Who was the John the Baptist, and why is he so important?
A powerful figure in all four Gospels, St. John the Baptist nevertheless remains shrouded in mystery. What do we know about his life on the margins of first-century Palestine? And how can the Gospels and Dead Sea Scrolls help us to understand the ministry and message of this New Testament prophet?
You will discover the fascinating answers to these questions in John the Baptist. Under the guidance of renowned New Testament scholar Fr. Raymond F. Collins, you will explore the diverse portrayals of St. John in history, the Bible, and even other religions. First, you will gain insight into his historical context by looking at contemporaneous texts: the Dead Sea Scrolls and the writings of Flavius Josephus, a Jewish historian. Then, you will turn to the earliest Gospel, Mark, where you'll see John as an apocalyptic preacher who baptizes Jesus.
You'll learn how the Gospel of Matthew expounds upon John's message and how Luke portrays John as a social prophet and preacher crying out for justice. After looking at the Fourth Evangelist's unique portrait of John the Baptist, you'll move beyond the New Testament, looking at portrayals in apocryphal texts, the Qur'an, and the liturgical tradition.
As you listen to these lectures, you will add your own image of John the Baptist to this impressive list of witnesses. Encounter this powerful prophet today.