1 IN THE fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar's reign–when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene–
2 In the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the Word of God [concerning the attainment through Christ of salvation in the kingdom of God] came to John son of Zachariah in the wilderness (desert).
3 And he went into all the country round about the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance (of hearty amending of their ways, with abhorrence of past wrongdoing) unto the forgiveness of sin.
4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, The voice of one crying in the wilderness [shouting in the desert]: Prepare the way of the Lord, make His beaten paths straight.
5 Every valley and ravine shall be filled up, and every mountain and hill shall be leveled; and the crooked places shall be made straight, and the rough roads shall be made smooth;
6 And all mankind shall see (behold and understand and at last acknowledge) the salvation of God (the deliverance from eternal death decreed by God). [Isa. 40:3-5.]
7 So he said to the crowds who came out to be baptized by him, You offspring of vipers! Who secretly warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
8 Bear fruits that are deserving and consistent with [your] repentance [that is, conduct worthy of a heart changed, a heart abhorring sin]. And do not begin to say to yourselves, We have Abraham as our father; for I tell you that God is able from these stones to raise up descendants for Abraham.
9 Even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees, so that every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire.
10 And the multitudes asked him, Then what shall we do?
11 And he replied to them, He who has two tunics (undergarments), let him share with him who has none; and he who has food, let him do it the same way.
12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they said to him, Teacher, what shall we do?
13 And he said to them, Exact and collect no more than the fixed amount appointed you.
14 Those serving as soldiers also asked him, And we, what shall we do? And he replied to them, Never demand or enforce by terrifying people or by accusing wrongfully, and always be satisfied with your rations (supplies) and with your allowance (wages).
15 As the people were in suspense and waiting expectantly, and everybody reasoned and questioned in their hearts concerning John, whether he perhaps might be the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
16 John answered them all by saying, I baptize you with water; but He Who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of Whose sandals I am not fit to unfasten. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
17 His winnowing shovel (fork) is in His hand to thoroughly clear and cleanse His [threshing] floor and to gather the wheat and store it in His granary, but the chaff He will burn with fire that cannot be extinguished.
18 So with many other [various] appeals and admonitions he preached the good news (the Gospel) to the people.
19 But Herod the tetrarch, who had been [repeatedly] told about his fault and reproved with rebuke producing conviction by [John] for [having] Herodias, his brother's wife, and for all the wicked things that Herod had done,
20 Added this to them all–that he shut up John in prison.
21 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized, and [while He was still] praying, the [visible] heaven was opened
22 And the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came from heaven, saying, You are My Son, My Beloved! In You I am well pleased and find delight! [Ps. 2:7; Isa. 42:1.]
23 Jesus Himself, when He began [His ministry], was about thirty years of age, being the Son, as was supposed, of Joseph, the son of Heli,
24 The son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph,
25 The son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai,
26 The son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda,
27 The son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri,
28 The son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er,
29 The son of Jesus, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi,
30 The son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim,
31 The son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David,
32 The son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon (Sala), the son of Nahshon,
33 The son of Aminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah,
34 The son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,
35 The son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah,
36 The son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech,
37 The son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan,
38 The son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. [Gen. 5:3-32; 11:10-26; Ruth 4:18-22; I Chron. 1:1-4, 24-28; 2:1-15.]