Matthew 3:11
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"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.

New Living Translation
"I baptize with water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am--so much greater that I'm not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

English Standard Version
“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

New American Standard Bible
"As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

King James Bible
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I baptize you with water for repentance, but the One who is coming after me is more powerful than I. I am not worthy to remove His sandals. He Himself will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

International Standard Version
I am baptizing you with water as evidence of repentance, but the one who is coming after me is stronger than I am, and I am not worthy to carry his sandals. It is he who will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

NET Bible
"I baptize you with water, for repentance, but the one coming after me is more powerful than I am--I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“I am baptizing you in water for repentance, but he who comes after me is mightier than I, for I am not worthy to pick up his sandals; he is to baptize you in The Spirit of Holiness and in fire.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I baptize you with water so that you will change the way you think and act. But the one who comes after me is more powerful than I. I am not worthy to remove his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Jubilee Bible 2000
I indeed baptize you in water unto repentance, but he that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire,

King James 2000 Bible
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire:

American King James Version
I indeed baptize you with water to repentance. but he that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear. he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.

American Standard Version
I indeed baptize you in water unto repentance, but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire:

Douay-Rheims Bible
I indeed baptize you in the water unto penance, but he that shall come after me, is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you in the Holy Ghost and fire.

Darby Bible Translation
*I* indeed baptise you with water to repentance, but he that comes after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not fit to bear; *he* shall baptise you with [the] Holy Spirit and fire;

English Revised Version
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

Webster's Bible Translation
I indeed baptize you with water to repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire:

Weymouth New Testament
I indeed am baptizing you in water on a profession of repentance; but He who is coming after me is mightier than I: His sandals I am not worthy to carry for a moment; He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire.

World English Bible
I indeed baptize you in water for repentance, but he who comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit.

