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  • Writer's pictureGlen A. Kirk

The Third Day of Christmas | December 27, 2021 | St. John, Apostle & Evangelist

St. John, Apostle & Evangelist | December 27

The Gospels, John's Epistles, Revelation

by Glen A. Kirk | December 26, 2021

Along with his older brother James, St. John (Apostle & Evangelist) was called Boanerges (or “sons of thunder”), by Jesus. Their mother, St. Elizabeth, was a cousin of Mary, the mother of Jesus. His father was the priest Zechariah. John was an ascetic Jewish prophet, preacher and teacher who preached about the “imminent, wrathful, judgement of God” and baptism for the forgiveness of sins. In fact, it is John himself who baptizes Jesus in the River Jordan and helps begin a ministry which ultimately leads to the cross, death and resurrection glory.

The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, although not always the most reliable source, provides the only known, extra-biblical account of John where he describes how “some Jews thought that the destruction of Herod's army came from God as a just punishment of what Herod had done against John, who was called the Baptist.” [18.116]

John drew the ire of King Herod when he openly criticized his marriage to Herodias, who was the former wife of his half-brother. In retribution, Herodias convinces her daughter Salome to ask for John’s decapitated head as a reward for her dancing at Herod’s birthday celebration. He reluctantly follows through but is said to have believed, upon hearing of Jesus’ miracles in the region, that John had been resurrected.



Unknown. (2001). Josephus on John the Baptist. Livius.org articles on ancient history. Retrieved December 27, 2021, from https://www.livius.org/sources/content/josephus/jewish-antiquities/josephus-on-john-the-baptist/

Strugnell, J. (1998, July 20). St. John the Baptist. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved December 27, 2021, from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-John-the-Baptist

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