Is "repentance" a military term?

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Ronald Quick | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Jan 17 2019 3:17 PM

I've heard preachers say that "repentance" is a military term which means "about-face", but I've searched the Greek word, μετανοέω, in my lexicons none discuss this being a military term.  Also, I have a number of commentaries, yet the only one I can find that says it is a military term is The Teacher's Commentary, which I've never heard of and I don't even know what I purchased to get it in my library.  I've copied the section below, but it doesn't say much about it.

"Repentance and faith. The word repent is a military term meaning make an about-face. The men to whom Peter spoke had refused to accept Jesus as Lord and Messiah. They had hesitated, then passively participated in His execution. Now they were asked to make a clear-cut commitment and symbolize their response of faith by public baptism. And if they did? Then everything that Jesus’ death and resurrection promised would become theirs: full forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit. The God they had scorned would welcome even them and, entering their lives, fill them with power to launch out new lives."

Larry Richards and Lawrence O. Richards, The Teacher’s Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1987), 767.

 

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Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 17 2019 3:37 PM

This question shows off what Logos resources can do!

TLDR - no. "About-face" is not etymologically attested. It is probably a case of "reverse etymology", like that old canard about the "dynamite power" (dynamis) of the Holy Spirit.

For proof, read on.

Posts 2465
Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 17 2019 3:47 PM

LSJ:

μετανοέω, perceive afterwards or too late, opp. προνοέω, Epich. [280]; opp. προβουλεύομαι, Democr.66; concur subsequently, τισι BGU747i11 (ii A.D.).

2. change one’s mind or purpose, Pl.Euthd.279c, Men.Epit.72; μ. μὴ οὔτε .. τῶν χαλεπῶν ἔργων ᾖ τὸ .. ἄρχειν change one’s opinion and think that it is not .., X.Cyr.1.1.3.
3. repent, Antipho 2.4.12; ἐν τοῖς ἀνηκέστοις Id.5.91: freq. in LXX and NT, Si.48.15, al.; ἀπὸ τῆς κακίας Act.Ap.8.22; ἐκ τῶν ἔργων Apoc.9.20; ἐπὶ τῇ ἀκαθαρσίᾳ 2Ep.Cor.12.21, cf. OGI751.9 (Amblada, ii B.C.); ἐπί τινι Luc.Salt.84, etc.; περί τινων Plu.Galb.6; τοῖς πεπραγμένοις Id.Agis19: c. part., μ. γενόμενος Ἕλλην Luc.Am.36.
4. c. acc., repent of, τὴν ἄφιξιν J.BJ4.4.5.

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 17 2019 3:51 PM

Adding to Lee, per Spicq and then modernized etymologically, Monday morning quaterbacking with a measurable regret.


Posts 2465
Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 17 2019 3:53 PM

M-M:

A few exx. of this important verb can be quoted from our sources—PSI V. 4959 (B.C. 258–7) νυνὶ δὲ μετανενόηκεν διὰ τὸ ἐπ[ι]τετιμῆσθαι ὑπὸ κτλ., P Gurob 63 (B.C. 214) ἐ̣άμπερ μὴ βούλησθε μετανοῆ[σαι—in a broken context, OGIS 7519 (ii/B.C.) θεωρῶν οὖν ὑμᾶς μετανενοηκότας τε ἐπὶ τοῖ[ς] προημαρτημένοις (cf. 2 Cor 12:21), BGU III. 747i. 11 (A.D. 139) οἰό[μ]ενος με[τ]ανοή[σι]ν (l. μετανοήσειν) ἡμεῖν ἐπῖχό[ν] (l. ἐπεῖχόν) σοι τῷ κυρίῳ δηλῶσαι, P Tebt II. 4245 (late iii/A.D.) εἰ μὲν ἐπιμένις σου τῇ ἀπονοίᾳ, συνχέ(= αί)ρω σοι· εἰ δὲ μετανοεῖς, σὺ οἶδας, “if you persist in your folly, I congratulate you; if you repent, you only know” (Edd.), BGU IV. 1024iv. 25 (end of iv/A.D.) ὑπὸ γὰ]ρ̣ τοῦ ἐπικιμέν[ου] αὐτῷ ἔρωτος [παρῆλθεν μ]ετανοῶν. In P Lond 89722 (A.D. 84) (= III. p. 207) παρακαλῶι δὲ σὲ εἵνα μὴ μελ̣ανήσης, the editor suggests that for μελ̣ανήσης we may perhaps read μετανήσῃς for μετανοήσῃς. See also Menandrea p. 1272 where the verb is used of “change of mind.” Its meaning deepens with Christianity, and in the NT it is more than “repent,” and indicates a complete change of attitude, spiritual and moral, towards God. MGr μετανοιώνω, “repent.”

