John 1:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 1:23, NIV: "John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, 'I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way for the Lord.''"

John 1:23, ESV: "He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”"

John 1:23, KJV: "He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias."

John 1:23, NASB: "He said, 'I am THE VOICE OF ONE CALLING OUT IN THE WILDERNESS, ‘MAKE THE WAY OF THE LORD STRAIGHT,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.'"

John 1:23, NLT: "John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah: 'I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, Clear the way for the LORD's coming!''"

John 1:23, CSB: "He said, "I am a voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord --just as Isaiah the prophet said.""

What does John 1:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

John the Baptist makes one crystal-clear claim to fulfill Old Testament prophecy. He is "the voice" of Isaiah 40:3, from the Greek word phone. Jesus, on the other hand, is "The Word," from the Greek word logos (John 1:1). The "voice" brings awareness of "the word," which people are then expected to respond to. There, in the desert outside of Jerusalem, John the Baptist was crying out, making "a way" for the Lord. The people hearing this prophecy would have understood it as "making a road," meaning a path for the incoming King. Our conversations, and our discussions, are meant to "make a way" for Christ to reach others. John the Baptist is also reassuring others by denying that he, himself, is the Messiah. What he preaches is not a new religion, or even a new revelation. It is the fulfillment of what was already prophesied. This is not God changing His mind, this is God completing His plan.