- John the Baptist
Saint John the Baptist
John the Baptist by Bartolomeo Veneto 16th century
Prophet, Preacher, Forerunner, Martyr Born c. 5 BC Died 36 AD (aged 38-42) Honored in Bahá'í Faith, Islam, Assyrian Church of the East, Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Eastern Catholic Churches, Oriental Orthodox Churches, Anglicanism, Lutheranism, Mandeanism, Aglipayan Church Major shrine Church of St. John the Baptist, Jerusalem Feast June 24 (Nativity), August 29 (Beheading), January 7 (Synaxis, Eastern Orthodox), Thout 2 ( Coptic Orthodox Church) Attributes Cross, sheep, camel-skin robe Patronage patron saint of French Canada, Newfoundland, Puerto Rico, Knights Hospitaller of Jerusalem, Florence, Turin, Porto, Monza, Genoa, Cesena, Jordan, Xewkija and many other places
John the Baptist (Hebrew: יוחנן המטביל, Yoḥanan ha-mmaṭbil, Arabic: يوحنا المعمدان Yūhannā al-maʿmadān, Aramaic: ܝܘܚܢܢ Yoḥanan) (c. 6 BC – c. AD 36) was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River. Some scholars maintain that he was influenced by the Essenes, who were semi-ascetic, expected an apocalypse, and practiced rituals corresponding strongly with baptism, although there is no direct evidence to substantiate this. John is regarded as a prophet in Christianity, Islam, the Bahá'í Faith, and Mandaeism.
Most biblical scholars agree that John baptized Jesus at "Bethany beyond the Jordan," by wading into the water with Jesus from the eastern bank.[unreliable source?][not in citation given] In addition to the Canonical gospels, John the Baptist is also mentioned by Jewish historian Josephus, in Aramaic Matthew, in Pseudo-Clementine, and in the Qur'an. Accounts of John in the New Testament appear compatible with the account in Josephus. There are no other historical accounts of John the Baptist from around the period of his lifetime.
John anticipated a messianic figure who would be greater than himself, and, in the New Testament, Jesus is the one whose coming John foretold. Christians commonly refer to John as the precursor or forerunner of Jesus, since John announces Jesus' coming. John is also identified with the prophet Elijah, and is described by the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus. Some of Jesus' early followers had previously been followers of John.
The beheading of St. John the Baptist is a standard theme in Christian art, in which John's head is often depicted on a platter, which represents the request of Herod's stepdaughter, Salome. He is also depicted as an ascetic wearing camel hair, with a staff and scroll inscribed Ecce Agnus Dei, or bearing a book or dish with a lamb on it. In Orthodox icons, he often has angel's wings, since Mark 1:2 describes him as a messenger.
- 1 Gospel narrative
- 2 John the Baptist and Old Testament prophecy
- 3 Josephus
- 4 Christian
- 5 Islam
- 6 Other views
- 7 In art
- 8 Commemoration
- 9 Film and television portrayals
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 Notes
- 13 External links
All four canonical Gospels record John the Baptist's ministry, as does the non-canonical Gospel of the Hebrews. They depict him as proclaiming Christ's arrival. In the Synoptic Gospels (Mark, Matthew, and Luke), Jesus is baptized by John.
Birth and infancy
The Gospel of Luke includes an account of John's infancy, introducing him as the son of Zechariah, an old man, and his wife Elizabeth, who was barren. According to this account, the birth of John was foretold by the angel Gabriel to Zachariah, while Zachariah was performing his functions as a priest in the temple of Jerusalem. Since Zachariah is described as a priest of the course of Abijah and his wife, Elizabeth, as one of the daughters of Aaron, this would make John a descendant of Aaron on both his father's and mother's side.
The Gospel of Luke states that Jesus was conceived when Elizabeth was about six months pregnant, and when her cousin Mary came to tell her about her news, Elizabeth's unborn child "jumped for joy" in her womb. There is no mention of a family relationship between John and Jesus in the other Gospels, and the scholar Raymond E. Brown has described it as "of dubious historicity". Géza Vermes has called it "artificial and undoubtedly Luke's creation". On the basis of the account in Luke, the Catholic calendar placed the feast of John the Baptist on June 24, six months before Christmas.
The many similarities between the accounts of the birth of John and that of Samuel in the Old Testament have led scholars to suggest that the Gospel of Luke story of the birth of John and of the annunciation and birth of Jesus are modeled on that of Samuel.
All four canonical gospels relate John's preaching and baptism in the River Jordan. Most notably he is the one who recognizes Jesus as the Messiah and baptizes him. The baptism marks the beginning of Jesus' ministry. The Gospels of Mark, Matthew and (most clearly) Luke relate that Jesus came from Galilee to John in Judea and was baptized by him, whereupon the Spirit descended upon Jesus and a voice from Heaven told him he was God's Son. The Gospel of John does not record John's baptizing Jesus, but John introduces Jesus to his disciples as the "Lamb of God" (John 1:29-36).
Considered by Christians to be without sin, Jesus nevertheless received John's baptism, which was for the repentance of sins (Mark 1:4). This is addressed in the Gospel of Matthew's account, which portrays John's refusal to baptize Jesus, saying, "I need to be baptized by you." Jesus persuades John to baptize him nonetheless (Matthew 3:13-15).
The Gospel of John reports that Jesus' disciples were baptizing and that a debate broke out between some of the disciples of John and another Jew about purification. In this debate John argued that Jesus "must become greater," while he (John) "must become less" (John 3:22-36). The Gospel of John then points out that Jesus' disciples were baptizing more people than John (John 4:2). Later, the Gospel relates that Jesus regarded John as "a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light" (John 5:35). The Book of Acts portrays the disciples of John as eventually merging into the followers of Jesus (Acts 18:24-19:6), a development not reported by the Gospels except for the early case of Andrew, Simon Peter's brother (John 1:35-42).
However, some scholars such as Harold W. Attridge contend that John's status as a "self-conscious and deliberate forerunner of Jesus" is likely to be an invention by early Christians, arguing that "for the early church it would have been something of an embarrassment to say that Jesus, who was in their minds superior to John the Baptist, had been baptized by him."
