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.
In popular culture
- The Impenitent thief is named Aram in the miniseries Jesus of Nazareth.
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.
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