John the Baptist - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 4 pages of information about John the Baptist.
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JOHN THE BAPTIST. Born of a poor priestly family in the hill country of Judea, John renounced the priesthood and entered upon an ascetic existence in the wilderness surrounding the Jordan River. There he inaugurated a baptism rite so unprecedented that he was named for it. His contemporary, Jesus, unhesitatingly ascribed the impetus for John's baptism to divine revelation (Mk. 11:30), and even though priestly lustrations in the Temple, the daily baths at Qumran, or even proselyte baptism (first attested in the second century CE) may provide certain parallels, they are wholly inadequate to account for John's demand that Jews submit to a once-only immersion in anticipation of an imminent divine judgment by fire. Rejecting all claims to salvation by virtue of Jewish blood or the "merits of Abraham," John demanded of each person works that would reflect a personal act of repentance. The examples...

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This section contains 925 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the John the Baptist Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan
John the Baptist from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.