3 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,2 in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness.3 And he came into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins;4 as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight. 5 ‘Every ravine will be filled, And every mountain and hill will be[a]brought low; The crooked will become straight, And the rough roads smooth; 6 And all[b]flesh willsee the salvation of God.’”
7 So he began saying to the crowds who were going out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?8 Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say [c]to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.9 Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
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