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John 1:31

And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
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Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
And I knew Him not, &c. As though he said, "Think not, 0 ye Jews, that I affirm Jesus to be the Messiah for the sake of friendship, or relationship, as though I were His friend and companion; for I declare unto you that I knew Him not, that I never saw Him, or spoke to Him, before His baptism. But as soon as I saw Him I recognised Him by the inspiration of God." "What wonder," says S. Chrysostom, "that he who from a child dwelt in the desert away from his father"s house knew not Christ?" But that He should be manifested, &c. That Isaiah , to the Jews, to whom the Messiah was promised, "that they all might be brought to believe in Him." Wherefore Nonnus paraphrases, "But that He whose face was unknown might be manifested to all the children of Israel, who have no ruler, I am come a precursor of the way not declared, baptizing an unlearned, ignorant, erring people." ...

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
He that leaped in the depth of the womb of his mother at the voice of the Holy Virgin while yet bearing the Lord, prophet before the travail-pang, disciple in the womb, says of the Saviour, I knew Him not, and says truly, for he does not lie. For God knows all things of Himself and untaught, but the creature, by being taught. For the Spirit indwelling in the Saints, fulfils what is lacking, and gives to human nature His Own good, I mean, knowledge of things to come, and of the hidden mysteries. Therefore the holy Baptist saying that he does not know the Lord, will by no means speak untruly, in regard of the property of human nature, and the measure befitting the creature, but will attribute the knowledge of all things to God Alone, Who through the Holy Ghost enlighteneth man to the apprehension of hidden things. And very profitably doth he say that of himself he knew not Christ, but is come for that very purpose, to make Him manifest to Israel, that he may not seem to run of his own ac...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Here he renders his testimony free from suspicion, by showing that it was not from human friendship, but had been caused by divine revelation. I knew Him not, he says. How then couldest thou be a trustworthy witness? How shall you teach others, while you yourself art ignorant? He did not say I know Him not, but, I knew Him not; so that in this way he would be shown most trustworthy; for why should he have shown favor to one of whom he was ignorant? But that He should be made manifest unto Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. He then did not need baptism, nor had that laver any other object than to prepare for all others a way to faith on Christ. For he did not say, that I might cleanse those who are baptized, or, that I might deliver them from their sins, but, that He should be made manifest unto lsrael. And why, tell me, could he not without baptism have preached and brought the multitudes to Him? But in this way it would not have been by any means easy. For they would ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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