John 1:25 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 1:25, NIV: "questioned him, 'Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?'"

John 1:25, ESV: "They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”"

John 1:25, KJV: "And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?"

John 1:25, NASB: "They asked him, and said to him, 'Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?'"

John 1:25, NLT: "asked him, 'If you aren't the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet, what right do you have to baptize?'"

John 1:25, CSB: "So they asked him, "Why then do you baptize if you aren't the Messiah, or Elijah, or the Prophet? ""

What does John 1:25 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Baptism was already practiced in that region as a symbol of repentance. The Greek term is "baptizo," which literally means "immersion." Converts to Judaism were sometimes baptized, so the interrogators were already aware of what it meant. However, to the Pharisees, there was little reason for someone who was already a Jew to be baptized. And, in their minds, a person who was going to baptize others ought to have some kind of priestly office, or prophetic authority. But John the Baptist says he is not the long-awaited Messiah. He is not Elijah, who many believed would come back to life in order to tell others about the Promised One. Nor is he the prophet which Moses promised (Deuteronomy 18:18). The Baptist hasn't made any claims to authority—in fact, he's made it plain that his mission is to make a path for someone else. Since the investigators were out of ideas, they resorted to essentially asking John the Baptist, "Who do you think you are?" In John 1:26, the Baptist ignores questions about himself, and focuses again on the Messiah.