CHAPTER 15 (1) Then, Annas the scribe came to him and said to him, “Joseph, why have you not appeared to our traveling group?” (2) And he said to him, “Because I was worn out from the trip and rested my first day back.” (3) And Annas turned and saw Mary pregnant. (4) And he ran off at top speed to the high priest and said to him, “Look at Joseph, the one you bear witness for. He has broken the law badly.” (5) And the high priest said, “What is this?” (6) And he said, “The virgin which Joseph received from the temple of the LORD, he defiled her and has stolen her wedding festivities and has not revealed it to the children of Israel.” (7) And he said to him, “Has Joseph done these things?” (8) And he said to him, “Send a servant and he will find the virgin pregnant.” (9) And the servants went and found her just as he said and they led her with Joseph to the law court. (10) And the high priest said to her, “Mary, what is this? How have you humiliated yourself? (11) Did you forget the LORD your GOD, you who were raised in the holy of holies and received from the hand of an angel? (12) You who heard their songs and danced before them, what is this?” (13) And she wept bitterly, saying, “As the LORD GOD lives, I am pure before him and I did not know a man.” (14) And the high priest said, “Joseph, what is this?” (15) But Joseph said, “As the LORD lives, I am pure from her.” (16) And the high priest said, “Do not lie, but speak the truth. You stole your wedding festivities and did not reveal it to the children of Israel (17) and you did not bow your head before the mighty hand that it should bless your seed.” (18) And Joseph was silent.
CHAPTER 16 (1) And the high priest said, “Return the virgin which you took from the temple of the LORD.” (2) And Joseph, becoming tearful […] (3) And the high priest said, “I will give you the water of the LORD wrath to drink and it will make your sin clear in your eyes.” (4) And taking the water, the high priest gave it to Joseph to drink and sent him out into the desert. And he returned unharmed. (5) And he made the young girl drink also and sent her out into the desert. And she came back unharmed. (6) And all the people were astonished that their sins were not revealed. (7) And the high priest said, “If the LORD GOD has not revealed your sins, I will not judge you either.” And he released them. (8) And Joseph took Mary and went away to his house, rejoicing and praising the GOD of Israel.
CHAPTER 17 (1) Then, there was an order from the Emperor Augustus to register how many people were in Bethlehem of Judea. (2) And Joseph said, “I will register my sons. But this child? What will I do about him? How will I register him? (3) And my wife? Oh, I am ashamed. Should I register her as my daughter? The children of Israel know that she is not my daughter. (4) This day, I will do as the LORD wants.” (5) And he saddled his donkey and sat her on it and his son led and Samuel followed. (6) And they arrived at the third mile and Joseph turned and saw that she was sad. (7) And he said to himself, “Perhaps the child within her is troubling her.” (8) And again Joseph turned around and saw her laughing and said to her, “Mary, what is with you? First your face appears happy and then sad?” (9) And she said, “Joseph, it is because I see two people with my eyes, one crying and being afflicted, one rejoicing and being extremely happy.” (10) When they came to the middle of the journey, Mary said to him, “Joseph, take me off the donkey, the child pushing from within me to let him come out.” (11) So he took her off the donkey and said to her, “Where will I take you and shelter you in your awkwardness? This area is a desert.”
CHAPTER 18 (1) And he found a cave and led her there and stationed his sons to watch her, (2) while he went to a find a Hebrew midwife in the land of Bethlehem. (3) Then, Joseph wandered, but he did not wander. (4) And I looked up to the peak of the sky and saw it standing still and I looked up into the air. With utter astonishment I saw it, even the birds of the sky were not moving. (5) And I looked at the ground and saw a bowl lying there and workers reclining. And their hands were in the bowl. (6) And chewing, they were not chewing. And picking food up, they were not picking it up. And putting food in their mouths, they were not putting it in their mouths. (7) Rather, all their faces were looking up. (8) And I saw sheep being driven, but the sheep were standing still. (9) And the shepherd lifted up his hand to strike them, but his hand remained above them. (10) And I saw the rushing current of the river and I saw goats and their mouths resting in the water, but they were not drinking. (11) And suddenly everything was replaced by the ordinary course of events.
CHAPTER 19 (1) And I saw a woman coming down from the mountain and she said to me, “Man, where are you going?” (2) And I said, “I am seeking a Hebrew midwife.” (3) Replying, she said to me, “Are you from Israel?” (4) And I said to her, “Yes.” (5) Then, she said, “And who is giving birth in the cave?” (6) And I said, “The one who has pledged to be married to me.” (7) And she said to me, “She is not your wife?” (8) And I said to her, “She is Mary, the one who was raised in the temple. I won her by lot to be my wife. (9) She is not yet my wife, but has a fetus from the Holy Spirit.” (10) And the midwife said, “Really?” (11) And Joseph said to her, “Come and see.” (12) So the midwife went with him. (13) And they stood near the cave and a dark cloud was hovering over the cave. (14) And the midwife said, “My soul glorifies this day, for today my eyes have seen a miracle: salvation has come to Israel.” (15) And immediately, the cloud withdrew from the cave and a great light appeared in the cave so that their eyes could not bear it. (16) And a little while later the same light withdrew until an infant appeared. And he came and took the breast of his mother, Mary. (17) And the midwife cried out and said, “How great this day is for me, for I have seen this new miracle.” (18) And the midwife departed from the cave and met Salome and said to her, “Salome, Salome, I have to describe this new miracle for you. A virgin has given birth, although her body does not allow it.” (19) And Salome said, “As the LORD my GOD lives, unless I insert my finger and investigate her, I will not believe that a virgin has given birth.”
