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Chapter 2The warning of the angel Gabriel given to Joseph concerning the conception of theVirgin Mary.
Mary having known the will of God, fearingthe people, lest they should take offense ather being great with child, and should stoneher as guilty of fornication, chose acompanion of her own lineage, a man byname called Joseph, of blameless life: for heas a righteous man feared God and servedhim with fastings and prayers, living by theworks of his hands, for he was a carpenter.Such a man the virgin knowing, chose himfor her companion and revealed to him thedivine counsel. Joseph being a righteous man, when heperceived that Mary was great with child,was minded to put her away because hefeared God. Behold, whilst he slept, he wasrebuked by the angel of God, saying 'O Joseph, why art thou minded to put awayMary thy wife? Know that whatsoever hathbeen wrought in her hath all been done bythe will of God. The virgin shall bring fortha son, whom thou shall call by the name Jesus; whom thou shalt keep from wine andstrong drink and from every unclean meat,because he is an holy one of God from hismother's womb. He is a prophet of God sentunto the people of Israel, in order that hemay convert Judah to his heart, and thatIsrael may walk in the law of the Lord, as itis written in the law of Moses. He shall comewith great power, which God shall give him,and shall work great miracles, wherebymany shall be saved'. Joseph, arising fromsleep, gave thanks to God, and abode withMary all his life, serving God with allsincerity.
Chapter 3 Wonderful birth of Jesus, and appearanceof angels praising God.
There reigned at that time in Judaea Herod,by decree of Caesar Augustus, and Pilatewas governor in the priesthood of Annasand Caiaphas. Wherefore, by decree ofAugustus, all the world was enrolled;wherefore each one went to his owncountry, and they presented themselves bytheir own tribes to be enrolled. Josephaccordingly departed from Nazareth, a cityof Galilee, with Mary his wife, great withchild, to go to Bethlehem (for that it was hiscity, he being of the lineage of David), inorder that he might be enrolled according tothe decree of Caesar. Joseph having arrivedat Bethlehem, for that the city was small,and great the multitude of them that werestrangers there, he found no place,wherefore he took lodging outside the cityin a lodging made for a shepherds' shelter.While Joseph abode there the days werefulfilled for Mary to bring forth.The virgin was surrounded by a lightexceeding bright, and brought forth her sonwithout pain, whom she took in her arms,and wrapping him in swaddling-clothes,laid him in the manger, because there wasno room in the inn. There came withgladness a great multitude of angels to theinn, blessing God and announcing peace tothem that fear God. Mary and Josephpraised the Lord for the birth of Jesus, andwith greatest joy nurtured him.
Chapter 4Angels announced to the shepherds thebirth of Jesus, and they, after having foundhim, announce him.
At that time the shepherds were watchingover their flock, as is their custom. And,behold, they were surrounded by anexceeding bright light, out of whichappeared to them an angel, who blessedGod. The shepherds were filled with fear byreason of the sudden light and theappearance of the angel; whereupon theangel of the Lord comforted them, saying:
'Behold, I announce to you a great joy, for thereis born in the city of David a child who is a prophet of the Lord; who bringeth great salvation