It becomes more and more evident that...
...being the Baptism by John (whatever is his origin) an allegory of the faculty of knowing the Christ (a faculty preceding the real acquisition of knowledge of the identity of Christ)...
...the presence of John serves only to secure the reader that who acquired the knowledge of Christ were one and the same people who had that faculty (via baptism).
This can't be a Markan idea, if the Messianic Secret has to be a Markan idea.
Hence, John the Baptist was probably absent in proto-Mark.
Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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