Luke 3:16
Parallel Verses
New International Version
John answered them all, "I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

New Living Translation
John answered their questions by saying, "I baptize you with water; but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am--so much greater that I'm not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

English Standard Version
John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

New American Standard Bible
John answered and said to them all, "As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

King James Bible
John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
John answered them all, "I baptize you with water, but One is coming who is more powerful than I. I am not worthy to untie the strap of His sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

International Standard Version
John replied to all of them, "I'm baptizing you with water, but one is coming who is more powerful than I, and I'm not worthy to untie his sandal straps. It is he who will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

NET Bible
John answered them all, "I baptize you with water, but one more powerful than I am is coming--I am not worthy to untie the strap of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Yohannan answered and said to them, “Behold, I am baptizing you in water, but he comes after me, who is mightier than I, the straps of whose shoes I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you in The Spirit of Holiness and in fire,”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
John replied to all of them, "I baptize you with water. But the one who is more powerful than I is coming. I am not worthy to untie his sandal straps. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Jubilee Bible 2000
John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you in water, but one mightier than I comes, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose; he shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire;

King James 2000 Bible
John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I comes, the thong of whose shoes I am not worthy to untie: he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire:

American King James Version
John answered, saying to them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I comes, the lace of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

American Standard Version
John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but there cometh he that is mightier than I, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire:

Douay-Rheims Bible
John answered, saying unto all: I indeed baptize you with water; but there shall come one mightier that I, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to loose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

Darby Bible Translation
John answered all, saying, *I* indeed baptise you with water, but the mightier than I is coming, the thong of whose sandals I am not fit to unloose; *he* shall baptise you with [the] Holy Spirit and fire;

English Revised Version
John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but there cometh he that is mightier than I, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

Webster's Bible Translation
John answered, saying to them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire:

Weymouth New Testament
he answered the question by saying to them all, "As for me, I am baptizing you with water, but One mightier than I is coming, whose very sandal-strap I am not worthy to unfasten: He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and with fire.

World English Bible
John answered them all, "I indeed baptize you with water, but he comes who is mightier than I, the latchet of whose sandals I am not worthy to loosen. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire,

Young's Literal Translation
John answered, saying to all, 'I indeed with water do baptise you, but he cometh who is mightier than I, of whom I am not worthy to loose the latchet of his sandals -- he shall baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:15-20 John the Baptist disowned being himself the Christ, but confirmed the people in their expectations of the long-promised Messiah. He could only exhort them to repent, and assure them of forgiveness upon repentance; but he could not work repentance in them, nor confer remission on them. Thus highly does it become us to speak of Christ, and thus humbly of ourselves. John can do no more than baptize with water, in token that they ought to purify and cleanse themselves; but Christ can, and will baptize with the Holy Ghost; he can give the Spirit, to cleanse and purify the heart, not only as water washes off the dirt on the outside, but as fire clears out the dross that is within, and melts down the metal, that it may be cast into a new mould. John was an affectionate preacher; he was beseeching; he pressed things home upon his hearers. He was a practical preacher; quickening them to their duty, and directing them in it. He was a popular preacher; he addressed the people, according to their capacity. He was an evangelical preacher. In all his exhortations, he directed people to Christ. When we press duty upon people, we must direct them to Christ, both for righteousness and strength. He was a copious preacher; he shunned not to declare the whole counsel of God. But a full stop was put to John's preaching when he was in the midst of his usefulness. Herod being reproved by him for many evils, shut up John in prison. Those who injure the faithful servants of God, add still greater guilt to their other sins.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 16. - I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I cometh. To refute this growing conviction that he was the Messiah, John tells the people plainly tidal Another far greater than he was coming. He, John, certainly washed (baptized) those who came to him, but his washing was merely symbolical - it could not purify them; his work had been to stir them up to repentance, to arouse them to change their lives. But the One who was coming, before whom he (John) was unworthy to stand and perform the humblest menial office, that great One should baptize too, but his baptism would be a very different thing. He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost. There was, indeed, a difference between John's baptism and the baptism of the Messiah who was to come after him. John could do no more with his words and symbol baptism than rouse the people to struggle after repentance and a change of heart and life, while Messiah would furnish to men the influence from above, that was really needed in order to purity of heart and life. He would procure and pour out the influence of the Divine Spirit (see Dr. Morrison, Mark 1:8). And with fire. Not with punitive fire, which interpretation would be quite alien from the context here. Those expositors who have adopted this meaning of the fire here have been most likely influenced by the mention of the unquenchable fire in the next sentence. The fire which was to enter into Messiah's baptism was rather the flame of purification. So we read of the coal of fire taken from off the altar and laid on the mouth of Isaiah the prophet (Isaiah 6:6, 7). "With fire," writes Bishop Wordsworth, "to purify, illumine, transform, inflame with holy fervor and zeal, and carry upward, as Elijah was carried up to heaven in a chariot of fire."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

