John 1:21
Parallel Verses
New International Version
They asked him, "Then who are you? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" He answered, "No."

New Living Translation
"Well then, who are you?" they asked. "Are you Elijah?" "No," he replied. "Are you the Prophet we are expecting?" "No."

English Standard Version
And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.”

New American Standard Bible
They asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" And he said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" And he answered, "No."

King James Bible
And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
What then?" they asked him. "Are you Elijah?"" I am not," he said." Are you the Prophet?"" No," he answered."

International Standard Version
So they asked him, "Well then, are you Elijah?" John said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" He answered, "No."

NET Bible
So they asked him, "Then who are you? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not!" "Are you the Prophet?" He answered, "No!"

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And they asked him again, “What, therefore? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “No.” “Are you a Prophet”, and he said “No.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
They asked him, "Well, are you Elijah?" John answered, "No, I'm not." Then they asked, "Are you the prophet?" John replied, "No."

Jubilee Bible 2000
And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elijah? And he said, I am not. Art thou the prophet? And he answered, No.

King James 2000 Bible
And they asked him, What then? Are you Elijah? And he said, I am not. Are you that prophet? And he answered, No.

American King James Version
And they asked him, What then? Are you Elias? And he said, I am not. Are you that prophet? And he answered, No.

American Standard Version
And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elijah? And he saith, I am not. Art thou the prophet? And he answered, No.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And they asked him: What then? Art thou Elias? And he said: I am not. Art thou the prophet? And he answered: No.

Darby Bible Translation
And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he says, I am not. Art thou the prophet? And he answered, No.

English Revised Version
And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elijah? And he saith, I am not. Art thou the prophet? And he answered, No.

Webster's Bible Translation
And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elijah? and he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.

Weymouth New Testament
"What then?" they inquired; "are you Elijah?" "I am not," he said. "Are you the Prophet?" "No," he answered.

World English Bible
They asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the prophet?" He answered, "No."

Young's Literal Translation
And they questioned him, 'What then? Elijah art thou?' and he saith, 'I am not.' -- 'The prophet art thou?' and he answered, 'No.'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:19-28 John disowns himself to be the Christ, who was now expected and waited for. He came in the spirit and power of Elias, but he was not the person of Elias. John was not that Prophet whom Moses said the Lord would raise up to them of their brethren, like unto him. He was not such a prophet as they expected, who would rescue them from the Romans. He gave such an account of himself, as might excite and awaken them to hearken to him. He baptized the people with water as a profession of repentance, and as an outward sign of the spiritual blessings to be conferred on them by the Messiah, who was in the midst of them, though they knew him not, and to whom he was unworthy to render the meanest service.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 21. - And they asked him, What then? What is the state of the case? The very repudiation of Messiahship in this form seems to imply some association with the Messianic period of which they had so many conflicting ideas. Malachi (Malachi 4:5) had predicted the coming again from heaven of Elijah the prophet, and the LXX., by translating the passage "Elijah the Tishbite," had strengthened the common mistake of a metempsychosis, or such an abnormal manifestation before the coming of Messiah. Schottgen ('De Messia,' H.H., vol. 2, pp 226, 490, 533-537) quotes a variety of proofs of this anticipation, and that Elijah was expected "three days before Messiah; that he would come in the mountains of Israel, weeping over the people, saying, 'O land of Israel, how long will you remain arid and desolate!'" (cf. my 'John the Baptist,' 3. § 4). There was a true sense in which (as our Lord informed his disciples) John was the fulfilment of Malachi's prediction and of the language of the angel to Zacharias (Luke 1:17; Matthew 11:14; Matthew 17:12), and that John came veritably in the spirit and power of Elijah. In that sense "Elijah had come already," just as Christ their David had come, in fulfilment of Ezekiel's vision (Ezekiel 37:24; cf. Jeremiah 30:9; Hosea 3:5), to rule over them. In the physical, superstitious sense, John the son of Zacharias was not the reincarnation of the Prophet Elijah, and so he boldly answered the inquiry, Art thou Elijah? with a categorical negative: I am not. They press their question once more. Art thou the Prophet? It is doubtful whether they here take up another popular expectation of the physical return of one of the old prophets, or whether, with an exegesis afterwards modified by the apostles, they point to Deuteronomy 18:15, and reveal the fact that they had not identified the prediction of "the prophet like unto Moses" with their Messiah. If they had identified these representations, they would not, of course, have pressed him with an identical question. It is highly probable that that prophecy had, with the predictions of Malachi and Isaiah, led to numerous expectations more or less identified with the Messianic cycle of coming events. In John 6:14; John 7:40; Matthew 16:14, we see the prevalence of the expectation - of a longing for an old prophet. They yearned for no upstart, but for one of the mighty brotherhood of departed men, in veritable flesh and blood. Now John and now Jesus was crudely suspected by some to be such a resuscitation. The Baptist, like the Samaritan woman, and subsequently St. Peter when full of the Holy Ghost, had sharply identified "the Prophet like unto Moses" with the Messiah himself; and therefore, on either hypothesis, he gives a curt reply to this inquiry, and he answered, No.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And they asked him, what then? art thou Elias?.... Elijah, the prophet; the Tishbite, as Nonnus in his paraphrase expresses it; who was translated, soul and body, to heaven: the Jews had a notion that that prophet would come in person a little before the coming of the Messiah; See Gill on Matthew 17:10 wherefore these messengers inquire, that since he had so fully satisfied them that he was not the Messiah, that he would as ingenuously answer to this question, if he was Elias, or not:

