2 during nthe high priesthood of Annas and oCaiaphas, pthe word of God came to qJohn the son of Zechariah in rthe wilderness. 3 And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming sa baptism of repentance tfor the forgiveness of sins. 4 As it is written in uthe book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,
v“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
make his paths straight.
5 xEvery valley shall be filled,
yand every mountain and hill shall be made low,
zand the crooked shall become straight,
and the rough places shall become level ways,
7 He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, c“You brood of dvipers! Who warned you to flee from ethe wrath to come? 8 Bear fruits fin keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, g‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from hthese stones to raise up children for Abraham. 9 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. iEvery tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10 And the crowds asked him, j“What then shall we do?” 11 And he answered them, k“Whoever has two tunics2 is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” 12 lTax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, jwhat shall we do?” 13 And he said to them, m“Collect no more than you are authorized to do.” 14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, jwhat shall we do?” And he said to them, m“Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your nwages.”
15 As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, owhether he might be pthe Christ, 16 qJohn answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but rhe who is mightier than I is coming, sthe strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you twith the Holy Spirit and ufire. 17 His vwinnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to wgather the wheat into his barn, xbut the chaff he will burn with yunquenchable fire.”
18 So zwith many other exhortations he preached good news to the people.
Or crying, Prepare in the wilderness the way of the Lord
Greek chiton, a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin