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Title: The Immerser: John the Baptist Within Second Temple Judaism
Author: Taylor, Joan E
Publisher: Wm B Eerdmans (Print on Demand); Publication Date: 1997
Paperback; ISBN: 9780802842367
Volumes: 1; Pages: 360
List Price in Paper: $35.00 Our price: $28.99
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John the Baptist appears in the Gospels as a kind of "proto-Christian" whose main function is to point the way to Jesus. However, in a description written by the first-century Jewish historian Josephus, John the Baptist is presented quite differently. How can the accounts of John the Baptist be reconciled? Can we get closer to understanding John the Baptist in the context of his place and time?Challenging many commonly held views regarding the life of John the Baptist, this study examines various factors that help us to see better the "historical" John the Baptist. Joan E. Taylor considers whether John the Baptist may have been an Essene, or more particularly a member of the group responsible for the Dead Sea Scrolls corpus found near Qumran. She also addresses the issue of John's relationship with another group: the Pharisees. She discusses how John's baptism was understood by Jews and examines why John's "baptism of repentance" was both unique and yet understandable in the light of what we know about Jewish immersions for the removal of ritual impurity. John's teachings and predictions are also reviewed, as well as the reasons for his execution by Herod Antipas. Finally, Taylor explores the relationship between John and Jesus.The second volume in the Studying the Historical Jesus series, this book offers solid evidence that John the Baptist was indeed an important and respected figure within Second Temple Judaism even though he was later claimed for Christianity and passed over in Jewish tradition.