and he saith, I am not; that is, he was not Elijah the prophet that lived in Ahab's time, and was called the Tishbite; for John's answer is to the intention of their question, and their own meaning in it, and is no contradiction to what Christ says of him, Matthew 11:14 that he was the Elias that was to come; for he was the person meant by him in Malachi 4:5 though not in the sense the Jews understood it; nor is it any contradiction to what the angel said to Zacharias, Luke 1:17 for he does not say that John should come in the body, but in the power and spirit of Elias; See Gill on Matthew 11:14.

Art thou that prophet? Jeremiah, whom some of the Jews (t) have thought to be the prophet Moses spoke of, in Deuteronomy 18:15 and expected that he would appear about the times of the Messiah; see Matthew 16:14 or any one of the ancient prophets risen from the dead, which they also had a notion of, Luke 9:8 or, as it may be rendered, "art thou a prophet?" for prophecy had long ceased with them:

and he answered, no; he was not Jeremiah, nor any one of the old prophets risen from the dead, nor a prophet in the sense they meant: he was not like one of the prophets of the Old Testament; he was a prophet, and more than a prophet, as Christ says, Matthew 11:9 yet not such a prophet as they were; his prophesying lay not so much in predicting future events, as in pointing out Christ, and preaching the doctrine of the remission of sins by him,

(t) Baal Hatturim in Deuteronomy 18.15. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 127. 4. & 143. 4. Siphre in Jarchi in Jer. i. 5.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

21. Elias—in His own proper person.

that prophet—announced in De 18:15, &c., about whom they seem not to have been agreed whether he were the same with the Messiah or no.

John 1:21 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Mission of John the Baptist
20And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the Christ." 21They asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" And he said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" And he answered, "No." 22Then they said to him, "Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?"…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 18:15
The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.

Deuteronomy 18:18
I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him.

Malachi 4:5
"See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes.

Matthew 11:14
And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come.

Matthew 16:14
They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

Matthew 21:11
The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee."

John 1:22
Finally they said, "Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?"

John 1:25
questioned him, "Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?"

John 6:14
After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, "Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world."

John 7:40
On hearing his words, some of the people said, "Surely this man is the Prophet."
Treasury of Scripture

And they asked him, What then? Are you Elias? And he said, I am not. Are you that prophet? And he answered, No.

Art thou Elias.

Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the …

Matthew 11:14 And if you will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.

Matthew 17:10-12 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that …

Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn …

Art thou that. or, Art thou a.

John 1:25 And they asked him, and said to him, Why baptize you then, if you …

John 7:40 Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, …

Deuteronomy 18:15-18 The LORD your God will raise up to you a Prophet from the middle …

Matthew 11:9-11 But what went you out for to see? A prophet? yes, I say to you, and …

Matthew 16:14 And they said, Some say that you are John the Baptist: some, Elias; …

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