John 3:25

A questioning (zhthsi). Old word from zhtew. See Acts 15:2 for the word where also zhthma (question) occurs. Zhthsi (process of inquiry) means a meticulous dispute ( 1 Timothy 6:4 ). With a Jew (meta Ioudaiou). So correct text, not Ioudaiwn (Jews). Probably some Jew resented John's baptism of Jesus as implying impurity or that they were like Gentiles (cf. proselyte baptism). About purifying (peri kaqarismou). See 1 Timothy 2:6 for the word. The committee from the Sanhedrin had challenged John's right to baptize ( 1 Timothy 1:25 ). The Jews had various kinds of baptisms or dippings ( Hebrews 6:2 ), "baptisms of cups and pots and brazen vessels" ( Mark 6:4 ). The disciples of John came to him with the dispute (the first known baptismal controversy, on the meaning of the ceremony) and with a complaint.

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