Also known as: Joannes Baptista, John the Baptizer, John the Forerunner, Juan Bautista, Johnny The Barrista, Yahya (L'ill John style) the Baptizer
John the Baptist is a major religious figure mentioned in both the gospels and the Qur'an. Christians commonly refer to him as "The Precursor" of Jesus (More like the Precum to Jizzus [COMICALLY EFFUSIVE CELEBRATORY FIREWORKS PLAY HERE).
Sorry about that, that was just how God automatically edits the podcast when in a singular moment it's recognized by the sundry stars as the world's best
John announced Jesus' coming ("Hey everyone, I have a bunch of teachings but the only important one is that you should pay attention to the other wading, beardy semite down the bend"). In scripture, John is mentioned mainly as the guy who anticipated a messianic figure who would be greater than himself, and this is super obvious biblical wallpapering to explain away his presence and popularity during the time Mr. Crucifix was said to have been leaving a single set of footprints juggling his disciples across the lands. Theories include that Jesus was a former John follower that broke away, that John was straight up co-opted into Christian history to rake in his legitimacy, and that they are both twinkles in a tapestry of syncretized mythologies.
John is regarded as a prophet in Christianity, Islam, the Bahá'í Faith, and Mandaeism (a religion in which people worship girls called Mandy). Actually, it's a gnostic religion that reveres Adam, Abel, Seth, Enosh, Noah, Shem, Aram and especially John the Baptist, but rejects Abraham, Moses and Jesus of Nazareth. So just as arbitrary as worshiping the Mandies of the world.
St. John the Baptist has many symbols, the chief being: The Head (I assume a severed head), the Lamb, the Shell [for Baptism], the Holly [for the Passion of Christ which he prefigured], the Maltese Cross, the Reed, from which his own cross was made, the Grasshopper and Camel's Hair.
He is the patron of farriers, Baptism, and those who suffer spasms, as well as that of Quebec, Canada, the only country that doesn't suffer spasms.
JTB - This Is Your LifeEdit
So, let's do a "This Is Your Life", JTB style.
John is a descendant of Aaron on both his paternal and maternal side. You might think that explains a lot, but the reason he's stupid is actually because he was dunked into the baptismal font head first one too many times.
Aaron was Moses' big brother, a prophet of God and the first High Priest of the Israelites. He gained a name for eloquent and persuasive speech, and thus is the patron saint of our podcast. Again, surprisingly for the bible, there are differing accounts of his death. Suffice it to say he spurted his seed at some point before his death, possibly even at death, but definitely not after unless you count miracles. God's ghostly hand could have scooped Aaron's semen out of his corpse scrotum and dispersed it among the throngs of his chosen with a sprinkler hose, but here it would be prudent to apply Occam's Razor.
The Gospel of Luke introduces baby John as the son of Zechariah (or Zachary, or "Zac"), an old man, and his wife Elizabeth, who was barren. Elizabeth was a relative of Mother Mary, and the couple lived in Judea.
Zachary was a priest. Elizabeth, JTB's mother, "was of the daughters of Aaron", according to Luke; the same Evangelist, a few verses farther on , calls her the "cousin" of Mary. These two statements appear to be conflicting. But, don't fret. This problem can be solved by adopting the reading given in an old Persian version, where we find "mother's sister" (metradelphe) used instead of "cousin". Fucking pedigrees.
In case you're still confused, this explanation provided by St. Hippolytus should clarify things:
According to him, Mathan had three daughters: Mary, Soba, and Ann. Mary, the oldest, married a man of Bethlehem and was the mother of Salome; Soba married at Bethlehem also, but a "son of Levi", by whom she had Elizabeth; Ann wedded a Galilean (Joachim) and bore Mary, the Mother of God. Thus Salome, Elizabeth, and the Blessed Virgin were first cousins, and Elizabeth, "of the daughters of Aaron" on her father's side, was, on her mother's side, the cousin of Mary. Zachary's home is designated only in a vague manner by Luke: it was "a city of Juda", "in the hill-country". It has been proposed that Juda might be a misspelling of the name Jutta, a priestly town south of Hebron.
Hebron, incidentally, is where all the Hebrews were bred in their rows of Hebrew coccoons.
