When John had first preached (prokhruxanto Iwanou). Literally, John heralding beforehand, as a herald before the king ( Luke 3:3 ). Genitive absolute of first aorist active participle of prokhrussw, old verb to herald beforehand, here alone in the N.T., though Textus Receptus has it also in Acts 3:20 . Before his coming (pro proswpou th eisodou autou). Literally, before the face of his entering in (here act of entrance as 1 Thessalonians 1:9 , not the gate as in Hebrews 10:19 ). See Malachi 3:1 quoted in Matthew 11:10 ( Luke 7:27 ) for this Hebrew phrase and also Luke 1:76 . The baptism of repentance (baptisma metanoia). Baptism marked by, characterized by (genitive case, case of kind or species) repentance (change of mind and life). The very phrase used of John's preaching in Mark 1:4 ; Luke 3:3 . It is clear therefore that Paul understood John's ministry and message as did Peter ( Acts 2:38 ; Acts 10:37 ).