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How Repentance Became Biblical
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How Repentance Became Biblical: Judaism, Christianity, and the Interpretation of Scripture

David A. Lambert


The book tells the story of repentance, its genealogy as a concept. It identifies repentance as a product of the Hellenistic period, when it was taken up within emerging forms of Judaism and Christianity as a mode of subjective control. Along with the rise of repentance, a series of interpretive practices were put into place whereby repentance is read into the Bible, which, in turn, came to be seen as repentance’s source. Ancient Israelite rituals, such as fasting, prayer, and confession, are understood to be part of penitence, external signs of internal remorse. Hebrew terms and phrases, such ... More

Keywords: repentance, penitence, Judaism, Christianity, Bible, interpretation, hermeneutics, genealogy, self, dualism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780190212247
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190212247.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David A. Lambert, author
Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill