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John's was a baptism of repentance. It was a cleaning of the body, according to the Law that commanded those who were unclean to "wash with water". This is not the same baptism as that in Christ since the Apostles baptized in the name of Christ those who had already received John's baptism in Acts 19.


As we read in Matthew 3:1-17, John's most important role was to announce the coming of Jesus and to baptise him, so if that was all there was to his life he could have died then and justified his existence. But John the Baptist had another purpose, which was to be fulfilled before he died. As the gospels note, John publicly criticised Herod Antipas for ...


In ancient society, the dove represented a new beginning, as explained by Rex Wyler in The Jesus Sayings, page 73. According to the gospels, Jesus was that new beginning.

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