Good News Translation (GNB)
2

The Birth of Jesus

(Mt 1.18–25)

21At that time the Emperor Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Roman Empire. 2When this first census took place, Quirinius was the governor of Syria. 3Everyone, then, went to register himself, each to his own town.

4Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to the town of Bethlehem in Judea, the birthplace of King David. Joseph went there because he was a descendant of David. 5He went to register with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him. She was pregnant, 6and while they were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have her baby. 7She gave birth to her first son, wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger — there was no room for them to stay in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

8There were some shepherds in that part of the country who were spending the night in the fields, taking care of their flocks. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone over them. They were terribly afraid, 10but the angel said to them, “Don't be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people. 11This very day in David's town your Saviour was born — Christ the Lord! 12And this is what will prove it to you: you will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.”

13Suddenly a great army of heaven's angels appeared with the angel, singing praises to God:

14“Glory to God in the highest heaven,

and peace on earth to those with whom he is pleased!”

15When the angels went away from them back 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.”

16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and saw the baby lying in the manger. 17When the shepherds saw him, they told them what the angel had said about the child. 18All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said. 19Mary remembered all these things and thought deeply about them. 20The shepherds went back, singing praises to God for all they had heard and seen; it had been just as the angel had told them.

Jesus is Named

21

2.21:
Lev 12.3
Lk 1.31
A week later, when the time came for the baby to be circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name which the angel had given him before he had been conceived.

Jesus is Presented in the Temple

22

2.22–24:
Lev 12.6–8
The time came for Joseph and Mary to perform the ceremony of purification, as the Law of Moses commanded. So they took the child to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, 23
2.23:
Ex 13.2,12
as it is written in the law of the Lord: “Every firstborn male is to be dedicated to the Lord.” 24They also went to offer a sacrifice of a pair of doves or two young pigeons, as required by the law of the Lord.

25At that time there was a man named Simeon living in Jerusalem. He was a good, God-fearing man and was waiting for Israel to be saved. The Holy Spirit was with him 26and had assured him that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's promised Messiah. 27Led by the Spirit, Simeon went into the Temple. When the parents brought the child Jesus into the Temple to do for him what the Law required, 28Simeon took the child in his arms and gave thanks to God:

29“Now, Lord, you have kept your promise,

and you may let your servant go in peace.

30With my own eyes I have seen your salvation,

31which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples:

32

2.32:
Is 42.6
49.6
52.10
A light to reveal your will to the Gentiles

and bring glory to your people Israel.”

33The child's father and mother were amazed at the things Simeon said about him. 34Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother, “This child is chosen by God for the destruction and the salvation of many in Israel. He will be a sign from God which many people will speak against 35and so reveal their secret thoughts. And sorrow, like a sharp sword, will break your own heart.”

36-37There was a very old prophet, a widow named Anna, daughter of Phanuel of the tribe of Asher. She had been married for only seven years and was now 84 years old.2.36–37 was now 84 years old; or had been a widow 84 years. She never left the Temple; day and night she worshipped God, fasting and praying. 38That very same hour she arrived and gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were waiting for God to set Jerusalem free.

The Return to Nazareth

39

2.39:
Mt 2.23
When Joseph and Mary had finished doing all that was required by the law of the Lord, they returned to their home town of Nazareth in Galilee. 40The child grew and became strong; he was full of wisdom, and God's blessings were upon him.

The Boy Jesus in the Temple

41

2.41:
Ex 12.1–27
Deut 16.1–8
Every year the parents of Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. 42When Jesus was twelve years old, they went to the festival as usual. 43When the festival was over, they started back home, but the boy Jesus stayed in Jerusalem. His parents did not know this; 44they thought that he was with the group, so they travelled a whole day and then started looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45They did not find him, so they went back to Jerusalem looking for him. 46On the third day they found him in the Temple, sitting with the Jewish teachers, listening to them and asking questions. 47All who heard him were amazed at his intelligent answers. 48His parents were astonished when they saw him, and his mother said to him, “My son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been terribly worried trying to find you.”

49He answered them, “Why did you have to look for me? Didn't you know that I had to be in my Father's house?” 50But they did not understand his answer.

