Here is an extract from the story of John the Baptist, taken from the Bible. The text is from the Contemporary English Version of the Bible (pictured left). To order your copy of this fresh, new version, click here for Amazon UK or US.
John is beheaded
Herod had earlier arrested John and had him chained and put in prison. He did this because John had told him, "It isn't right for you to take Herodias, the wife of your brother Philip." Herod wanted to kill John. But the people thought John was a prophet, and Herod was afraid of what they might do.
When Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests. She pleased Herod so much that he swore to give her whatever she wanted. But the girl's mother told her to say, "Here on a platter I want the head of John the Baptist!"
The king was sorry for what he had said. But he did not want to break the promise he had made in front of his guests. So he ordered a guard 10to go to the prison and cut off John's head. It was taken on a platter to the girl, and she gave it to her mother.
The Gospel of Matthew