In the Gospel accounts of John's death, Herod has John imprisoned for denouncing his marriage, and John is later executed by beheading. John condemned Herod for marrying Herodias, the former wife of his brother Philip, in violation of Old Testament Law. Later Herodias' daughter Salome dances before Herod, who offers her a favour in return. Herodias tells her to ask for the head of John the Baptist, which is delivered to her on a plate (Mark 6:14-29). The first century Jewish historian Josephus gives a slightly different account in his Antiquities of the Jews. Josephus writes that Herod had John arrested because John had so many followers that Herod feared they might begin a rebellion. Herod later had him executed (Ant. 18.116-118). It is possible that both accounts are true. Josephus writes about John's death in a section detailing some of Herod's political dealings. Herod regarded John as a threat, he spoke against Herod and had many followers, so Herod wanted to get rid of him. The Gospels recall the teaching of John, that he called for Israel to purify herself through baptism (Matthew 3:1-12). So the Gospels' description of John's death focuses on the final reason Herod had for arresting John, which was religious. So it may have been that Herod wanted John arrested because he was a political threat, and John's condemnations of Herod's marriage was "the final straw". See James D.G. Dunn, Jesus Remembered pp377–379.
John the Baptist and Old Testament prophecy
Christians believe that John the Baptist had a specific role ordained by God as forerunner or precursor of Jesus, who was the foretold Messiah. The New Testament Gospels speak of this role. In Luke 1:17 the role of John is referred to as being "to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." In Luke 1:76 as "...thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways" and in Luke 1:77 as being "To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins."
There are several passages within the Old Testament which are interpreted by Christians as being prophetic of John the Baptist in this role. These include a passage in the Book of Malachi 3:1 that refers to a prophet who would prepare the way of the Lord:"Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. — Malachi 3:1
and also at the end of the next chapter in Malachi 4:5-6 where it says,"Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."
The Jews of Jesus' day expected Elijah to come before the Messiah; indeed, some modern Jews continue to await Elijah's coming as well, as in the Cup of Elijah the Prophet in the Passover Seder. This is why the disciples ask Jesus in Matthew 17:10, 'Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?.' The disciples are then told by Jesus that Elijah came in the person of John the Baptist,"Jesus replied, "To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands." Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist". — Matthew 17:11-13"Now this was John's testimony when the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, "I am not the Christ." They asked him, "Then who are you? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" He answered, "No." - John 1:19-21
An account of John the Baptist is found in all extant manuscripts of the Jewish Antiquities (book 18, chapter 5, 2) by Flavius Josephus (37–100):"Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod's army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist: for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism; for that the washing [with water] would be acceptable to him, if they made use of it, not in order to the putting away [or the remission] of some sins [only], but for the purification of the body; supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness. Now when [many] others came in crowds about him, for they were very greatly moved [or pleased] by hearing his words, Herod, who feared lest the great influence John had over the people might put it into his power and inclination to raise a rebellion, (for they seemed ready to do any thing he should advise,) thought it best, by putting him to death, to prevent any mischief he might cause, and not bring himself into difficulties, by sparing a man who might make him repent of it when it would be too late. Accordingly he was sent a prisoner, out of Herod's suspicious temper, to Macherus, the castle I before mentioned, and was there put to death. Now the Jews had an opinion that the destruction of this army was sent as a punishment upon Herod, and a mark of God's displeasure to him.
As with other passages in Josephus relating to Christian themes concern remains over whether the passage was part of Josephus's original text or instead a later addition - it can be dated back no further than the early 3rd century when it is quoted by Origen in Contra Celsum. According to this passage, the execution of John was blamed for a defeat Herod suffered c. AD 36. Divergences between the passage's presentation and the Biblical accounts of John include baptism for those whose souls have already been "purified beforehand by righteousness" is for purification of the body, not general repentance of sin (Mark 1:4). Biblical scholar John Dominic Crossan differentiates between Josephus's account of John and Jesus like this: "John had a monopoly, but Jesus had a franchise." To get baptized, Crossan writes, you went only to John; to stop the movement one only needed to stop John (therefore his movement ended with his death). Jesus invited all to come and see how he and his companions had already accepted the Government of God, entered it and were living it. Such a communal praxis was not just for himself, but could survive without him, unlike John's movement.
Early Jewish Christian sects
Among the early Judaistic Christian groups the Ebionites held that John, along with Jesus and James the Just - all of whom they revered - were vegetarians. Epiphanius of Salamis records that this group had amended their Gospel of Matthew, known today as the Gospel of the Ebionites, to change where John eats "locusts" to read "honey cakes" or "manna".
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Eastern Orthodox faithful believe that John was the last of the Old Testament prophets, thus serving as a bridge between that period of revelation and the New Covenant. They also teach that, following his death, John descended into Hades and there once more preached that Jesus the Messiah was coming, so he was the Forerunner of Christ in death as he had been in life. According to Sacred Tradition, John the Baptist appears at the time of death to those who have not heard the Gospel of Christ, and preaches the Good News to them, that all may have the opportunity to be saved. Orthodox churches will often have an icon of St. John the Baptist in a place of honor on the iconostasis, and he is frequently mentioned during the Divine Services. Every Tuesday throughout the year is dedicated to his memory.
- September 23 — Conception of St. John the Forerunner
- January 7 — The Synaxis of St. John the Forerunner. This is his main feast day, immediately after Theophany on January 6 (January 7 also commemorates the transfer of the relic of the right hand of John the Baptist from Antioch to Constantinople in 956)
- February 24 — First and Second Finding of the Head of St. John the Forerunner
- May 25 — Third Finding of the Head of St. John the Forerunner
- June 24 — Nativity of St. John the Forerunner
- August 29 — The Beheading of St. John the Forerunner
In addition to the above, September 5 is the commemoration of Zechariah and Elisabeth, St. John's parents. The Russian Orthodox Church observes October 12 as the Transfer of the Right Hand of the Forerunner from Malta to Gatchina (1799).
