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Luke 2 New Century Version (NCV)

The Birth of Jesus

At that time, Augustus Caesar sent an order that all people in the countries under Roman rule must list their names in a register. This was the first registration;[a] it was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to their own towns to be registered.

So Joseph left Nazareth, a town in Galilee, and went to the town of Bethlehem in Judea, known as the town of David. Joseph went there because he was from the family of David. Joseph registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged[b] and who was now pregnant. While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have the baby, and she gave birth to her first son. Because there were no rooms left in the inn, she wrapped the baby with pieces of cloth and laid him in a feeding trough.

Shepherds Hear About Jesus

That night, some shepherds were in the fields nearby watching their sheep. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord was shining around them, and they became very frightened. 10 The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I am bringing you good news that will be a great joy to all the people. 11 Today your Savior was born in the town of David. He is Christ, 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 very large group of angels from heaven joined the first angel, praising God and saying:

14 “Give glory to God in heaven,
    and on earth let there be peace among the people who please God.”[c]

15 When the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem. Let’s see this thing that has happened which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So the shepherds went quickly and found Mary and Joseph and the baby, who was lying in a feeding trough. 17 When they had seen him, they told what the angels had said about this child. 18 Everyone was amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured these things and continued to think about them. 20 Then the shepherds went back to their sheep, praising God and thanking him for everything they had seen and heard. It had been just as the angel had told them.

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

Jesus Is Presented in the Temple

22 When the time came for Mary and Joseph to do what the law of Moses taught about being made pure,[d] they took Jesus to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. 23 (It is written in the law of the Lord: “Every firstborn male shall be given to the Lord.”)[e] 24 Mary and Joseph also went to offer a sacrifice, as the law of the Lord says: “You must sacrifice two doves or two young pigeons.”[f]

Simeon Sees Jesus

25 In Jerusalem lived a man named Simeon who was a good man and godly. He was waiting for the time when God would take away Israel’s sorrow, and the Holy Spirit was in him. 26 Simeon had been told by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he saw the Christ promised by the Lord. 27 The Spirit led Simeon to the Temple. When Mary and Joseph brought the baby Jesus to the Temple to do what the 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 With my own eyes I have seen your salvation,
31 which you prepared before all people.
32 It is a light for the non-Jewish people to see
    and an honor for your people, the Israelites.”

33 Jesus’ father and mother were amazed at what Simeon had said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, “God has chosen this child to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel. He will be a sign from God that many people will not accept 35 so that the thoughts of many will be made known. And the things that will happen will make your heart sad, too.”

Anna Sees Jesus

36 There was a prophetess, Anna, from the family of Phanuel in the tribe of Asher. Anna was very old. She had once been married for seven years. 37 Then her husband died, and she was a widow for eighty-four years. Anna never left the Temple but worshiped God, going without food and praying day and night. 38 Standing there at that time, she thanked God and spoke about Jesus to all who were waiting for God to free Jerusalem.

Joseph and Mary Return Home

39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything the law of the Lord commanded, they went home to Nazareth, their own town in Galilee. 40 The little child grew and became strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s goodness was upon him.

Jesus As a Boy

41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went to the feast as they always did. 43 After the feast days were over, they started home. The boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. 44 Thinking that Jesus was with them in the group, they traveled for a whole day. Then they began to look for him among their family and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him there. 46 After three days they found Jesus sitting in the Temple with the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and answers. 48 When Jesus’ parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why did you do this to us? Your father and I were very worried about you and have been looking for you.”

49 Jesus said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand the meaning of what he said.

51 Jesus went with them to Nazareth and was obedient to them. But his mother kept in her mind all that had happened. 52 Jesus became wiser and grew physically. People liked him, and he pleased God.

Footnotes:

  1. 2:2 registration Census. A counting of all the people and the things they own.
  2. 2:5 engaged For the Jewish people, an engagement was a lasting agreement. It could only be broken by divorce.
  3. 2:14 and . . . God Some Greek copies read “and on earth let there be peace and goodwill among people.”
  4. 2:22 pure The Law of Moses said that forty days after a Jewish woman gave birth to a son, she must be cleansed by a ceremony at the Temple. Read Leviticus 12:2–8.
  5. 2:23 “Every . . . Lord.” Quotation from Exodus 13:2.
  6. 2:24 “You . . . pigeons.” Quotation from Leviticus 12:8.
New Century Version (NCV)

The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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.

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