In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.
2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)
3And everyone went to his own town to register.
4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.
5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,
7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.
17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,
18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
21On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.
22When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord
23(as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord"),
24and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: "a pair of doves or two young pigeons."
25Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
26It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
27Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required,
28Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29"Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace.
30For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
32a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel."
33The child's father and mother marveled at what was said about him.
34Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against,
35so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too."
36There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage,
37and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.
38Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
39When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth.
40And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.
41Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover.
42When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom.
43After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it.
44Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends.
45When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him.
46After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.
47Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.
48When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you."
49"Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?"
50But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
51Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.
52And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
1In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar--when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene--
2during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert.
3He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
4As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: "A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.
5Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.
6And all mankind will see God's salvation.'"
7John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
8Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.
9The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."
10"What should we do then?" the crowd asked.
11John answered, "The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same."
12Tax collectors also came to be baptized. "Teacher," they asked, "what should we do?"
13"Don't collect any more than you are required to," he told them.
14Then some soldiers asked him, "And what should we do?" He replied, "Don't extort money and don't accuse people falsely--be content with your pay."
15The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ.
16John answered them all, "I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
17His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
18And with many other words John exhorted the people and preached the good news to them.
19But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of Herodias, his brother's wife, and all the other evil things he had done,
Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison.