A person was sent from God by the name of John;
this one came as a witness
so that he might testify about the light,
so that all might believe through him.
He was not that light but testified about the light.
John testified about him and cried out,
"This is the one of whom I said, 'The one coming after me
has become ahead of me, because he was before me.'"
The people were in expectation
and all were considering in their hearts concerning John,
whether he might be the Christ.
When the Jews sent to him from Jerusalem priests and Levites
so that they might ask him, "Who are you?"
he acknowledged, "I am not the Christ."
They asked him, "Who then? Are you Elijah?"
He said, "I am not."
"Are you the prophet?"
He answered, "No."
So they said to him, "Who are you?
that we may give an answer to those who sent us;
what do you say about yourself?"
He said, "I am a voice crying in the desert:
Make straight the way of the Lord,
as said Isaiah the prophet."
The ones sent were from the Pharisees,
and they asked him, "Why then do you baptize
if you are not the Christ nor Elijah nor the prophet?"
John answered them,
"I baptize you with water for repentance;
but the one coming after me is stronger than I,
whose sandals I am not worthy to carry;
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire;
his winnowing fork is in his hand
to clean out his threshing floor
and to gather the wheat into his storehouse,
but the chaff he will burn with inextinguishable fire."
So with many different appeals
he brought the good message to the people
in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.