2nd Sun C Advent
The Gospel Paraphrased
There are many fine translations of the Gospels readily available. This paraphrase is not meant to replace them. Rather the intention here is to offer a more contemporary rendering so that you can imaginatively translate the Gospel into your own situation.
This Sunday's Gospel Paraphrased
It happened that John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the wilderness of Judea. He proclaimed, ‘Change your heart and mind, for the Kingdom of God is close.’ John was the man about whom Isaiah prophesied:
Then all the people from Jerusalem, from Judea and from all around the Jordan are came out to him. He baptised them in the Jordan, as they confessed their sins.
But when he saw some of the religious leaders coming to him, he attacked them saying, ‘Nest of snakes, who’s warning you to flee from the coming wrath? Come on, produce the fruit of repentance. Don’t you dare assert, even to yourselves, “Abraham is our father”, for I’m telling you, God can make children for Abraham out of these very stones. Look, the axe will soon cut down the tree, even deep into its root, if it doesn’t produce good fruit and what is cut down will be thrown on the fire.
‘Indeed, I do baptise you in water as a sign of your change of heart and mind, but there is someone coming after me who is far greater than me. Why, I’m not even fit to carry his sandals. He, he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire! The winnowing fan is in his hand and he will thoroughly cleanse the threshing-floor. He will gather the wheat into his silos but the chaff will be burnt in an eternal fire.’