Matthew 3:11

“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:”

King James Version (KJV)

Other Translations

I indeed baptize you with water vnto repentance: but he that commeth after mee, is mightier then I, whose shooes I am not worthy to beare, hee shall baptize you with the holy Ghost, and with fire.
- King James Version (1611) - View 1611 Bible Scan

"As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
- New American Standard Version (1995)

I indeed baptize you in water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit and `in' fire:
- American Standard Version (1901)

Truly, I give baptism with water to those of you whose hearts are changed; but he who comes after me is greater than I, whose shoes I am not good enough to take up: he will give you baptism with the Holy Spirit and with fire:
- Basic English Bible

*I* indeed baptise you with water to repentance, but he that comes after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not fit to bear; *he* shall baptise you with [the] Holy Spirit and fire;
- Darby Bible

I indeed baptize you with water to repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire:
- Webster's Bible

I indeed am baptizing you in water on a profession of repentance; but He who is coming after me is mightier than I: His sandals I am not worthy to carry for a moment; He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire.
- Weymouth Bible

I indeed baptize you in water for repentance, but he who comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit.
- World English Bible

Y waische you in water, in to penaunce; but he that shal come after me is strongere than Y, whos schoon Y am not worthi to bere; he shal baptise you in the Hooli Goost and fier.
- Wycliffe Bible

`I indeed do baptize you with water to reformation, but he who after me is coming is mightier than I, of whom I am not worthy to bear the sandals, he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire,
- Youngs Literal Bible

Bible commentary

Wesley's Notes for Matthew 3:11


3:11 He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire - He shall fill you with the Holy Ghost, inflaming your hearts with that fire of love, which many waters cannot quench. And this was done, even with a visible appearance as of fire, on the day of pentecost.


People's Bible Notes for Matthew 3:11


Mt 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. His baptism was only a water baptism. The King could send the Holy Spirit, and give a mightier baptism, in addition to the outward baptism. Mightier than I. In that he can "perform" all that I only "promise". Whose shoes I am not worthy to bear. The duty of a slave, or one greatly inferior in rank. In the Orient sandals are generally removed on entering a house, and left in charge of a servant, who brings them again when needed. So humble was John, compared with the King, that he was hardly worthy to be his servant. He shall baptize with the Holy Ghost. In order to know what is meant we must refer to the fulfillment. On the day of Pentecost occurred such a baptism, the first so recognized in the New Testament. Then the spirits of the apostles were overwhelmed by the Divine Spirit, so that they spoke as he gave them utterance. It was Christ who "shed forth" the baptism of that occasion. This would be plainer had the Greek "en", here rendered "with", has been rendered "in", after the word "baptize". Of the 2,600 occurrences of "en" in the Greek New Testament, it is rendered "in" in the Common Version 2,045 times. The American Commitee of Revisers in the Revised Version (see margin) so renders it in connection with the word "baptize", and is doubtless right. These great scholars, mostly learned Pedo-baptists, would say, "Baptize 'in' water", "Baptize 'in' the Holy Spirit". And [with] fire. The term "fire" is used in Mt 3:10, and there means a destroying agency; it is used again in Mt 3:12 in the same sense; it is used in Mt 3:11, also, the intervening verse, and must be used in exactly the same sense as in the other two verses. It cannot mean a curse in Mt 3:10,12, and a blessing in Mt 3:11, without a word of explanation. It is strange, therefore, that all commentators should not agree that the baptism of fire is a baptism of trial and suffering. There were two classes before John. Some would repent and be baptized finally in the Holy Spirit; there were others who would remain impenitent, and be baptized in the awful trials that would come upon Israel. Mt 3:12 explains this. John says in it that there is the wheat and the chaff; one shall be gathered into the garner and the other burned.

Discussion for Matthew 3:11

  • Bernie Santa for verse 11
    There is a deeper Baptism in the Holy Spirit which purifies us in rebirth, a metanoia in the spirit of God indeed, suffering brings wisdom! we, then, realize experientially that we're essentially spirits, infinte, having a mere, transient human experience. So many, tragically unwittingly, die before giving birth to themselves in the deepest, transcendent sense... Amen.
  • The Old Covenant command that God gave to John the Baptist included the Jewish purification rite by immersion with water washing, but the New Covenant command of Jesus brought the purifying and saving grace of God by immersion with the Holy Spirit. Jesus was the incarnate God who fulfilled the purpose and ministry of John the Baptist with a greater baptism as the greater baptizer. We are followers of Christ identified by obedience to his way and no other way including John the Baptist is the way of life to God. We are known by the disciplines of his love and love for his disciplines. Immersion in his baptism with the Holy Spirit brings us from the death of our physical birth into his marvelous light of life, which is the new birth experience in the reality of his word at work in each believer in him.

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