was serving with his division of priests in God’s presence, 9he was chosen by lot to go into the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense, according to the custom of the priests. 10And the entire congregation of people was praying outside at the time when the incense was burned.
11An angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the incense altar. 12When Zechariah saw him, he was startled, and fear overwhelmed him. 13But the angel told him, “Stop being afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to name him John. 14You will have great joy,d and many people will rejoice at his birth, 15because he will be great in the Lord’s presence. He will never drink wine or any strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16He will bring many of Israel’s descendants back to the Lord their God. 17He is the one who will go before the Lorde with the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, and to prepare the people to be ready for the Lord.”
19The angel answered him, “I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. I have been sent to speak to you and to announce this good news to you. 20But because you did not believe my announcement, which will be fulfilled at its proper time,g you will become silent and unable to speak until the day this happens.”
21Meanwhile, the people kept waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed in the sanctuary so long. 22But when he did come out, he was unable to speak to them. Then they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He kept motioning to them but remained unable to speak. 23When the days of his service were over, he went home.
24After this,h his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and remained in seclusion for five months. She said, 25“This is what the Lord did for me when he looked favorably on me and took away my public disgrace.”
The Birth of Jesus is Foretold
26Now in the sixth month of her pregnancy,i the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendantj of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28The angelk came to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you!”l 29Startled by his statement, she tried to figure out what his greeting meant.
30Then the angel told her, “Stop being afraid, Mary, because you have found favor with God. 31Listen! You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33He will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will never end.”
35The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come over you, and the power of the Most High will surround you. Therefore, the child will be holy and will be called the Son of God. 36And listen! Elizabeth, your relative, has herself conceived a son in her old age, this woman who was rumored to be barren is in her sixth month. 37Nothing is impossible with respect to any of God’s promises.”
38Then Mary said, “Truly I am the Lord’s servant. Let everything you have said happen to me.” Then the angel left her.
Mary Visits Elizabeth
39Later on,n Mary set out for a Judean city in the hill country. 40She went into Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby jumped in her womb. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42and she loudly exclaimed, “How blessed are you among women, and how blessed is the infant ino your womb! 43Why should this happen to me, to have the mother of my Lord visit me? 44As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. 45How blessed is this woman for believing that what was spoken to her by the Lord would be fulfilled!”
Mary’s Song of Praise
46Then Mary said,
“My soul praises the greatness of the Lord!
47My spirit exults in God, my Savior,
48because he has looked favorably on his humble servant.
From now on, all generations will call me blessed,
49because the Almighty has done great things for me.
His name is holy.
50His mercy lasts from generation to generation
for those who fear him.
51He displayed his mighty power with his arm.
He scattered people who were proud in mind and heart.p
52He pulled powerful rulers from their thrones
and lifted up humble people.
53He filled hungry people with good things
and sent rich people away with nothing.
54He helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful,
to Abraham and his descendants forever.”
The Birth of John the Baptist
64Suddenly, Zechariah could open his mouth,u his tongue was set free, and he began to speak and to praise God. 65Fear came over all their neighbors, and throughout the hill country of Judea all these things were being discussed. 66Everyone who heard about it kept thinking what had happened and asked, “What will this child become?” because it was obvious that the hand of the Lord was with him.
The Prophecy of Zechariah
67Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:
68“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel!
He has taken care of his people and has set them free.
from the family of his servant David,
70just as he promised long ago
through the mouth of his holy prophets
71that he would save us from our enemies
and from the grip of all who hate us.
72He has shown mercy to our ancestors
and remembered his holy covenant,
73the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham.
He granted us 74deliverance from our enemies’ grip
so that we could serve him without fear
75and be holy and righteous before him all of our days.
76And you, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High,
because you will go ahead of the Lord to prepare his way
77and to give his people knowledge of salvation
through forgiveness of their sins.
78Because of the tender mercy of our God,
his lightw from on high has visited us,
79to shine on those who sit in darkness and in death’s shadow,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
a 1:5 Lit. In the days
b 1:7 Lit. were advancing in their days
c 1:8 Lit. he
d 1:14 Lit. have joy and gladness
e 1:17 Lit. before him
f 1:18 Lit. is advancing in her days
g 1:20 Lit. in their times
h 1:24 Lit. After those days
i 1:26 The Gk. lacks of her pregnancy
j 1:27 Lit. of the house
k 1:28 Lit. He
l 1:28 Other mss. read is with you! How blessed are you among women!
m 1:34 Lit. I have not known
n 1:39 Lit. In those days
o 1:42 Lit. the fruit of
p 1:51 Lit. in the mind of their heart
q 1:55 Lit. just as he spoke
r 1:56 Lit. with her
s 1:61 Lit. They
t 1:62 Lit. to his
u 1:64 Lit. his mouth was opened
v 1:69 Lit. a horn of salvation
w 1:78 Or dawn
x 1:80 Or become strong in the Spirit