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Bill Thayer

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Moment of Choice and of Truth

9"And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. 10And straightaway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: 11And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Gospel according to Mark, ch. 1 (King James Version)

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The gospels are silent as to who might have witnessed the baptism of Christ. Artists, not implausibly, like to set the event amidst a large crowd of witnesses, but usually no angels are present. The angels have probably been inserted here so as to make Jesus the center of the scene.

Jesus is shown in the perfection of manhood — notice the six-pack abs, though his hips are a bit too feminine — and the carving is particularly beautiful: notice for example how we can see the camel hair of John's cloak even thru the water.

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Page updated: 17 Jun 08