Mat. 3:1-12. The Preaching of John the Baptist

1 En de taiV hmeraiV ekeinaiV paraginetai IwannhV o baptisthV khrusswn en th erhmw thV IoudaiaV 2 kai legwn, metanoeite, hggiken gar h basileia twn ouranwn. 3 outoV gar estin o rhqeiV dia Hsaiou tou profhtou legontoV, fwnh bowntoV en th erhmw, etoimasate thn odon kuriou, euqeiaV poieite taV tribouV autou. 4 autoV de o IwannhV eicen to enduma autou apo tricwn kamhlou kai zwnhn dermatinhn peri thn osfun autou, h de trofh hn autou akrideV kai meli agrion. 5 tote exeporeueto proV auton Ierosoluma kai pasa h Ioudaia kai pasa h pericwroV tou Iordanou, 6 kai ebaptizonto en tw iordanh potamw up autou exomologoumenoi taV amartiaV autwn. 7 idwn de pollouV twn farisaiwn kai saddoukaiwn ercomenouV epi to baptisma autou eipen autoiV, gennhmata ecidnwn, tiV upedeixen umin fugein apo thV melloushV orghV; 8 poihsate oun karpon axion thV metanoiaV: 9 kai mh doxhte legein en eautoiV, patera ecomen ton Abraam, legw gar umin oti dunatai o qeoV ek twn liqwn toutwn egeirai tekna tw Abraam. 10 hdh de + h axinh proV thn rizan twn dendrwn keitai: pan oun dendron mh poioun karpon kalon ekkoptetai kai eiV pur balletai. 11 egw men umaV baptizw en udati eiV metanoian: o de opisw mou ercomenoV iscuroteroV mou estin, ou ouk eimi ikanoV ta upodhmata bastasai: autoV umaV baptisei en pneumati agiw kai puri: 12 ou to ptuon en th ceiri autou, kai diakaqariei thn alwna autou, kai sunaxei ton siton autou eiV thn apoqhkhn + to de acuron katakausei puri asbestw.

1 And in those days cometh John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2 and saying, Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 3 For this is he that was spoken of through Isaiah the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make ye ready the way of the Lord, Make his paths straight. 4 Now John himself had his garment of camel's hair, and a leather belt about his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then went out unto him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about the Jordan; 6 and they were baptized of him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said unto them, Ye offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruit worthy of repentance: 9 and think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham for our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10 And even now the axe lieth at the root of the trees: every tree therefore that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you in water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire: 12 whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his threshing-floor; and he will gather his wheat into the garner, but the chaff he will burn up with unquenchable fire.

3:2. kai legwn. Some editors (Lach. Tisch. Treg.marg Alf. West. Nest. UBS.marg) omit kai "and" before legwn "saying," according to S B and the Coptic versions. But this is very thin evidence. The superfluous kai would have been easily overlooked by scribes, but it is unlikely that they would have added it.

3:3. dia Hsaiou. The TR has upo "by Isaiah," according to L and most cursives. We read dia "through" with Lach. Tisch. Treg. Alf. Word. West. Nest. UBS., according to S B C D, some cursives, the Syriac and Latin versions. See remarks on 2:17.

3:6. iordanh potamw. TR omits potamw "river," according to D L, the majority of cursives, the Old Latin and Vulgate. We add it with Lach. Tisch. Treg. Alf. West. Nest. UBS., according to S B C W, some cursives, and the Syriac and Coptic versions. The phrase iordanh potamw is very unusual, occuring only here and in the Markan parallel, and twice in the LXX. But iordanh alone is used hundreds of times in the LXX and thirteen times in the NT. It seems therefore that the omission is a stylistic correction. On the other hand, scribes may have added it from the parallel in Mark 1:5.

3:7. baptisma autou. Some editors (Lach. Tisch. Treg.marg Alf.marg West. Nest.) omit autou "his" after baptisma, according to S* B and the Sahidic Coptic version. But this is rather narrow attestation, and the pronoun could easily have been overlooked by scribes or omitted as superfluous. We add it, according to C D L W, most cursives, the Latin, the Old Syriac, and the Bohairic Coptic version.

