REPENTANCE – the Hebraic Mindset

Having gain wide acceptance and appreciation for his Gospel of Grace messages through hundreds of TV broadcasts per week, and through his books, J Prince might feel undaunted by the negative comments towards his teachings. Staff might also have insulated him from being affected by blocking others from accessing his facebook pages etc so that he could focus on ministry matters.

Prayerfully, there would not be the boldness and brashness in attempting clever interpretations now that recognition has been attained.

Could this have been the case for his interpretation of Repentance as being a “change of mind“?  So many might be justified in observing that Prince’s understanding might be inadequate and incomplete, but still not false, and not flawed – only feeble (weak).

Prince is absolutely correct, as the original word for repentance is the Greek word “metanoia“. (What about the Hebraic equivalent?) This has brought much disquiet from detractors, whether theological academia or pastoral.

Personally I believe the understanding of scriptures is not just knowing what the single word means. Words have meanings only in the context of phrases and sentences, and in the milieu of the society and culture of the people. Or to put it in the context of Hermeneutics, the historical, grammatical, chronological, cultural, anthropological and EMOTIONAL context.

“Metanoia” cannot be explained in isolation.  The concept, not just the word is enveloped in a relational face-off with the Almighty Holy God, and a personal self-realization that one is wrong, and need changing.  This change would include many many dimensions, and is not limited to mental assent or agreement to fresh input or knowledge.  When I know I am lost, and am standing in the wrong spot, I don’t just turn my head, I change real-estate, and I move, or revamp and remove and overhaul any encumbrance that caused me to be lost!

So I believe the response and reactions generated from Prince’s teaching on “metanoia” is warranted.  Perhaps Prince should re-view this and examined how the people of the Bible understand the issue of repentance.

John Parsons have written extensively about Hebrew For Christians.  He wrote many articles on Teshuvah, the OT act of repenting and returning to Jehovah. Perhaps we may have a more comprehensive and complete teaching from the Hebraic perspective on Repentance. (I am appending snapshots of the article too, in case some cannot access the link)

Teshuvah, Metanoia and Strepho by John Parsons

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