Repentance (Christianity)

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"Repentance (theology)" redirects here. For repentance in the theology of other religions, see Repentance.
Close up of an 17th-century depiction of the 28 articles of the Augsburg Confession by Wenceslas Hollar.

Repentance is a theological term that describes a stage in Christian salvation where the believer turns away from sin. As a distinct stage in the ordo salutis its position is disputed, with some theological traditions arguing it occurs prior to faith and the Reformed theological tradition arguing it occurs after faith.[1] In Roman Catholic theology repentance is part of the larger theological concept of penance.[2] Generally in the Old Testament the term 'repentance' comes from the Hebrew word group that means "turn away from."[3] Sometimes this word group is employed to request a turning from sinful activity (Jeremiah 8:6). In the New Testament the metanoeo word group can mean remorse but is generally translated as a turning away from sin (Matthew 3:2).[4] Theologically 'repentance', the turning away from sin is linked to a corresponding turn to faith in God.[5]


  1. ^ Bruce Demarest, The Cross and Salvation: The Doctrine of Salvation (Wheaton: Crossway, 1997): 38-39.
  2. ^ Demarest, The Cross and Salvation, 37.
  3. ^ T.C. Mitchell, 'Repentance' New Bible Dictionary (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1996): 1007.
  4. ^ Mitchell, 'Repentance', 1007.
  5. ^ Mitchell, 'Repentance', 1008.