In the fifteenth year of the government of Tiberius Caesar,
when Pontius Pilate was governing Judea,
and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee,
his brother Philip tetrarch
of the Iturea and Trachonitis country,
and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene,
during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas,
the word of God came
to John, Zacharias's son, in the desert.
He went into all the country around the Jordan
preaching a baptism of repentance
for the forgiveness of sins,
saying, "Change your mind,
for near is the sovereignty of heaven,"
as it has been written in the book of Isaiah the prophet;
Look, I send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
a voice crying in the desert:
Get ready the way of the Lord;
make straight his paths.
Every valley shall be filled
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough roads smooth;
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
John was dressed in camel's hair
with a leather belt around his waist,
and he was eating grasshoppers and wild honey.
Then Jerusalem and all Judea
and all the country around the Jordan went out to him,
and they were baptized in the Jordan River by him,
confessing their sins.
Seeing many of the Pharisees and Sadducees
coming to the baptism he said to them, "Products of vipers!
Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
Produce then fruit worthy of repentance;
and do not presume to say among yourselves,
'A father we have in Abraham;'
for I tell you that God can
from these stones raise up children for Abraham.
Already the ax is laid to the root of the trees;
therefore every tree not producing beautiful fruit
is cut down and thrown into the fire."
The crowds questioned him, "What then should we do?"
He answered them,
"Let whoever has two coats share with the one having none,
and let whoever has food do likewise."
Tax collectors also came to be baptized
and said to him, "Teacher, what should we do?"
He told them, "Collect no more than is required of you."
The soldiers also questioned him, "And what should we do?"
He told them, "Do not shake down anyone nor harass them,
and be satisfied with your pay."