Raphael's The Prophet Isaiah
|Book||Gospel of Matthew|
|Christian Bible part||New Testament|
Matthew 3:3 is the third verse of the third chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. The verse occurs in the section introducing John the Baptist. This verse links John The Baptist to messianic prophecies.
In the King James Version of the Bible the text reads:
- For this is he that was spoken
- of by the prophet Esaias, saying,
- The voice of one crying in the
- wilderness, Prepare ye the way of
- the Lord, make his paths straight.
The World English Bible translates the passage as:
- For this is he who was spoken of by Isaiah the prophet,
- saying, "The voice of one crying in the
- wilderness, make ready the way of the
- Lord. Make his paths straight."
For a collection of other versions see BibleHub Matthew 3:3.
The quote in question comes from Isaiah 40:3. It originally was part of the description of the escape from the Babylonian Captivity. This same verse is quoted in Mark 1:3 and Luke 3:4. In Mark it is preceded by two other Old Testament quotes, Matthew moves these to 11:10. All three use the Septuagint version of Isaiah with one slight rewording. Where Isaiah has "make straight paths for God" becomes "make straight paths for him".
The author of Matthew does not introduce this quote with his standard "so it might be fulfilled" construction. Gundry argues that this was because while a figure like John the Baptist could complete a prophecy, only Jesus could fulfill them.
Hill notes that there are two main ways of punctuating this verse, which give somewhat different meanings. Traditionally the start of the quote was left as one phrase reading "the voice of one crying in the wilderness..." Based on the original Hebrew most modern scholars feel it should be two phrases reading "the voice of one crying: "In the wilderness..." This second punctuation makes the link between John the [Baptist] and Isaiah somewhat less direct.
- France, R.T. The Gospel According to Matthew: an Introduction and Commentary. Leicester: Inter-Varsity, 1985. pg. 104
- Gundry, Robert H. Matthew a Commentary on his Literary and Theological Art. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1982.
- Hill, David. The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981
| Gospel of Matthew