Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Words from the Father

One of the challenges of reading the gospels is constructing a single coherent picture of Jesus Christ's mortal ministry from four complementary (and occasionally competing) sources. Take, for instance, the baptism of Jesus Christ. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all give different accounts with slightly different details. But even if you reconcile those three versions (and the JST alterations of them), you are still missing an important source on the baptism of Christ.

I've always known that 2 Nephi 31 provides commentary on the event, but just recently I realized that it also contains an account of the event itself--with material missing from the Bible. Here's one version of how those four sources might be harmonized if you were to construct a single view of Christ's baptism (JST in bold):

1 Then, when all the people were baptized, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee to Jordan, to be baptized of John.

2 But John refused him, saying, “I have need to be baptized of you; why do you come to me?”

3 Jesus, answering, said unto him, “Suffer me to be baptized of you, for thus it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness.”

4 Then John suffered him and went down into the water and baptized him.

5 Jesus, when he was baptized, went up praying straightway out of the water, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are my beloved Son; I am well pleased with you.”

6 Then those that were present saw the Spirit of God descending in a bodily shape like a dove and resting upon Jesus, and the heavens were opened unto him.

7 And they heard a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son. Hear him.”

8 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes: “He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like nto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do.”

9 “After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me.”

10 And again there came a voice from the Father, saying “Yea, the words of my Beloved are true and faithful. He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.”

1 comment:

Jo Jo said...

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have scriptures where everything is meshed together like that! Great job, again.