F. His Inauguration
1 Now in the fifteenth year of the government of Tiberius aCaesar, while bPontius Pilate was cgovernor of Judea, and dHerod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,
2 During the high priesthood of Annas and aCaiaphas, the word of God came to bJohn the son of Zachariah in the 1cwilderness.
3 And he came into all the region surrounding the Jordan, proclaiming a 1baptism of arepentance 2for bforgiveness of sins,
4 As it is written in the book of the words of aIsaiah the prophet, 1b"A voice of one crying in the wilderness, cPrepare the way of the Lord; make straight His paths.
5 Every 1ravine shall be filled up, and every amountain and hill shall be leveled; and the bcrooked places shall become a straight way, and the rough ways smooth.
6 And all 1flesh shall see the 2asalvation of God.''
7 He said therefore to the crowds going out to be baptized by him, 1Offspring of avipers, who prompted you to flee from the coming bwrath?
8 Produce then fruits aworthy of your repentance, and do not begin to say within yourselves, We have bAbraham as our father; for I tell you that God is able out of these stones to 1raise up children to Abraham.
9 And already also the axe is laid at the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not produce agood fruit is cut down and cast into the 1fire.
10 And the crowds asked him, saying, aWhat then shall we do?
11 And he answered and said to them, He who has two 1atunics, let him share with the one who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.
12 And atax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, Teacher, what shall we do?
13 And he said to them, aExact nothing more than what you have been ordered to.
14 And some serving in the military also questioned him, saying, And we, what shall we do? And he said to them, Extort nothing from anyone by force, nor 1take anything by false accusation, and be content with your wages.
15 Now while the people were in 1expectation and all were reasoning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might possibly be the Christ,
16 John answered and said to all, I 1baptize you in awater, but He who is stronger than I is coming, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He Himself will baptize you in the bHoly Spirit and fire,
17 Whose winnowing fan is in His hand to thoroughly cleanse His athreshing floor and to gather the wheat into His bbarn, but the chaff He will burn up with unquenchable 1cfire.
18 So, exhorting them with many other things also, he 1aannounced the gospel to the people.
19 But Herod the tetrarch, because he was reproved by him concerning aHerodias, his brother's wife, and concerning all the evil things which Herod did,
20 Added this also above all: he shut John up in aprison.