Unusual as it is for The Bible, the birth of John was foretold by the angel Gabriel. One day Zac was burning incense in a temple (apparently something priests only did once a year), when he was told that he was going to be a dad. See, Zac and Liz had been praying really hard for a baby for a really long time, because they were both "advanced in age" when this 'blessed announcement' occurred. I guess God thought it would be funny to watch two 80 year olds try and keep up with a hormonally charged, rebellious shitty teenager, instead of handing them an embryo when Liz was, like, in her 30s. Clearly John's conception was miraculous, and he was born about 6 months before Jeebus.
It was foretold that Johhny would be filled with the Spirit of God, even before he was born, and that he would be reared as a Nazirite (like Samson was). So the same rules applied to him about not having any grog etc. This also means he was also born with a dent in his head for the Holy Spirit to tuck itself into.
Get this. Apparently Zac didn't instantly believe the startling prediction about he and his slderly, barren wife conceiving a son. So, the angel, announced that, as a punishment for his incredulity, he would be stricken dumb until the promise was fulfilled. And so "it came to pass, after the days of his office were accomplished, he departed to his own house. And after those days, Elizabeth his wife conceived, and hid herself five months". Remember this whenever God-fearing conservatives protest government overreach in planned parenthood.
When Liz was about 6 months along, the angel told Mary that her cousin was up the duff, and she went "with haste" to congratulate her (although there is a theory that the relative of Jeebus thing is pure BS). "And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped for joy in her womb" (otherwise known as kicking, or the Cossack Dance). Then fit with the prophetic utterance of the angel that the child should "be filled with the Holy Ghost even from his mother's womb". As the presence of any sin is incompatible with the dwelling of the Holy Ghost in the soul, it seems that this was the moment that John was cleansed of original sin. When the baby was born, they waited the customary 8 days to cut off a part of his dick. Everyone wanted to call him Zac (after his dad), but then they asked his father what he should be called and apparently he wrote the name "John" on a stone tablet AND said his name out loud. John, apparently means "Jahweh hath mercy" in Hebrew, so it was all good. All these events, including a child born to an aged couple, Zachary's sudden muteness, and his equally sudden recovery of speech, and the whole name controversy had everyone around the place thinking "WTF is up with this kid?"
You aren't kidding. Why can't everyone get a waiver for their original sin? What sense does that make?
No one really knows what happened to JTB's parents in the long run. However, rumour has it that Zac was killed by Herod (because he foretold the coming of the Messiah), forcing Liz to flee with little Johnny into the wilderness around Judea. St Jerome calls this story "apocryphorum somnia". I haven't been able to find out what that means, but given that somnia probs has something to do with sleep or dreams, maybe it means lost or made up writings. Dunno. Joe uses "apocryphorum somnia" to describe What Is Truth.
We also know shit about JTB's childhood. Luke does say that John: “grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing unto Israel”, but that's about all that's recorded. What it is of John that grew and was shown unto Israel is left to your imagipenis
All four canonical gospels tell of John's preaching and baptism in the River Jordan. He lived in the desert, and is known for surviving on locusts and honey, and wearing robes made of camel hair and a leather belt. As one author put it: "he had an usual falir for fashion". He preached against the evils of the time and attracted men to penance and baptism. His message was to repent, as the Lord was coming. So one day Jeebus rocks up and JTB says "finally, where the fuck have you been?". He recognized Jesus as the Messiah and baptized him. When Jesus was dunked, a spirit descended upon Jesus and a voice from Heaven told him he was God's Son (I guess that was sort of like being told you are adopted). That marked the beginning of Jesus' ministry.
So even though Jesus is without sin, he was baptised for the repentance of sins - right. Apparently JTB initially refused to baptize Jesus, saying, "I need to be baptized by you." A "you first, no YOU first" argument ensued, and in the end Jesus persuades John to baptize him anyway.
The whole baptising thing was a big deal, as Jesus' disciples were baptizing more people than John, which caused some issues. Jesus thought John was a bad arse, and the Book of Acts reports that the disciples of John eventually merged into the followers of Jesus. This isn't talked about so much in the gospels, but Matthew 11:11 does have Jesus calling John "the greatest man in history." We find even higher praise for JTB in the annals of David "Bigger than J." Stewart's Jesus-Is-Savior.com
John wasn't a covetous man. Money meant NOTHING to John the Baptist. He certainly didn't dress to impress, nor did he have a Shirley Temple style hairdo like Joel Osteen. John was no girly boy! You weak-kneed, smiley-face, Bible-inspiration-denying, arrogant, spoiled, hypocritical, intelligencia preachers out there who think you know more than God need to carefully think over Proverb 21:2, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.”
