John 1:23
Parallel Verses
New International Version
John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, "I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way for the Lord.'"

New Living Translation
John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah: "I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, Clear the way for the LORD's coming!'"

English Standard Version
He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”

New American Standard Bible
He said, "I am A VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, 'MAKE STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD,' as Isaiah the prophet said."

King James Bible
He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
He said, "I am a voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord--just as Isaiah the prophet said."

International Standard Version
He replied, "I am '…a voice crying out in the wilderness, "Prepare the Lord's highway,"' as the prophet Isaiah said."

NET Bible
John said, "I am the voice of one shouting in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way for the Lord,' as Isaiah the prophet said."

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
He said: “I am the voice that cries in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of THE LORD JEHOVAH', just as that which Isaiah the Prophet said.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
John said, "I'm a voice crying out in the desert, 'Make the way for the Lord straight,' as the prophet Isaiah said."

Jubilee Bible 2000
He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaiah.

King James 2000 Bible
He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaiah.

American King James Version
He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

American Standard Version
He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said Isaiah the prophet.

Douay-Rheims Bible
He said: I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaias.

Darby Bible Translation
He said, I [am] [the] voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the path of [the] Lord, as said Esaias the prophet.

English Revised Version
He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said Isaiah the prophet.

Webster's Bible Translation
He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaiah.

Weymouth New Testament
"I am the voice," he replied, "of one crying aloud, 'Make straight the Lord's way in the Desert,' fulfilling the words of the Prophet Isaiah."

World English Bible
He said, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way of the Lord,' as Isaiah the prophet said."

Young's Literal Translation
He said, 'I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord, as said Isaiah the prophet.'
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 23. - He said, I am a voice crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said Isaiah the prophet. This great utterance had been by the synoptists distinctly applied to the Baptist (Matthew 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4); here we have the origin of such application. The Baptist quoted from Isaiah 40:3 two sentences; the synoptists cite the whole passage, as finding abundant realization in the mission of John. The prophet felt that the work he had to perform entirely concealed the importance of his own personality. He lost himself in his office and in his message. Isaiah, when foreseeing the revival of the nation, then wandering in a spiritual "wilderness," along rugged ridges, savage precipices, stony gorges, of a symbolic desert, anticipated the return of the Jehovah to his own sanctuary, and declared that ample prophetic preparation was needed, so that the people, by repentance and reformation, might understand that Israel had received double for all her sins. "Hark!" says he, "a crier, or a voice." The herald has gone forth to break the silence that lay between the land of captivity and the land of promise. "In the wilderness prepare ye the way of the Lord." Israel was to see that there was neither self-righteousness nor moral rebellion to impede the approach of One who was mighty to save. A portion of this very oracle is quoted by Malachi when he exclaims, "Behold, I send my messenger before my face, who shall prepare the way before me." This "messenger before the face of the Lord" is no other than he who should come in the spirit and power of Elijah. John, therefore, gathered up the significance of both prophecies, when he spoke of himself as "a voice crying in the wilderness [actual and symbolical], Make straight the way of the Lord." The Hebrew text, as we have translated it above, associates the words, "in the wilderness," with "make straight." rather than with "the voice crying." The quotation by the evangelist from the LXX. will suffer either arrangement of the words.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And he said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness,.... These words are cited by the other evangelists, and applied to John the Baptist; but then they are only to be considered as their citation, and as an application of them to him by them: but here they are used by John himself, who both expresses them, and interprets them of himself; and in which he was undoubtedly under the infallible direction of the blessed Spirit; and which confirms the sense of the evangelists, who apply the words to him. The Jews give a different interpretation of the words; though one of their celebrated commentators (u) owns, that the comforts spoken of in the preceding verses are what will be in the days of the King Messiah: one of them (w) interprets, "the voice", of the Holy Ghost; and so far it may be true, as John was filled with the Holy Ghost, and he spake by him in his ministry: and another (x), of the resurrection of the dead, or the voice that will be heard then, which will be the voice of the archangel: though another of (y) them better explains it by, , "they are they that bring glad tidings", or good news; such are Gospel preachers; only it should have been in the singular number: for the text speaks but of one voice; of one person crying; and of John the Baptist, who brought the good news, and glad tidings, that the Messiah was coming, yea, that he was already come, and that the kingdom of heaven was at hand. The Hebrew writers generally understand the passage, of the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, and of removing all obstructions in their way to Jerusalem; to which sense the Targum on the place inclines, which paraphrases it thus,

"the voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, prepare the way before the people of the Lord, make in the plain, paths before the congregation of our God:

but not the people of the Lord, but the Lord himself, and not the congregation of God, but God himself is intended; whose ways were to be prepared, and made plain, even the King Messiah; which was to be done, and was done by his forerunner John the Baptist, who, with great modesty, expresses himself in the language of this Scripture, as being a prophecy of him: he was a "voice", but not a mere voice; nor was his ministry a mere voice of words, as the law was, but it was the sweet voice of the Gospel, proclaiming the coming of the Messiah; encouraging men to believe in him; calling them to evangelical repentance, and publishing remission of sins in the name of Christ, and pointing him out as the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world: this voice was "crying"; it was not a still small voice, it was a very loud one; John lifted up his voice like a trumpet; he delivered himself with great zeal and fervency; and it was "in the wilderness" where this voice was heard, in the wilderness of Judea, as in Matthew 3:1 where Jesus came preaching; the Ethiopic version renders the words, "I am the voice of one that goes about in the wilderness"; that is, in the several towns and villages which were in the wilderness, to whom John went and preached the Gospel: the Persic version reads, "I am the voice and cry which cometh out of the wilderness"; referring to the place where he was before he entered on his public ministry, and from whence he came; for he was in the deserts till the day of his showing unto Israel, Luke 1:80. The words this voice cried were,

make straight the way of the Lord; he called upon persons to reform their ways, and walk in the way of the Lord, to repent of their sins, believe in Christ, and submit to the ordinance of baptism: the Ethiopic version reads, "the way of God"; and such was the person he came to prepare the way for, even the Son of God, and who is truly and properly God,

as said the prophet Esaias, in Isaiah 40:3.

(u) Kimchi in Isaiah 40.1.((w) Jarchi in Isaiah 40.3.((x) Zohar in Gen. fol. 70. 4. (y) Aben Ezra in Isa. ib.



John 1:23 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Mission of John the Baptist
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?" 23He said, "I am A VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, 'MAKE STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD,' as Isaiah the prophet said." 24Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.…
Cross References
Isaiah 40:3
A voice of one calling: "In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Matthew 3:3
This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: "A voice of one calling in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'"

Mark 1:3
"a voice of one calling in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'"

Luke 3:4
As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: "A voice of one calling in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.

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 1:24
Now the Pharisees who had been sent

John 3:28
You yourselves can testify that I said, 'I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.'
Treasury of Scripture

He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

I am.

John 3:28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, …

Matthew 3:3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, …

Mark 1:3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of …

Luke 1:16,17,76-79 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God…

Luke 3:4-6 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, …

as said.

Isaiah 40:3-5 The voice of him that cries in the wilderness, Prepare you the way …

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