The Preaching of John the Baptist
1 In those days there appeared John the Baptist, preaching in the Wilderness (Desert) of Judea 2 And saying, Repent ( think differently; change your mind, regretting your sins and changing your conduct), for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 3 This is he who was mentioned by the prophet Isaiah when he said, The voice of one crying in the wilderness (shouting in the desert), Prepare the road for the Lord, make His highways straight (level, direct).
4 This same John's garments were made of camel's hair, and he wore a leather girdle about his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the country round about the Jordan went out to him; 6 And they were baptized in the Jordan by him, confessing their sins.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee and escape from the wrath and indignation [of God against disobedience] that is coming? 8 Bring forth fruit that is consistent with repentance [let your lives prove your change of heart]; 9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, We have Abraham for our forefather; for I tell you, God is able to raise up descendants for Abraham from these stones! 10 And already the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 I indeed baptize you in (with) water because of repentance [that is, because of your changing your minds for the better, heartily amending your ways, with abhorrence of your past sins]. But He Who is coming after me is mightier than I, Whose sandals I am not worthy or fit to take off or carry; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 His winnowing fan (shovel, fork) is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear out and clean His threshing floor and gather and store His wheat in His barn, but the chaff He will burn up with fire that cannot be put out.
The Baptism of Jesus
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John to be baptized by him. 14 But John protested strenuously, having in mind to prevent Him, saying, It is I who have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me? 15 But Jesus replied to him, Permit it just now; for this is the fitting way for [both of] us to fulfill all righteousness [that is, to perform completely whatever is right]. Then he permitted Him. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, He went up at once out of the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he [John] saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on Him. 17 And behold, a voice from heaven said, This is My Son, My Beloved, in Whom I delight!