How insightful, we are once again treated to a Bible passage that teaches us nothing we don't already know Bible believers believe.
But of course all that river Jordan BS is crap, as we really know that, according to the Mormons, John the Baptist appeared on the banks of the Susquehanna River inPennsylvania as a resurrected being to Joseph Smith, Jr. and Oliver Cowdery on May 15, 1829, and ordained them to the Aaronic Priesthood. That's the real river that JTB should be associated with.
Note: The Aaronic Preisthood is so called because in LDS Advice to Young Men it's revealed that if you ejaculate, you immediately die, just like Aaron
JTB is usually known for the manner of his death.
Part of his ministry was conducted within the borders of Galilee, and this was within the tetrarchy of Herod Antipas (son of Herod Multipass, brother of Herod Antipasto). BTW, a tetrarchy is when power is divided b/t 4 individuals (unlike Evidence 3 Faith). This prince was a son who folllowed in the footsteps of his father Herod the Great, but on a visit to Rome, he fell in love with his niece Herodias, and persuaded her to come on to Galilee. The Synoptic Gospels report that JTB dared to rebuke Herod Multipass for his evil deeds, especially his public adultery (does this mean he screwed his mistresses in the middle of the town square at peak hour? Legend). Herod was pretty pissed off by this, and, after being swayed by his son's wife Herodias, decided that JTB needed to have his arse handed to him on a plate (I intentionally used that phrase - why will become evident later). So, he had JTB apprehended and bound in prison. However, Josephus tells a different story, containing perhaps more of an element of truth. "As great crowds clustered around John, Herod became afraid lest the Baptist should abuse his moral authority over them to incite them to rebellion, as they would do anything at his bidding; therefore he thought it wiser, so as to prevent possible happenings, to take away the dangerous preacher. . .and he imprisoned him in the fortress of Machaerus" (Antiq., XVIII, v, 2). Whatever the story, it's pretty clear that Herodias (Herod Multipass's wife) hated JTBs guts: "She laid snares for him: and was desirous to put him to death" (Mark 6:19). Little did the chroniclers know those snares referred to the palpable sexual tension between them, Herod seemed to be on board with his wife's murder blush, but "he feared the people: because they esteemed him as a prophet". Herod might have had a thing for JTB though, as according to Mark, he heard John willingly and did many things at his suggestion.
"Hey Herod [sucking of teeth] could you, uh, go ahead and unkill all those babies? Thanks, have them on my desk by noon tomorrow."
John, in his chains, was attended to by some of his disciples, who kept him in touch with the events of the day via status updates, tweets and Instagram. He thus learned of the wonderous things that Jeebus was doing (e.g: "Dude just turned water into wine! #WTF #epicwedding #freepiss). Apparently John's faith did not waver in the least, not the least because Jesus' hashtag of choice was YOLT. But, some of his disciples, were suss that Jeebus was the Messiah. Accordingly, he told them to pay Jeebus a visit, bidding them say: "John the Baptist hath sent us to thee (basically: "JTB sent us), saying: Art thou he that art to come; or look we for another? (And in that same hour, he cured many of their [the people's] diseases, and hurts, and evil spirits; and to many that were blind he gave sight.) And answering, he said to them: Go and relate to John what you have heard and seen: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are made clean, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, to the poor the gospel is preached: and blessed is he whosoever shall not be scandalized in me" (Luke and Matthew ).