The Roman Catholic Church commemorates St. John the Baptist on two feast days:
- June 24 – Nativity of St. John the Baptist
- August 29 – Beheading of St. John the Baptist
The burial-place of John the Baptist was at Sebaste in Samaria, and mention is made of his relics being honored there around the middle of the 4th century. The historians Rufinus and Theodoretus record that the shrine was desecrated under Julian the Apostate around 362, the bones being partly burned. A portion of the rescued relics were carried to Jerusalem, then to Alexandria, where on May 27, 395, they were laid in the basilica that was newly dedicated to the Forerunner on the former site of the temple of Serapis. The tomb at Sebaste continued, nevertheless, to be visited by pious pilgrims, and St. Jerome bears witness to miracles being worked there.
What became of the head of John the Baptist is difficult to determine. Nicephorus and Symeon Metaphrastes say that Herodias had it buried in the fortress of Machaerus (in accordance with Josephus). Other writers say that it was interred in Herod's palace at Jerusalem; there it was found during the reign of Constantine I, and thence secretly taken to Emesa, in Phoenicia, where it was concealed, the place remaining unknown for years, until it was manifested by revelation in 453. However, the decapitation cloth of St. John is kept at the Aachen Cathedral. The Coptic Christian Orthodox Church also claim to hold the relics of St. John the Baptist. These are to be found in a monastery in Lower Egypt between Cairo and Alexandria. It is possible, with permission from the monks, to see the original tomb where the remains were found. An obscure and surprising claim relates to the town of Halifax in West Yorkshire, United Kingdom, where the Baptist's head appears on the official coat-of-arms. A legend first recorded in the late 16th century and reported in William Camden's Britannia accounts for the town's place-name, as 'halig' (holy) and 'fax' (face), by stating that the first religious settlers of the district brought the 'face' of John the Baptist with them.
Several different locations claim to possess the severed head of John the Baptist. Among them: Umayyad Mosque in Damascus; San Silvestro in Capite in Rome; and the Residenz Museum in Munich, Germany (official residence of the Wittelsbach rulers of Bavaria from 1385 to 1918). Further heads, no longer available, were once held by the Knights Templar at Amiens Cathedral in France (brought home by Wallon de Sarton from the Fourth Crusade in Constantinople), at Antioch in Turkey (fate uncertain), and the parish church at Tenterden in Kent, where it was preserved up until the Reformation.
The saint's right hand, with which he baptised Jesus, is claimed to be in: the Serbian Orthodox Cetinje monastery in Montenegro; Topkapi Palace in Istanbul; and also in the Romanian skete of the Forerunner on Mount Athos. The saint's left hand is allegedly preserved in the Armenian Apostolic Church of St. John at Chinsurah, West Bengal, where each year on "Chinsurah Day" in January it blesses the Armenians of Calcutta. A crypt and relics said to be John's and mentioned in 11th and 16th century manuscripts, were discovered in 1969 during restoration of the Church of St. Macarius at the Monastery of Saint Macarius the Great in Scetes, Egypt; Additional relics are claimed to reside in Gandzasar Monastery's Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, in Nagorno Karabakh;
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
According to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, latter-day revelation confirms the biblical account and also makes known additional events in the ministry of John the Baptist. According to this belief, revelation reveals that John was "ordained by an angel," when he was 8 days of age, to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews and to prepare a people for the Lord. They also claim that he was baptized while yet in his childhood.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that John the Baptist appeared on the banks of the Susquehanna River near Harmony Township, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania (present-day Oakton) as a resurrected being to Joseph Smith, Jr. and Oliver Cowdery on May 15, 1829, and ordained them to the Aaronic priesthood. According to LDS doctrine, John the Baptist's ministry has operated in three dispensations: he was the last of the prophets under the law of Moses; he was the first of the New Testament prophets; and he was sent to confer the Aaronic priesthood in our day, the dispensation of the fulness of times. They also believe John's ministry was foretold by two prophets whose teachings are included in the Book of Mormon: Lehi and his son, Nephi (Book of Mormon 1 Nephi 11:27; Nephi 31:4-18;).
Prophet, Seer, Messenger, Forerunner of Jesus
Cristofano Allori's imagining of John the Baptist in the desert
Born 6-2 B.C.
Resting place Umayyad Mosque, Damascus Other names New Testament: John the Baptist Known for Being a gift from God to his father Zachariah, Prophesying with the scripture, Attaining wisdom in youth Parents Zachariah and Elizabeth Relatives Cousin of Jesus, Nephew of Mary
John is also honored as a prophet in Islam as Yaḥyā ibn Zakarīyā (Arabic: يحيى بن زكريا), translated literally as "John, son of Zechariah". He is believed by Muslims to have been a witness to the word of God, and a prophet who would herald the coming of Jesus. His father Zechariah was also an Islamic prophet. Islamic tradition maintains that John was one of the prophets that Muhammad met on the night of the Mi'raj, his ascension through the Seven Heavens. It is said that he met John and Jesus in the second heaven, where Muhammad greeted his two 'brothers' before ascending with archangel Gabriel to the third heaven. John's story was also told to the Abyssinian king during the Muslim refugees' Migration to Abyssinia. According to the Qur'an, John was one on whom God sent peace on the day that he was born and the day that he died.
John's name in Arabic, Yahya, was present in Arabia before the Qur'an was revealed.Muslim exegetes frequently connected the name with the meaning of "to quicken" or "to make alive" in reference to John's mother's barrenness, which was cured by God, as well as John's preaching, which, as Muslims believe, "made alive" the faith of Israel. The Qur'an accords the significance of John's name to the fact that it was a new name for mankind, in that no one previously had been named "John". Other scholars hold that John's name, which they state connects with the meaning of "He shall live", referred to his legacy, in that his memory will remain in the mind of the faithful for the generations to come.
John in the Qur'an
In the Qur'an, God frequently mentions Zechariah's continuous praying for the birth of son. Zechariah's wife, mentioned in the New Testament as Elizabeth, was barren and therefore the birth of a child seemed impossible. As a gift from God, Zechariah was given a son by the name of "John", a name specially chosen for this child alone. In accordance with Zechariah's prayer, God made John and Jesus, who according to exegesis was born six months later, renew the message of God, which had been corrupted and lost by the Israelites. As the Qur'an says:(His prayer was answered): "O Zakariya! We give thee good news of a son: His name shall be Yahya: on none by that name have We conferred distinction before."
He said: "O my Lord! How shall I have a son, when my wife is barren and I have grown quite decrepit from old age?"
