The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ According to Luke
It happened that a decree went out at this time from the emperor Augustus, enjoining that the whole world should be registered;
this register was the first one made during the time when Cyrinus was governor of Syria.✻
All must go and give in their names, each in his own city;
and Joseph, being of David’s clan and family, came up from the town of Nazareth, in Galilee, to David’s city in Judaea, the city called Bethlehem,
to give in his name there. With him was his espoused wife Mary, who was then in her pregnancy;
and it was while they were still there that the time came for her delivery.
She brought forth a son, her first-born,✻ whom she wrapped in his swaddling-clothes, and laid in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
In the same country there were shepherds awake in the fields, keeping night-watches over their flocks.
And all at once an angel of the Lord came and stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone about them, so that they were overcome with fear.
But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid; behold, I bring you good news of a great rejoicing for the whole people.
This day, in the city of David, a Saviour has been born for you, the Lord Christ himself.
This is the sign by which you are to know him; you will find a child still in swaddling-clothes, lying in a manger.
Then, on a sudden, a multitude of the heavenly army appeared to them at the angel’s side, giving praise to God, and saying,
Glory to God in high heaven, and peace on earth to men that are God’s friends.
When the angels had left them, and gone back into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, Come, let us make our way to Bethlehem, and see for ourselves this happening which God has made known to us.
And so they went with all haste, and found Mary and Joseph there, with the child lying in the manger.
On seeing him, they discovered the truth of what had been told them about this child.✻
All those who heard it were full of amazement at the story which the shepherds told them;
but Mary treasured up all these sayings, and reflected on them in her heart.
And the shepherds went home giving praise and glory to God, at seeing and hearing that all was as it had been told them.
When eight days had passed, and the boy must be circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name which the angel had given him before ever he was conceived in the womb.
And when the time had come for purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem, to present him before the Lord there.
It is written in God’s law, that whatever male offspring opens the womb is to be reckoned sacred to the Lord;✻
and so they must offer in sacrifice for him, as God’s law commanded, a pair of turtle-doves, or two young pigeons.✻
At this time there was a man named Simeon living in Jerusalem, an upright man of careful observance, who waited patiently for comfort to be brought to Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him;
and by the Holy Spirit it had been revealed to him that he was not to meet death, until he had seen that Christ whom the Lord had anointed.
He now came, led by the Spirit, into the temple; and when the child Jesus was brought in by his parents, to perform the custom which the law enjoined concerning him,
Simeon too was able to take him in his arms. And he said, blessing God:
Ruler of all, now dost thou let thy servant go in peace, according to thy word;
for my own eyes have seen that saving power of thine
which thou hast prepared in the sight of all nations.
This is the light which shall give revelation to the Gentiles, this is the glory of thy people Israel.
The father and mother of the child were still wondering over all that was said of him,
when Simeon blessed them, and said to his mother Mary, Behold, this child is destined to bring about the fall of many and the rise of many in Israel; to be a sign which men will refuse to acknowledge;
and so the thoughts of many hearts shall be made manifest; as for thy own soul, it shall have a sword to pierce it.
There was besides a prophetess named Anna, daughter to one Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser (a woman greatly advanced in age, since she had lived with a husband for seven years after her maidenhood,
and had now been eighty-four years a widow) who abode continually in the temple night and day, serving God with fasting and prayer.
She too, at that very hour, came near to give God thanks, and spoke of the child to all that patiently waited for the deliverance of Israel.
And now, when all had been done that the law of the Lord required, they returned to Galilee, and to their own town of Nazareth.
And so the child grew and came to his strength, full of wisdom; and the grace of God rested upon him.✻
Every year, his parents used to go up to Jerusalem at the paschal feast.
And when he was twelve years old, after going up to Jerusalem, as the custom was at the time of the feast,
and completing the days of its observance, they set about their return home. But the boy Jesus, unknown to his parents, continued his stay in Jerusalem.
And they, thinking that he was among their travelling companions, had gone a whole day’s journey before they made enquiry for him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances.
When they could not find him, they made their way back to Jerusalem in search of him,
and it was only after three days that they found him. He was sitting in the temple, in the midst of those who taught there, listening to them and asking them questions;
and all those who heard him were in amazement at his quick understanding and at the answers he gave.
Seeing him there, they were full of wonder, and his mother said to him, My Son, why hast thou treated us so? Think, what anguish of mind thy father and I have endured, searching for thee.
But he asked them, What reason had you to search for me? Could you not tell that I must needs be in the place which belongs to my Father?✻
These words which he spoke to them were beyond their understanding;
but he went down with them on their journey to Nazareth, and lived there in subjection to them, while his mother kept in her heart the memory of all this.
And so Jesus advanced in wisdom with the years, and in favour both with God and with men.✻
The Holy Bible