Chapter

Defining Repentance in the Greek Patristic World, Part I: Hellenistic Judaism, the New Testament, and Non-Judaeo-Christian Hellenistic Sources

Alexis Torrance

in Repentance in Late Antiquity

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199665365
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745065 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199665365.003.0003

Series: Oxford Theology and Religion Monographs

Defining Repentance in the Greek Patristic World, Part I: Hellenistic Judaism, the New Testament, and Non-Judaeo-Christian Hellenistic Sources

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In order to get a sense of how the concept of repentance was perceived by ascetic authors and the Greek patristic world more broadly, the motifs of repentance in Scripture must first be explored. While not claiming to be an exhaustive analysis of biblical repentance, key themes, verses, and images are accentuated in an effort to show how Scripture could serve to ground later developments in the understanding of repentance. The chapter is divided into sections on Hellenistic Jewish texts (predominantly the Septuagint) and the New Testament, followed by a brief excursus on repentance in the non Judaeo-Christian pagan context. The threefold conception of repentance as initial, existential, and Christ-like is applied to the New Testament, and is suggested as a legitimate reading strategy for understanding the diverse senses of repentance there, and so places the New Testament as the cornerstone for later ascetical elaborations of the concept.

Keywords: biblical repentance; Scripture; septuagint; Hellenistic Judaism; New Testament; patristics; classical world; pagan repentance

Chapter.  12424 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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