please note that three different and distinct questions were posed to john the baptist and to which he gave three emphatic
"no's" as answers. to recapitulate:—
(1) art thou the christ?
(2) (2) art thou elias?
(3) (3) art thou that prophet?
but the learned men of christendom somehow only see two questions implied here. to make doubly clear that the jews definitely had t-h-r-e-e separate prophecies in their minds when they were interrogating john the baptist, let us read the remonstrance of the jews in the verses following—
(a) not that christ,
(c) (c) neither that prophet?"
(holy bible} john 1:25
the jews were waiting for the fulfillment of three distinct prophecies: one, the coming of christ. two, the coming of elias, and three, the coming of that prophet.