The Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, CA

Clad in camel’s hair, in accordance with the Bible (Matthew 3:4; Mark 1:6), John the Baptist also wears a non-biblical red mantle (symbolizing martyrdom) and holds an anachronistic cross in this depiction by Pietro Lorenzetti (c. 1280–1348?), painted for an altarpiece in Siena, Italy. In addition to the Testimonium, Josephus chronicles the activities of John the Baptist in a section generally accepted as authentic. The fact that the Testimonium precedes the section about John the Baptist—contrary to the New Testament, in which the Baptist is the forerunner of Jesus—is one reason for thinking that at least the core elements of the Testimonium seem unlikely to be a Christian interpolation.