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John 1:29-34:

The next day John saw Jesus coming towards him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, “A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.” I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptising with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.’

Then John gave this testimony: ‘I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptise with water told me, “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptise with the Holy Spirit.” I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.’

To me the implication is that John did not know that his own cousin / relation was the Messiah until His baptism!

Is this the correct understanding of "I myself did not know him"?

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My understanding is that John is basically saying that he didn't know that Jesus was the one who would baptize with the Holy Spirit, because this is the appositive statement to "I myself did not know Him." But I don't have time now to do the research required for a full answer; I'm sure someone else does. –  Niobius Dec 18 '13 at 14:40
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John the baptist knew when he was in his mother womb. It says in Luke 1:41-44:

and it came to pass, that when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the holy ghost. And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my lord should come to me. For, lo, as soon ass the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped with joy.

So soon as Mary was pregnant with Jesus she went to go see her cousin Elisabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist, came and said hello, and John inside the womb jumped with joy. John knew before he was even born that Jesus was the son of God.

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Yea it does elisabeth knew that mary was carrying our lord. So when mary walked in with jesus. The babe jumped with joy and elisabeth was filled with the holy ghost. –  davidx6 Dec 18 '13 at 23:43
Sorry for the late reply. Why then did John say, "I myself did not know him"? –  Wikis Apr 11 at 7:04
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