Forasmuche as manye haue taken in hande, to set foorth in order, ye declaration of those thynges whiche are moste surelye to be beleued among vs,
Euen as they deliuered them vnto vs, which from the begynnyng sawe them them selues with their eyes, and were ministers of the worde:
I determined also, assoone as I had searched out diligently all thinges from the begynnyng, that then I woulde write vnto thee, moste excellent Theophilus.
That thou myghtest knowe the certentie of those thinges wherof thou hast ben infourmed.
There was in the dayes of Herode the kyng of Iurie, a certaine priest, named Zacharias, of the course of Abia, & his wyfe was of the daughters of Aaron, & her name was Elizabeth.
They were both ryghteous before God, and walked in all the lawes and ordinaunces of the Lorde, that no man coulde fynde fault with them.
And they had no chylde, because that Elizabeth was barren: and they both were nowe well stricken in age.
And it came to passe, that when Zacharie executed the priestes office before God, as his course came,
Accordyng to ye custome of the priestes office, his lot was to burne incence, whe he went into the temple of the Lorde.
And the whole multitude of the people were without in prayer, whyle the incence was burnyng.
And there appeared vnto hym an Angel of the Lorde, standyng on the ryght syde of the aulter of incence.
And when Zacharias sawe him, he was troubled, and feare came vpo him.
But the Angel sayde vnto him: Feare not Zacharie, for thy prayer is hearde: and thy wyfe Elizabeth shall beare thee a sonne, & thou shalt cal his name Iohn.
And thou shalt haue ioy and gladnesse, and many shall reioyce at his birth.
For he shalbe great in the syght of the Lorde, and shall neither drynke wine nor strong drynke: and he shalbe fylled with the holy ghost, euen from his mothers wombe.
And many of the chyldren of Israel, shall he turne to their Lorde God.
And he shall go before hym, with the spirite and power of Elias, to turne the heartes of the fathers to the chyldren, and the disobedient to the wisedome of the iust men, to make redy a perfect people for the Lorde.
And Zacharias saide vnto the Angel: By what token shall I know this?
For I am olde, and my wyfe well stricken in yeres.
And the Angel aunswered, and sayde vnto hym: I am Gabriel that stande in the presence of God, and am sent to speake vnto thee, and to shewe thee these glad tydynges.
And beholde, thou shalt be dumbe, & not be able to speake, vntyll the day that these thynges be perfourmed, because thou beleuedst not my wordes, whiche shalbe fulfylled in their season.
And the people waited for Zacharias, and marueyled that he taried so long in the temple.
And when he came out, he coulde not speake vnto them.
And they perceaued that he had seene a vision in the temple: For he beckened vnto them, and remayned speachlesse.
And it came to passe, that assoone as the dayes of his office were out, he departed into his owne house.
And after those dayes, his wyfe Elizabeth conceaued, and hyd her selfe fiue monethes, saying:
Thus hath the Lorde dealt with me, in the dayes wherein he loked on me, to take fro me my rebuke among men.
And in the sixth moneth, the Angel Gabriel was sent from God, vnto a citie of Galilee, named Nazareth,
To a virgin, spoused to a man whose name was Ioseph, of the house of Dauid, and the virgins name was Marie.
And the Angel went in vnto her, and sayde: Hayle [thou that art] freelie beloued, the Lorde is with thee, blessed art thou among women.
And when she sawe hym, she was troubled at his saying, and caste in her mynde what maner of salutation that shoulde be.
And the Angel saide vnto her: Feare not Marie, for thou hast founde grace with God.
For beholde, thou shalt conceaue in thy wombe, and beare a sonne, & shalt call his name Iesus.
He shalbe great, & shalbe called ye sonne of the hyest: & the Lord God shall geue vnto him the seate of his father Dauid:
And he shall reigne ouer the house of Iacob for euer, and of his kyngdome there shalbe none ende.
Then said Marie vnto ye Angel: How shall this be, seing I knowe not a man?
And the Angel aunswered, & saide vnto her: The holy ghost shall come vpon thee, & the power of the hyest shall ouershadowe thee.
