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What the scriptures say about
The baptizer John prepared the way for Messiah as Isaiah 40:3 foretold
Easton's Bible Dictionary | Smith's Bible Dictionary | International Standard Bible Encyclopedia | Thompson Chain Reference

JOHN the Baptist, Baptizer in scriptures [BibleGateway Search]   Site search: FreeFind

Select Cross Reference Bible links - John the Baptist's biography
John's conception, birth, childhood:
Luke 1:5-25, 1:39-80; John 1:6-8
John's preaching:
Matthew 3, Mark 1:1-9, Luke 3:1-18, John 1:15, 1:19-34, 3:22-30 (Jesus's disciples were also baptizing), 4:1
Two of John's disciples became Jesus' disciples:
John 1:35-39
Herod had John put in prison, then executed:
Matthew 11, 14:3-12; Mark 1:14, 6:17-29, Luke 3:19-20,
From prison, John sent 2 disciples to ask Jesus, was he the Christ?
Luke 7:18-23
Jesus often spoke of John as the promised Elijah:
Luke 7:24-29, Matthew 17:10-13, John 10:40-41 (John didn't perform miracles)
Most Pharisees had trouble believing about John:
Matthew 21:25, Mark 11:29-30, Luke 7:30-35, Luke 20:1-8
Herod thought John was resurrected as Jesus:
Matthew 14:1-2, Mark 6:14-16
Other people also thought John was resurrected as Jesus:
Matthew 16:13-14, Mark 8:28, Luke 9:19
The early church taught about John's baptism:
Acts 1:5, 1:22, 10:37, 11:16, 13:24, 18:25, 19:3-4

JOHN the BAPTIST [Easton's Bible Dictionary]

The "forerunner of our Lord."

We have but fragmentary and imperfect accounts of him in the Gospels. He was of priestly descent. His father, Zacharias, was a priest of the course of Abia (1 Chronicles 24:10), and his mother, Elisabeth, was of the daughters of Aaron (Luke 1:5). The mission of John was the subject of prophecy (Matthew 3:3; Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1). His birth, which took place six months before that of Jesus, was foretold by an angel. Zacharias, deprived of the power of speech as a token of God's truth and a reproof of his own incredulity with reference to the birth of his son, had the power of speech restored to him on the occasion of his circumcision (Luke 1:64). After this no more is recorded of him for thirty years than what is mentioned in Luke 1:80. John was a Nazarite from his birth (Luke 1:15; Numbers 6:1-12). He spent his early years in the mountainous tract of Judah lying between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea (Matthew 3:1-12).

At length he came forth into public life, and great multitudes from "every quarter" were attracted to him. The sum of his preaching was the necessity of repentance. He denounced the Sadducees and Pharisees as a "generation of vipers," and warned them of the folly of trusting to external privileges (Luke 3:8). "As a preacher, John was eminently practical and discriminating. Self-love and covetousness were the prevalent sins of the people at large. On them, therefore, he enjoined charity and consideration for others. The publicans he cautioned against extortion, the soldiers against crime and plunder." His doctrine and manner of life roused the entire south of Palestine, and the people from all parts flocked to the place where he was, on the banks of the Jordan. There he baptized thousands unto repentance.

The fame of John reached the ears of Jesus in Nazareth (Matthew 3:5), and he came from Galilee to Jordan to be baptized of John, on the special ground that it became him to "fulfil all righteousness" (3:15). John's special office ceased with the baptism of Jesus, who must now "increase" as the King come to his kingdom. He continued, however, for a while to bear testimony to the Messiahship of Jesus. He pointed him out to his disciples, saying, "Behold the Lamb of God." His public ministry was suddenly (after about six months probably) brought to a close by his being cast into prison by Herod, whom he had reproved for the sin of having taken to himself the wife of his brother Philip (Luke 3:19). He was shut up in the castle of Machaerus (q.v.), a fortress on the southern extremity of Peraea, 9 miles east of the Dead Sea, and here he was beheaded. His disciples, having consigned the headless body to the grave, went and told Jesus all that had occurred (Matthew 14:3-12). John's death occurred apparently just before the third Passover of our Lord's ministry. Our Lord himself testified regarding him that he was a "burning and a shining light" (John 5:35).

