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John 1:19-28 (prophet, baptize)

March 5, 2013

I feel that I should point out at the start here two words which I translated in a non-traditional way. The word usually translated “prophet” (from Greek “prophetas”) I translated “speaker”. The word means someone who speaks someone else’s message. In the context of the Bible most the time it means a specific kind of speaker — a speaker for God. I guess what confuses the issue is that speakers for God often tell the future, because God knows the future and is giving that as part of his message.

[**edit**] perseus project Profatas shows the entry in LSJ (and some others) showing that this was only used in religious contexts, though a distintion is made between Bible Prophets and others.. the difference being that the Bible prophets cannot interpret… in light of this, I’m going back to “prophet” instead of “speaker” as my go-to word.[**edit**]

The word usually translated “baptize” (from Greek “baptizo”)I translated “immersed”. As far as I know the NET version is the only other translation that does this. Over time by observation, some have decided in a religious context that immersion is not the only way to be a Christian, or have dubbed it with a symbolic meaning, and so to get around all that the translators use “baptize”. But really, the word just means “immersion” and religious doctrines should work from there (as they have in the past).

19And this is the testimony of the John, when the Jewish priests and Levites sent to him so that they might ask him, “Who are YOU?”

20And he confessed and did not deny, and he confessed that , “I am not the anointed [one]”.

21“What therefore? Are YOU Elijah?”

He says, “ I am not.”

“Are YOU the prophet?”

And he answered, “no.”

22Therefore they said to him “Who are you? So that we might give an answer to the ones who sent us, what are you saying about yourself?”

23He said,

I [am] the voice crying out in the wilderness;

making the way of [the] Lord straight,

Just as Isaiah the prophet said.

24They were also sent out of the Pharisees. 25And they questioned him and said to him, “Therefore why are you immersing if YOU are not the anointed [one] nor Elijah nor the prophet?”

26The John answered them saying, “ I am immersing in water; in the middle of you has stood [someone] who you don’t know, 27the one coming behind me, I am not worthy that I might [even] loosen the thong of his sandal.”

28These things happened in Bethesda beyond the Jordan, where the John was immersing.

Note the bolded words… because of the ways verbs work in Greek, giving a personal pronoun is not necessary , so when they are there it gives emphasis. When that happened I made the words bold.

In verse 6 “[someone] who” could also be “[something] which” and I could go either way on that.

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