John the Baptist Biography

John the Baptist Biography

John was born as the son of Zachariah, an old man and his wife Elizabeth in 5 BC. The birth of John was predicted by the angel Gabriel to Zachariah when he was performing his rituals as a priest in a Jerusalem temple. John is the descendant of Aaron on both his parent side, for the reason that Zachariah is described as a priest of Abijah and Elizabeth, as the daughter of Aaron.

Born: Herodian kingdom
Died: Machaerus, Jordan
Full name: John the Baptist
Buried: Umayyad Mosque, Damascus, Syria
Parents: Zechariah, Elizabeth


John's prophecy and baptism in the River of Jordan is related by all four canonical gospels.  Most likely, he was the one who acknowledged Jesus as the Christ and baptizes him. This was the beginning of the Jesus ministry. The Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke describes that Jesus came to John, who baptized by him. During this time the spirit came down to Jesus and a voice from heaven declared him to be God's Son.  The gospel of Mathew’s account that John refused to baptize Jesus saying that he wants to be baptized by him, but Jesus persuades him to baptize. The gospel of John the Baptist says that an argument broke out between the John's disciple and other Jews relating to purification.


 Living in the wilderness of Judea, he preached the working men, leaders, governing officials for forgiveness and repentance of sins. He instructed the tax collectors not to collect more money than they were asked to. The Publicans had the right to collect taxes and they increased their wages by taxing the people of Rome unfairly, especially the Jews. The first New Testament of Gentile baptism recorded that John asked the soldiers not to attack falsely and not to take money by force and to be content with their wages. John rebukes the religious leaders Pharisees and Sadducee as brood of vipers and asked them to repent, giving them a warning. King Herod, who had taken his brother's wife, heard from John that it’s unlawful for him to have his brother’s wife. This message leads to the imprisonment of John the Baptist.


There has been different discussion relating to John's death. In the Gospel account for John's death, when John condemned Herod for having his brother's wife for marriage, Herodias asks the head of the John Baptist to be delivered to her on a plate as a favor from Herod, thus Herod executed John. Joseph, the first century Jewish historian gives a different account. He writes that Herod had John arrested for he feared that John's followers might start a rebellion against him. Herod executed him later. Both the accounts are possibly true in their own scenario. In Josephus writing, it can be concluded that Herod had John arrested considering him and his followers as political threat. Gospels says that John called Israel to baptize himself. So the Gospels description on John death concludes that the reason for having John arrested was religious.


John’s mission can be summarised in single word, “preparer.” It was his blissful responsibility to prepare a people for the upcoming Messiah. Both Isaiah and Malachi had declared that he would “prepare” the path for the arrival of “Jehovah”. John conveyed people that Jesus would be superior and mightier than him.

John spoke truth forever, even at times when people did not want to listen to it. He bravely opposed King Herod against the evil things he committed. Ultimately, his inclinations for truth lead to the end of John’s life.


“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, / And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
- John the Baptist

“For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”
- John the Baptist

“The first Rotarian was the first man to call John the Baptist, Jack.”
- John the Baptist

“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.”
- John the Baptist

“Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.”
- John the Baptist

“And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.”
- John the Baptist

“And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist.”
- John the Baptist

“For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.”
- John the Baptist

“Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
- John the Baptist

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