He said: "So (it will be) thy Lord saith, 'that is easy for Me: I did indeed create thee before, when thou hadst been nothing!'"
(Zakariya) said: "O my Lord! give me a Sign." "Thy Sign," was the answer, "Shall be that thou shalt speak to no man for three nights."
John was exhorted to hold fast to the Scripture and was given wisdom by God while still a child. He was pure and devout, and walked well in the presence of God. He was dutiful towards his parents and he was not arrogant or rebellious. John's reading and understanding of the scriptures, when only a child, surpassed even that of the greatest scholars of the time. Muslim exegesis narrates that Jesus sent John out with twelve disciples, who preached the message before Jesus called his own disciples. The Qur'an says of John:(To Zachariah's son came the command): "O John! take hold of the Book with might": and We gave him Wisdom even as a youth,
John was a classical prophet, who was exalted high by God, for his bold denouncing of all things sinful. Furthermore, the Qur'an speaks of John's gentle pity and love for all creatures and his humble attitude towards life, for which he was granted the Purity of Life:And piety (for all creatures) as from Us, and purity: He was devout,
And kind to his parents, and he was not overbearing or rebellious.
So Peace on him the day he was born, the day that he dies, and the day that he will be raised up to life (again)!
John is also honored highly in Sufism as well as Islamic mysticism, primarily because of the Qur'an's description of John's chastity and kindness. Sufis have frequently applied commentaries on John's passages on the Qur'an, primarily concerning God-given gift of "Wisdom" which he acquired in youth as well as his parallels with Jesus. Although several phrases used to describe John and Jesus are virtually identical in the Qur'an, the manner in which they are expressed is different.
There are numerous quotations in the writings of Bahá'u'lláh, Founder of the Bahá'í Faith mentioning John the Baptist. He is regarded by Bahá'ís as a lesser Prophet. Bahá'u'lláh claimed that his Forerunner, the Báb, was the spiritual return of John the Baptist. In his letter to Pope Pius IX, Bahá'u'lláh wrote:
"O followers of the Son! We have once again sent John unto you, and He, verily, hath cried out in the wilderness of the Bayán: O peoples of the world! Cleanse your eyes! The Day whereon ye can behold the Promised One and attain unto Him hath drawn nigh! O followers of the Gospel! Prepare the way! The Day of the advent of the Glorious Lord is at hand! Make ready to enter the Kingdom. Thus hath it been ordained by God, He Who causeth the dawn to break."
Gnostic and anthroposophic views
In Gnosticism, John the Baptist was a "personification" of the Old Testament prophet Elijah. Elijah did not know the True God (as opposed to the Abrahamic God), and thus had to be reincarnated in Gnostic theology. As predicted by the Old Testament prophet Malachi, Elijah must "come first" to herald the coming of Jesus Christ. Modern anthroposophy, initiated by Rudolf Steiner, concurs with the idea that the Baptist was a reincarnation of Elijah, in line with the Synoptic Gospels (e.g. Mark 9:11-13, Matthew 11:13-14, Luke 7:27), although the Gospel of John explicitly denies this (John 1:21). Furthermore, after his beheading at Machaerus his soul is said to have become the inspiring group genius of Christ's disciples. According to Steiner, the painter Raphael and the poet Novalis were more recent incarnations of John the Baptist.
The Unification Church teaches that God intended that John help Jesus during his public ministry in Judea. In particular, John should have done everything in his power to persuade the Jewish people that Jesus was the Messiah. He was to become Jesus' greatest disciple. John's failure to do so was the chief obstacle to the fulfillment of Jesus' mission.
John has been one of the saints most frequently appearing in Christian art. The Baptism of Christ was one of the earliest scenes from the Life of Christ to be frequently depicted in Early Christian art, and John's tall thin, even gaunt, and bearded figure is already established by the 5th century. Only he and Jesus are consistently shown with long hair from Early Christian times, when the apostles generally have trim classical cuts; in fact John is more consistently depicted in this way than Jesus. In Byzantine art the composition of the Deesis came to be included in every Eastern Orthodox church, as remains the case to this day. Here John and the Theotokos (Mary) flank a Christ Pantocrator and intercede for humanity; in many ways this is the equivalent of Western Crucifixions on roods and elsewhere, where John the Evangelist takes the place of John the Baptist (except in the idiosyncratic Isenheim Altarpiece). John the Baptist is very often shown on altarpieces designed for churches dedicated to him, or where the donor patron was named for him or there was some other connection of patronage - John was the patron saint of Florence, among many other cities, which means he features among the supporting saints in many important works.
12th century Byzantine Deesis
A number of narrative scenes from his life were often shown on the predella of altarpieces dedicated to John, and other settings, notably the large series in grisaille fresco in the Chiostro del Scalzo, which was Andrea del Sarto's largest work, and the frescoed Life by Domenico Ghirlandaio in the Tornabuoni Chapel, both in Florence. There is another important fresco cycle by Filippo Lippi in Prato Cathedral. These include the typical scenes: the Annunciation to Zechariah, John's birth, his naming by his father, the Visitation, John's departure for the desert, his preaching in the desert, the Baptism of Christ, John before Herod, the dance of Salome, and his beheading.
His birth, which unlike the Nativity of Jesus allowed a relatively wealthy domestic interior to be shown, became increasingly popular as a subject in the late Middle Ages, with depictions by Jan van Eyck (?) in the Turin-Milan Hours and Ghirlandaio in the Tornabuoni Chapel being among the best known. His execution, a Church feast-day, was often shown, and by the 15th century scenes such as the dance of Salome became popular, sometimes, as in an engraving by Israhel van Meckenem, the interest of the artist is clearly in showing the life of Herod's court, given contemporary dress, as much as the martyrdom of the saint. Salome bearing John's head on a platter equally became a subject for the Northern Renaissance taste for images of glamorous but dangerous women (Delilah, Judith and others), and was often painted by Lucas Cranach the Elder and engraved by the Little Masters. These images remained popular into the Baroque, with Carlo Dolci painting at least three versions. John preaching, in a landscape setting, was a popular subject in Dutch art from Pieter Brueghel the Elder and his successors.
The Annunciation to Zachary, as usual shown officiating at the Temple in Jerusalem. Tornabuoni Chapel
The Baptist in a baroque polychrome statuette ca. 1700 carved in pinewood from Val Gardena.
