According to John 1:21

They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the prophet?”
He answered, “No.”

Why did he said he wasn't a prophet?

  • 6
    He didn't say he wasn't a prophet, he said the wasn't the prophet.
    – curiousdannii
    Mar 15 '20 at 3:23
  • @curiousdannii Can you explain more. I really don't understand what you're saying
    – user48273
    Mar 15 '20 at 3:35
  • They didn't ask John if he was a prophet, but The Prophet, a role they expected from the Jewish scriptures.
    – curiousdannii
    Mar 15 '20 at 3:40
  • @curiousdannii what's the diffrence between the prophet in jewish scriptures and prophet ?
    – user48273
    Mar 15 '20 at 3:49
  • 1
    He was at a loss ... for words. :-) In English, there is a substantive difference between the definite article "the" and the indefinite article "a" and I think that the original languages of the NT have similar distinctions. Mar 19 '20 at 17:02

Moses told the people to expect in the future an authoritative, law giving prophet of at least equal stature to himself. No other prophet that followed Moses was regarded as important as Moses by the Jewish people. Thus this expected prophet would stand out.

15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. 16 This is what you requested from the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, ‘Let us not continue to hear the voice of the Lord our God or see this great fire any longer, so that we will not die!’ 17 Then the Lord said to me, ‘They have spoken well. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. I will put My words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. 19 I will hold accountable whoever does not listen to My words that he speaks in My name. (Deuteronomy 18:15-19)

Jesus fulfills the requirements. John the Baptist does not.


Not only wasn't John the Baptist the prophet (i.e., Messiah), neither was he a prophet in the OT or NT sense. His purpose was to preach repentance, to call people to righteousness, and thus to prepare hearts for the prophet coming after him.

  • 1
    Isn't that what prophets did in the OT: lead, or try to lead, people to turn back towards God (which is what repentance is, a turning back toward God ... ) Welcome to ChristianitySE. How to Ask and How to Answer guidance is available. The tour provides an overview on how SE sites are not a discussion forum. Mar 19 '20 at 17:04