Saturday, April 22, 2006

Repentance and the Fourth Gospel: Part 1

Now that the concept of repentance has been discussed, does this concept occur in the Fourth Gospel? Before discussing specific passages the may (or may not) allude to this concept ... what is the significance of the underlying Greek words to repentance (metanoia and metanoeo) not occuring in the Fourth Gospel?

In order to provide a small amount of evidence to the proposition that because something is not explicitly stated that it is not communicated, some items will now be brought forth to show that this idea is incorrect. The virgin birth is not mentioned in the FG, but that does not mean that the author did not know about it or intentionally left it out because he disagreed with it. The word (noun form) “faith” is absent from the FG. Hell (hades, gehenna, tartaroo) is not mentioned in the FG. Regarding other NT books, the verb “to believe” is absent from Revelation, and the noun form only occurs four times. While the verb “to save” occurs in Matthew fifteen times, Jesus is never called Savior. Similarly, the verb “to save” occurs in Mark fourteen times and “salvation” occurs once, but Jesus is never called Savior. If the absence of a word means de facto that the author purposefully left it out and/or the concept is not present then:

(1) The concept of Jesus as Savior is absent from Matthew, Mark, Romans, Colossians, Hebrews, and Revelation;
(2) The concept of grace is absent from Matthew and Mark;
(3) The concept of salvation is absent (in noun form) from Matthew and completely in Colossians;
(4) The verb pisteuo does not occur in Colossians or Revelation and the noun pistis does not occur in the FG;

These conclusions are unwarranted: the absence of a word does not necessitate the absence of the concept. This out-dated linguistic mindset is what led to so many problem with the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. The next post will list texts that may contain the concept of repentance in the Fourth Gospel.

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