Young's Literal Translation
'I indeed do baptize you with water to reformation, but he who after me is coming is mightier than I, of whom I am not worthy to bear the sandals, he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:7-12 To make application to the souls of the hearers, is the life of preaching; so it was of John's preaching. The Pharisees laid their chief stress on outward observances, neglecting the weightier matters of the moral law, and the spiritual meaning of their legal ceremonies. Others of them were detestable hypocrites, making their pretences to holiness a cloak for iniquity. The Sadducees ran into the opposite extreme, denying the existence of spirits, and a future state. They were the scornful infidels of that time and country. There is a wrath to come. It is the great concern of every one to flee from that wrath. God, who delights not in our ruin, has warned us; he warns by the written word, by ministers, by conscience. And those are not worthy of the name of penitents, or their privileges, who say they are sorry for their sins, yet persist in them. It becomes penitents to be humble and low in their own eyes, to be thankful for the least mercy, patient under the greatest affliction, to be watchful against all appearances of sin, to abound in every duty, and to be charitable in judging others. Here is a word of caution, not to trust in outward privileges. There is a great deal which carnal hearts are apt to say within themselves, to put aside the convincing, commanding power of the word of God. Multitudes, by resting in the honours and mere advantages of their being members of an outward church, come short of heaven. Here is a word of terror to the careless and secure. Our corrupt hearts cannot be made to produce good fruit, unless the regenerating Spirit of Christ graft the good word of God upon them. And every tree, however high in gifts and honours, however green in outward professions and performances, if it bring not forth good fruit, the fruits meet for repentance, is hewn down and cast into the fire of God's wrath, the fittest place for barren trees: what else are they good for? If not fit for fruit, they are fit for fuel. John shows the design and intention of Christ's appearing, which they were now speedily to expect. No outward forms can make us clean. No ordinances, by whomsoever administered, or after whatever mode, can supply the want of the baptism of the Holy Ghost and of fire. The purifying and cleansing power of the Holy Spirit alone can produce that purity of heart, and those holy affections, which accompany salvation. It is Christ who baptizes with the Holy Ghost. This he did in the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit sent upon the apostles, Ac 2:4. This he does in the graces and comforts of the Spirit, given to those that ask him, Lu 11:13; Joh 7:38,39; see Ac 11:16. Observe here, the outward church is Christ's floor, Isa 21:10. True believers are as wheat, substantial, useful, and valuable; hypocrites are as chaff, light and empty, useless and worthless, carried about with every wind; these are mixed, good and bad, in the same outward communion. There is a day coming when the wheat and chaff shall be separated. The last judgment will be the distinguishing day, when saints and sinners shall be parted for ever. In heaven the saints are brought together, and no longer scattered; they are safe, and no longer exposed; separated from corrupt neighbours without, and corrupt affections within, and there is no chaff among them. Hell is the unquenchable fire, which will certainly be the portion and punishment of hypocrites and unbelievers. Here life and death, good and evil, are set before us: according as we now are in the field, we shall be then in the floor.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 11. - (Cf, especially John 1:27; Acts 13:25; also Acts 19:4.) After our ver. 10 St. Luke inserts details of the various kinds of fruit that repentance ought to produce, suggested by the questions of different portions of the Baptist's audience; and then, with an explanatory note that John's words were due to a misconception having arisen that he was himself the Messiah, he adds what we have in vers. 11, 12. But even if vers. 0-12 were, in fact, not said consecutively, yet their juxtaposition here may be defended by the real connexion between the statements. In ver. 10 John has spoken of the present danger of his audience; he therefore now urges repentance, and that in view of the coming of One who will sift them to the uttermost. With water; in, Revised Version margin (ἐν), and so in the second part of the verse. The thought is not of the instrument by which the baptism is effected, but of the element in which it takes place. "In" suggests more complete submergence of the personality. But he that cometh after me. The expression would recall the thought of" the Coming One" - a common designation of Messiah (Matthew 11:3; Matthew 21:9). Is mightier than I. Not in authority (the next clause), nor in honour (John 1:30), but in inherent strength and power. Whose shoes. Though shoes or boots were usual in the winter, at all events later, and probably also now (cf. Edersheim, 'Life,' 1:621), yet sandals are doubtless meant. "In the LXX. and Josephus σανδάλιον (Mark 6:9; Acts 12:8) and ὑπόδημα [here] are used indiscriminately" (Thayer). Worthy. In moral sufficiency (ἱκανός) , and so in the parallels, but (ἄξιος) in moral desert in John 1:27. To bear; complementary to "loosen" in the parallel passages. The duty of slaves of the lowest rank. The distance of superiority here attributed by John to "him that cometh after me," must be reckoned even greater than it usually is; for most of the slaves then held by Jewish masters would not be Jews, but Gentiles. The thought is, "I am further removed from my successor than the meanest Gentile slave is from his Jewish master." Some have seen in this expression a reference to the practice of disciples carrying the shoes of their teachers (Edersheim, 'Life,' 1:272), but this can hardly have been general so early. He. The emphasis is made the more evident by the absence of any connecting particle. Shall baptize you. "The transference of the image of baptism to the impartment of the Holy Spirit was prepared by such passages as Joel 2:28 (Acts 2:17)" (Bishop Westcott, on John 1:33); comp. also Ezekiel 36:25-27, where the symbol of cleansing by water and the gift of the Holy Spirit are closely connected. With the Holy Ghost, and with fire (ἐν Πνεύματιυ Ἁγίῳ καὶ πυρί). To the visible John contrasts the invisible, to the symbol of water the reality of the Spirit; adding (here and in the parallel passage in Luke) to this, which forms the main point of the contrast (cf. Mark 1:8; John 1:33), the thought of Malachi 3:2, purification as by fire; and, by not placing it under the government of another preposition (which would have necessitated the conception of it as a distinct element) implying that it is only another aspect of one and the same baptism. It has been questioned, indeed, whether "fire" here refers to the purification of the godly who truly accept the baptism of the Spirit, or to the destruction of the wicked, as in vers. 10, 12. But the thought is one. The Divine presence will in fact, as is recognized by Isaiah (Isaiah 33:14; Isaiah 31:9), be twofold in its working, according as it is yielded to or the reverse. It burns away sin out of the godly, and it consumes the ungodly if they cleave to their sin.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

I indeed baptize you with water,.... These words, at first view, look as if they were a continuation of John's discourse with the Pharisees and Sadducees, and as though he had baptized them; whereas by comparing them with what the other Evangelists relate, see Mark 1:5 they are spoken to the people, who, confessing their sins, had been baptized by him; to whom he gives an account of the ordinance of water baptism, of which he was the administrator, in what manner, and on what account he performed it:

I indeed baptize you; or, as Mark says, "I have baptized you"; I have authority from God so to do; my commission reaches thus far, and no farther; I can administer, and have administered the outward ordinance to you; but the inward grace and increase of it, together with the ordinary and extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, I cannot confer. I can, and do baptize, upon a profession of repentance, and I can threaten impenitent sinners with divine vengeance; but I cannot bestow the grace of repentance on any, nor punish for impenitence, either here or hereafter; these things are out of my power, and belong to another person hereafter named: all that I do, and pretend to do, is to baptize

with water, or rather in water, as should be rendered. Our version seems to be calculated in favour of pouring, or sprinkling water upon, or application of it to the person baptized, in opposition to immersion in it; whereas the "preposition" is not instrumental, but local, and denotes the place, the river Jordan, and the element of water there, in which John was baptizing: and this he did

unto repentance, or "at", or upon "repentance": for so may be rendered, as it is in Matthew 12:41 for the meaning is not that John baptized them, in order to bring them to repentance; since he required repentance and fruits meet for it, previous to baptism; but that he had baptized them upon the foot of their repentance; and so the learned Grotius observes, that the phrase may be very aptly explained thus: "I baptize you upon the `profession' of repentance which ye make." John gives a hint of the person whose forerunner he was, and of his superior excellency to him: he indeed first speaks of him as one behind him, not in nature or dignity, but in order of time as man;

