John the Baptist

John’s account of John the Baptist was different from that of the synoptic gospels. In this gospel, John was not called “the Baptist.”  Also, his ministry overlapped with Jesus.  His baptism of Jesus was not explicitly mentioned, but his witness to Jesus was unambiguous.  This evangelist almost certainly knew the story of John’s baptism of Jesus and he used it theologically.  Clearly, he subordinated this baptizing John to Jesus.  Perhaps, this might have been a response to the members of John the Baptist’s sect who regarded the Jesus movement as an offshoot of their own movement.  Jesus and his disciples went to Judea early in Jesus’ ministry before John the Baptist was imprisoned and executed by Herod.  Jesus led a ministry of baptism that was larger than the one that the Baptist had.  However, John may have had a larger presence in the public mind than Jesus, especially in the early ministry of Jesus.  What do you think of the relationship between Jesus and John the Baptist?

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