Religious historians call John the Baptist the most mysterious figure of the New Testament.
In 8-6 BC a boy is born in Israel. His father Zechariah a figure in the Bible and the Quran.
In the Bible, Zechariah is the father of John the Baptizer, a priest of the sons of Aaron, a prophet in Luke 1:67–79, and the husband of Elizabeth who is a relative Luke 1:36 of Mary the mother of Jesus. Origen suggested that the Zechariah mentioned in Matthew 23:35 as having been killed between the temple and the altar may be the father of John the Baptizer. Orthodox Christian tradition recounts that, at the time of the massacre of the Innocents when King Herod ordered the slaughter of all males under the age of two in an attempt to prevent the prophesied Messiah from coming to Israel, Zechariah refused to divulge the whereabouts of his son, and he was therefore murdered by Herod’s soldiers. This is also recorded in the Infancy Gospel of James, an apocryphal work from the 2nd century.
John the Baptizer is mentioned in all four canonical Gospels and the non-canonical Gospel of the Nazarenes. The Synoptic Gospels (Mark, Matthew, and Luke) describe John baptizing Jesus; in the Gospel of John it is implied in John 1:32-34.
The Gospels have maintained perfect silence as to the deeds of Jesus, previous to his meeting with John the Baptizer, through whom, according to them, Jesus took possession of his ministry after John dead. Immediately afterwards he makes his appearance in Galilee with a defined doctrine, the assurance of a prophet, and the consciousness of the Messiah. This début was preceded by the long development of a veritable initiation who must have taken place in the sole association in Israel, which preserved the real traditions of the pharisien and adopted their mode of living. This arises the relations in the doctrine of Jesus, but even from the very silence kept.
In the Bible, the head of John the Baptizer, the most popular Jewish preacher of his time, was given to appease Salome, the step-daughter of King Herod. What is known in the Johannite tradition, it has been a major part of the esoteric counterculture within the West. This tradition doesn’t see the Baptizer as the “forerunner,” but as the esoteric master.
According to James Tabor, John and Jesus took each part of Israel, John in the north Galilee and Jesus the south Judea for their teaching. The goal was to reestablish the teaching of the Bible that was put aside by the clergy at their return from Babylon, using only the commentary of the commentary of the commentary of the Jewish Bible.
The Sacrament of Baptism
In the beginning for the initiate, for the aspirant to the light. An ancient ritual that has been present throughout all of the races that have inhabited this planet and has been known by many names were baptism has always been present although in cultures and times and places. This is why when we compare various world traditions, we can always find rituals related to water, related to purification and initiation.
Baptism as a term and as a ritual is most identified with Christianity and with its many varieties: Roman Catholic, and Orthodox, and Protestant, all of those forms of baptism are derived from the same source, which was taught by John and Jesus. Baptism is a universal symbol, physical practices of baptism rituals, are given generally to adults. In our Christian church to be baptized is symbolic of initiation, disciples, people who are spiritually new to the teaching. Our purpose is to understand the practical significance of baptism and its importance as a sacrament. It’s the public affirmation of belonging to our traditions.
John the Baptist, late 1st century BC – 28 CE, was a Jewish itinerant preacher in the early 1st century CE. Other titles for John include John the Forerunner in Eastern Christianity, John the Immerser in some Baptist traditions, and the prophet John (Yaḥyā) in Islam. He is sometimes alternatively called John the Baptizer. John the Baptist is mentioned by the Hebrew historian Josephus and revered as a major religious figure in Christianity, Islam, the Bahá’í Faith and Mandaeism. He is called a prophet by all of these faiths, and is honored as a saint in many Christian traditions. According to the New Testament, John anticipated a messianic figure greater than himself, and the Gospels portray John as the precursor or forerunner of Jesus, since John announces God coming and prepares the people. Jesus himself identifies John as “Elijah who is to come”, which some biblical scholars interpret to mean that Jesus believed that John was the reincarnation of the Old Testament prophet Elijah, although John the Baptist in the Gospel of John explicitly denies being linked to Elijah (John 1:21). According to the New Testament, John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth were relatives. Some scholars maintain that John is a semi-ascetic Judaic who expected a Hebrew messiah and who practiced ritual baptism. John used baptism as the central symbol of his pre-messianic movement. Most scholars agree that John baptized Jesus and several New Testament accounts report that some of Jesus’ early followers had previously been followers of John. (EM-UC Brothers of Jesus) According to the New Testament John was sentenced to death and subsequently beheaded by Herod Antipas sometime between 28 and 36 CE after John rebuked him for divorcing his wife, Phasaelis, and then unlawfully wedding Herodias, the wife of his brother Herod Philip I.
In the Gospel of Mark:
John preaches of a coming leader, but shows no signs of recognizing that Jesus is this leader
John trained Jesus during for his public ministry in Judea. In particular. Jesus become his main disciple then John’s disciples were to become Jesus’ disciples. Many Jews therefore, could not accept Jesus as the Messiah because John denied being Elijah, as the prophet’s appearance was a prerequisite for the Messiah’s arrival as stated in Malachi 4:5.
Jesus stated in Matthew 11:11, “there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist,” however, in referring to John’s blocking the way of the Jews’ as the Messiah, said “yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
The sole biblical account of the birth of John the Baptist comes from the Gospel of Luke. John’s parents, Zechariah or Zachary, a Jewish priest, and Elizabeth, were without children and both were beyond the age of child-bearing. During Zechariah’s rotation to serve in the Temple in Jerusalem, he was chosen by lot to offer incense at the Altar in the Holy Place.
In Zechariah and Elizabeth’s families. Acts 4:6 refers to a “John” (or “Jonathan”, a name combining “John” with “Nathan” such that the “n” at the end of “John” is also used as the first “n” in “Nathan”) among the high priests who challenged the apostles’ preaching after Pentecost, so the name was not unknown within the wider priestly family. His relatives wanted to name the child after his father, and Zechariah wrote, “His name is John”, where upon he recovered (Luke 1:5–25; 1:57–66). Following Zechariah’s obedience to the command of God, he was given the gift of prophecy, and foretold the future ministry of Jesus this prophecy forming the text of the Benedictus canticle.