Luke 2

1 About that time the Emperor Augustus commanded that ([his officials must] write down the names/[a census be taken]) of all the people who lived in countries [controlled] by the Roman [government] {that the Roman [government controlled]}, [so that the government could collect taxes from them]. 2 That was the first time that they (wrote down the names/took a census) in Syria [province, which included Judea district]. They did this while Quirinius was the governor of the province. 3 Every person had to go to the town where his [most famous ancestor] had lived, so that [the officials] could write down their names. 4 So, because Joseph was a descendant of [King] David, he went up from Nazareth, the town in Galilee [district where he lived], to the town of Bethlehem in Judea [district]. That was the town where [King] David [grew up]. 5 Joseph went with Mary, who [was considered] {whom [people considered]} [to be] his wife, who was now pregnant. They went so that they could put his name and Mary’s name [in the record book]. 6 When they arrived [in Bethlehem], there was no place for them to stay in the house where travelers stay. [So they stayed in a cattle shed]. When the time for Mary to give birth arrived, she gave birth to her first son there. She wrapped him in strips of cloth and placed him in a trough where [people] put food for the animals. 7 8 That night, there were [some] shepherds who were taking care of their sheep [as usual] in the fields near [Bethlehem]. 9 An angel from God appeared to them. A great light (from the Lord/from God) shone on them and around them. [So] they became very afraid. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! I have come to tell you good news, which will [make you] very happy! This message is for everyone [to hear]. 11 [The message is that] today a baby has been born in [Bethlehem, the town where King] David grew up. That baby will [eventually] save you [from the guilt of your sins]! He is the Messiah, [your] Lord! 12 I will tell you how [you will recognize him] (OR, how you will know [that what I say is true]): [In Bethlehem] you will find a baby who has been wrapped {[whose mother] has wrapped him} in strips of cloth and placed in a trough where [people] put food for the animals.” 13 Suddenly a large group of angels from heaven appeared and joined the other angel. They all praised God, singing/saying, 14 “May [all the angels] in the highest heaven praise God! And on the earth may the people to whom God has shown his favor have peace [with him]!” 15 After the angels left them [and returned] to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem to see this [wonderful] thing that has happened, which (the Lord/God) has told us about!” 16 So they went quickly. They found the [place where] Mary and Joseph [were staying], and [they saw] the baby lying in the trough where [people] put food for the animals. 17 Then they told [Mary and Joseph and others] what had been told them {what [the angel] had told them} about this child. 18 Everyone who heard what was said by the shepherds {what the shepherds said} to them was amazed. 19 But Mary [did not talk to others about what the angels said]; she just kept thinking very much about it. 20 The shepherds returned [to their sheep]. They kept praising God very much for all the things that they had heard and seen, [because] everything [happened] exactly like [the angels] told them. 21 Seven days later, when [the priests] circumcised the baby, [his parents] named him Jesus. That was the name that [they were told by] the angel {the angel [told them]} [to] give him before Mary became pregnant. 22 It had been written by Moses {Moses had written} [long ago] in a law that God gave him, that when a woman gave birth to her first son, the parents had to take him [to the Temple] in Jerusalem in order that they might dedicate him (to the Lord/to God). So when the time came for them to do those rituals so that [God would consider] them pure again, Mary and Joseph took Jesus there. 23 24 God had commanded in his laws that if the first child [of a couple] was a boy, his parents should offer as a sacrifice to God two turtledoves or two young pigeons. [So Joseph and Mary gave the priest two birds so he could offer them]. 25 At that time there was an [old] man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. He habitually did what was pleasing to God and he obeyed God’s laws. The Holy Spirit was [directing] him as he was waiting for [God] [MTY] [to] encourage the Israeli [people by sending the Messiah]. 26 It was [previously] revealed by the Holy Spirit {The Holy Spirit [previously] revealed} to him that he would see God’s [promised] Messiah before he died. 27 When Joseph and Mary brought their baby Jesus [to the Temple] in order to perform the rituals that [God had commanded] in his laws, the Spirit led Simeon to enter the Temple [courtyard, and revealed to him that Jesus was the Messiah]. 28 So he took Jesus up in his arms and praised God, saying, 29 Lord, you promised me that I would see the one [MTY] who would enable you to save people of all people-groups from the guilt of their sins. He will be [MET] like a light that will reveal your truth to non-Jews, and he will cause people to think highly of your people, the Israeli people. Since I [SYN] have now seen this one that you promised to send, now let me die peacefully. 30 31 32 33 His parents marveled about what [Simeon] said about [Jesus]. Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, 34 “Note what I say: [God] has determined that because of this child, many Israeli people will [turn away from God], and many others will turn to God [MET]. Although he will be like a sign [MET] [to warn people], [many] people will oppose him. 35 As a result, the [evil] thoughts of many people will be made evident {he will reveal the [evil] thoughts of many people}. [Furthermore, the cruel things that they will do to him] [MET] [will be like] a sword that will pierce your (soul/inner being).” 36 There was also [in the Temple courtyard] a very old woman named Anna. She was a prophetess. Her father Phanuel was a member of the tribe of Asher. After she had been married seven years, her husband died. 37 After that, she lived until she was 84 years old, and she was still a widow. She stayed in the Temple [area] all the time, night and day, worshipping God. She often (abstained from food/fasted) as she prayed. 38 [While Joseph and Mary and the baby were] still [in the Temple, Anna came to them. She thanked God for the baby]. Then she spoke about Jesus to many people who were expecting [God to send the Messiah] [MTY] to set [the people of] [MTY] Jerusalem free [from their enemies]. 39 After Joseph and Mary had finished performing the rituals that (the Lord/God) required [the parents of a first son] to perform, they returned to their own town, Nazareth, in Galilee [district]. 40 As Jesus grew up, he became strong and very wise, and God was very pleased with him. 41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem to [celebrate] the Passover festival. 42 So when Jesus was twelve years old, they went up [to Jerusalem] as they always did. 43 When the celebration ended, his parents started to return home, but Jesus stayed in Jerusalem. [His parents] did not realize that [Jesus stayed there]. 44 They thought that he was with the other people who were traveling with them. They walked all day. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. 45 They did not find him, so they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. 46 Two days later, they found him. He was in the Temple [courtyard], sitting with the [Jewish] religious teachers. He was listening to what they said, and he was asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard what he [said] was amazed at how much he understood and [how well] he answered [the questions that the teachers asked]. 48 When his parents saw him, they were very surprised. His mother said to him, “My son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been very worried as we [(exc)] have been searching for you!” 49 He said to them, [speaking about the Temple being God his Father’s house], “(I am surprised that you [(dl)] did [not know] where to find me!/Why did you [not know] where to find me?) [RHQ] (You [(dl)] should have known that it was necessary for me to be in my Father’s house!/Did you not know that it was necessary for me to be in my Father’s house?) [RHQ]” 50 But they did not understand [the meaning of] what he said to them. 51 Then he returned with them down to Nazareth. He always obeyed them. But his mother kept thinking about all those things. 52 [As the years passed], Jesus continued to become wiser and he grew taller. God and people continued to approve of him more and more.