3:8. karpon axion. TR reads karpouV axiouV "fruits worthy" (as in Luke 3:8) according to L, some cursives, some Old Latin, and the Curetonian and Peshitta Syriac. We read karpon axion "fruit worthy" with Gries. Lach. Tisch. Treg. Alf. Word. West. Nest. UBS. Hodg., according to S B C D and most other uncials, most cursives, most Old Latin MSS, the Vulgate, and the Coptic versions. The plural karpouV axiouV is probably an assimilation to Luke 3:8, which would have been the more memorable because in Luke's account John specifies the different kinds of "fruits" (Luke 3:10-14)

3:10. hdh de h axinh. TR adds kai "also" before h axinh "the axe" according to L and most cursives. We omit it with Lach. Tisch. Treg. Alf. Word. West. Nest. UBS., according to S B C D W, some cursives, and the Latin, Syriac, and Coptic versions. Probably scribes added the kai from the parallel in Luke 3:9.

3:11. agiw kai puri. Hodges omits kai puri "and fire" with some later uncials, the (fifth century) Palestinian Syriac version, and the majority of cursives. It is difficult to say how this might have dropped out, but we note that the parallel in Mark 1:8 lacks it. The attestation for this omission is so late that it cannot be taken seriously.

3:12. apoqhkhn. Some (Lach. Treg. Word. West.marg) add autou "his" after apoqhkhn "garner" (render "his garner") according to B W E L and other uncials, some Old Latin, and all the Syriac versions. But against these are S C D, most Old Latin, the Vulgate, and the Coptic versions. Perhaps scribes added the word from the parallel in Luke 3:17.

Mat. 3:13-17. The Baptism of Jesus

13 Tote paraginetai o IhsouV apo thV GalilaiaV epi ton Iordanhn proV ton Iwannhn tou baptisqhnai up autou. 14 o de IwannhV diekwluen auton legwn, egw creian ecw upo sou baptisqhnai, kai su erch proV me; 15 apokriqeiV de o IhsouV eipen proV auton, afeV arti, outwV gar prepon estin hmin plhrwsai pasan dikaiosunhn. tote afihsin auton. 16 baptisqeiV de o IhsouV euquV anebh apo tou udatoV: kai idou hnewcqhsan autw oi ouranoi, kai eiden to pneuma tou qeou katabainon wsei peristeran kai ercomenon ep auton: 17 kai idou fwnh ek twn ouranwn legousa, outoV estin o uioV mou o agaphtoV, en w eudokhsa.

13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to the Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 14 But John would have hindered him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 15 But Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffereth him. 16 And Jesus when he was baptized, went up straightway from the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him; 17 and lo, a voice out of the heavens, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

3:14. IwannhV. Some editors ( Lach. Tisch. Treg.marg Alf.marg Word. West. Nest.) omit IwannhV "John" (render "he would have hindered him") according to S* B and the Sahidic Coptic version. But we include it with P96 S1 C D L W, the cursives, and the Latin, Syriac, and Bohairic Coptic versions. The omission represents the shorter and more difficult reading, and because of its early attestation it deserves attention, but the MS support for it is too slim.

3:16. hnewcqhsan autw. Some editors (Lach.marg Tisch. West.text Nest. UBS.marg) omit autw "unto him" after hnewcqhsan "opened," according to S* B, some Vulgate MSS, the Old Syriac, and the Sahidic Coptic version. This is decent support for the shorter reading; but, on the other hand, some scribes may have omitted it because it is absent from the parallel in Luke 3:21 or perhaps, failing to see its significance, they omitted it as superfluous. We include it with C D L W, cursives, most Latin, the Peshitta Syriac, and the Bohairic Coptic version.

3:16. kai ercomenon. Some editors (Lach. Tisch. Treg.marg Alf.marg West. Nest. UBS.marg) omit kai "and" before ercomenon ep auton "coming upon him," according to S* B, most Old Latin MSS, the Vulgate, and the Bohairic Coptic version (the Sahidic Coptic version omits the whole phrase kai ercomenon ep auton). But scribes may have omitted the kai as superfluous, as in 3:2. We include it with S2 C D L W, cursives, some Old Latin MSS, and the Syriac versions.