Who Really Killed John the Baptist?



Those who believe Jesus existed have a lot of disturbing stuff to face. The Gospels actually make it look like their Jesus murdered John the Baptist!

The Jesus they depict was certainly capable of murder for he commanded people to choose death rather than defy him and he slandered the Jews and accused them of scheming to kill him (Matthew 23) which could have led to murder.

It is certain that John the Baptist existed for Josephus recorded some things about him.

The gospels claim that John sent men to ask Jesus if he was the Son of God after John allegedly realised Jesus was when he baptised him in the Jordan. Jesus told the delegation to tell John about his miracles. This shows that there was more than some bad blood between the pair. Jesus said that John was the greatest prophet ever born and quoted the Bible speaking of a prophet preparing the way before the Lord to prove it (Matthew 11:10), meaning that the person who knew God the best knew that Jesus was a fake and anything but the Son of God. The Christians would interrupt me at this point to say that John was not denying Jesus but doubting him. But to doubt Jesus with the claims he was making is the same thing as denying him. It is denying that he has any convincing credentials for the claims he makes and therefore accusing him of being an evil charlatan. Jesus took offence at John for he told John’s men that he blesses those who are not offended by his claims.

Matthew 11 says that John heard of Jesus’ miracles in prison which evidently means that the gospel is lying when it says that Jesus was openly doing miracles as soon as John baptised him in the Jordan long before John was incarcerated.  John would have heard of them before had they been happening. And if John had been keen on Jesus or his message he would not have waited until he went to prison to send a few men to ask Jesus questions to investigate him. And God couldn’t tell him about Jesus’ miracles though John was a prophet having two-way conversations with him meaning that God would not sanction Jesus meaning that God disapproved of Jesus’ activities. Moreover, John was in jail to shut his gob up (Matthew 14:3) for Herod did not like his judgements on his private life so there was no way he would have been able to commune with his disciples. It is more plausible that the disciples were really Jesus’ disciples who were able to get to John. Jesus covered up by pretending they were John’s. Why? Was it because he was going to use these same men to take care of the Baptist once and for all?

So Jesus said that John was the best and most important human being ever – Catholics who say that it was Mary take note – but then added that the least in God’s kingdom is far better than John. Jesus must mean that the worst person in Heaven is better than John at least that person would believe in Jesus. John was inferior no matter how good he is for he didn’t believe.
Jesus was obviously sentencing John to Hell or to exclusion from God’s kingdom.  John is the best man on earth, not in the afterlife. Jesus is saying that it is better to believe in Jesus than to be a very good man. Christians might object that if John fell into sin at the end of his life he would be very evil. But surely God would take the best man on earth before he would depart from the faith and the righteous way? Jesus is inferring that goodness is inferior to believing in him. Since John did not believe he is either destined for Hell or bad because the lowest sinner who believes in Jesus and joins his kingdom is better for he believes. There is real rancour in this. Jesus wanted John to rot in Hell in case he would do his cause any harm. He would have liked to see John die.

The gospels claim that Herod promised the daughter of Herodias that she could have anything she wanted even half the kingdom if she danced for him. The mother told the girl to ask for the head of John the Baptist who she hated for condemning her morals and her sleazy romps with Herod. This is a silly yarn because she could have asked for half the kingdom to get control of the prison. Or she could have asked for more authority over Herod’s own kingdom and decreed John’s execution. Or she could have taken her half of the kingdom and then transferred John to another prison and personally send the executioner to destroy him. And anyway, why would she be so keen to get John murdered when he could not do her any harm in jail? And harm was done already. There is some kind of cover-up here. We read that the Jews were afraid to run John’s baptism down because the people loved him and yet we read that Herod released the decapitated body so that the disciples of John could bury it and spark off a major scandal that could have been averted by a secret murder! It seems that the body was found and then the murder blamed on Herod. These details do not appear in Josephus’s account which merely says John was arrested and executed in jail and Herod had did this because John had too many followers who were willing to treat him as a dictator and Herod therefore feared a sedition. It is bizarre that nothing was done about John’s disciples. His disciples would still have preached his message after his imprisonment and a sedition would have been more likely upon John’s arrest so Herod would have needed to get rid of them. It is probable that John’s disciples turned against him when he was imprisoned which contradicts the gospels that they did not.
Josephus said that Herod had John put to death because he had such a devoted following and was frightened that John might make a bid for political power. He could take a piece of or all of Herod’s kingdom. This does not match this Herod of the gospels who was willing to give away part of his kingdom for a flippant reason. The gospels here were going against common knowledge. They must have had good reason for lying like this. There was something they wanted to prove by saying that it was Herodias’ fault that John had to die.

