Father Danielou, one of the most respected of modern biblical scholars, undertakes in this small but unusual work to establish the proper place of John the Baptist in the history of civilization. Salvation history, in Danielou's view, began with the creation of the cosmos; this was followed by the period from Adam to Abraham, while the next ""age"" runs from Abraham to John the Baptist. The latter by himself represents a single era in salvation history and a critical one, the time of immediate preparation for the central fact of history: the coming of the historical Christ. In that context, Danielou, basing himself upon the Bible narratives, examines the role of John in the over-all drama of sacred history, investigating and explaining his subject's vocation, holiness, development, function vis a vis the Christ, witness, death, and his continuing importance for the Church. The author's language and style are popular, his treatment clear and interesting, but the rather specialized nature of the subject will limit interest to professional theologicans, students, and laymen interested in the theology of history.