John the Baptist was the son of Zachariah and Elizabeth. The couple was visited by the Angel Gabriel and told they would have a child regardless of the fact they thought they thought they were too old to have a child at the time. Additionally, Gabriel directed them to name the child John. When Elizabeth was pregnant with John, she was visited by Mary, and “John leapt in her womb”. This was the sign to Elizabeth that Mary was the bearer of the son of God.
Teachings and Transcendence
John started his teachings of the word of God around the Jordan River, eventually where Jesus Christ asked to be baptized. It was after Jesus’s baptism that John asked his followers to follow Christ, “the lamb of god”.
Afterwards, John spent the rest of his life proclaiming the coming of the messiah (Jesus). John was known as a man living an adventurous and rugged lifestyle, wearing camel skin and maintaining a diet of “locust and honey”-(Matthew 3:4).
After John the Baptist condemned the marriage of King Herod’s half-brother’s wife- this eventually led to John’s execution on behalf of King Herod’s daughter.
“The Gospel of Mark introduces John as a fulfilment of a prophecy from theBook of Isaiah (in fact, a conflation of texts from Isaiah, Malachi and Exodus) about a messenger being sent ahead, and a voice crying out in the wilderness. John is described as wearing clothes of camel’s hair, living on locusts and wild honey. John proclaims baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sin, and says another will come after him who will not baptize with water, but with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus comes to John, and is baptized by him in the river Jordan. The account describes how; as he emerges from the water, the heavens open and the Holy Spirit descends on him ‘like a dove’. A voice from heaven then says, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:1-8)
Later in the gospel there is an account of John’s death. It is introduced by an incident where the TetrarchHerod Antipas, hearing stories about Jesus, imagines that this is John the Baptist raised from the dead. It then explains that John had condemned Herod for marrying Herodias, the ex-wife of his brother (named here as Philip). Herodias demands his execution, but Herod, who ‘liked to listen’ to John, is reluctant to do so because he fears him, knowing he is a ‘righteous and holy man’.
The account then describes how Herod’s daughter Herodias (NRSV; other translations refer to the girl as the daughter of Herodias) dances before Herod, who is pleased and offers her anything she asks for in return. When the girl asks her mother what she should request, she is told to demand the head of John the Baptist. Reluctantly, Herod orders the beheading of John, and his head is delivered to her, at her request, on a plate. John’s disciples take the body away and bury it in a tomb.(Mark 6:17–29)
There are a number of difficulties with this passage. The Gospel wrongly identifies Antipas as ‘King’and the ex-husband of Herodias is named as Philip, but he is known to have been called Herod.Although the wording clearly implies the girl was the daughter of Herodias, many texts describe her as “Herod’s daughter, Herodias”. Since these texts are early and significant and the reading is ‘difficult’, many scholars see this as the original version, corrected in later versions and in Matthew and Luke. Josephus says that Herodias had a daughter by the name of Salome.
Scholars have speculated about the origins of the story. Since it shows signs of having been composed in Aramaic, which Mark apparently did not speak, he is likely to have got it from a Palestinian source.There is a variety of opinions about how much actual historical material it contains, especially given the alleged factual errors. Many scholars have seen the story of John arrested, executed, and buried in a tomb as a conscious foreshadowing of the fate of Jesus.”