Weymouth New testament
Dedication to Theophilus
1Seeing that many have attempted to draw up a narrative of the facts which are received with full assurance among us 2on the authority of those who were from the beginning eye-witnesses and were devoted to the service of the divine Message, 3it 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, 4that you may fully know the truth of the things which you have been taught by word of mouth.
The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold
5There 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. 6They were both of them upright before God, blamelessly obeying all the Lord's precepts and ordinances. 7But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren; and both of them were far advanced in life.
8Now while he was doing priestly duty before God in the prescribed course of his class, 9it fell to his lot—according to the custom of the priesthood—to go into the Sanctuary of the Lord and burn the incense; 10and the whole multitude of the people were outside praying, at the hour of incense. 11Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense; 12and Zechariah on seeing him was agitated and terrified. 13But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your petition has been heard: and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call his name John. 14Gladness and exultant joy shall be yours, and many will rejoice over his birth. 15For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; no wine or fermented drink shall he ever drink; but he will be filled with the Holy Spirit from the very hour of his birth. 16Many of the descendants of Israel will he turn to the Lord their God; 17and he will be His forerunner in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn fathers' hearts to the children, and cause the rebellious to walk in the wisdom of the upright, to make a people perfectly ready for the lord."
18"By what proof," asked Zechariah, "shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is far advanced in years." 19"I am Gabriel, who stand in the presence of God," answered the angel, "and I have been sent to talk with you and tell you this good news. 20And now you will be dumb and unable to speak until the day when this has taken place; because you did not believe my words—words which will be fulfilled at their appointed time."
21Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah, and were surprised that he stayed so long in the Sanctuary. 22When, however, he came out, he was unable to speak to them; and they knew that he must have seen a vision in the Sanctuary; but he kept making signs to them and continued dumb. 23When his days of service were at an end, he went to his home;
24and in course of time his wife Elizabeth conceived, and kept herself secluded five months. 25"Thus has the Lord dealt with me," she said, "now that He has graciously taken away my reproach among men."
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a maiden betrothed to a man of the name of Joseph, a descendant of David. The maiden's name was Mary. 28So Gabriel went into the house and said to her, "Joy be to you, favoured one! the Lord is with you." 29She was greatly agitated at his words, and wondered what such a greeting meant. 30But the angel said, "Do not be frightened, Mary, for you have found favour with God. 31You will conceive in your womb and bear a son; and you are to call His name JESUS. 32He will be great and He will be called 'Son of the Most High.' And the Lord God will give Him the throne of His forefather David; 33and He will be King over the House of Jacob for the Ages, and of His Kingdom there will be no end." 34"How can this be," Mary replied, "seeing that I have no husband?" 35The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for this reason your holy offspring will be called 'the Son of God.' 36And see, your relative Elizabeth—she also has conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37For no promise from God will be impossible of fulfilment." 38"I am the Lord's maidservant," Mary replied; "may it be with me in accordance with your words!" And then the angel left her.
Mary Visits Elizabeth
39Not long after this, Mary rose up and went in haste into the hill country to a town in Judah. 40Here she came to the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth; 41and as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the babe leapt within her. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42and uttered a loud cry of joy. "Blest among women are you," she said, "and the offspring of your body is blest! 43But why is this honour done me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44For, the moment your greeting reached my ears, the babe within me leapt for joy. 45And blessed is she who has believed, for the word spoken to her from the Lord shall be fulfilled."
Mary's Song of Praise
46Then Mary said: "My soul extols the Lord,
47And my spirit triumphs in God my Saviour;
48Because He has not turned from His maidservant in her lowly position; For from this time forward all generations will account me happy,
49Because the mighty One has done great things for me—Holy is His name!—
50And His compassion is, generation after generation, Upon those who fear Him.
51He has manifested His supreme strength. He has scattered those who were haughty in the thoughts of their hearts.
52He has cast monarchs down from their thrones, And exalted men of low estate.
53The hungry He has satisfied with choice gifts, But the rich He has sent empty-handed away.
54His servant Israel He has helped, Remembering His compassion—
55In fulfillment of His promises to our forefathers—For Abraham and his posterity for ever."
56So Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months, and then returned home.
The Birth of John the Baptist
59And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and were going to call him Zechariah, after his father. 60His mother, however, said, "No, he is to be called John." 61"There is not one of your family," they said, "who has that name." 62They asked his father by signs what he wished him to be called. 63So he asked for a writing-tablet, and wrote, "His name is John." And they all wondered. 64Instantly his mouth and his tongue were set free, and he began to speak and bless God. 65And all who lived round about them were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judaea reports of all these things were spread abroad. 66All who heard the story treasured it in their memories. "What then will this child be?" they said. For the lord's hand was indeed with him.
67And Zechariah his father was filled with the Holy Spirit, and spoke in a rapture of praise.
68"Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel," he said, "Because He has not forgotten His people but has effected redemption for them,
69And has raised up a mighty Deliverer for us In the house of David His servant—
70As He has spoken from all time by the lips of His holy Prophets—
71To deliver us from our foes and from the power of all who hate us.
72He dealt pitifully with our forefathers, And remembered His holy covenant,
73The oath which He swore to Abraham our forefather,
74To grant us to be rescued from the power of our foes And so render worship to Him free from fear,
75In piety and uprightness before Him all our days.
76And you moreover, O child, shall be called Prophet of the Most High; For you shall go on in front before the Lord to prepare the way for Him,
77To give to His People a knowledge of salvation In the forgiveness of their sins,
78Through the tender compassion of our God, Through which the daybreak from on high will come to us,
79Dawning on those who now dwell in the darkness and shadow of death—To direct our feet into the path of peace."
80And the child grew and became strong in character, and lived in the Desert till the time came for him to appear publicly to Israel.