Luke 1: Two Miraculous Births Foretold

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 53–54

In Luke 1, two women who would normally not have children found out that through God’s miracle they would each bear a son. One of these women was considered too old to have children and the other was a young woman, a virgin, who had not yet married. As you read this chapter, look to see who those women were, who their children would be, and why special note is made of these births.

Understanding the Scriptures

Luke 1

Course (vv. 5, 8)Descendants of an individual within the family 
Barren (v. 7)Not able to have children 
Well stricken in years (vv. 7, 18)Very old 
Executed (v. 8)Performed 
Lot (v. 9)Assignment 
Beckoned (v. 22)Motioned or waved 
Days of his ministration were accomplished (v. 23)The time of his service was over 
Conceived (vv. 24, 36)Became pregnant 
Reproach (v. 25)Shame (Elisabeth and other married women with no children felt others looked down on them because they had no children) 
Espoused (v. 27)Engaged (see also “Understanding the Scriptures” for Matthew 1:18–19, p. 10) 
Cast in her mind (v. 29)Thought 
Salutation (vv. 29, 41, 44)Greeting 
Fruit of thy womb (v. 42)Your baby 
Low estate (v. 48)Humble condition 
Circumcise (v. 59)See Bible Dictionary, “circumcision” (p. 646) 
Horn of salvation (v. 69)The altar at the temple was decorated with a bull’s horn at each corner to symbolize God’s power to save 
Dayspring (v. 78)Sunrise 

Luke 1:3—Who Was Theophilus?

Theophilus was a friend to whom Luke wrote this Gospel. He was probably a Gentile who was either a member of the Church or was studying about it, and Luke wanted him to have the truth (see Luke 1:3–4).

Luke 1:17—“The Spirit and Power of Elias”

Elias was an Old Testament prophet. The Prophet Joseph Smith explained, “The spirit of Elias is to prepare the way for a greater revelation of God, which is the Priesthood … that Aaron was ordained unto” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 335). John the Baptist filled this role in every way. He held the Aaronic priesthood and he prepared the way for the greater teachings and ordinances that would come from Jesus Christ.

Luke 1:19—Who Was Gabriel?

See “Gabriel” in the Bible Dictionary (p. 676).

Luke 1:31—“Call His Name Jesus”

Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua or Jeshua. It means “God is help” or “Savior” (see Bible Dictionary, “Jesus,” p. 713).

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you study Luke 1.

Activity A iconTwo Miraculous Births

  1. 1.

    Make the following chart in your notebook and complete it with information you find in Luke 1.


Scripture reference for the story

Luke 1:1–25

Luke 1:26–38

What were the names of the parents?



How did they know they were going to have a baby?



How did they react to the news that was given them?



Why was the birth considered a miracle?



What did they name the baby?



Where did they get the name?



What would be the special mission of this baby as he grew older?