Gospel of Luke Chapter One

1:1 Seeing that many have attempted to compile the account of the deeds carried out through us –
1:2 just as they were handed down to us by those who were the original eyewitnesses and servants of the Teachings.
1:3 It thus seems fitting for me, after researching it all over again carefully, to write it out for you in order, O illustrious Theophilus –
1:4 so you may know the truth about those teachings you have been taught.
1:5 At the time of Herod the ruler of Judea, there was a priest named Zacharias of the devotional order of Abijah.1 He had a wife named Elizabeth from the devotional heritage2 of Aaron.
1:6 They were both devoted before God and observed without defect all the commandments and instructions of the LORD.
1:7 But they had no children because Elizabeth was barren and they were both advanced in years.
1:8 Once, while Zechariah was performing his priestly service before God within his devotional order –
1:9 according to the custom of the devotional order, he was chosen by lot to go into the Temple of the LORD to burn incense.
1:10 The entire assembly of people were praying outside at the time of the incense offering.
1:11 Then an angel of the LORD appeared to him, and stood on the right side of the altar of incense.
1:12 Zecharias was disturbed when he saw this and he was gripped with fear.
1:13 But the angel spoke to him, “Don’t be afraid Zacharias, because your request has been heard, your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son and you will give him the name of John.
1:14 He will bring you joy and delight, and many will rejoice at his birth.
1:15 Because he will be great before the LORD. And he will not drink wine or liquor and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even while he is in his mother’s womb.
1:16 And he will turn many of the people of Israel back to the LORD their God.
1:17 He will go forward before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah – to turn the hearts of the teachers back to the children and the disobedient to the consciousness of the devoted, to prepare the people to serve the LORD.
1:18 Zecharias asked the angel, “How will I know this for sure? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.”
1:19 The angel replied, “I am Gabriel, who abides in the presence of God, who has sent me to speak to you and bring you this good news.
1:20 Now you shall remain silent, unable to speak until the day these things happen because you didn’t believe my declaration – which will come to pass at the appropriate time.
1:21 The people waited for Zacharias and were wondering why he stayed so long in the Temple.
1:22 But when he came out he wasn’t able to speak to them and they understood that he saw a vision in the Temple. He kept signaling to them and remained silent.
1:23 And when his scheduled priestly service ended, he returned home.
1:24 Later his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and she remained in seclusion for five months, saying –
1:25 “This is the path the LORD has given me. This is a time when He has shown His mercy to me by removing my disgrace among the people.”
1:26 During the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth –
1:27 to a young maiden engaged to a man named Joseph – from the following3 of David. The maiden’s name was Mary.
1:28 When he appeared, he said to her, “Rejoice, devoted one – the Master is with you!”
1:29 But she was confused at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this was.
1:30 The angel stated, “Do not fear, Mary. For you have been met with the grace of God.
1:31 Just consider, you will conceive within your womb and bear a son and you shall name him Jesus.
1:32 He will be great and will be called the Representative of the Mighty One; and the LORD God will give him the position of his teacher4 David.
1:33 And he will lead the followers of Jacob into the next era, and his leadership will be eternal.”
1:34 Mary asked the angel, “How can this be, since I am just engaged, without knowing sex?”
1:35 The angel answered her, saying, “The Holy Spirit will be with you and the power of the Mighty One will overshadow you. Thus the holy child to be born will be called the Representative of God.
1:36 Just see also that your relative Elizabeth also conceived a son in her old age and she – who was called barren – is now in her sixth month –
1:37 because nothing is impossible with God.”
1:38 Then Mary said, “I am the LORD’s servant – may it happen to me just as you say.” Then the angel departed.
1:39 After that, Mary got up and left with haste to the city of Judah in the mountains.
1:40 There she entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.
1:41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped for joy in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
1:42 And she cried out loudly, saying, “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
1:43 And how did it happen that the mother of my Master would come to visit me?
1:44 For just consider, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy in my womb.
1:45 And blessings to her – who would fulfill what has been spoken to her by the LORD.”
1:46 Then Mary replied, “My soul glorifies the LORD –
1:47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
1:48 For He sees the humility of His servant. Just consider, from this time forward, future generations will proclaim me as being blessed –
1:49 because the Mighty One has done great things for me. And His Name is Holy.
1:50 And His mercy extends to generation after generation for those who revere Him.
1:51 He performs mighty deeds with His power. He scatters those who are proud within the depths of their hearts.
1:52 He has taken down leaders from their positions, and exalted those who are humble.
1:53 He has satisfied the seeker with happiness and sent away the affluent with emptiness.
1:54 He has aided His servant Israel as a reminder of His mercy:
1:55 As He declared to our teachers – to Abraham and his eternal spiritual family.”
1:56 Then Mary remained with her for about three months, and then returned to her home.
1:57 Then the time came for Elizabeth to give birth. And she gave birth to a son.
1:58 Her neighbors and relatives heard the LORD had showed His great mercy towards her. And they rejoiced with her.
1:59 Then on the eighth day they went to circumcise the child and were going to name him Zacharias after his father.
1:60 But his mother spoke up and said no – rather, he will be named John.5
1:61 They told her, “There isn’t anyone among your relatives who is named that.”
1:62 Then they signaled to his father for what he wanted to name him.
1:63 Then he asked for a tablet and wrote the following: “His name is John.” And they were all astonished.
1:64 Then immediately he opened his mouth and his tongue was freed – and he began to speak by praising God.
1:65 And those living nearby all became awestruck, and talked about all of these things throughout the mountain region of Judea.
1:66 Everyone who heard this wondered within their hearts who this child would turn out to be. For the Hand of the LORD was certainly upon him.
1:67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying –
1:68 “Praised be the LORD, God of Israel. For He has visited us and has delivered redemption to His people.
1:69 And has lifted up a horn of salvation for us within the spiritual family of David:
1:70 As He spoke about His ancient holy prophets,
1:71 being saved from the hands of those who are hostile to us and those who detest us –
1:72 to show mercy towards our teachers and to remember His holy testament –
1:73 the promise He affirmed to Abraham our teacher –
1:74 to give us deliverance from the hand of those who detest us, enabling us to serve Him without fear –
1:75 in holiness and devotion before Him for all of our days.
1:76 And you, child, will be called the Prophet of the Mighty One, for you will proceed in the presence of the LORD to prepare their path –
1:77 to give His people the knowledge of salvation with the forgiveness of their sins –
1:78 due to the tender mercy of our God, from Whom the transcendental sunrise will dawn upon us –
1:79 to shine on those who dwell in darkness within the shadow of death – to guide our supplication into the path of tranquility.”
1:80 And the child grew up and became strong in spirit and lived in the wilderness until the time of his appearing publicly to the people of Israel.

