Would you consider John the Baptist as one of the first christians?
John the Baptist was teaching on the Kingdom of God and Christ first coming. Many teaching of John was also taught by Jesus. The church came a number of years after John's death, but does that mean that John could not have been a chirstian or could he? After all, he did baptize Jesus?
I would think not because John's death came before Jesus was crucified. Therefore, no one were considered Christians until after the resurrection.
JThomps42- I realize the word christian did not come about until long after the death of Jesus. My understanding of the meaning of this word christian is "to be Christ like". It would seem to me John was as it's described. Many, many thanks Jthomps44
I would have to say, based on the example of Abraham
Gen 15:6 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
It is very clear that John understood Jesus in all aspects of who He is., and as the appointed one to introduce Him.
Matt 3:1-3 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"
Matt 3:10 I indeed baptize you with water unto 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.
John brought the first step, repentance which precedes the born again experience.
He gave his life to introduce Him.
Jesus brought and is Righteousness personified.
And certainly John's faith would equal the faith of Abraham.
BUT then we also have:
Luke 1:15 He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.
For, what is a Christian? One who believes in, is born again by and filled by the Holy Spirit and follows Jesus
and John certainly fits all the requirements.
So THE Answer is YES YES
celafore- I don't no if this question has very been brought up before regarding John and in my opinion I have to agree with you. However, I do wonder of others opinions on this question. Many thanks celafore.
There is no requirement that I know of in scripture , that requires Jesus to have died and been resurrected before one could believe in HIM.
The door was not open to gentiles until after, but not so for the jews, as per Abraham and David
It occurs to me that the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Would actually be something that would make use of the word "Christian" a misnomer. No one can do what He did. So arguably no one can be a complete Christian.
eric-- what about Jesus says these things and even greater shall we also do??
Celafoe, I would think that is referring to us as mere men, trying to be like HIm. I get the feeling that He not only loves us but admires us when we try hard. But I like your point very much. It is consistent with the Word. I just never met one.
Jesus said that we will do greater works (widespread ministry/ Great Commision) by carrying the Gospel throught the world; He did not say greater miracles. Even when the Apostles were alive, all Christians could not do signs and wonders as they did.
I think that suffixes have meaning. Normally an and ian suggest that the object referred to belongs to the root word. So in simplest form a Christian is someone "of Christ". In that Christ is alpha and omega the time is irrelevant. A person either is or is not "of Christ".
John knew who Christ was so in that regard, yes, I would consider him on one of the first followers of Christ, or Christian.
No. He was most likely a forerunner for Jesus the Christ. He knew of the spiritual capacity of Jesus, and In his humility acknowledged this. A great sacrifice as well as a rare quality, considering that he himself had disciples. He was very sincere. Even in death he never lost his faith.
The Christ continued and enlarged on this philosophy and much later, Christianity surfaced. There are those who say that Paul was the first Christian, in the sense that he was full of enthusiasm and one-pointedness, and gave his all to Christ's teachings. He was also a great orator and writer, a scholar who was able to organise and reach many souls.
Christ was not fond of the 'isms' and 'ity's' of his day. He was not fond of the law in its old sense. He spoke in a revolutionary way and taught of the spirit of love and inner peace, the peace that passeth human understanding. This was alien to the Romans and the Jews who felt that he was usurping their powers.
Christ was dangerous as he taught something different and did things differently. Most importantly, people initially followed him. Some prominent people lost face as a result and became increasingly weary and anxious. Christianity came after Christ. Neither he nor John taught this.
I will attempt answer this question from a broader perspective as many have given some good points.
For most, the word "Christian" is often equated to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Although Christian is a New Testament term, being filled with the Holy Spirit is not, and goes much farther back. Exodus 31:3 describes Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah as being filled with the Holy Spirit.
This is probably not the first man to be filled with the Spirit, but is one of the earliest recorded.
There is no recording that John the Baptist was baptized at by a man; he was baptized by God by His Spirit.
When John the Baptist invited those to be baptized, it was nothing new for his Jewish audience. The ritual of baptism (mikveh) was nothing new and practiced on a regular basis. Most Christians have been taught that baptism was a new "Christian" thing. Even in the first century, self-immersion was an accepted part of Jewish life that concerned impurity. (Luke 2:22)
Jesus was baptized so he could enter into the Melchizedek priesthood so He could be the High Priest and offer Himself as a sacrifice for our sins to ALL.
Here is something to ponder:
Baptism in the first century among the Jews was quite different than the various styles that are done by church denominations today. When John the Baptist baptized Jesus, he most likely did not touch Jesus, nor did he pour water over His head. Jesus would have immersed himself like the Jews would have. There are a number of different drawings that depict Jewish baptism over the centuries. One drawing was found in a Roman catacomb that depicts John standing on the bank of the Jordan River extending a hand to Jesus who is standing in the water.
To answer your question, I would say NO in the context that a "Christian" is someone who has been filled with the Holy Spirit and is obedient to God. This can be traced much farther back than John the Baptist.
PandN- Is there any way to know at what point John started baptizing people in the name of Jesus? I realize baptism of people through the Father, Son and Holy Spirit didn't come until after Christ's death. Many thanks for your answer.
Jesus did not say to baptize in three titles but said to baptize in one name Col 3:17 There is a big difference between a persons name and his titles If we signed a check with brother, uncle, or son would the bank accept it? Using name is important.
PandN- Matthew 28: 19 (NKJV) 19 Go therefore and make desciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Jesus spoke these words. Am I misunderstanding something here? Thanks you.
What is the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit? That is the NAME we are to baptise in. A reptition to a command is not obedience to it because the actual NAME is not being used. (Acts 2:38)
In a sense he was; however, was he not a messenger of God the Father? Now I am not knowledgeable enough to know the answer to this question; however, I believe he was carrying out God's will more directly than most. He was showing us how to "really see" Christ for who He is, that is the Son of God. Thus, this simple question may not be as simple as we think.
Perhaps one could argue that he was so well connected with the Father; thus, being a close to perfect Jew who understood how to carry out God's will and God trusted him not unlike certain earlier prophets who would not technically be called Christians. Excellent question, I look forward to enhancing my understanding of this.
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