METANOIA (REPENTANCE)

Lack of knowledge of word meanings in their original language can often cause us to completely misunderstand the words they have become in English. That in turn can mean a whole world full of mistranslations because many modern Bible translations are taken from the English rather than the Hebrew or Greek.

I hope today’s word study can be read with that view in mind.  My intent is to help us all to see the deeper meaning of the word repent in the KJV as well as be willing to use the original Greek word in their everyday conversations today.

A word’s currency works somewhat like monetary currency. The more people use a word, the more useful it becomes. The more people know it, the easier it is for you to use.

For example, the word metanoia is a noun meaning: a profound transformation in one’s outlook. What is the origin? In the Greek, metanoia means a change of mind, and comes from metanoein, meaning to change one’s mind. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the earliest documented use was in 1577.

In scripture, the word metanoia (noun) or metanoeo (verb) includes the meaning of the root word (nousmindMind (nous) in scripture deals more with the will or determination in Romans 7. Paul willed to do God’s will (Rom. 7:25), but the members of his body prevented him (Rom. 7:23).

According to 2 Timothy 2:25, repentance is something that God must give. This particular repentance is a mind that acknowledges God’s truth, which in turn gives him strength to recover himself from the snare of the devil (2 Tim 2:26). By that, the new mind frees him from being captured by Satan.

For the Christian, repentance is a change of mind from determining to do wrong to doing right. For example, Simon (Acts 8:20-23) had a mind to purchase the power to give the Holy Spirit, which was the gift of God. Peter called on him to have a different mind, to cease to think that the gift of God could be purchased with money (Acts 8:20). The same change of mind was required of the Ephesians who had lost their first love. They were called on to have a mind to regain their first love and do the works they did at first (Rev. 3:5).

For those who are not Christian, repentance is a new mind that determines to no longer live for self, but to live for Christ (2 Cor. 5:15). Paul gained that mind when he saw Christ in the sky, so that he counted all things loss (all the accomplishments in the Jewish religion) and turned to live only for Christ (Phil. 3:8-12). Paul had the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16), which was to come to do the Father’s will and not his own will (John 5:30).

As an additional comparison, a Latin word, abnegation, meaning self-denial, can be closely associated with the deeper understanding of metanoiaAbnegation is from the Latin ab (away, off) + negare (to deny), from nec (not). The earliest documented use was in 1398.

So what does all this mean for the Christian? For many, repentance only means being sorry for the past and that’s it, but it should mean a complete change of heart and mind. Actually it is a new mind, one that determines to obey in God in everything.

That new mindset would bring us closer to the understanding of what it means to really love the LORD and to WANT to do his will (1 John 2:1-5).

-Beth Johnson

Chennai Teacher Training School

Women’s Studies

Muliebral Viewpoint

Articles and Books by Beth Johnson

GROWING STRONGER DAILY

What is the reason that we have for growing stronger daily? In order to grow stronger daily there must be enough motive to accomplish the task, and we should set aside time for this goal. The hope of eternal life is based in the promise that God made before the foundation of the world began. “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began” (Titus 1:2). Many believe they are going to heaven, but why? What evidence do they have? How can they be sure?

Continue reading GROWING STRONGER DAILY

LOVE NOT THE WORLD (Questions for Discussion)

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION:

  1. According to 1 John 2:15, what is NOT in a man if he loves the world?
  2. When John talks about loving the world in 1 John 2:15-17, is that the same thing as loving worldliness?
  3. Does the word ‘world’ in 1 John 2:15 refer to worldliness when God describes the world as having things in it?
  4. Does the ‘world’ in 1 John 2:15 refer to the men in the world if God told us to love our neighbors?
  5. Compare Romans 1:18-25 and tell how that passage fits with the one in the question above.
  6. After I have understood that God has made everything in this world, should I worship God or the things He has made?
  7. According to Luke 16:14, what is mammon?
  8. Why did the Pharisees not like this teaching about mammon (Luke 16:14)?
  9. Ponder the statement made to the unjust steward in Luke 16:8.  Tell why this is true.
  10. Should we love the world in the sense of the people in the world?
  11. Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13 talk about serving two masters.  What are those two masters?
  12. Why can a man not serve and love the world as well as serve his Creator (Matt. 6:24)?
  13. Who/What makes the world seem as if it is in Technicolor?
  14. Why would religion seem to be in black and white?1
  15. Why did Demas leave the service of Paul the apostle and ultimately leave God (2 Tim. 4:10)?
  16. Which world are we born into (1 Tim. 6:6-7)?
  17. According to 1 John 2:16-17, what all is in the world?
  18. Are we in the world in the sense of being part of the worldly people (1 Pet. 5:9; 1 Cor. 5:9-11)?
  19. Which world in John 2:15-17 is going to pass away (Matt. 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33; 2 Pet. 3:10-11)?
  20. If the world and the things of the world will be burned up, what kind of person ought we to be?Love Not The World