51So Jesus went back with them to Nazareth, where he was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52

2.52:
1 Sam 2.26
Prov 3.4
Jesus grew both in body and in wisdom, gaining favour with God and people.

3

The Preaching of John the Baptist

(Mt 3.1–12; Mk 1.1–8; Jn 1.19–28)

31It was the fifteenth year of the rule of the Emperor Tiberius; Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip was ruler of the territory of Iturea and Trachonitis; Lysanias was ruler of Abilene, 2and Annas and Caiaphas were high priests. At that time the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert. 3So John went throughout the whole territory of the River Jordan, preaching, “Turn away from your sins and be baptized, and God will forgive your sins.”

4

3.4–6:
Is 40.3–5
As it is written in the book of the prophet Isaiah:

“Someone is shouting in the desert:

‘Get the road ready for the Lord;

make a straight path for him to travel!

5Every valley must be filled up,

every hill and mountain levelled off.

The winding roads must be made straight,

and the rough paths made smooth.

6The whole human race will see God's salvation!’ ”

7

3.7:
Mt 12.34
23.33
Crowds of people came out to John to be baptized by him. “You snakes!” he said to them. “Who told you that you could escape from the punishment God is about to send? 8
3.8:
Jn 8.33
Do those things that will show that you have turned from your sins. And don't start saying among yourselves that Abraham is your ancestor. I tell you that God can take these stones and make descendants for Abraham! 9
3.9:
Mt 7.19
The axe is ready to cut down the trees at the roots; every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown in the fire.”

10The people asked him, “What are we to do, then?”

11He answered, “Whoever has two shirts must give one to the man who has none, and whoever has food must share it.”

12

3.12:
Lk 7.29
Some tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what are we to do?”

13“Don't collect more than is legal,” he told them.

14Some soldiers also asked him, “What about us? What are we to do?”

He said to them, “Don't take money from anyone by force or accuse anyone falsely. Be content with your pay.”

15People's hopes began to rise, and they began to wonder whether John perhaps might be the Messiah. 16So John said to all of them, “I baptize you with water, but someone is coming who is much greater than I am. I am not good enough even to untie his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17He has his winnowing shovel with him, to thresh out all the grain and gather the wheat into his barn; but he will burn the chaff in a fire that never goes out.”

18In many different ways John preached the Good News to the people and urged them to change their ways. 19

3.19–20:
Mt 14.3–4
Mk 6.17–18
But John reprimanded Herod, the governor, because he had married Herodias, his brother's wife, and had done many other evil things. 20Then Herod did an even worse thing by putting John in prison.

The Baptism of Jesus

(Mt 3.13–17; Mk 1.9–11)

21After all the people had been baptized, Jesus also was baptized. While he was praying, heaven was opened, 22

3.22:
Gen 22.2
Ps 2.7
Is 42.1
Mt 3.17
Mk 1.11
Lk 9.35
and the Holy Spirit came down upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my own dear Son. I am pleased with you.”

The Ancestors of Jesus

(Mt 1.1–17)

23When Jesus began his work, he was about thirty years old. He was the son, so people thought, of Joseph, who was the son of Heli, 24the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, 33the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Kenan, 38the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

4

The Temptation of Jesus

(Mt 4.1–11; Mk 1.12–13)

41Jesus returned from the Jordan full of the Holy Spirit and was led by the Spirit into the desert, 2where he was tempted by the Devil for forty days. In all that time he ate nothing, so that he was hungry when it was over.

3The Devil said to him, “If you are God's Son, order this stone to turn into bread.”

4

4.4:
Deut 8.3
But Jesus answered, “The scripture says, ‘Human beings cannot live on bread alone.’ ”

5Then the Devil took him up and showed him in a second all the kingdoms of the world. 6“I will give you all this power and all this wealth,” the Devil told him. “It has all been handed over to me, and I can give it to anyone I choose. 7All this will be yours, then, if you worship me.”

