Impenitent thief

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Crucifixion by Hans von Tübingen showing the good thief on the right side of Christ, and the impenitent thief on the left side of Christ with a devil. Others portrayed are the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint John, and the three Marys (Mary Cleophas, Mary Salome and Mary Magdalene).

The impenitent thief was one of the two thieves who was crucified alongside Jesus. According to the Gospels, he taunted Jesus about not saving himself, while the penitent thief asked for mercy. The impenitent thief is given the apocryphal name Gestas, which first appears in the Gospel of Nicodemus, while his companion is called Dismas.

Pious folk beliefs later embellished that Gestas was on the cross to the left of Jesus and Dismas was on the cross to the right of Jesus. In Jacobus de Voragine's "Golden Legend", the name of the impenitent thief is given as Gesmas. The impenitent thief is sometimes referred to as the "bad thief" in contrast to the good thief.

The apocryphal Arabic Infancy Gospel refers to Gestas and Dismas as Dumachus and Titus, respectively. According to tradition, Dumachus was one of a band of robbers who attacked Saint Joseph and the Holy Family on their Flight into Egypt as recorded in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's The Golden Legend.[1]

In popular culture[edit]

Filipino idiom[edit]

Among Filipino Catholics, the name is popularly exclaimed as Hudas, Barabas, Hestas!, a term invoked as an exclamation of disappointment or chastisement, mentioning Gestas along with two other individuals Judas Iscariot and Barabbas, which gained prominence in the 1980 Filipino television series John En Marsha (1973-1990), starring actor Dolphy and actress Nida Blanca.[2]

See also[edit]

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainWood, James, ed. (1907). "article name needed". The Nuttall Encyclopædia. London and New York: Frederick Warne. 

References[edit]