"Come and See": A Web Commentary on the Gospel of John: Section 2.1

Section 2.1 Witness and Call: John the Baptist (Jn 1.19-34)

19And this is the very witness of John, when the Judaeans sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem [to him] to ask him, 'Who are you?' 20And he confessed and did not deny but confessed, 'I am not the Messiah.' 21And they asked him, 'What then? Are you Elijah?' And he said, 'I'm not.' 'Are you the prophet?' And he replied, 'No.' 22Then they said to him, 'Who are you? We need an answer for the ones who sent us.1 What do you say about yourself?' 23He said, 'I am "the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, 'Make straight the Lord's road'", just as the prophet Isaiah said.' 24And the ones who were sent were from the Pharisees. 25And they asked him and said to him, 'Why then do you baptise if you are not the Messiah nor Elijah nor the prophet?' 26John answered them, saying, 'I baptise in water; one has been standing in your midst whom you do not know, 27the one coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.' 28These things happened in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptising.

29The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and said, 'Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. 30This is the one about whom I said, "A man comes after me who was ahead of me, because he was in existence before me." 31I myself did not know him but I came baptising in water for this reason, so that he might be made known to Israel.' 32And John bore witness saying, 'I saw the Spirit coming down like a dove from heaven and it rested upon him. 33I myself did not know him but the one who sent me to baptise in water, that one said to me "The one on whom you shall see the Spirit descending and resting upon, that is the one who baptises with a Holy Spirit." 34And I myself have seen and I have borne witness that that one is the Chosen One of God.'

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1 Literally 'Who are you, so that we may give an answer to the ones who sent us'