In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,a 14-37 while Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod was tetrarchb of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Itureac and Trachonitis,d and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene,e2
during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, God's word came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness.
He went into all the vicinity of the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentancef for the forgiveness of sins,
as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah: A voice of one crying out in the wilderness: "Prepare the way for the Lord; make His paths straight!
Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be made low; g the crooked will become straight, the rough ways smooth,
and everyone h will see the salvation of God." i7
He then said to the crowds who came out to be baptized by him, "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
Therefore produce fruit consistent with repentance. And don't start saying to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father,' for I tell you that God is able to raise up children for Abraham from these stones!
Even now the ax is ready to strikej the root of the trees! Therefore every tree that doesn't produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."
"What then should we do?" the crowds were asking him.