A A A A A
Bible Book List

Luke 2 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

The Birth of Jesus Christ

It was about that same time that Augustus Caesar sent out an order to all people in the countries that were under Roman rule. The order said that everyone’s name must be put on a list. This was the first counting of all the people while Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone traveled to their own hometowns to have their name put on the list.

So Joseph left Nazareth, a town in Galilee, and went to the town of Bethlehem in Judea. It was known as the town of David. Joseph went there because he was from the family of David. Joseph registered with Mary because she was engaged to marry him. (She was now pregnant.) While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have the baby. She gave birth to her first son. She wrapped him up well and laid him in a box where cattle are fed. She put him there because the guest room was full.

Some Shepherds Hear About Jesus

That night, some shepherds were out in the fields near Bethlehem watching their sheep. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord was shining around them. The shepherds were very afraid. 10 The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid. I have some very good news for you—news that will make everyone happy. 11 Today your Savior was born in David’s town. He is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This is how you will know him: You will find a baby wrapped in pieces of cloth and lying in a feeding box.”

13 Then a huge army of angels from heaven joined the first angel, and they were all praising God, saying,

14 “Praise God in heaven,
    and on earth let there be peace to the people who please him.”

15 The angels left the shepherds and went back to heaven. The shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this great event the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they went running and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the feeding box. 17 When they saw the baby, they told what the angels said about this child. 18 Everyone was surprised when they heard what the shepherds told them. 19 Mary continued to think about these things, trying to understand them. 20 The shepherds went back to their sheep, praising God and thanking him for everything they had seen and heard. It was just as the angel had told them.

21 When the baby was eight days old, he was circumcised, and he was named Jesus. This name was given by the angel before the baby began to grow inside Mary.

Jesus Is Presented in the Temple

22 The time came for Mary and Joseph to do the things the Law of Moses taught about being made pure.[a] They brought Jesus to Jerusalem so that they could present him to the Lord. 23 It is written in the law of the Lord: “When a mother’s first baby is a boy, he shall be called ‘special for the Lord.’”[b] 24 The law of the Lord also says that people must give a sacrifice: “You must sacrifice two doves or two young pigeons.”[c] So Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem to do this.

Simeon Sees Jesus

25 A man named Simeon lived in Jerusalem. He was a good man who was devoted to God. He was waiting for the time when God would come to help Israel. The Holy Spirit was with him. 26 The Holy Spirit told him that he would not die before he saw the Messiah from the Lord. 27 The Spirit led Simeon to the Temple. So he was there when Mary and Joseph brought the baby Jesus to do what the Jewish law said they must do. 28 Simeon took the baby in his arms and thanked God:

29 “Now, Lord, you can let me, your servant, die in peace as you said.
30 I have seen with my own eyes how you will save your people.
31     Now all people can see your plan.
32 He is a light to show your way to the other nations.
    And he will bring honor to your people Israel.”

33 Jesus’ father and mother were amazed at what Simeon said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, “Many Jews will fall and many will rise because of this boy. He will be a sign from God that some will not accept. 35 So the secret thoughts of many will be made known. And the things that happen will be painful for you—like a sword cutting through your heart.”

Anna Sees Jesus

36 Anna, a prophetess, was there at the Temple. She was from the family of Phanuel in the tribe of Asher. She was now very old. She had lived with her husband seven years 37 before he died and left her alone. She was now 84 years old. Anna was always at the Temple; she never left. She worshiped God by fasting and praying day and night.

38 Anna was there when Joseph and Mary came to the Temple. She praised God and talked about Jesus to all those who were waiting for God to free Jerusalem.

Joseph and Mary Return Home

39 Joseph and Mary finished doing all the things that the law of the Lord commanded. Then they went home to Nazareth, their own town in Galilee. 40 The little boy Jesus was developing into a mature young man, full of wisdom. God was blessing him.

Jesus as a Boy

41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. 42 When Jesus was twelve years old, they went to the festival as usual. 43 When the festival was over, they went home, but Jesus stayed in Jerusalem. His parents did not know about it. 44 They traveled for a whole day thinking that Jesus was with them in the group. They began looking for him among their family and close friends, 45 but they did not find him. So they went back to Jerusalem to look for him there.

46 After three days they found him. Jesus was sitting in the Temple area with the religious teachers, listening and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and wise answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they wondered how this was possible. And his mother said, “Son, why did you do this to us? Your father and I were very worried about you. We have been looking for you.”

49 Jesus said to them, “Why did you have to look for me? You should have known that I must be where my Father’s work is.[d] 50 But they did not understand the meaning of what he said to them.

51 Jesus went with them to Nazareth and obeyed them. His mother was still thinking about all these things. 52 As Jesus grew taller, he continued to grow in wisdom. God was pleased with him and so were the people who knew him.

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 2:22 pure The Law of Moses said that 40 days after a Jewish woman gave birth to a baby, she must be made ritually clean by a ceremony at the Temple. See Lev. 12:2-8.
  2. Luke 2:23 “When … ‘special for the Lord’” See Ex. 13:2, 12.
  3. Luke 2:24 Quote from Lev. 12:8.
  4. Luke 2:49 where … work is Or “in my Father’s house.”
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

Luke 2 New International Version (NIV)

The Birth of Jesus

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So 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. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When 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.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

Jesus Presented in the Temple

22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, 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”[b]), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”[c]

25 Now 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 on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved 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, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
    you may now dismiss[d] your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31     which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and the glory of your people Israel.”

33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then 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, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.[e] She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming 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.

39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

The Boy Jesus at the Temple

41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When 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?”[f] 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 2:2 Or This census took place before
  2. Luke 2:23 Exodus 13:2,12
  3. Luke 2:24 Lev. 12:8
  4. Luke 2:29 Or promised, / now dismiss
  5. Luke 2:37 Or then had been a widow for eighty-four years.
  6. Luke 2:49 Or be about my Father’s business
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Viewing of
Cross references
Footnotes