1 About this time John the Baptist made his appearance, preaching in the Desert of Judaea.

2 »Repent,« he said, »for the Kingdom of the Heavens is now close at hand.«

3 He it is who was spoken of through the Prophet Isaiah when he said, »The voice of one crying aloud, `In the desert prepare ye a road for the Lord: make His highway straight.'«

4 This man John wore a garment of camel's hair, and a loincloth of leather; and he lived upon locusts and wild honey.

5 Then large numbers of people went out to him –people from Jerusalem and from all Judaea, and from the whole of the Jordan valley–

6 and were baptized by him in the Jordan, making full confession of their sins.

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he exclaimed, `O vipers' brood, who has warned you to flee from the coming wrath?

8 Therefore let your lives prove your change of heart;

9 and do not imagine that you can say to yourselves, `We have Abraham as our forefather,' for I tell you that God can raise up descendants for Abraham from these stones.

10 And already the axe is lying at the root of the trees, so that every tree which does not produce good fruit will quickly be hewn down and thrown into the fire.

11 I indeed am baptizing you in water on a profession of repentance; but He who is coming after me is mightier than I: His sandals I am not worthy to carry for a moment; He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire.

12 His winnowing-shovel is in His hand, and He will make a thorough clearance of His threshing-floor, gathering His wheat into the storehouse, but burning up the chaff in unquenchable fire.«

13 Just at that time Jesus, coming from Galilee to the Jordan, presents Himself to John to be baptized by him.

14 John protested. »It is I,« he said, »who have need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?«

15 »Let it be so on this occasion,« Jesus replied; »for so we ought to fulfil every religious duty.« Then he consented;

16 and Jesus was baptized, and immediately went up from the water. At that moment the heavens opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him,

17 while a voice came from Heaven, saying, »This is My Son, the dearly loved, in whom is My delight.«