Last modified on 2 February 2015, at 17:59

John the Baptist

John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher, mentioned in New Testament, who baptized Jesus with a baptise of penitence.


  • Non licet tibi habere eam
    • It is not lawful for thee to have her to wife
    • (John Baptist to Herod regarding Herodias, his brother Philip's former wife; quoted in Gospel of Matthew 14,4)

Quotes on John Baptist

  • Quid autem aliud Ioannes nisi honestatem consideravit? ut inhonestas nuptias etiam in rege non posset perpeti, dicens: Non licet tibi illam uxorem habere. Potuit tacere, nisi indecorum sibi iudicasset mortis metu verum non dicere, inclinare regi propheticam auctoritatem, adulationem subtexere. Sciebat utique moriturum se esse, quia regi adversabatur: sed honestatem saluti praetulit. Et tamen quid utilius quam quod passionis viro sancto advexit gloriam?
    • And what else did John have in mind but what is virtuous, so that he could not endure a wicked union even in the king's case, saying: "It is not lawful for thee to have her to wife." He could have been silent, had he not thought it unseemly for himself not to speak the truth for fear of death, or to make the prophetic office yield to the king, or to indulge in flattery. He knew well that he would die as he was against the king, but he preferred virtue to safety. Yet what is more expedient than the suffering which brought glory to the saint.
    • Saint Ambrose De officiis ministrorum ("On the Offices of Ministers" or, "On the Duties of the Clergy"), Book III, chapter XIV, part 89 as quoted in

What did you go out into the wilderness to behold?
A reed shaken by the wind?
Why then did you go out? To see a man clothed in soft raiment?
Behold, those who wear soft raiment are in kings' houses.
Why then did you go out? To see a prophet?
Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.

This is he of whom it is written, `Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee.' Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and men of violence take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John; and if you are willing to accept it, he is Eli'jah who is to come.

    • Jesus on John Baptist; excerpt from Gospel of Matthew 14,7-14 as quoted in

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