Bible, the " forerunner " of Jesus Christ in the
See also:story . By his preaching and teaching he evidently made' a
See also:great impression upon his contemporaries (cf .
See also:Ant. xviii., § 5) . According to the
See also:birth-narrative embodied in Luke i. and ii., he was
See also:born in" a city of
See also:Judah " in " the
See also:country (possibly
See also:Hebron 1) of priestly parentage . His
See also:Zacharias was a
See also:priest of the course of Abijah," and his
See also:Elizabeth, who was also of priestly descent, was related to Mary, the mother of Jesus, whose
See also:John was by six months . This narrative of the Baptist's birth seems to embody some very
See also:primitive features, Hebraic; and Palestinian in character,' and possibly at one
See also:independent of the Christian tradition . In the apocryphal gospels John is some-times made the subject of
See also:special miraculous experiences (e.g. in the Protevangelium
See also:Jacobi, ch. xxii., where Elizabeth fleeing from Herod's assassins cried: "
See also:Mount 'of .
See also:God, receive a mother with her
See also:child," and suddenly the
See also:mountain was divided and received her) . In his 3oth
See also:year (15th year of the emperor Tiberius, ? A.A . 25—26) John began his• public
See also:life in the "
See also:wilderness of
See also:Judaea," the
See also:district that lies between the Kedron and the Dead
See also:Sea, and' particularly in the neighbourhood of the
See also:Jordan, where multitudes were attracted by his eloquence . The central theme of his preaching was,. according to the Synoptic Gospels; the nearness of the coming of the Messianic
See also:kingdom, and the consequent urgency for preparation by repentance .
John was evidently convinced that he himself had received the divinecommission to bring to a close and
See also:complete the prophetic
See also:period, by inaugurating the Messianic age . He identified him-self with the "
See also:voice " of Isae xl . 3 . Noteworthy features of his preaching were its
See also:original and prophetic character, and its high ethical
See also:tone, as shown e.g. in its
See also:anti Pharisaic denunciation of
See also:trust in mere racial
See also:privilege (Matt. iii . 9) . Herein also
See also:lay, probably, the true import of the
See also:baptism which he administered to those who accepted his
See also:message and confessed their sins . It was an
See also:act symbolizing' moral
See also:purification (cf . Ezek.
See also:xxxvi . 25; Zech. xiii. i) by way of preparation for the coming "kingdom of
See also:heaven," And implied that the
See also:Jew so baptized no longer rested in his privileged position as a child of Abraham . John's appearance,
See also:costume and habits of life, together with the tone of his preaching, all suggest the prophetic character . He was popularly regarded as a
See also:prophet, more especially as a . second Elijah . His preaching awoke a great popular response, particularly among the masses of the
See also:people, " the people of the
See also:land." He had disciples who fasted (Mark ii .
18, &c.), who visited him 1.There is noreason to suppose that Jutta is intended by the eats 'Io(a of Luke i . 39: the tradition which makes '
See also:Ain Karim, near Jerusalem, the birthplace of the Baptist only
See also:dates from the crusading period . formerly in the
See also:chapel of the Virgin, built by him in the
See also:basilica of St
See also:Peter . He was succeeded by Sisinnius .
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