It is the Apostle John’s gospel that uniquely records the early ministry of Jesus; the synoptics (Matthew, Mark and Luke) proceed to the Galilean ministry.
John the Baptizer, the forerunner of Jesus, preached a message of repentance, and baptized those who were receptive. John 3:23 records, “John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there; and people were coming and were being baptized” (NASB). Again, this statement is made in a context narrating the early Judean ministry of Jesus.
We had the occasion last month to see Salim, located in the Jordan Valley.
Here is the tel of Salim:
I found it fascinating that you can still see an abundance of pools of water. In the shot below we are on the edge of the Tel Salim, looking north-east toward the Jordan. Note the water in the area.
The Transjordan in the distance would have been the Decapolis during Jesus’ ministry.
Biblical baptism is immersion. Such areas as this would lend themselves as good locations for baptism.
Click photos for higher resolution.