JOHN the BAPTIST [Smith's Bible Dictionary] ca 4 BC - 29 AD (aged ca 33, dying just before Passover)

was of the priestly race by both parents, for his father, Zacharias, was himself a priest of the course of Abia or Abijah, (1 Chronicles 24:10) and Elisabeth was of the daughters of Aaron. (Luke 1:5) His birth was foretold by an angel sent from God, and is related at length in Luke 1.

The birth of John preceded by six months that of our Lord. John was ordained to be a Nazarite from his birth. (Luke 1:15)

Dwelling by himself in the wild and thinly-peopled region westward of the Dead Sea, he prepared himself for the wonderful office to which he had been divinely called. His dress was that of the old prophets -- a garment woven of camelís hair, (2 Kings 1:8) attached to the body by a leathern girdle. His food was such as the desert afforded -- locusts, (Leviticus 11:22) and wild honey. (Psalms 81:16)

And now the long-secluded hermit came forth to the discharge of his office. His supernatural birth, his life, and the general expectation that some great one was about to appear, were sufficient to attract to him a great multitude from "every quarter." (Matthew 3:5) Many of every class pressed forward to confess their sins and to be baptized. Jesus himself came from Galilee to Jordan to be baptized of John. [JESUS]

From incidental notices we learn that John and his disciples continued to baptize some time after our Lord entered upon his ministry. See (John 3:23; 4:1; Acts 19:3) We gather also that John instructed his disciples in certain moral and religious duties, as fasting, (Matthew 9:14; Luke 5:33) and prayer. (Luke 11:1)

But shortly after he had given his testimony to the Messiah, Johnís public ministry was brought to a close. In daring disregard of the divine laws, Herod Antipas had taken to himself Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip; and when John reproved him for this, as well as for other sins, (Luke 3:19) Herod cast him into prison. (March, A.D. 28.) The place of his confinement was the castle of Machaerus, a fortress on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. It was here that reports reached him of the miracles which our Lord was working in Judea.

Nothing but the death of the Baptist would satisfy the resentment of Herodias. A court festival was kept at Machaerus in honor of the kingís birthday. After supper the daughter of Herodias came in and danced the king by her grace that he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she should ask. Salome, prompted by her abandoned mother, demanded the head of John the Baptist. Herod gave instructions to an officer of his guard, who went and executed John in the prison, and his head was brought to feast the eyes of the adulteress whose sins he had denounced. His death is supposed to have occurred just before the third passover, in the course of the Lordís ministry. (March, A.D. 29.)

JOHN the BAPTIST [International Standard Bible Encyclopedia]

John the Baptist

JOHN the BAPTIZER [Thompson Chain Reference]
    General References to
        Isaiah 40:3
        Matthew 11:14
        Luke 1:13
        Luke 1:57
        Luke 1:60
        Luke 1:76
        Luke 1:80
        Luke 3:2
        Matthew 3:1
        Matthew 3:13
        John 1:15
        John 1:29
        John 3:26
        John 1:19
        John 5:33
        Mark 1:14
        Matthew 4:12
        Matthew 11:2
        Matthew 11:7
        Matthew 11:11
        Matthew 14:3
        Matthew 14:10
        Mark 6:29
    Characteristics of
        Self Denial
            Matthew 3:4
            Matthew 3:7
            Matthew 14:4
            Matthew 3:15
        Powerful preacher
            Mark 1:5
            Mark 1:7
            John 1:19-23
            Mark 6:20
        Burning zeal
            John 5:35
        Honoured by Christ
            Matthew 11:11
            Luke 7:24-27
        Did no miracle
            John 10:41
        Suffered martyrdom
            Matthew 14:10
    Called the "Forerunner" of Christ
        Malachi 3:1
        Matthew 11:10
        Luke 1:17
        Luke 1:76
    Baptism by
        SEE John's; Baptism 
    His Testimony Concerning Christ
        John 1:29
        John 1:36
        John 3:28-36
        John 5:33
        John 10:41

John's Baptism Matthew 3:6 Matthew 21:25 Mark 1:4 Luke 3:12 Luke 7:29 John 1:26 John 3:23 Acts 10:37 Acts 13:24 Acts 19:3 Disciples Matthew 9:14 Matthew 11:2 Matthew 14:12 Mark 2:18 Luke 5:33 Luke 7:18 John 3:25