Therefore also that holy thyng whiche shalbe borne, shalbe called the sonne of God.
And beholde, thy cosin Elizabeth, she hath also conceaued a sonne in her olde age: & this is her sixth moneth, whiche was called barren.
For with God, shall nothyng be vnpossible.
And Marie saide: Beholde the handmayden of the Lorde, be it vnto me accordyng to thy worde.
And the Angel departed from her.
And Marie arose in those dayes, & went into the hyll countrey with haste, into a citie of Iuda,
And entred into the house of Zacharie, and saluted Elizabeth.
And it came to passe, that when Elizabeth hearde the salutation of Marie, the babe sprang in her wombe, and Elizabeth was fylled with the holy ghost.
And she cryed with a loude voyce, and saide: Blessed art thou among women, because ye fruite of thy wombe is blessed.
And whence commeth this to me, that ye mother of my lord should come to me?
For loe, assoone as the voyce of thy salutation sounded in mine eares, the babe sprang in my wombe for ioy.
And blessed is she that beleued: For those thinges shalbe perfourmed, which were tolde her from the Lorde.
And Marie saide: My soule magnifieth the Lorde.
And my spirite reioyceth in God my sauiour.
For he hath loked on the lowe degree of his handmayden: For loe, now from hencefoorth shal all generations call me blessed.
Because, he that is mightie, hath done to me great thinges, & holy is his name,
And his mercy is on them that feare him, from generation to generation.
He hath shewed stregth with his arme, he hath scattered them that are proude, in the imagination of their heartes.
He hath put downe the myghtie fro their seates, and exalted them of lowe degree.
He hath fylled the hungry with good thynges, & sent away the riche emptie.
He hath helped his seruaunt Israel, in remembraunce of his mercy,
( Euen as he promised to our fathers, Abraham, and to his seede) for euer.
And Marie abode with her about three monethes, and returned agayne to her owne house.
Elizabethes tyme came, that she shoulde be deliuered, and she brought foorth a sonne.
And her neyghbours, and her cosins hearde howe the Lorde hadde shewed great mercy vpo her, and they reioyced with her.
And it came to passe, that on the eyght day they came to circumcise the chylde, and called his name Zacharias, after the name of his father.
And his mother aunswered, and said: not so, but he shalbe called Iohn.
And they sayde vnto her: There is none in thy kinrede that is named with this name.
And they made signes to his father, howe he woulde haue hym called.
And he asked for wrytyng tables, and wrote, saying, his name is Iohn.
And they marueyled all.
And his mouth was opened immediatly, and his tounge [loosed] & he spake, and praysed God.
And feare came on all them that dwelt nye vnto them: And all these sayinges were noysed abrode throughout all the hyll countrey of Iurie.
And all they that hearde them, layde them vp in their heartes, saying: What maner of chylde shall this be?
And the hande of the Lorde was with hym.
And his father Zacharias was filled with ye holy ghost, & prophesied, saying.
Praysed be ye Lord God of Israel, for he hath visited & redeemed his people.
And hath raysed vp an horne of saluation vnto vs, in the house of his seruaunt Dauid.
Euen as he promised by the mouth of his holy prophetes, whiche were sence the worlde began.
That he would saue vs from our enemies, and from the hande of all that hate vs.
That he would deale mercyfully with our fathers, and remember his holy couenaunt.
And that he woulde perfourme the oth, which he sware to our father Abraham, for to geue vs.
That we, beyng deliuered out of the handes of our enemies, might serue him without feare,
All the dayes of our life, in [such] holynesse and righteousnes [as are accepted] before hym.
And thou childe shalt be called the prophete of the hyghest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lorde, to prepare his wayes.
To geue knowledge of saluation vnto his people, by the remission of their sinnes.
Through ye tender mercy of our God, wherby the day spryng from an hygh hath visited vs.
To geue lyght to them that sitte in darknesse, and in the shadowe of death, to guide our feete into the way of peace.
And the chylde grewe, and waxed strong in spirite, and was in wildernesse till the day came when he should shewe hym selfe vnto the Israelites.