AVP Infancy Narratives for Christmas!

I decided that, for Christmas, I would share my translations of the “infancy narratives” from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. : ) With John’s prologue thrown in for good measure. I hope it is enjoyable – I didn’t bother drawing up notes, and some of my choices will probably come across as odd! But well, that it should strike different is part of the point; and I would be happy to answer any questions.

Merry Christmas! ^^

(“My translation” is the Amateur Vulgate Project, translating from Jerome’s Latin, which I’ve been working on through the year.)

Infancy Narrative of Matthew’s Gospel

Now, the generation of the Christ happened thus: while His mother, Mary, was espoused to Joseph, ere ever they came together, she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. However Joseph, her man, since he was righteous and unwilling to traduce her, wished to divorce her discreetly.

But as he considered this, lo an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a vision, saying to him: “O Joseph, son of David! Be not afraid to accept Mary as thy wife, for That Which is born in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His Name ‘Jesus:’ for He shall save His people from their faults.”

And all of this was done, that it might fulfill what the Lord had spoken through the prophet, saying: “Behold a maiden shall be with child, and bear a son; and they shall call his name Emmanuel.” (Which is interpreted as “God is With Us.”)

And Joseph, arising from the vision, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and accepted his wife.

And he knew her not till she bore a Son, her firstborn; and he called His Name Jesus.

When therefore Jesus had been born in Bethlehem of Judaea, in the days of Herod the King, behold Magi from the east came to Jerusalem, saying: “Where is he who is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to adore him.”

But King Herod, hearing this, was disturbed; and all Jerusalem with him. And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he examined them about where the Christ was to be born.

But they said to him: "In Bethlehem of Judaea; for so it is written by the prophet: ‘And thou, O Bethlehem, land of Judas; thou art far from the least of the princes of Judas; for from thee shall go forth the Leader who shall rule My people Israel.’"

Then Herod, privately calling the Magi, carefully learned from them the time when the star had appeared to them. And, sending them unto Bethlehem, said, “Go, and inquire diligently for the boy; and when ye have found him, bring back word to me, that I, too, may come and adore him.”

Who, when they had heard the king, departed; and behold the star which they had seen in the east went before them, until at last it came to stand above the place where the boy was.

And seeing the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great gladness; and entering the house, they found the boy with Mary His mother, and prostrating themselves they adored Him. And opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

And having received instruction in visions that they should not go back to Herod, they returned into their own country by another way.

When they had departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in a vision to Joseph, saying: “Rise, and take the boy and His mother, and flee into Egypt; and stay there till such time as I tell thee. For it shall be that Herod will seek the boy to destroy Him.” Who arising took the boy and His mother by night and retired into Egypt; and stayed there until the death of Herod: so that it might fulfil what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “From Egypt I called My Son.”

Then Herod, seeing that he was tricked by the Magi, was exceeding wrathful; and sending, killed all the male children from two years old and under that were in Bethlehem and all its borders; according to the time that he had extracted from the Magi.

Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by the Prophet Jeremias, saying, “A voice in Rama was heard, lamentation and great wailing; Rachel bewailing her sons; and she would not be comforted: because they are no more.”

However, when Herod was dead, behold the angel of the Lord appeared in a vision to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Rise and take the boy and His mother, and go into the land of Israel; for they are dead that sought the soul of the boy.”

Who, rising, took the boy and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. However, hearing that Archelaus reigned in Judaea in place of Herod his father, he was afraid to go thither; and warned in a vision went aside into the district of Galilee.

And arriving there, he dwelt in a city which is called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled: that He should be called a Nazarene.

(Matthew 1:18-25, 2:1-23)

Infancy Narrative of Luke’s Gospel

The angel Gabriel was sent by God into a city of Galilee, the name of which was Nazareth; to a maiden betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the House of David. And the maiden’s name was Mary.

And coming in, the angel said to her: “Hail, O full of grace! The Lord is with thee: blessed art thou amongst women!”

She, upon seeing him, was disturbed by his speech; and she wondered: what manner of greeting was this?

And the angel saith to her: "Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found grace before God. Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son; and thou shalt call His Name ‘Jesus.’

“Great shall He be, and He shall be called the Son of the Most High: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the seat of David His father; and He shall reign in the House of Jacob unto eternity; yea, of His Kingdom there shall be no end!”

But Mary said to the angel: “How can this be done? For a man I know not?”

And in response the angel said to her: "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee; and the virtue of the Most High shall overshadow thee! And therefore also the Holy Which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And lo, thy kinswoman Elizabeth hath herself also conceived in her old age; and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren:

“For no word shall be impossible in the presence of God.”

Then said Mary: “Lo, I am the slave girl of the Lord: let it be done unto me according to thy word.” And the angel departed from her.

Mary, however, rising up in those days, went off with haste into the hill country, unto a city of Judas; and she entered into the house of Zaccharias and greeted Elizabeth.

