Luke 2 New English Translation (NET Bible)
The Census and the Birth of Jesus
2 Now[a] in those days a decree[b] went out from Caesar[c] Augustus[d] to register[e] all the empire[f] for taxes. 2 This was the first registration, taken when Quirinius was governor[g] of Syria. 3 Everyone[h] went to his own town[i] to be registered. 4 So[j] Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth[k] in Galilee to Judea, to the city[l] of David called Bethlehem,[m] because he was of the house[n] and family line[o] of David. 5 He went[p] to be registered with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him,[q] and who was expecting a child. 6 While[r] they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.[s] 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in strips of cloth[t] and laid him in a manger,[u] because there was no place for them in the inn.[v]
The Shepherds’ Visit
8 Now[w] there were shepherds[x] nearby[y] living out in the field, keeping guard[z] over their flock at night. 9 An[aa] angel of the Lord[ab] appeared to[ac] them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were absolutely terrified.[ad] 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen carefully,[ae] for I proclaim to you good news[af] that brings great joy to all the people: 11 Today[ag] your Savior is born in the city[ah] of David.[ai] He is Christ[aj] the Lord. 12 This[ak] will be a sign[al] for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.”[am] 13 Suddenly[an] a vast, heavenly army[ao] appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
15 When[as] the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, that the Lord[at] has made known to us.” 16 So they hurried off and located Mary and Joseph, and found the baby lying in a manger.[au] 17 When[av] they saw him,[aw] they related what they had been told[ax] about this child, 18 and all who heard it were astonished[ay] at what the shepherds said. 19 But Mary treasured up all these words, pondering in her heart what they might mean.[az] 20 So[ba] the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising[bb] God for all they had heard and seen; everything was just as they had been told.[bc]
Jesus’ Presentation at the Temple
22 Now[bf] when the time came for their[bg] purification according to the law of Moses, Joseph and Mary[bh] brought Jesus[bi] up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male[bj] will be set apart to the Lord”[bk]), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is specified in the law of the Lord, a pair of doves[bl] or two young pigeons.[bm]
The Prophecy of Simeon
25 Now[bn] there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon who was righteous[bo] and devout, looking for the restoration[bp] of Israel, and the Holy Spirit[bq] was upon him. 26 It[br] had been revealed[bs] to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die[bt] before[bu] he had seen the Lord’s Christ.[bv] 27 So[bw] Simeon,[bx] directed by the Spirit,[by] came into the temple courts,[bz] and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what was customary according to the law,[ca] 28 Simeon[cb] took him in his arms and blessed God, saying,[cc]
29 “Now, according to your word,[cd] Sovereign Lord,[ce] permit[cf] your servant[cg] to depart[ch] in peace.
33 So[cm] the child’s[cn] father[co] and mother were amazed[cp] at what was said about him. 34 Then[cq] Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “Listen carefully:[cr] This child[cs] is destined to be the cause of the falling and rising[ct] of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be rejected.[cu] 35 Indeed, as a result of him the thoughts[cv] of many hearts will be revealed[cw]—and a sword[cx] will pierce your own soul as well!”[cy]
The Testimony of Anna
36 There was also a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old,[cz] having been married to her husband for seven years until his death. 37 She had lived as a widow since then for eighty-four years.[da] She never left the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.[db] 38 At that moment,[dc] she came up to them[dd] and began to give thanks to God and to speak[de] about the child[df] to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.[dg]
39 So[dh] when Joseph and Mary[di] had performed[dj] everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town[dk] of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong,[dl] filled with wisdom,[dm] and the favor[dn] of God[do] was upon him.
Jesus in the Temple
41 Now[dp] Jesus’[dq] parents went to Jerusalem every[dr] year for the Feast of the Passover.[ds] 42 When[dt] he was twelve years old,[du] they went up[dv] according to custom. 43 But[dw] when the feast was over,[dx] as they were returning home,[dy] the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His[dz] parents[ea] did not know it, 44 but (because they assumed that he was in their group of travelers)[eb] they went a day’s journey. Then[ec] they began to look for him among their relatives and acquaintances.[ed] 45 When[ee] they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem[ef] to look for him. 46 After[eg] three days[eh] they found him in the temple courts,[ei] sitting among the teachers,[ej] listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Jesus[ek] were astonished[el] at his understanding and his answers. 48 When[em] his parents[en] saw him, they were overwhelmed. His[eo] mother said to him, “Child,[ep] why have you treated[eq] us like this? Look, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.”[er] 49 But[es] he replied,[et] “Why were you looking for me?[eu] Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?”[ev] 50 Yet[ew] his parents[ex] did not understand[ey] the remark[ez] he made[fa] to them. 51 Then[fb] he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient[fc] to them. But[fd] his mother kept all these things[fe] in her heart.[ff]
52 And Jesus increased[fg] in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and with people.
Luke 2 New International Version (NIV)
The Birth of Jesus
2 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[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 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. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 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.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 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,
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,
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.