Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Manhunter analysis - part 24: John the Baptist

CATEGORY: MOVIES    [Hidden plot related]

John the Baptist by Andrea del Sarto, 1528. [Image from the Wikipedia 'John the Baptist' page, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.]

Recall that one of the biblical verses in Lecktor's book code is Luke 1:7; this verse falls under the section of Luke titled, "The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold." It is worthwhile to look over this section of Luke (in the below, some portions have been omitted for brevity, and verse 7 has been placed in italics; "barren" means sterile).

In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to the commandments and regulations of the Lord. But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years...[One day] there appeared to [Zechariah ] an angel of the Lord...the angel said to him, 'do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth...He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God.'

Near the end of the section, we are told that Elizabeth eventually conceives.

Now let us turn to the Gospel of John, which is also mentioned in the book code. John the Baptist, who is the 'John' referred to in the passage below, was the 'forerunner' of Jesus; he is not the same John as the author of the Gospel of John. We begin at John 1:1, under "The Word Became Flesh":

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He [Jesus] was in the world, and the world came into being through him...And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory of a father's only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, "This was he of whom I said, 'he who comes after me ranks ahead of me, because he was before me.' ")...

Again, John the Baptist was a forerunner of Jesus - he foretold Jesus' coming. Note the mention of "the light" - this is a reference to Jesus himself. Recall that one phrase used by Lecktor in his part of the toilet tissue note reads, "just as the source of light is burning." The use of this phrase by Lecktor is to get Will's unconscious mind 'thinking' that he (Will) can become Christ. This idea will be discussed in detail later.

The Gospel of Matthew explicitly states that "John [the Baptist] was the one who was spoken of in the prophet Isaiah" as one "crying aloud in the wilderness." John preaches baptism for the forgiveness of sin and he proclaims a future leader who "will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." Matthew records John as preaching "the kingdom of heaven is at hand" and a "coming judgment."

In the Gospel of John, John the Baptist directly denies being the Christ or Elijah or 'the prophet', instead describing himself as the "voice of one crying in the wilderness." Jesus's baptism is implied but not depicted. Unlike the other gospels, it is John himself who testifies to seeing "the Spirit come down from heaven like a dove and rest on him." John explicitly announces that Jesus is the one "who baptizes with the Holy Spirit" and John even professes a "belief that he is the Son of God." and "the Lamb of God."[a]

a. Wikipedia, 'John the Baptist'. Web, n.d. URL = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_the_Baptist.


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