8

4.8:
Deut 6.13
Jesus answered, “The scripture says, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him!’ ”

9Then the Devil took him to Jerusalem and set him on the highest point of the Temple, and said to him, “If you are God's Son, throw yourself down from here. 10

4.10:
Ps 91.11
For the scripture says, ‘God will order his angels to take good care of you.’ 11
4.11:
Ps 91.12
It also says, ‘They will hold you up with their hands so that not even your feet will be hurt on the stones.’ ”

12

4.12:
Deut 6.16
But Jesus answered, “The scripture says, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”

13When the Devil finished tempting Jesus in every way, he left him for a while.

Jesus Begins his Work in Galilee

(Mt 4.12–17; Mk 1.14–15)

14Then Jesus returned to Galilee, and the power of the Holy Spirit was with him. The news about him spread throughout all that territory. 15He taught in the synagogues and was praised by everyone.

Jesus is Rejected at Nazareth

(Mt 13.53–58; Mk 6.1–6)

16Then Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath he went as usual to the synagogue. He stood up to read the Scriptures 17and was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it is written:

18

4.18–19:
Is 61.1–2
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

because he has chosen me to bring good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives

and recovery of sight to the blind;

to set free the oppressed

19and announce that the time has come

when the Lord will save his people.”

20Jesus rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. All the people in the synagogue had their eyes fixed on him, 21as he said to them, “This passage of scripture has come true today, as you heard it being read.”

22They were all well impressed with him and marvelled at the eloquent words that he spoke. They said, “Isn't he the son of Joseph?”

23He said to them, “I am sure that you will quote this proverb to me, ‘Doctor, heal yourself.’ You will also tell me to do here in my home town the same things you heard were done in Capernaum. 24

4.24:
Jn 4.44
I tell you this,” Jesus added, “prophets are never welcomed in their home town.

25

4.25:
1 Kgs 17.1
“Listen to me: it is true that there were many widows in Israel during the time of Elijah, when there was no rain for 3.5 years and a severe famine spread throughout the whole land. 26
4.26:
1 Kgs 17.8–16
Yet Elijah was not sent to anyone in Israel, but only to a widow living in Zarephath in the territory of Sidon. 27
4.27:
2 Kgs 5.1–14
And there were many people suffering from a dreaded skin disease who lived in Israel during the time of the prophet Elisha; yet not one of them was healed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”

28When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were filled with anger. 29They rose up, dragged Jesus out of the town, and took him to the top of the hill on which their town was built. They meant to throw him over the cliff, 30but he walked through the middle of the crowd and went his way.

A Man with an Evil Spirit

(Mk 1.21–28)

31Then Jesus went to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, where he taught the people on the Sabbath. 32

4.32:
Mt 7.28–29
They were all amazed at the way he taught, because he spoke with authority. 33In the synagogue was a man who had the spirit of an evil demon in him; he screamed out in a loud voice, 34“Ah! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Are you here to destroy us? I know who you are: you are God's holy messenger!”

35Jesus ordered the spirit, “Be quiet and come out of the man!” The demon threw the man down in front of them and went out of him without doing him any harm.

36The people were all amazed and said to one another, “What kind of words are these? With authority and power this man gives orders to the evil spirits, and they come out!” 37And the report about Jesus spread everywhere in that region.

Jesus Heals Many People

(Mt 8.14–17; Mk 1.29–34)

38Jesus left the synagogue and went to Simon's house. Simon's mother-in-law was sick with a high fever, and they spoke to Jesus about her. 39He went and stood at her bedside and ordered the fever to leave her. The fever left her, and she got up at once and began to wait on them.

40After sunset all who had friends who were sick with various diseases brought them to Jesus; he placed his hands on every one of them and healed them all. 41Demons also went out from many people, screaming, “You are the Son of God!”

Jesus gave the demons an order and would not let them speak, because they knew that he was the Messiah.

Jesus Preaches in the Synagogues

(Mk 1.35–39)

42At daybreak Jesus left the town and went off to a lonely place. The people started looking for him, and when they found him, they tried to keep him from leaving. 43But he said to them, “I must preach the Good News about the Kingdom of God in other towns also, because that is what God sent me to do.”

44So he preached in the synagogues throughout the country.