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Chapter 2 The warning of the angel Gabriel given to Joseph concerning the conception of the Virgin Mary.
Mary having known the will of God, fearing the people, lest they should take offense at her being great with child, and should stone her as guilty of fornication, chose a companion of her own lineage, a man by name called Joseph, of blameless life: for he as a righteous man feared God and served him with fastings and prayers, living by the works of his hands, for he was a carpenter. Such a man the virgin knowing, chose him for her companion and revealed to him the divine counsel. Joseph being a righteous man, when he perceived that Mary was great with child, was minded to put her away because he feared God. Behold, whilst he slept, he was rebuked by the angel of God, saying 'O Joseph, why art thou minded to put away Mary thy wife? Know that whatsoever hath been wrought in her hath all been done by the will of God. The virgin shall bring forth a son, whom thou shall call by the name Jesus; whom thou shalt keep from wine and strong drink and from every unclean meat, because he is an holy one of God from his mother's womb. He is a prophet of God sent unto the people of Israel, in order that he may convert Judah to his heart, and that Israel may walk in the law of the Lord, as it is written in the law of Moses. He shall come with great power, which God shall give him, and shall work great miracles, whereby many shall be saved'. Joseph, arising from sleep, gave thanks to God, and abode with Mary all his life, serving God with all sincerity.
Chapter 3 Wonderful birth of Jesus, and appearance of angels praising God.
There reigned at that time in Judaea Herod, by decree of Caesar Augustus, and Pilate was governor in the priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas. Wherefore, by decree of Augustus, all the world was enrolled; wherefore each one went to his own country, and they presented themselves by their own tribes to be enrolled. Joseph accordingly departed from Nazareth, a city of Galilee, with Mary his wife, great with child, to go to Bethlehem (for that it was his city, he being of the lineage of David), in order that he might be enrolled according to the decree of Caesar. Joseph having arrived at Bethlehem, for that the city was small, and great the multitude of them that were strangers there, he found no place, wherefore he took lodging outside the city in a lodging made for a shepherds' shelter. While Joseph abode there the days were fulfilled for Mary to bring forth. The virgin was surrounded by a light exceeding bright, and brought forth her son without pain, whom she took in her arms, and wrapping him in swaddling-clothes, laid him in the manger, because there was no room in the inn. There came with gladness a great multitude of angels to the inn, blessing God and announcing peace to them that fear God. Mary and Joseph praised the Lord for the birth of Jesus, and with greatest joy nurtured him.
Chapter 4 Angels announced to the shepherds the birth of Jesus, and they, after having found him, announce him.
At that time the shepherds were watching over their flock, as is their custom. And, behold, they were surrounded by an exceeding bright light, out of which appeared to them an angel, who blessed God. The shepherds were filled with fear by reason of the sudden light and the appearance of the angel; whereupon the angel of the Lord comforted them, saying:
'Behold, I announce to you a great joy, for there is born in the city of David a child who is a prophet of the Lord; who bringeth great salvation