JTB languished for a while in the fortress of Machaerus; but the ire of Herodias, unlike that of Herod, never lessened: she was waiting for any excuse to kill this mother fucker off. And, that excuse eventually came at the birthday feast which Herod, after Roman fashion, gave to the princes, and tribunes, and chief men of Galilee. So when the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, and got Herod and the other guys sitting at the table with him all hot and bothered, the king said to the "damsel"/Miley Cyrus of the time: Ask of me what thou wilt, and I will give it thee. . . She wasn't sure what to ask for, so she asked her mum who said (before she had even finished the question) "The head of John the Baptist!!!!". I'm guessing she was a teenager at this point, so she thought "watevs", and went back to the King and said (while chewing gum and twirling her hair) "I will that forthwith thou give me in a dish, the head of John the Baptist". And the king was struck sad. Yet because of his oath, and because of basically what amounts to peer pressure, he had to do what she asked. When he sent an executioner, he commanded that JTB's head should be brought in a dish: and, then he gave it to Herodias's daughter, and surprisingly, she gave it to her mother" (Mark). So the moral of the story, all you young women out there, is that if you twerk for a powerful man, he'll kill somebody for you. That is the summary of your value and influence on society. I'm so glad we have moved on from that thousands of years later....wait..... John's disciples, hearing of his death, "came, and took his body, and laid it in a tomb" "and came and told Jesus" .
Basically, Jeebus said "Suck that bitches - any questions NOW, Hmm?" (while waving his finger at them Beyonce style).
And to think, this all came from that one incident where John the Baptist punched her in the face instead of baptizing her, from an innocent slip of the arm that wound ten times before delivering a power shot to the chin. Why keep a grudge
JTB was born exactly six months before Christ; JTB's long hair and and the hairs of the camel tunic signify the sun's rays= ties in with Samson (lit. "the sun" in Hebrew), and Elijah of the fiery chariot in the sun also wore a camel hair tunic. Th twelve disciples are the equivalent of the Zodiac.
- Jesus' ministry is said to have lasted a year.
- It takes a year for the Sun to pass through the 12 signs of the Zodiac.
John the Baptist was buried in what now corresponds to The West Bank in Israel. Historians record that his shrine was desecrated around 362, and that a portion of the rescued relics were carried to Jerusalem, then to Alexandria. The original tomb continued to be visited by pilgrims, and of course, miracles are said to have occurred there.
Of course the most important relic of JTB is his head, but no-one's quite sure what happened to it. Some say Herodias had it buried in the fortress of Machaerus, others say that it was interred in Herod's palace at Jerusalem; where it was later found during and secretly taken Phoenicia. The decapitation cloth of St. John is kept at the Aachen Cathedral in Germany. The Coptic Christian Orthodox Church also claim to hold the relics of St. John the Baptist. An obscure claim relates to the town of Halifax in West Yorkshire, in the UK, where the Baptist's head appears on the official coat-of-arms. A legend explains that the town's place-name, is a combo of 'halig' (holy) and 'fax' (face), because the first religious settlers of the district brought the 'face' of John the Baptist with them.
Lots of places claim to possess the severed head of John the Baptist. Among them are buildings in Damascus, Rome and Munich. Other heads were once said to be held by the Knights Templar at Amiens Cathedral in France, at Antioch in Turkey, and the parish church at Tenterden in Kent. This is corroborated by the Bible never stating JTB did not possess 45 heads.
The saint's right hand, with which he baptised Jesus, is claimed to be in the Serbian Orthodox Cetinje monastery in Montenegro; Topkapi Palace in Istanbul; and also in the Romanian skete (skeet skeet skeet) of the Forerunner on Mount Athos. The saint's left hand is allegedly preserved in the Armenian Apostolic Church of St. John at Chinsurah, West Bengal, where each year on "Chinsurah Day" in January it blesses the Armenians of Calcutta. At this rate isn't keeping all these parts of his body all over the place more of a DISservice to his memory? So morbid, would you want your body parts exhibited by clerics for tourists to feign interest in? Just Humpty Dumpty poor John back together again already, if you're lucky Jesus might resuscitate him
In 2010, bones were discovered in the ruins of a Bulgarian church and two years later, after DNA and radio carbon testing, scientists said that the remains could conceivably have belonged to John the Baptist. Unfortunately they meant a DIFFERENT John the Baptist.
There are several feast days for JTB, including the 29th of August on which his beheading is commemorated by the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. Eastern Orthodoxy also celebrates the first and Second Finding of the Head of St. John the Forerunner on February 24, and the third Finding of the Head of St. John the Forerunner on May 25th. Some Mediterranean countries also dedicate the summer solstice to St. John, complete with mass beheadings.
Listeners, we leave you with this question: What was the point of John going around dropkicking converts into rivers if Jesus was always meant to come around soon afterwards and do a better job of it in general? Not to mention cleanse everyone of sin with his sacrifice anyway?