John answered, saying unto them all,.... For some of them might not only so think in their hearts, but express with their mouths the apprehension they had of him; and might put the question to him, as the priests and Levites from Jerusalem afterwards did; or he might know the secret thoughts of their hearts by divine revelation; or be apprized by his disciples of the private sentiments of the people concerning him: and therefore, to put them out of doubt, and that he might not have an honour conferred on him, which did not belong to him, he addressed himself, in a very public manner, to the whole multitude, in the hearing of them all: though the word "all" is left out in the Syriac and Persic versions, but rightly retained in others, being in all copies, and having a considerable emphasis on it: and said the following words.

I indeed baptize you with water; Matthew adds "unto repentance"; upon the profession of repentance:

but one mightier than I cometh; that is,

after me; as Matthew records it:

the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose; neither to bear his shoes after him, as Matthew says, nor to untie his shoe string, or unbuckle his shoe, both which were menial actions with the Jews: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire; as he did some of their nation, his own disciples, on the day of pentecost; See Gill on Matthew 3:11

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

16. John answered—either to the deputation from Jerusalem (see Joh 1:19, &c.), or on some other occasion, simply to remove impressions derogatory to his blessed Master which he knew to be taking hold of the popular mind. (Also see on [1556]Mt 3:10.)

saying unto them all—in solemn protestation. So far from entertaining such a thought as laying claim to the honors of Messiahship, the meanest services I can render to that "Mightier than I that is coming after me," are too high an honor for me. Beautiful spirit, distinguishing this servant of Christ throughout!

one mightier than I—"the Mighter than I."

Luke 3:16 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Mission of John the Baptist
15Now while the people were in a state of expectation and all were wondering in their hearts about John, as to whether he was the Christ, 16John answered and said to them all, "As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17"His winnowing fork is in His hand to thoroughly clear His threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into His barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."…
Cross References
Matthew 3:11
"I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Matthew 3:12
His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

Mark 1:7
And this was his message: "After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.

Mark 1:8
I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

John 1:26
"I baptize with water," John replied, "but among you stands one you do not know.

John 1:27
He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie."

John 1:33
And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'

Acts 1:5
For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."

Acts 13:25
As John was completing his work, he said: 'Who do you suppose I am? I am not the one you are looking for. But there is one coming after me whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.'

Acts 19:4
Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus."
Treasury of Scripture

John answered, saying to them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I comes, the lace of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

I indeed.

Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water to repentance. but he that comes …

Mark 1:7,8 And preached, saying, There comes one mightier than I after me, the …

John 1:26,33 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there stands …

Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with …

Acts 11:16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed …

Acts 13:24,25 When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance …

Acts 19:4,5 Then said Paul, John truly baptized with the baptism of repentance, …

he shall.

Proverbs 1:23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit to you, …

Isaiah 32:15 Until the spirit be poured on us from on high, and the wilderness …

Isaiah 44:3,4 For I will pour water on him that is thirsty, and floods on the dry …

Ezekiel 36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean: …

Joel 2:28,29 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit …

John 7:38 He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly …

Acts 2:33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received …

Acts 10:44 While Peter yet spoke these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them …

Acts 11:15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.

1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be …

and with.

Isaiah 4:4 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion…

Zechariah 13:9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine …

Malachi 3:2,3 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when …

Acts 2:3,4,17,18 And there appeared to them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it …

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