Some of John’s ·followers [disciples] had an ·argument [discussion; debate] with a Jew about ·religious washing [ceremonial cleansing; L purification; C the Jewish people washed themselves for ritual purposes before eating, before worshiping in the Temple, and at other special times].
This led to a question arising between John’s disciples and one of the Jews about the whole matter of being cleansed. They approached John and said to him, “Master, look, the man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan, the one you testified to, is now baptising and everybody is coming to him!”
After this conversation, Jesus went on with his disciples into the Judean countryside and relaxed with them there. He was also baptizing. At the same time, John was baptizing over at Aenon near Salim, where water was abundant. This was before John was thrown into jail. John’s disciples got into an argument with the establishment Jews over the nature of baptism. They came to John and said, “Rabbi, you know the one who was with you on the other side of the Jordan? The one you authorized with your witness? Well, he’s now competing with us. He’s baptizing, too, and everyone’s going to him instead of us.”
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