John the Baptist Denies Being the Messiah

19 Now this was John’s(A) testimony when the Jewish leaders[a](B) in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”(C)

21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”(D)

He said, “I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet?”(E)

He answered, “No.”

22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness,(F) ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”[b](G)

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Footnotes

  1. John 1:19 The Greek term traditionally translated the Jews (hoi Ioudaioi) refers here and elsewhere in John’s Gospel to those Jewish leaders who opposed Jesus; also in 5:10, 15, 16; 7:1, 11, 13; 9:22; 18:14, 28, 36; 19:7, 12, 31, 38; 20:19.
  2. John 1:23 Isaiah 40:3