Why would the gospellers go to such lengths to cover up the real facts about John’s death? They would not have done so if one of the apostles had cut John’s head off for their image in the gospels is not very flattering. The answer is that the murder was believed to have been committed by Jesus personally or somebody he commissioned to kill for him. It is undeniable that Jesus was able to go into the prison when his men masquerading as John’s disciples were. Whoever made up the story of the dancing girl felt sure that Jesus was the person who had ripped up the Baptist or had a lot to do with it and sanctioned it. Jesus had the motive and could have been the authorised or unauthorised executioner sent to behead John. Jesus went on the run after that like a guilty man. He went into hiding on a boat alone and in a wilderness as soon as he heard the news (Matthew 14:13). Mark says that Jesus and the apostles were stormed by visitors at the time of the murder. If that were true Jesus would have heard of the murder from the people not from the apostles or John’s disciples and yet the account says it was from John’s disciples after they buried John. Jesus was given an alibi he never had. Herod must have pretended to think that Jesus was John back from the dead if Jesus was as well known as the gospel says. He had an ulterior motive if he did that. Jesus and Herod would have agreed to pretend they did not know one another.

We are told that John’s disciples buried John. We must remember that if Jesus could really raise people from the dead or was thought to have this power, John’s disciples would not have been given the body in case a resurrection hoax would be carried out which would start up the trouble that Herod hoped to avoid in jailing John in the first place. John back from the dead or being alleged to be would mean the king’s relationship with Herodias would be under the condescending spotlight again. The body of John would have been kept safe and produced if any rumours about a resurrection emerged.

If Jesus did not behead John then it could have been that it was somebody else who was beheaded. We don’t know if the head was with the body or if it was recognisable if it was. The people thought that Jesus was John raised from the dead meaning that the two probably looked identical. Luke says they were second cousins. Did Jesus help John to fake his death so that John could masquerade as Jesus if Jesus’ antics caught up with him and put him on the cross? Was the reason that Jesus was thought to be John back from the dead that John was seen alive after his alleged death?

Josephus has John the Baptist dying about 36 AD. The huge problem with this is that it flatly and completely contradicts the gospels. The gospels have Jesus being crucified about 33 AD. And they say John died before 33 AD. Herod Antipas married the wife of his brother Herod Philip after the death of this brother in 34 AD. The gospels say that John the Baptist condemned Herod Antipas for this marriage so this detail from the gospels backs up the year of John’s death given by Josephus. John did not die before Jesus.
Christians however prefer to say Josephus was the one that was wrong and the gospels were right. They have no evidence for this but they just assume it for they don’t want to admit their religion can be wrong. Josephus should be regarded as more reliable firstly because he was a professional historian and the gospellers didn’t claim to be professional historians. Josephus used records and we know he knew Jewish history well. We can’t say these things about the gospellers.
When the gospels lied that Jesus was alive when John died perhaps they lied about his entire connection to John. John may never have heard of him. They lied either because Jesus never existed and they wanted it to look like he did or because they wanted to take the crown of Messiah ship from the Baptist and give it to Jesus instead. They wanted to fake evidence that John looked up to Jesus and approved his mission. Another reason for the lie could have been the need to make it look like Jesus lived. “This man never lived but we have to make sure it looks as if he did for its over for us if people realise he was a fiction. So we will pin a murder on him for nobody would believe that we would do that to somebody we were making up. We won’t pin it on him too blatantly for we can ‘t make it too obvious.”
John the Baptist has an interesting story. And whatever you make of it, it doesn’t bode well for the truth of the Jesus story.

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