As a child (of varying age), he is sometimes shown from the 15th century in family scenes from the life of Christ such as the Presentation of Christ, the Marriage of the Virgin and the Holy Kinship. Leonardo da Vinci's versions of the Virgin of the Rocks were influential in establishing a Renaissance fashion for variations on the Madonna and Child that included John, probably intended to depict the cousin's reunion in Egypt, when after Jesus's Flight to Egypt John was believed to have been carried to join him by an angel. Raphael in particular painted many compositions of the subject, such as the Alba Madonna, La belle jardinière, Aldobrandini Madonna, Madonna della seggiola, Madonna dell'Impannata, which were among his best known works. John was also often shown by himself as an older child or adolescent, usually already wearing his distinctive dress and carrying a long thin wooden cross - another theme influenced by Leonardo, whose equivocal composition, reintroducing the camel-skin dress, was developed by Raphael Titian and Guido Reni among many others. Often he is accompanied by a lamb, especially in the many Early Netherlandish paintings which needed this attribute as he wore normal clothes. Caravaggio painted an especially large number of works including John, from at least five largely nude youths attributed to him, to three late works on his death - the great Execution in Malta, and two sombre Salomes with his head, one in Madrid, and one in London.
Amiens cathedral, which holds one of the alleged heads of the Baptist, has a biographical sequence in polychrome relief, dating from the 16th century. This stresses the execution and the disposal of the saint's remains.
John's impending birth is announced to his father, the priest Zachariah, who is struck dumb.
Visitation of the Virgin Mary to John's mother, St Elizabeth, who feels him stir in the womb.
John the Baptist preaches repentance in the desert.
John is asked if he is the expected Messiah.
John is arrested, brought before Herod Antipas and imprisoned.
John is beheaded.
John's head is presented at the court of Herod Antipas.
The body of John is buried at Sebaste.
Supplications at the tomb of John the Baptist.
John's body is exhumed and burnt.
Brought from Constantinople by Wallon de Sarton, John's head is received at Amiens in 1206.
The death of John remained a popular subject throughout the Baroque period.
A remarkable Pre-Raphaelite portrayal is Christ in the House of His Parents by John Everett Millais. Here the Baptist is shown as a child, wearing a loin covering of animal skins, hurrying to bring a bowl of water to soothe the injured hand of Jesus. Artistic interest enjoyed a considerable revival at the end of the 19th century with Symbolist painters such as Gustave Moreau and Puvis de Chavannes (National Gallery, London). Oscar Wilde's play Salome was illustrated by Aubrey Beardsley, giving rise to some of his most memorable images.
- The Italian Renaissance poet Lucrezia Tornabuoni chose John the Baptist as one of biblical figures on which she wrote poetry.
As a patron saint
Saint John the Baptist is the patron saint of Puerto Rico, and its capital city San Juan bears his name. In 1521, the island was given its formal name "San Juan Bautista de Puerto Rico", following the usual custom of christening the town with both its formal name and the name which Christopher Columbus had originally given the island, honouring John the Baptist. The indistinct use of "San Juan Bautista" and "Puerto Rico" for calling both the city and the island led to a reversal in practical use by most inhabitants due largely to a map-making error. Therefore by 1746 the name for the city (Puerto Rico) had become that of the entire island, while the name for the island (San Juan Bautista) had become the name for the city. The official motto for the island of Puerto Rico also references the saint, Joannes Est Nomen Eius (translated, "John is his name").
He is also a patron saint of French Canada, and Newfoundland. The Canadian cities of St. John's, Newfoundland (1497) and Saint John, New Brunswick (1604) were both named in his honor. In the UK Saint John the Baptist is the patron saint of Penzance, Cornwall. His feast day is June 24, celebrated in Quebec as the Fête Nationale du Québec, and in Newfoundland as Discovery Day.
Also on the night from June 23 to 24, Saint John is celebrated as the patron saint of Porto, the second largest city in Portugal. An article from June 2004 in The Guardian, remarked that "Porto's Festa de São João is one of Europe's liveliest street festivals, yet it is relatively unknown outside the country".
John is patron saint of Xewkija-Gozo, Malta, which remember him with a great feast on the Sunday nearest to June 24.
The Baptistines are the name given to a number of religious orders dedicated to the memory of John the Baptist. Saint John is also the patron saint of Lian, Batangas, Calamba City, Laguna, San Juan, Metro Manila (Philippines) and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston which comprises the entire state of South Carolina. St. John the Baptist is (along with St. John the Evangelist) claimed as a Patron Saint by the fraternal society of Free and Accepted Masons (better known as the Freemasons).
In many Mediterranean countries the summer solstice is dedicated to St. John. The associated ritual is very similar to midsummer celebrations in the Anglo-Saxon tradition.
Locations, churches, and other establishments in his name
- St. John the Baptist Primary School, Southampton, 
- Armenian Apostolic Monastery of Gandzasar, Nagorno Karabakh
- Monastery of Saint John the Baptist, a 4th century Armenian monastery in the Taron province of historic Armenia that contained the relics of Saint John the Baptist (which were moved there from Caeserea)
- Maronite Catholic Monastery of Saint John the Baptist, Beit Mery, Lebanon
- Romanian Skete Prodromos (the name is the Greek for "The Forerunner") on Mount Athos, holding relics believed to be of John the Baptist
- St John's College of The University of Oxford, Oxford, England
- Puerto Rico was originally named San Juan Bautista; San Juan (then called Puerto Rico) is now its capital city.
- St. John's, Newfoundland, was founded on his feast day June 24, 1497.
- Exactly 34 years later San Juan del Río, Querétaro, Mexico was founded on June 24, 1531.
- Saint John, New Brunswick was named after the Saint John River which was named by Samuel de Champlain
- Fête nationale du Québec — also known as la St- Jean-Baptiste — is the provincial holiday of Quebec, celebrated on June 24 of every year
- Prince Edward Island, a Canadian province, was originally called Île de St-Jean or St. John's Island.
- St. John's University located in Queens, New York; St. John's is the second largest Roman Catholic university in the United States.
- Mission San Juan Bautista, one of the original 18th century missions in northern California.