Footnotes:

1. Verse 1:5. The Greek word ἐφημερία (ephēmeria) is referenced in the lexicon as, “used of the service of priests and Levites.” Abijah was one of Samuel’s students, and one of the divisions of priests determined by David. This indicates this was not intended to be a list of family heritage, but rather, a lineage of teachers – each of whom passed on the teachings of their teacher.

2. Verse 1:5. The Greek word θυγάτηρ (thygatēr) refers to “a daughter of God” or “acceptable to God, rejoicing in God's peculiar care and protection.” It may also refer to a “female descendant” but also “with the name of a place, city, or region – denotes collectively all its inhabitants and citizens.” Aaron’s devotional heritage consisted of a considerable following of priests and teachers who carried forward his teachings and the teachings of Moses. These priests may have been related in some cases, but not always. During ancient times, followers were divided by their priestly lineages. An example of this is the “twelve tribes of Israel,” which were separate lineages of teachers descending from each of the students of Jacob. These lineages were further broken into orders that descended from teachers within each lineage.

3. Verse 1:27. The word οἶκος (oikos) can mean “inhabited house” or “any building whatever,” but also “the inmates of a house, all the persons forming one family, a household – the family of God.” The context of this description of Joseph indicates that he was a follower of the teaching lineage of David: He was part of David’s “following.” “House of David” could alternatively be used, but this is often confused as being a genetic lineage. Many Old Testament examples illustrate that being a follower of David did not require being genetically related to him.

4. Verse 1:32. The Greek word πατήρ (patēr) can refer to “father” or “ancestor” or, according to the lexicon, “a title of honour – teachers, as those to whom pupils trace back the knowledge and training they have received;” and “the members of the Sanhedrin, whose prerogative it was by virtue of the wisdom and experience in which they excelled, to take charge of the interests of others.” As Jesus was not literally the son of David, David cannot be referred to as his biological father. However, we find indications throughout Jesus’ teachings that he was a follower of David – and a follower of other teachers within David’s teaching lineage, often termed Prophets.

5. Verse 1:60. John is derived from the word Ἰωάννης (Iōannēs) – which means, “to whom Jehovah is gracious.”