Old Testament

The Gospel According to
The inspired writer of the Gospel according to Luke was a physician by the name of Luke. Read Colossians 4:14; Philemon 24; and 2 Timothy 4:11 to learn about Luke. The approximate date of writing may have been 60 AD.
11Many have undertaken to compile an account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, 2an account like those handed down to us by those who were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word from the beginning. 3For this reason, it seemed good to me also, since I followed everything closely from the beginning, to write an orderly account to you, most excellent Theophilus, 4so that you may know the certainty of the things you were taught.
The Angel Gabriel Appears to Zechariah
5In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a certain priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah. His wife was from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6They were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and righteous decrees of the Lord. 7They did not have a child because Elizabeth was unable to bear children, and they were both well along in years. 8On one occasion, while Zechariah was serving as priest before God and his division was on duty, 9he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10The whole crowd of people were praying outside the temple during the hour of the incense offering.
11An angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and overcome by fear. 13But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear a son for you, and you are to name him John. 14You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15because he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to drink wine or beer. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. 16He will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. 17He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and to turn the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to prepare a people who are ready for the Lord.”
18Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure of this, because I am an old man, and my wife is well along in years?”
19The angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God and was sent to speak to you in order to tell you this good news. 20Now listen, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things happen, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at the proper time.”
21Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering what was taking him so long in the temple. 22When he did come out, he was unable to speak to them. Then they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. He kept making signs to them and remained unable to speak.
23When the days of his priestly service were completed, he went back to his home.
24After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived. She kept herself in seclusion for five months, saying, 25“The Lord has done this for me in the days when he looked with favor on me and took away my disgrace among the people.”
The Angel Gabriel Appears to the Virgin Mary
26In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee named Nazareth, 27to a virgin pledged in marriage to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women.”[]
29But she was greatly troubled by the statement and was wondering what kind of greeting this could be. 30The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, because you have found favor with God. 31Listen, you will conceive 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. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. 33He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will never end.”
34Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
35The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon 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. 36Listen, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age even though she was called barren, and this is her sixth month. 37For nothing will be impossible for God.”
38Then Mary said, “See, I am the Lord's servant. May it happen to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
Mary Visits Elizabeth
39In those days Mary got up and hurried to the hill country, to a town of Judah. 40She entered the home of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41Just as Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42She called out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43But why am I so favored that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44In fact, just now, as soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy! 45Blessed is she who believed, because the promises spoken to her from the Lord will be fulfilled!”
Mary's Song
46Then Mary said,
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
47and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior,
48because he has looked with favor on the humble state of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed,
49because the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
50His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
51He has shown strength with his arm.
He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52He has brought down rulers from their thrones.
He has lifted up the lowly.
53He has filled the hungry with good things, but the rich he has sent away empty.
54He has come to the aid of his servant Israel, remembering his mercy,
55as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his offspring[] forever.
56Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then returned to her home.
John the Baptist Is Born
57When the time came for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. 58Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they were rejoicing with her. 59On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. They wanted to call him Zechariah after the name of the father. 60But his mother answered, “No. He will be called John.”
61They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name.” 62They made signs to his father, to see what he wanted to name him.
63He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they were all amazed.
64Immediately Zechariah's mouth was opened, his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak, praising God. 65Fear came on all who lived around them. In the entire hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. 66And everyone who heard this took it to heart, saying, “What then will this child be?” Clearly, the hand of the Lord was with him.
Zechariah's Song
67His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:
68Blessed is the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has visited us and prepared redemption for his people.
69He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David,
70just as he said long ago through the mouth of his holy prophets.
71He raised up salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us,
72in order to show mercy to our fathers by remembering his holy covenant,
73the oath which he swore to Abraham our father,
74to grant deliverance to us from the hand of our enemies,
so that we are able to serve him without fear,
75in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76And you, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High,
because you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77to give his people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins,
78because of God's tender mercies,
by which the Rising Sun from on high will visit us,
79to shine on those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.
80The child continued to grow and became strong in spirit. He lived in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.


  • 1:28 A few witnesses to the text omit this sentence. (“Witnesses to the text” mentioned in footnotes may include Greek manuscripts, lectionaries, translations, and quotations in the church fathers.)
  • 1:55 Or seed