- The City of San Juan in Metro Manila, the Philippines. Also known by its formal name Sn Juan del Monte, the Pinaglabanan church is dedicated to this saint.
- 12th century cathedral in Kamień Pomorski (Poland) with a famous 17th century organ
- St. John Ambulance and the Venerable Order of St. John.
- Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta (commonly referred to as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta)
- The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University and Saint John's Abbey in Collegeville, MN.
- St. John's wort is named after St. John because it is traditionally harvested on his feast day, June 24.
- The city of Sveti Ivan Zelina and the village of Sveti Ivan Žabno in Croatia were named after John the Baptist. Both have churches dedicated to him.
- Two different Churches of St. John the Baptist in Ein Karem, traditional place of his birth
- Basilica of St. John Lateran
- St. John the Baptist of Coventry
- St. John the Baptist of Burford, a large parish church reflecting the wealth generated by the town's wool trade, and substantially completed in the 15th century.
- The parish church adjoining Stokesay Castle, one of the very few constructed under the Commonwealth.
- St. John the Baptist in St. John's, Newfoundland (Basilica-cathedral)
- St. John the Baptist in St. John's, Newfoundland (Anglican Cathedral)
- San Giovanni Battista of Cesena (cathedral)
- San Giovanni Battista of Rimini (cathedral)
- San Giovanni Battista Turin (cathedral)
- Saint-Jean-Baptiste d'Audresselles
- St. John's Cathedral of Valletta
- Greek Orthodox Church of St John the Baptist Located on Ha-Notsrim street in the Christian Quarter, Old Jerusalem
- Church of St. John the Baptist, Mudgee, New South Wales, Australia
- St. John's (Episcopal) Church, Elizabeth, New Jersey, where the youngest signer of the United States Constitution is buried, Jonathan Dayton, and the 1769 wedding site of the parents of Elizabeth Ann Seton (first American Roman Catholic saint)
- Chapel of St. John the Baptist (Capela de São João Baptista), 18th century, at the time an expensive chapel in Europe. It is in the Igreja de São Roque (Lisbon)
- Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Warsaw, Poland. Coronation and Burial Site of Stanislaw August Poniatowski, last King of Poland.
- Monastery of St John The Baptist Bigorski, Macedonia. Built in 1020, destroyed by the Turks in the 16th century and then rebuilt in 1743. Famous for its iconostasis.
- Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Charleston, South Carolina
- St. John the Evangelist Parish (Bergenfield, NJ)
Film and television portrayals
John the Baptist has appeared in a number of screen adaptations of the life of Jesus. Actors who have played John include Robert Ryan in King of Kings (1961), Mario Socrate in The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964), Charlton Heston in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), David Haskell in Godspell (1973), Michael York in Jesus of Nazareth (1977), and Andre Gregory in The Last Temptation of Christ (1988).
- Baptism of Jesus
- Biblical narratives and the Qur'an
- Chronology of Jesus
- Cultural and historical background of Jesus
- Legends and the Qur'an
- Messengers from John the Baptist
- Prophets of Islam
- Stories of The Prophets
- ^ a b Wetterau, Bruce. World history. New York: Henry Holt and company. 1994.
- ^ a b c Cross, F. L. (ed.) (2005) Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 3rd ed. Oxford University Press ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3, article "John the Baptist, St"
- ^ Funk, Robert W. & the Jesus Seminar (1998). The Acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. San Francisco: Harper; "John the Baptist" cameo, p. 268
- ^ Crossan, John Dominic (1998). The Essential Jesus. Edison: Castle Books; p. 146
- ^ Harris, Stephen L. (1985) Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield; p. 382
- ^ "John the Baptist". New Bible Dictionary (Third ed.). IVP reference collection. ISBN 0-85110-636-6.
- ^ Yahya ibn Zakariyya
- ^ a b Compilations (1983). Hornby, Helen (Ed.). ed. Lights of Guidance: A Bahá'í Reference File. Bahá'í Publishing Trust, New Delhi, India. p. 475. ISBN 8185091463. http://bahai-library.com/hornby_lights_guidance_2&chapter=4#n1567.
- ^ Charles M. Sennott, The body and the blood, Public Affairs Pub, 2003. p 234 Google Link
- ^ Jesus as a figure in history: how modern historians view the man from Galilee. Mark Allan Powell, published by Westminster John Knox Press, page 47 "Few would doubt the basic fact...Jesus was baptized by John"
- ^ Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 18.5.2
- ^ "John the Baptist, St." In: Cross, F. L. (ed.) (1997) The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. New York1: Oxford University Press "Outside the NT, John is also mentioned by Josephus (Antiq 18.5.2) in a passage of which there is no good reason to doubt the authenticity. Though there are differences in detail, his account and that in the NT are not incompatible. The place of his imprisonment and death are given as the fortress of Machaerus by the Dead Sea." from page 888
- ^ Funk, Robert W. & the Jesus Seminar (1998). The Acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus.San Francisco: Harper; "Mark," p. 51-161
- ^ Meier, John (1994). Mentor, Message, and Miracles (A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, Vol. 2). 2. Anchor Bible. ISBN 0385469926.
- ^ a b Stephen L. Harris, Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. ISBN 1-55934-655-8 Matthew 17:12–13
- ^ Luke 1:36
- ^ The story appears in Matthew 14:8 and Mark 6:25, without the name Salome
- ^ "John the Baptist, St." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
- ^ Just, Arthur A.; Oden, Thomas C. (2003), Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture - Luke: New Testament III, InterVarsity Press; p. 10. Luke 1:7
- ^ Luke 1:5
- ^ 'Aaron', In: Mills, Watson E. (ed.) (1998) Mercer Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. 5, Macon GA: Mercer University Press, ISBN 0-86554-299-6; page 1
- ^ Luke 1:44
- ^ Brown, Raymond Edward (1973), The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus, Paulist Press, p. 54
- ^ Vermes, Geza. The Nativity, p. 143.
- ^ Englebert, Omer (1951). The Lives of the Saints. New York: Barnes & Noble. p. 529. ISBN 978-1566195164.
- ^ Luke 1:20"And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words...."
- ^ Luke 1:64"And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spoke...."
- ^ Freed, Edwin D. (2001), The Stories of Jesus' Birth: a Critical Introduction Continuum International, pp. 87-90.
