The voice in the wilderness (Jn 1:23-1:23)

“John said.

‘I am the voice

Of one crying

In the wilderness.

Make straight

The way of the Lord.’

As the prophet Isaiah said.”

ἔφη Ἐγὼ φωνὴ βοῶντος ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ Εὐθύνατε τὴν ὁδὸν Κυρίου, καθὼς εἶπεν Ἡσαΐας ὁ προφήτης.

John indicated that finally John the Baptist spoke out (ἔφη).  He was the voice (Ἐγὼ φωνὴ) crying out (βοῶντος) in the wilderness or deserted place (ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ).  He was there to straighten out (Εὐθύνατε) the way of the Lord (τὴν ὁδὸν Κυρίου), just like Isaiah the prophet had said (καθὼς εἶπεν Ἡσαΐας ὁ προφήτης).   Thus, he was like the prophet Isaiah with this exact quotation from the Greek Septuagint of Isaiah, chapter 40:3, rather than the Hebrew version.  Mark chapter 1:2, also had this citation from Isaiah about John the Baptist.  Originally in Deutero-Isaiah, this was about preparing a new path or a way out of the Exile, just as there was the path of the Exodus.  In this wilderness or desert, they were to make a straight path, like a highway for God or the holy way to prepare a path for Yahweh.  However, it is clear that John the Baptist was the messenger being sent ahead.  He was a voice crying out in the wilderness (Φωνὴ βοῶντος ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ) to prepare the way of the Lord (Ἑτοιμάσατε τὴν ὁδὸν Κυρίου).  He was going to make the paths straight (εὐθείας ποιεῖτε τὰς τρίβους αὐτοῦ).  However, this text from Mark, was a composite of texts from Isaiah, Malachi and ExodusMatthew, chapter 3:3, followed Mark who introduced John as the fulfilment of this prophecy from the Book of Isaiah.  Matthew, as well as Luke, dropped the first part of these references.  Matthew began with the modified quotation from Isaiah, chapter 40:3, while he moved the Malachi and Exodus material to later in the text, where Jesus quoted them.  However, it was clear that John the Baptist was the one (οὗτος γάρ ἐστιν ὁ ῥηθεὶς) that Isaiah the prophet was talking about (διὰ Ἠσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος).  He was the messenger being sent ahead.  He was a voice crying out in the wilderness (Φωνὴ βοῶντος ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ).  He was to prepare the way for the Lord (Ἑτοιμάσατε τὴν ὁδὸν Κυρίου,).  He was going to make the paths straight (εὐθείας ποιεῖτε τὰς τρίβους αὐτοῦ).  Luke, chapter 3:4, said that the words of the prophet Isaiah (λόγων Ἡσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου) were written in the book or the bible (ὡς γέγραπται ἐν βίβλῳ).  He spoke about the voice of one crying out in the wilderness (Φωνὴ βοῶντος ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ).  He was to prepare the way of the Lord (Ἑτοιμάσατε τὴν ὁδὸν Κυρίου).  He would make the paths straight (εὐθείας ποιεῖτε τὰς τρίβους αὐτοῦ).  Here, the Gospel of John had John the Baptist say that he himself was the voice crying out in the wilderness.  Would you cry out in a wilderness?

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