repentance

repentance

A word covering several biblical ideas that range from regret to changing one’s mind or behavior so as to bring about a moral or ethical conversion. Thus in the OT God can repent in the sense of regret (1Sam 15:11). The most important aspect of OT repentance, however, is contained in the Hebrew word shub, which expresses the idea of turning back, retracing one’s steps in order to return to the right way. Repentance is often a national phenomenon involving fasting, lamentation, and the confession of sin to purge the nation of collective guilt. The prophets, however, complained about repentance that was merely cultic or liturgical, insisting rather on interior conversion (Mic 6:6-8) or the enactment of social justice (Amos 4:6; Amos 4:8; Amos 4:9; Amos 4:10; Amos 4:11; Amos 5:21-24; Isa 1:10-17; Isa 58:5-7). Ezekiel emphasizes individual responsibility (Ezek 3:16-21, Ezek 18, Ezek 33:10-20). In the NT the concept of repentance includes the idea of changing one’s mind or coming to a new way of thinking, but this must be authenticated though demonstrable acts (Matt 3:9-10). The distinctive aspect in the NT is that the call for repentance is connected to the imminent arrival of God’s kingdom and the coming of the Messiah (Matt 3:2; Matt 11-12:2; Matt 4:17; Matt 10:8; Mark 1:14-15; Luke 3:15-17). A decision for or against Jesus signifies a choice for or against repentance (Matt 11:20-24; Matt 12:41-42).

1Sam 15:11

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Mic 6:6-8

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Amos 4:6

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Amos 4:8

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Amos 4:9

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Amos 4:10

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Amos 4:11

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Amos 5:21-24

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Isa 1:10-17

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Isa 58:5-7

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Ezek 3:16-21

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Ezek 18

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Ezek 33:10-20

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Matt 3:9-10

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Matt 3:2

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Matt 11-12:2

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Matt 4:17

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Matt 10:8

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Mark 1:14-15

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Luke 3:15-17

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Matt 11:20-24

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Matt 12:41-42

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