- ^ John 1:29–36
- ^ a b Mark 1:4
- ^ Matthew 3:13–15
- ^ John 3:22–36
- ^ John 4:2
- ^ John 5:35
- ^ Acts 18:24–19:6
- ^ John 1:35–42
- ^ Harold W. Attridge. "Historical problems with John the Baptist". From Jesus to Christ: A Portrait of Jesus' World. PBS. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/portrait/john.html. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
- ^ Malachi 3:1
- ^ Mat 3:3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
- ^ Mar 1:2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. Mar 1:3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
- ^ Luk 1:16-17 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
- ^ "Josephus, Flavius." In: Cross, F. L. (ed.) (2005) The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 3rd ed. Oxford University Press
- ^ Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiqities 18. 5. 2. (Translation by William Whiston).
- ^ Crossan, John Dominic (2007), God and Empire, London: HarperCollins, p. 117 ff
- ^ J Verheyden, Epiphanius on the Ebionites, in The image of the Judaeo-Christians in ancient Jewish and Christian literature, eds Peter J. Tomson, Doris Lambers-Petry, ISBN 3-16-148094-5, pp. 188 "The vegetarianism of John the Baptist and of Jesus is an important issue too in the Ebionite interpretation of the Christian life. "
- ^ Robert Eisenman (1997), James the Brother of Jesus, p.240 - "John (unlike Jesus) was both a ‘Rechabite’ or ‘Nazarite’ and vegetarian", p.264 - "One suggestion is that John ate 'carobs'; there have been others. Epiphanius, in preserving what he calls 'the Ebionite Gospel', rails agains the passage there claiming that John ate 'wild honey' and 'manna-like vegetarian cakes dipped in oil. ... John would have been one of those wilderness-dwelling, vegetable-eating persons", p.326 - "They [the Nazerini] ate nothing but wild fruit milk and honey - probably the same food that John the Baptist also ate.", p.367 - "We have already seen how in some traditions 'carobs' were said to have been the true composition of John's food.", p.403 - "his [John's] diet was stems, roots and fruits. Like James and the other Nazirites/Rechabites, he is presented as a vegetarian ..".
- ^ James Tabor, The Jesus Dynasty p.134 and footnotes p.335, p.134 - "The Greek New Testament gospels says John's diet consisted of "locusts and wild honey" but an ancient Hebrew version of Matthew insists that "locusts" is a mistake in Greek for a related Hebrew word that means a cake of some type, made from a desert plant, similar to the "manna" that the ancient Israelites ate in the desert on the days of Moses.(ref 9) Jesus describes John as "neither eating nor drinking," or "neither eating bread nor drinking wine." Such phrases indicate the lifestyle of one who is strictly vegetarian, avoids even bread since it has to be processed from grain, and shuns all alcohol.(ref 10) The idea is that one would eat only what grows naturally.(ref 11) It was a way of avoiding all refinements of civilization."
- ^ Bart D. Ehrman (2003). Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. Oxford University Press. pp. 102, 103. ISBN 0-19-514183-0. p.102 - "Probably the most interesting of the changes from the familiar New Testament accounts of Jesus comes in the Gospel of the Ebionites description of John the Baptist, who, evidently, like his successor Jesus, maintained a strictly vegetarian cuisine."
- ^ James A. Kelhoffer, The Diet of John the Baptist, ISBN 9783161484605, pp. 19-21
- ^ G.R.S. Mead (2007). Gnostic John the Baptizer: Selections from the Mandæan John-Book. Forgotten Books. p. 104. ISBN 978-1605062105. http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/gno/gjb/gjb-3.htm. p.104 - "And when he had been brought to Archelaus and the doctors of the Law had assembled, they asked him who he is and where he has been until then. And to this he made answer and spake: I am pure; [for] the Spirit of God hath led me on, and [I live on] cane and roots and tree-food."
- ^ Tabor (2006) Jesus Dynasty p.334 (note 9) - "The Gospel of the Ebionites as quoted by the 4th-century writer Epiphanius. The Greek word for locusts (akris) is very similar to the Greek word for "honey cake" (ekris) that is used for the "manna" that the Israelites ate in the desert in the days of Moses (Exodus 16:32)" & p.335 (note 11) - "There is an old Russian (Slavic) version of Josephus's Antiquities that describes John the Baptizer as living on 'roots and fruits of the tree' and insists that he never touches bread, even at Passover."
- ^ Bart D. Ehrman (2003). Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament. Oxford University Press. p. 13. ISBN 0-19-514182-2. p.13 - Referring to Epiphanius' quotation from the Gospel of the Ebionites in Panarion 30.13, "And his food, it says, was wild honey whose taste was of manna, as cake in oil".
- ^ In late antiquity this feast in some churches marked the beginning of the Ecclesiastical Year; see Archbishop Peter (L'Huiller) of New York and New Jersey, "Liturgical Matters: "The Lukan Jump"", in: Newspaper of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, Fall 1992.
- ^ Nicephorus, Ecclesiastical History I, ix. See Patrologia Graeca, cxlv.–cxlvii.
- ^ Clucas, W. "Early Halifax", Hull Quarterly & East Riding Portfolio, reprinted Barnwell, Hull, 1885, p.2-4; Watson, Rev. John. The History of the Town and Parish of Halifax, Milner, Halifax, 1789, p. 90–92
- ^ Lost Worlds: Knights Templar, July 10, 2006 video documentary on The History Channel, directed and written by Stuart Elliott
- ^ a b c Hooper, Simon (30 August 2010). "Are these the bones of John the Baptist?". Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.. http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/08/12/bulgaria.john.baptist.relics/index.html. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
- ^ "Hetq Online " Pilgrimage to the oldest Armenian Apostolic Church in India". Hetq.am. 2010-01-10. http://hetq.am/en/diaspora/pilgrimage/. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
- ^ "The Monastery of St. Macarius the Great". Stmacariusmonastery.org. http://www.stmacariusmonastery.org/eabout.htm. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
- ^ "Doctrine and Covenants 84:27–28". Scriptures.lds.org. http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/84. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
- ^ [D&C 13]; D&C 27:7–8
- ^ Joseph Smith History 1:68–72
- ^ "The First book of Nephi Chapter 10". Scriptures.lds.org. http://scriptures.lds.org/en/1_ne/10/7-10#7. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
- ^ 1 Nephi 11:27
- ^ 2 Nephi 31:4-18
- ^ "Yahya", Encyclopedia of Islam
- ^ Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah, Mi'raj
- ^ Muhammad, Martin Lings, Abysinnia. etc.
