Sorting by


Did Jesus Urge People to Repent?

Below is the third guest post by my colleague David Lambert, connected to his book How Repentance Became Biblical.  For many readers of the blog, this will be the most important and interesting of them all.  It deals with the historical Jesus.  Did Jesus tell people that they needed to repent?   You might think the answer is obvious…. ****************************************************************** Did Jesus Preach Repentance? In my past two posts, I argued that the concept of repentance, as we use it today and as it first developed within Judaism and Christianity, was not originally found in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. Now, it’s possible that you might be tempted by this argument to draw the conclusion that repentance is a specifically Christian concept. It’s important, however, to keep in mind that, even though repentance became very important to Christianity, it actually first developed in the context of late Second Temple Judaism shortly before the advent of Christianity. The concept, for instance, is alive and well in the writings of Ben Sira (also known as Ecclesiasticus) a text that [...]

2021-02-06T01:00:25-05:00January 27th, 2016|Canonical Gospels, Historical Jesus|

What Is Repentance in the Bible? Is there Repentance in the Bible?

Many of you responded to my colleague David Lambert’s provocative post a couple of days ago on whether the idea of “repentance” could be found in the Bible. He has replied to your comments, but has wanted to provide a follow up post. It keeps getting more interesting. This is an intriguing reflection on “repentance” in the Bible, one that totally turns on its head what many of us have always thought. See what you think. - David Lambert is the author of How Repentance Became Biblical.    ********************************************************************* “The Meaning(s) of Repentance in the Bible” A lot of the comments that I received on my first post ( had to do with the definition of “repentance” that I’m using in my new study, How Repentance Became Biblical: Judaism, Christianity, and the Interpretation of Scripture. Just to review my main claim, I contend, after careful examination, that there are a lot of biblical passages and practices that we’ve understood in connection with repentance that don’t really have much to do with the concept. I claim [...]

2021-02-06T01:00:40-05:00January 22nd, 2016|Hebrew Bible/Old Testament|

Is Repentance a Biblical Idea? Interview with David Lambert

My colleague David Lambert, who teaches Hebrew Bible in my department, has recently published and interesting and important book with Oxford University Press, on the question of when the idea of “repentance” entered into the biblical tradition.  His answer is quite novel and surprising.  I have asked David to post some of his views on the blog.  The following is an initial foray into that, by way of an interview that he has done.   If you have questions or comments about the interview, please make them!  David is on the blog now and will respond, either in replies or by following up with new posts. Here is the interview. - David Lambert is the author of How Repentance Became Biblical.    *************************************************************************** Many people assume that repentance is and always has been a substantial part of the Bible, but that has not always been the case. In the following interview between Luke Drake, a doctoral student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and David Lambert, an assistant professor of Religious Studies at [...]

2021-02-06T01:01:48-05:00January 19th, 2016|Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Public Forum|
Go to Top