CHAPTER 20 (1) And the midwife went in and said, “Mary, position yourself, for not a small test concerning you is about to take place.” (2) When Mary heard these things, she positioned herself. And Salome inserted her finger into her body. (3) And Salome cried out and said, “Woe for my lawlessness and the unbelief that made me test the living GOD. Look, my hand is falling away from me and being consumed in fire.” (5) And Salome dropped to her knees before the LORD, saying, “GOD of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, (6) do not expose me to the children of Israel, but give me back to the poor. (7) For you know, LORD, that I have performed service and received my wage from you.” (8) Suddenly, an angel of the LORD appeared, saying to her, “Salome, Salome, the LORD of all has heard your entreaty. (9) Stretch out your hand to the child and lift him up and he will be salvation and joy for you.” (10) And Salome went to the child and lifted him up, saying, “I worship him because he has been born a king to Israel.” (11) And at once Salome was healed and left the cave justified. (12) Suddenly, there was a voice saying, “Salome, Salome, do not proclaim what a miracle you have seen until the child comes to Jerusalem.”
CHAPTER 21 (1) Now, Joseph was about to depart to Judea when there a great commotion in Bethlehem of Judea. (2) For astrologers had come, saying, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star in the East and came to worship him.” (3) And when Herod heard, he was shaken up and sent servants to the astrologers. (4) And he also sent for the high priests and questioned them in his palace, saying to them, “What has been written about the messiah? Where will he be born?” (5) They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it has been written.” (6) And he let them go. (7) And he questioned the astrologers, saying to them, “What sign did you see about the one who has been born king?” (8) And the astrologers said, “We saw a star shining with incredible brilliance amidst the constellations and making them seem dim. And so we knew that the king had been born in Israel and we came to worship him.” (9) And Herod said to them, “Go and search. If you find him, report to me so that I also may come and worship him.” (10) And the wise men departed. Then, the star which they had seen in the east led them until they came to the cave and stood over the head of the child. (11) And when the astrologers saw him with his mother Mary, they took gifts out of their bags: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (12) And having been warned by the angel not to go into Judea, they returned to their country by another road.
CHAPTER 22 (1) When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the astrologers, he flew into a rage (2) and sent his executioners, telling them to destroy all the infants that were two years old or younger. (3) And when Mary heard that all the children were being destroyed, she was afraid and took the child and wrapped him up and put him in a stall of cows. (5) And when Elizabeth heard that John was being sought, she took him and headed for the hills. And she looked around to find where she could hide him, but there was not any good place. (7) Then, as Elizabeth sighed, she said with a loud voice, “Mountain of GOD, take me, a mother with her child.” For Elizabeth was too afraid to go up higher. (8) And at once, the mountain split open and received her. And there was light shining through the mountain to her. (9) For an angel of the LORD was with them, guarding them.
CHAPTER 23 (1) But Herod continued seeking John. (2) And he sent his servants to Zachariah at the altar, saying to him, “Where did you hide your son?” (3) But he replied, saying to them, “I am here as a servant of GOD and am serving in his temple. How should I know where my son is?” (4) And his servants departed and reported to him all these things. Outraged, Herod said, “Is his son destined to rule Israel?” (5) And he sent his servants again, saying to him, “Tell me the truth? Where is your son? Do you know that your blood is under my hand?” (6) And the servants departed and reported these things to him. (7) And replying, Zachariah said, “I am a witness of GOD. Have my blood. (8) The LORD will receive my spirit because you are shedding innocent blood at the entrance of the temple of the LORD.” (9) And around daybreak, Zachariah was murdered, even though the children of Israel did not know that he had been murdered.
CHAPTER 24 (1) Then, at the hour of greeting, the priests departed and the blessing of Zachariah did not greet them as usual. (2) Expecting Zachariah, the priests waited to welcome him with prayer and to praise the most High GOD. (3) When he failed to come, they were all afraid. (4) One of them courageously went into the sanctuary and saw hardened blood next to the altar of the LORD (5) and heard a loud voice saying, “Zachariah has been murdered and his blood will not be wiped away until vengeance comes.” (6) When he heard these words, he was afraid and went out and told the priest what he had seen and heard. (7) And gathering up their courage, they went in and saw what had happened. (8) And as the panels of the temple cried out, they ripped their robes from the top down. (9) And they did not find the corpse, but they found his blood which had turned to stone. (10) And fearing, they went out and reported to the people that Zachariah had been murdered. (11) And all the tribes of the people heard and they mourned and wept for three days and three nights. (12) Then, after three days, the priests deliberated about who they should appoint to take the place of Zachariah. (13) And the lot went to Simeon. (14) For he was the one to whom it had been revealed by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he saw the messiah in the flesh.
CHAPTER 25 (1) I, James, wrote this history when there was unrest in Jerusalem, at the time Herod died. (2) I took myself into the desert until the unrest in Jerusalem ceased. (3) All the while, I was glorifying GOD who gave me the wisdom to write this history. (4) And grace will be with all who fear the LORD. Amen. Birth of Mary Revelation of James Peace to the writer and the reader.