Now this was John's1 testimony when the Jews2 of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was.
He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, "I am not the Christ. "3
They asked him, "Then who are you? Are you Elijah?"4 He said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?"5 He answered, "No."
Finally they said, "Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself ?"
John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, "I am the voice of one calling in the desert,6 'Make straight the way for the Lord.' "7
Now some Pharisees who had been sent
questioned him, "Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?"
"I baptize with water,"8 John replied, "but among you stands one you do not know.
He is the one who comes after me,9 the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie."10
This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan,11 where John was baptizing.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God,12 who takes away the sin of the world!13
This is the one I meant when I said, 'A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'14
I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel."
Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.15
I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water16 told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'17
I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God."18