Daily Archives: August 1, 2007

The Baptism of Jesus Christ: Syntax and Exegesis Matthew 3:17

Matthew 3:17

When the crowds came to John for baptism they confessed their sins (Mat. 3:6). But Jesus makes no confession, he is praying (Luke 3:21). The only voice heard at Jesus' baptism is indeed a confession but it is the Father's confession of Jesus' identity. There is a sense in which this baptism is the inauguration of the king. The exclamatory phrase καὶ ἰδοὺ again turns the reader's attention to another new and unexpected event.1 The prior event was visible, this second event is auditory. A voice is heard coming out of the heavens. The anarthrous φωνὴ most likely focuses on the character of the voice rather than trying to classify it in other ways.2 The prepositional phrase ἐκ τῶν οὐρανῶν concludes with the ablative of source.3 The verbal participle λέγουσα functions as an indicative verb and reveals the content of the voice's statement.
The content of the message is primarily that of identification. This announcement