Original Research

John the purifier: His immersion and his death

Bruce Chilton
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 57, No 1/2 | a1860 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v57i1/2.1860 | © 2001 Bruce Chilton | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 December 2001 | Published: 14 December 2001

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Bruce Chilton, Bard College, Annadale-on-Hudson, New York Visiting Professor: University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

This article aims at arguing that John the Baptist's role in the Synoptic Gospels is both catechetical and christological. John points the way forward to believers' baptism after the manner of Jesus. John's preaching of repentance in Q is cast within the needs of Christian catechesis and addressed to hearers who are at the margins of Judaism. Likewise, the advice to relative prosperous converts in Luke 3:10-14 is not part of the 'historical John's message. In evaluating John the Baptist one should not consider his allegedly prophetic status but the fact that he immersed people and purified them.

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