And it came to pass that when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the babe exulted in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled by the Holy Spirit; and she exclaimed with a great voice and said: "Blessed art thou amongst women! and blessed is the fruit of thy womb!

“And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me! For lo, as soon as the voice of thy greeting fell on mine ears, the babe in my womb exulted for gladness! And blessed art thou, who hast believed; for those things that were told thee by the Lord shall be perfected!”

And saith Mary:

"My soul doth magnify the Lord;
Yea, my spirit exulted in God, my Saviour! –
For He respected the humility of His slave girl;
For lo, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed!
For He that is mighty hath done great things to me, and Holy is His Name!
And His mercy is unto generations upon generations for those in awe of Him.

By His Arm He wrought power:
He scattered the proud by the thought of their heart;
He deposed the mighty from their seat, and exalted the humble!
The hungry He sated with good food, and the rich He dismissed empty!
He hath taken up Israel, His boy, remembering His mercy;
As it was spoken to our fathers – to Abraham and his seed for the ages!"

And Mary remained with her for about three months; and returned to her home.

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the entire globe should be described. (This description was first made by Cyrinus, governor of Syria.)

And all went to make their declaration, every one unto their own city; and Joseph also, from Galilee, went up from the city of Nazareth unto the city of David in Judaea that is called Bethlehem (for he was of the House and family of David); to make declaration, with the pregnant Mary, his betrothed wife.

And it came to pass while they were there that the days were fulfilled that she should bear; and she brought forth their firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger – because there was no place for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds in that same region, keeping watch; and keeping the night’s vigils over their flock, and lo! An angel of the Lord stood beside them, and the brightness of God shone about them! And they feared with a great awe.

And the angel said to them: “Be not afraid! For lo, I bear to you good tidings of great gladness that shall be for all people! For today is born to you a Saviour, He Who is the Christ, the Lord, in the city of David. And this shall be the sign for you: ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest! and on earth peace unto humans of good will!”

And it came to pass after the angels departed from them into heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this word which was delivered; what the Lord wrought and showed to us!”

And they came quickly and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in the manger. And seeing, they understood concerning the message, what had been told them about this boy.

And all who heard also marvelled at those things told to them by the shepherds. And Mary conserved all these words, gathering them up in her heart.

And the shepherds went back, glorifying God and praising Him over all that they had heard and seen, even as it was told to them.

And afterwards, the eighth day being consummated that He should be circumcised, they called His Name ‘Jesus;’ as it had been declared by the angel before that He had been conceived in the womb.

And after her days of purification were fulfilled according to the Law of Moses, they carried Him unto Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord. As it is written in the Law of the Lord, that “every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord.” And to offer a victim, according as it is written in the Law of the Lord: a pair of turtledoves or two dove chicks.

And behold, there was a human in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this human was righteous and in awe of God, awaiting the consolation of Israel. And the Holy Spirit was in him. And he had received an answer from the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death until he had first seen the Christ of the Lord.

And in the Spirit he came into the Temple. And when His parents brought in the boy Jesus, to perform the custom of the Law for Him, he also took Him into his arms. And he blessed God and said,

"Now dost Thou dismiss Thy slave in peace, O Lord, according to Thy word.
For mine eyes have seen Thy health,
Which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples:
The Light for the revelation of the nations,
And the glory of Thy commonfolk of Israel."

And His father and mother were wondering at those things that were said of Him, and Simeon blessed them. And he said to Mary, His mother:

“Behold, this one is set unto the ruin and the resurrection of many in Israel, and unto a sign which shall be contradicted: And thine own soul a sword shall pierce, that from many hearts thoughts may be revealed.”

And there was Anna the Prophetess, daughter of Phanuel of the tribe of Asher; she was well advanced in her days. And she had lived seven years from her maidenhood with her man, and she was a widow for eighty-four years. She departed not from the Temple, by fastings and beseechings serving night and day.

She also at the same hour coming over confessed to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all who awaited the redemption of Jerusalem.

And after they had completed all things according to the Law of the Lord, they returned unto Galilee, to the city of Nazareth. And the boy grew, and waxed strong; in Him was both fullness of wisdom and the grace of God.

(Luke 1:26-56, 2:1-40)

Prologue of John’s Gospel

In the beginning was the Word; and the Word was with God; and the Word was God, which was in the beginning with God.

All was made through Him, and without Him was made nothing that was made. In Him was Life; and Life was the Light of mankind. And the Light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness did not grasp Her.

She was the true Light, which illumineth every human coming into the world: She was in the world; even the world made through Him; and the world knew Him not. Unto His own He came, and they received Him not.

However, so many as did receive Him, He gave them power to become the children of God; to those who believe in His Name: who are born not from blood, neither by the will of flesh nor the will of a man; but are born from God.

And the Word was made flesh: and dwelt among us. And we saw His glory – glory as of the only-begotten of the Father – full of grace and truth.

(John 1:1-5, 9-14)