Mark 1:4

4 And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

Read Mark 1:4 Using Other Translations

John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven.

What does Mark 1:4 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Mark 1:4

John did baptize in the wilderness
Of Judea, ( Matthew 3:1 ) , where he first appeared as a preacher; and is the same wilderness Isaiah has respect to in the above prophecy, ( Isaiah 40:3 ) . The words are best rendered in the Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions; "John was in the wilderness, baptizing and preaching the baptism of repentance, for the remission of sins": according to which, the account of the Baptist begins with his name, John; describes the place where he was where he made his first appearance, and continued in, the wilderness; which was not a wild uninhabited place and without people, but had many cities, towns, and villages in it; and also declares his work and ministry there, which was preaching and baptizing: for though baptizing is here put before preaching, yet certain it is, that he first came preaching in these parts; and there baptized such, to whom his preaching was made useful. Baptism is here called, the

baptism of repentance:
because John required repentance antecedent to it, and administered it upon profession of repentance, and as an open testification of it; and this

for,
or unto the remission of sins:
not for the obtaining the remission of sins, as if either repentance, or baptism, were the causes of pardon of sin; but the sense is, that John preached that men should repent of their sins, and believe in Christ, who was to come; and upon their repentance and faith, be baptized; in which ordinance, they might be led to a fresh view of the free and full forgiveness of their sins, through Christ; whose blood was to be shed for many, to obtain it: see ( Acts 2:38 ) .

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