C The Difference between the Baptist and Jesus

The 'already here' motif is nowhere more obvious than in the difference marked out in the tradition between John the Baptist and Jesus. John had predicted a coming judgment (§11.4). That note chimes in with some at least of the teaching attributed to Jesus (§12.4). But John had nothing of the 'already come' emphasis, whereas the Synoptic tradition regarded that too as central to Jesus' preaching. Here we find the chief difference between the preaching of John and that of Jesus. We have already hinted at it above (§ 12.5a), but the contrast is most obvious in the material which was gathered together on the subject by Q and expanded by both Matthew and Luke — another example of the tendency within the oral tradition to bring material on the same subject together in sequences.303

Jesus and John



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