Here’s a slight update to a Think Free entry of 2011. I didn’t add too much other than a new reference to a non-canonical account of John. For anyone interested in Early Christianity, I recommend the very accessible The Story of Christianity, Volume 1 by Justo L. Gonzalez and its audiobook format, read most expertly by Michael Kramer. It’s not overloaded with detail but not too simple either. Thanks to the Toronto Public Library, I’ve been enjoying both formats at the same time!
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Living off wild insects and honey, the unshaven and long-haired John ranged through the countryside, full of the holy spirit, telling of the coming of the Messiah and the need for repentance.
John practiced and preached in the Qumran area. And according to the Gospels and the Jewish historian Josephus, he was beheaded by sword by Herod Antipas and his daughter Salome (21 BCE – 39 CE). Before his death, John had already been imprisoned by Herod for being critical of his lifestyle.