Scala/Art Resource

John Baptizes Jesus in the Jordan River. Although the Gospel accounts do not include angels, here the scene is witnessed by God and a large heavenly host. Renaissance artist Lorenzo Ghiberti sculpted this bronze relief for the baptismal font in Siena, Italy, about 1417–27.

In a fifth- sixth-century manuscript of Luke called the Codex Bezae, Jesus becomes begotten of God when he is baptized. At the ceremony, a voice proclaims from heaven: “Thou art my beloved Son. Today I have begotten you.” However, in the canonical Gospel of Luke, a modified version of this verse appears: “Thou art my beloved Son. With thee I am well pleased.” Canonical Luke ascribes the time of Jesus’ begottenness to his conception, rather than to his baptism.