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The Ministry of John the Baptist

1 In the fifteenth year of the rule of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of the Jews, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and Phillip his brother being tetrarch of the region of Itourais and Trachonti, and Lusanius being tetrarch of Abilene, 2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas1, the word of the Lord came to pass upon John the son of Zachariah in the wilderness2. 3 And he came into all the regions around the Jordan preaching [a] baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As it is written in the scroll of the words of Isaiah the prophet3:
[A] voice crying in the wilderness
Prepare the way of the Lord4
Be making straight his paths;
5 Every valley will be filled,
And every mountain and hill will be brought low,
And the crooked will be made straight,
And the rough ways smooth,
6 And all flesh5 will see the salvation of God.

7 He was saying therefore to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him: [You] offspring of vipers! Who warned you to be fleeing from the coming wrath? 8 Produce therefore fruits worthy of repentance; and do not begin to be saying among yourselves, We have Abraham [as our] father, for I say to you that God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 9 But already the ax is laid at the root of the trees; every tree therefore not producing good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

10 And the crowds were asking him saying: What therefore should we do? 11 So answering he said to them: Let6 the [one] having two tunics share with the [one] not having [any], and the [one] having bread, let6 him be doing likewise. 12 And tax gatherers also came to be baptized and they said to him: Teacher, what shall we do? 13 And he says to them: Be doing no more than what is commanded you7. 14 And also [some] serving as soldiers were asking him saying: And what shall we do? And he said to them: Extort8 no one and blackmail9 [no one], and be satisfied with your wages.

15 But [to] the people expecting and all [those] reasoning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ 16 John was answering saying to them: I on the one hand baptize you in10 water, but [one] stronger than me comes, of whom I am not worthy to untie the strap of his sandals. He will baptize you in10 [the] Holy Spirit and fire, 17 whose winnowing fork [is] in his hand to clean out his threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into his storehouse, but the chaff he will burn in fire inextinguishable.

18 So, with many other exhortations he was proclaiming good-news to the people. 19 But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him concerning Herodias the wife of his brother and concerning all the wickedness11 that Herod had done, 20 also added this [wickedness] to them all: he locked John up in prison.

The Baptism of Jesus

21 Now it came to pass when all the people were baptized and Jesus [also] was baptized and was praying [that] heaven12 opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit came down in bodily-form like [a] dove upon him, and [a] voice from heaven came to pass: You are my agape-beloved son, in you I am well pleased.

The Geneaology of Jesus

23 And this was Jesus, beginning [his ministry about] thirty years old, being son, as reckoned by law, [of] Joseph,
[son] of Eli,
24 [son] of Matthat,
[son] of Levi,
[son] of Melchi,
[son] of Iannai,
[son] of Joseph,
25 [son] of Mattathias,
[son] of Amos,
[son] of Naoum,
[son] of Esli,
[son] of Naggai,
26 [son] of Maath,
[son] of Mattathias,
[son] of Semein,
[son] of Josech,
[son] of Joda,
[son] 27 of Joanan,
[son] of Resa,
[son] of Zurababel,
[son] of Salathiel,
[son] of Neri,
28 [son] of Melchi,
[son] of Addi,
[son] of Kosam,
[son] of Elmadam,
[son] of Er,
29 [son] of Jesus13,
[son] of Eliezer,
[son] of Jorim, [son] of Mattat,
[son] of Levi,
30 [son] of Sumeon,
[son] of Judah,
[son] of Joseph,
[son] of Jonam,
[son] of Eliachim,
31 [son] of Melea,
[son] of Menna,
[son] of Mattatha,
[son] of Natham,
[son] of David,
32 [son] of Jesse,
[son] of Iobed,
[son] of Boos,
[son] of Sala,
[son] of Naasson,
33 [son] of Aminadab,
[son] of Admin,
[son] of Arni,
[son] of Esrom,
[son] of Phares,
[son] of Judah,
34 [son] of Jacob,
[son] of Isaac,
[son] of Abraham,
[son] of Thara,
[son] of Nachor,
35 [son] of Serouch,
[son] of Raga,
[son] of Phalek,
[son] of Eber,
[son] of Sala,
36 [son] Of Kainam,
[son] of Arphaxad,
[son] of Shem,
[son] of Noah,
[son] of Lamech,
37 [son] of Mathousala,
[son] of Enoch,
[son] of Jaret,
[son] of Maleleal,
[son] of Kainam,
38 [son] of Enos,
[son] of Seth,
[son] of Adam,
[son] of God.

1only one man was high priest at a time; at this time it was Caiphas, but his predecessor was Annas, associated with him in view of his great prestige.

2or `desert'


4It's not entirely clear whether `in the wilderness' is referring to `[A] voice' or `the way', that is: "[A] voice in the wilderness crying..." vs. "[A] voice crying: Prepare the way of the Lord in the wilderness...". Arguments from the Massoretic text and the LXX can be made for both views, but the current consensus is "[A] voice in the wilderness crying..."

5figurative for `all humanity'


7Tax collectors were permitted by the Romans to collect more than the required tax, and keep the extra for themselves.

8The verb refers to `shaking someone [down]'-to extort or rob them

9The verb refers to a procedure by which one could bring charges against an individual and be paid a part of the fine imposed by the court. Soldiers did this to supplement their pay, and were thus tempted to bring false accusations.

10or `with'

11PONEROS (πoνηρoς ) here. The Greek word KAKOS (κακoς ) is always translated `evil', PONEROS is usually translated as `wicked' although occasionally as `bad'; it can also mean 'diseased', 'sickly' and is thus translated where appropriate. Like KAKOS, PONEROS also means `evil', but the harm that evil does is more in view, where KAKOS is more `evil as evil'.

12or `the sky'

13IESOUS `Jesus', frequently translated as Joshua to distinguish this IESOUS from IESOUS CHRISTOS