but he that comes after me. John was born before Jesus, and began his ministry before he did; he was his harbinger; Jesus was now coming after him to Jordan from Galilee, to be baptized by him, and then enter on his public ministry: but though he came after him in this sense, he was not beneath, but above him in character; which he freely declares, saying,

is mightier than I; not only as he is the mighty God, and so infinitely mightier than he; but in his office and ministry, which was exercised with greater power and authority, and attended with mighty works and miracles, and was followed with the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit. Not to mention the mighty work of redemption performed by him; the resurrection of his own body from the dead; and his exaltation in human nature, above all power, might, and dominion. The Baptist was so sensible of the inequality between them, and of his unworthiness to be mentioned with him, that he seems at a loss almost to express his distance from him; and therefore signifies it by his being unfit to perform one of the most servile offices to him,

whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; or as the other Evangelists relate it, "whose shoelatchet I am not worthy to unloose"; which amounts to the same sense, since shoes are unloosed in order to be taken from, or carried before, or after a person; which to do was the work of servants among the Jews. In the Talmud (e) it is asked,

"What is the manner of possessing of servants? or what is their service? He buckles his (master's) shoes; he "unlooses his shoes", and "carries them before him to the bath."''

Or, as is elsewhere (f) said,

"he unlooses his shoes, or carries after him his vessels (whatever he wants) to the bath; he unclothes him, he washes him, he anoints him, he rubs him, he clothes him, he buckles his shoes, and lifts him up.''

This was such a servile work, that it was thought too mean for a scholar or a disciple to do; for it is (g) said,

"all services which a servant does for his master, a disciple does for his master, , "except unloosing his shoes".''

The gloss on it says, "he that sees it, will say, he is a "Canaanitish servant":''

for only a Canaanitish, not an Hebrew servant (h), might be employed in, or obliged to such work; for it was reckoned not only, mean and servile, but even base and reproachful. It is one of their (i) canons;

continued...

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

11. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance—(See on [1216]Mt 3:6);

but he that cometh after me is mightier than I—In Mark and Luke this is more emphatic—"But there cometh the Mightier than I" (Mr 1:7; Lu 3:16).

whose shoes—sandals.

I am not worthy to bear—The sandals were tied and untied, and borne about by the meanest servants.

he shall baptize you—the emphatic "He": "He it is," to the exclusion of all others, "that shall baptize you."

with the Holy Ghost—"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; I am but the servant, but the Master is coming; I administer but the outward symbol of purification; His it is, as His sole prerogative, to dispense the inward reality." Beautiful spirit, distinguishing this servant of Christ throughout!

and with fire—To take this as a distinct baptism from that of the Spirit—a baptism of the impenitent with hell-fire—is exceedingly unnatural. Yet this was the view of Origen among the Fathers; and among moderns, of Neander, Meyer, De Wette, and Lange. Nor is it much better to refer it to the fire of the great day, by which the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Clearly, as we think, it is but the fiery character of the Spirit's operations upon the soul—searching, consuming, refining, sublimating—as nearly all good interpreters understand the words. And thus, in two successive clauses, the two most familiar emblems—water and fire—are employed to set forth the same purifying operations of the Holy Ghost upon the soul.

Matthew 3:11 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Mission of John the Baptist
10"The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 11"As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12"His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
Cross References
Isaiah 4:4
The Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion; he will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire.

Matthew 3:6
Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

Mark 1:4
And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

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."

Luke 3:16
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.

John 1:15
(John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, "This is the one I spoke about when I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'")

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 1:30
This is the one I meant when I said, 'A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'

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 2:3
They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.

Acts 2:4
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Acts 8:36
As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, "Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?"

Acts 8:38
And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.

Acts 11:16
Then I remembered what the Lord had said: 'John baptized with water, but 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."

Titus 3:5
he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
Treasury of Scripture

I indeed baptize you with water to repentance. but he that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear. he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.

baptize.

Matthew 3:6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

Mark 1:4,8 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance …

Luke 3:3,16 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism …

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 When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance …

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

but.

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

John 1:15,26,27,30,34 John bore witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom …

John 3:23-36 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there …

whose.

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

Luke 7:6,7 Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, …

Acts 13:25 And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think you that I …

Ephesians 3:8 To me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given…

1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, you younger, submit yourselves to the elder. Yes, all of …

he shall.

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

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

Isaiah 59:20,21 And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and to them that turn from transgression …

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

Malachi 3:2-4 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when …

Mark 1:8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with …

Luke 3:16 John answered, saying to them all, I indeed baptize you with water; …

John 1:33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the …

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

Acts 2:2-4 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty …

Acts 11:15,16 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at …

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

Galatians 3:27,28 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ…

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