In the King James Version of the Bible the text reads:
- Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to
- Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
The World English Bible translates the passage as:
- Then Jesus came from Galilee to the
- Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.
For additional translations see here: Matthew 3:13
Jesus reenters the narrative for the first time since Matthew 2:23. In that verse he moves to Nazareth in Galilee. In this verse he returns from that region to Judea. A journey of about 70 miles (110 km) .
Clarke notes that according to tradition Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River five miles south of the Allenby Bridge, today the site of a Greek Orthodox monastery dedicated to John the Baptist. The area is currently in a military zone and is closed to visitors. This verse differs considerably from the description of the same event in Luke 3:21. In Luke Jesus is one of the crowd that has come to see John and it does not specify who baptized Jesus. The version at Mark 1:9 also does not give many details. This verse is much more specific, describing Jesus seeking out John to be baptized. According to Hill the relationship between Jesus and John the Baptist was one of the most important issues of first century Christianity and Matthew is very specific in these matters.
- France, R.T.. The Gospel of Matthew. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2007 pg. 119
- Clarke, Howard W. The Gospel of Matthew and its Readers: A Historical Introduction to the First Gospel. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003.
- Hill, David. The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981
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