LIBERTY UNIVERSITY BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
The Unestablished Disciple: John the Baptist’s Beliefs and Unique Lifestyle Submitted to Dr. David Mappes,
in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the completion of NBST 515 – B08 LUO
New Testament Orientation I
October 4, 2014
Basic Biographical Information1
Life as a Priest2
Life as a Prophet4
Living in the Wilderness5
Preparing the Way8
Jesus Christ did not arrive on this earth unannounced, nor did He begin His ministry without a proper introduction. His first cousin, John the Baptist, was divinely chosen to prepare the way for the Lord when He was to start His ministerial journey on the earth at age thirty, which is also around the time when John the Baptist baptized Jesus. Though one would expect the devoted believer to follow Jesus both physically and spiritually to the ends of the earth, he did only one of these. In choosing to continue his own ministry near the Jordan River, John the Baptist elected an exclusive lifestyle of worship and servanthood unique from the twelve disciples’ resolution of accompanying Jesus Christ on the physical mission of mobile ministry. The student will be conducting research on John the Baptist, highlighting his positive qualities as well as noting his somewhat unusual forms of obedience and worship. Through displaying information collected from predetermined sources (including the Old and New Testaments), the reader will potentially be able to either discover a new perspective of John the Baptist’s way of life, or remain faithful to his/her presupposed opinion of the Baptist’s remarkably devout servitude to God. Basic Biographical Information
John the Baptist’s personal history has a surprising significance that would dramatically affect his ministry; this significance can be easily overlooked without attributing the proper attention to the matter. His lineage and traditionalistic inheritance play an important role in fulfilling the prophecy of being the Messiah’s forerunner. Levite Lineage
John the Baptist was a Levite by lineage due to his father, Zechariah, being a Levitical priest. The Levite lineage began with the twelve tribes of Jacob; Levi, one of the twelve sons, began the line. Levites were raised to read and interpret the Law of God, and their responsibilities were passed down from father to child by way of genealogy. Levi initially had three sons, Gershon, Merari, and Kohath; the latter was the branch of the tribe from which the priests arose. Wenham writes, “The Kohathite priests handle the most holy items of the tabernacle . . . but the non-priestly Kohathites are not even to look at them, lest they die.” Numbers 3:41 states, “And you [Moses] shall take the Levites for me—I am the LORD.” The Levites belonged to God and had a revered job which was much more important than fighting; therefore, they were not included in the census of Moses with the other tribes—they were responsible for the tabernacle. Wenham writes, “The Levites’ task was to ensure God’s continuing presence with Israel. They dismantled, carried, and reassembled the tabernacle . . . they also guarded it from intruders.” Any layperson entering the tabernacle could lead to God’s divine wrath being released, causing the death of not only the one Israelite, but many. For this reason, Levites were commanded to kill any person attempting to trespass. The parents of John the Baptist, Zechariah and Elizabeth, were both descendants of the tribe of Levi; to clarify, John the Baptist was a Levite by genealogy. Life as a Priest
John the Baptist was a Levite, but he was also given the distinct responsibility of priesthood. Even though he did not fulfill all of his priestly duties, John was preordained for this occupation through traditional lineage. Priests had specific...
Bibliography: Harris, Kenneth Laing. “Exodus.” In Dennis, 139-209.Henry, Matthew. “John 1:21—Parallel Commentaries.” Bible Hub. Last modified in 2014. Accessed October 1, 2014. http://biblehub.com/john/1-21.htm.
Hugenberger, Gordon P
Park, Calvin E., “John the Baptist,” Bibliotheca Sacra 34, no. 133 (January 1877): 173-82. Accessed August 29, 2014. http://www.galaxie.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/art.
Wilkins, Michael J. “Matthew.” In Dennis, 1815-88.
Zee, Leonard Vander
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