Luke 2:1-38 Revised Standard Version

The Birth of Jesus

2 1  In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. 2  This was the first enrollment, when Quirin'i-us was governor of Syria. 3  And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city. 4  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5  to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6  And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. 7  And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

8  And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9  And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10  And the angel said to them, "Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; 11  for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12  And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." 13  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14  "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!" 15  When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." 16  And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17  And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; 18  and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19  But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20  And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple

21  And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. 22  And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23  (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord") 24  and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons."

25  Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26  And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27  And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, 28  he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, 29  "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; 30  for mine eyes have seen thy salvation 31  which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32  a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel." 33  And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him; 34  and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against 35  (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed." 36  And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phan'u-el, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity, 37  and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. 38  And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

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