- ^ a b Quran 19:13–15
- ^ J. Horovitz, Koranische Untersuchungen, Berlin 1926, 151-2
- ^ A. Jeffrey, Foreign Vocab. of the Qur'an, Baroda 1938, 290-1
- ^ Stories of the Prophets, Kathir/Kisai, Story of John
- ^ cf. Muhammad Asad's tafsir in The Message of the Qur'an
- ^ a b Lives of the Prophets, Leila Azzam, John and Zechariah
- ^ a b A-Z of Prophets in Islam and Judaism, B. M. Wheeler, John the Baptist
- ^ Quran 19:7–10
- ^ a b Quran 19:12
- ^ Tabari, i, 712
- ^ Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary, Note. 905: "The third group consists not of men of action, but Preachers of Truth, who led solitary lives. Their epithet is: "the Righteous." They form a connected group round Jesus. Zachariah was the father of John the Baptist, who is referenced as "Elias, which was for to come" (Matt 11:14); and Elias is said to have been present and talked to Jesus at the Transfiguration on the Mount (Matt. 17:3)."
- ^ Encyclopedia of Islam, Yahya ibn Zakkariya, Online web.
- ^ Whereas the Qur'an itself gives blessings of peace to John (Quran 19: 15), Jesus, in contrast, gives himself the blessings of peace. (Qur'an 19: 16-33)
- ^ Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3), article Mandaeans
- ^ Bahá'u'lláh (2002). The Summons of the Lord of Hosts. Haifa, Israel: Bahá'í World Centre. p. 63. ISBN 0853989761. http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/SLH/slh-5.html#pg63.
- ^ Mark 9:11–13
- ^ Matthew 11:13–14
- ^ Luke 7:27
- ^ John 1:21
- ^ Sergei Prokofieff, The Mystery of John the Baptist and John the Evangelist Turning Point of Time: An Esoteric Study, ISBN 1-902636-67-8
- ^ Divine Principle Chapter 4, Section 2
- ^ See Tornabuoni Chapel for further information on these scenes
- ^ "Engraving by Israhel van Meckenem". Artsmia.org. http://artsmia.org/directories/art-finder/art-detail.cfm?directory=0&artist=10346&id=47973&class_2=Israhel%20van%20Meckenem&class_1=Artists. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
- ^ On this see Chaper V, "The Power of Women", in H Diane Russell;Eva/Ave; Women in Renaissance and Baroque Prints; National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1990; ISBN 1-55861-039-1
- ^ Robin, Larsen and Levin. p. 368.
- ^ Matthew Hancock (June 12, 2004). "The Guardian, June 12, 2004, "There's only one São João"". London: Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2004/jun/12/portugal.guardiansaturdaytravelsection. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
- ^ "Pietre-Stones Review of Freemasonry". Freemasons-freemasonry.com. http://www.freemasons-freemasonry.com/ward.html. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
Books on John the Baptist
- Brooks Hansen (2009) John the Baptizer: A Novel. New York: W. W. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-06947-1
- Murphy, Catherine M. (2003) John the Baptist: Prophet of Purity for a New Age. Collegeville: Liturgical Press. ISBN 0-8146-5933-0
- Taylor, Joan E. (1997) The Immerser: John the Baptist within Second Temple Judaism. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. ISBN 0-8028-4236-4
- W. Barnes Tatum (1994) John the Baptist and Jesus: A Report of the Jesus Seminar., Sonoma, California: Polebridge Press, 1994, ISBN 0-944344-42-9
- Webb, Robert L. (1991) John the Baptizer and Prophet: a Socio-Historical Study. Wipf and Stock Publishers. ISBN 978-1-59752-986-0 (first published Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1991)
Accounts in ancient literature
- Josephus wrote that "...Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism; for that the washing would be acceptable to him, if they made use of it, not in order to the remission of some sins, but for the purification of the body; supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness." (Josephus, AJ, 18.5.2)
- Rippin, A.. "Yahya b. Zakariya". In P.J. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Encyclopaedia of Islam Online. Brill Academic Publishers. ISSN 1573-3912.
- J.C.L Gibson, John the Baptist in Muslim writings, in MW, xlv (1955), 334-345
Passages in the Qur'an
- Catholic Encyclopedia: St. John the Baptist
- Jewish Encyclopedia: John the Baptist
- Prophet Yahya (John) in the light of Islamic tradition.
- Prophet John (Yahya)
Prophets in the New Testament Canonical Gospels Acts of the Apostles Epistles and RevelationNote: Italics denote that the status as a prophet is not universally accepted. Prophets in the Qur'an People in the Quran IndividualsAaron · Abel · Abraham · Abu Bakr · Abū Lahab · Adam · Amram · Anne · Asiya · Azar · Azrael · Believer of Ya-Sin · Benjamin · Cain · Caleb · David · Devil · Dhul-Kifl · Dhul-Qarnayn (Cyrus the Great, Alexander the Great) · Elijah · Elisha · Elizabeth · Eve · Ezra · Gabriel · Gog · Goliath · Haman · Harut · Hud · Idris · Isaac · Ishmael · Jacob · Jesus · Jethro · Joachim · Job · Jochebed · John the Baptist · Jonah · Joseph · Joshua · Khidr · King of Abraham's time · Korah · Lot · Luqman · Luqman's son · Maalik · Magog · Mary · Marut · Michael · Miriam · Moses · Muhammad · Noah · Pharaoh of Joseph's time · Pharaoh of the Exodus · Potiphar · Queen of Sheba · Saleh · Samiri · Samuel · Sarah · Saul · Shoaib · Solomon · Umm Jamil · Wicked man, Parable · Wondering man, Parable · Zachariah · Zaid · Zipporah · Zulaikha General groups Specific Groups Communities LifeformsNote: Italics denote that the name of the figure is not mentioned in the Quran, but is taken from other sources of Islamic literature.
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