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3. What did the prophets foretell about John?

In the Stilton Window, above the north porch, the subject depicted is St Elizabeth teaching St John the Baptist. St Elizabeth, 'clothed in robes which shade from purple to clear blue with touches of red, and she looks pensively at the boy who is studying a book which she holds in her hands'.

John would have been taught that the prophet Malachi (5th century BC) said:

“Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant.”

Satined Glass window - John the Baptist learning from the Scriptures
John the Baptist learning from the Scriptures

This passage predicts the coming of John the Baptist (“My messenger”) and Jesus Christ (“the Messenger of the Covenant”). Isaiah had also foretold the coming of someone who would announce the coming of the Messiah, (Isaiah 40:3; Matthew 3:3). Later, Jesus taught his disciples that John the Baptist had fulfilled part of Malachi’s prophecy (Matthew 17:10-13).

This window was gifted to the Church by the late Rev. Dr John Stirton of Crathie, Domestic Chaplain to the King, in memory of his mother.

These same passages of scripture are available to us today - if only we too have the ears to hear what they say.

Many of the stained glass windows around the Kirk depict stories and characters from the Bible. A short passage from the scriptures is often quoted beside the pictures too.

The Scriptures that John would have heard came from the Old Testament - telling about the Prophets. John's message of repentance, and his simply lifestyle, reminded people of the Prophet Elijah.

Many of these prophets and prophetesses are found in the stained glass around the Kirk.

Prophetesses of the Old Testament in the Dewar Window
Prophetesses - a detail from the Dewar Window

Prophets of the Old Testament in the Forteviot Window
Prophets - a detail from the Forteviot window

Scriptures illustrating stories from the New Testament, from the time of the ministries of John the Baptist and Jesus are very well illustrated in the Kidd Window in the South Transept and in other windows around the Kirk.

The nativity - a detail from the Great West window
The nativity - a detail from the Great West window

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