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Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 17 2019 4:00 PM

BDAG:

μετανοέω fut. μετανοήσω; 1 aor. μετενόησα (ἐμετενόησαν w. double augment ApcEsdr 2:24) (s. next entry; Antiphon+)


change one’s mind Hv 3, 7, 3; m 11:4 (cp. Diod S 15, 47, 3 μετενόησεν ὁ δῆμος; 17, 5, 1; Epict. 2, 22, 35; Appian, Hann. 35 §151, Mithrid. 58 §238; Stob., Ecl. II 113, 5ff W.; PSI 495, 9 [258 B.C.]; Jos., Vi. 110; 262), then

feel remorse, repent, be converted (in a variety of relationships and in connection w. varied responsibilities, moral, political, social or religious: X., Hell. 1, 7, 19 οὐ μετανοήσαντες ὕστερον εὑρήσετε σφᾶς αὐτοὺς ἡμαρτηκότας τὰ μέγιστα ἐς θεούς τε καὶ ὑμᾶς αὐτούς= instead of realizing too late that you have grossly sinned against the gods; Plut., Vi. Camill. 143 [29, 3], Galba 1055 [6, 4], also Mor. 74c; M. Ant. 8, 2 and 53; Ps.-Lucian, De Salt. 84 μετανοῆσαι ἐφʼ οἷς ἐποίησεν; Herm. Wr. 1, 28; OGI 751, 9 [II B.C.] θεωρῶν οὖν ὑμᾶς μετανενοηκότας τε ἐπὶ τοῖς προημαρτημένοις; SIG 1268, 2, 8 [III B.C.] ἁμαρτὼν μετανόει; PSI 495, 9 [258/257 B.C.]; BGU 747 I, 11; 1024 IV, 25; PTebt 424, 5; Is 46:8; Jer 8:6; Sir 17:24; 48:15; oft. Test12 Patr [s. index]; Philo [s. μετάνοια]; Jos., Bell. 5, 415, Ant. 7, 153; 320; Just.) in (religio-)ethical sense ἐν σάκκῳ καὶ σποδῷ μ. repent in sackcloth and ashes Mt 11:21; Lk 10:13. As a prerequisite for experiencing the Reign of God in the preaching of John the Baptist and Jesus Mt 3:2; 4:17; Mk 1:15. As the subject of the disciples’ proclamation 6:12; Ac 17:30; 26:20. Failure to repent leads to destruction Lk 13:3, 5; Mt 11:20 (ἢ … μετανοήσωσιν ἢ ἐπιμείναντες δικαίως κριθῶσι Hippol., Ref. 1, pref. 2). Repentance saves (cp. Philo, Spec. Leg. 1, 239 ὁ μετανοῶν σῴζεται; 253; Just., D. 141, 2 ἐὰν μετανοήσωσι, πάντες … τυχεῖν τοῦ παρὰ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐλέους δύνανται) 12:41; Lk 11:32; cp. 15:7, 10; 16:30. μ. εἰς τὸ κήρυγμά τινος repent at or because of someone’s proclamation Mt 12:41; Lk 11:32 (B-D-F §207, 1; Rob. 593; s. εἰς 10a). W. ἐπί τινι to denote the reason repent of, because of someth. (Chariton 3, 3, 11; Ps.-Lucian, Salt. 84; M. Ant. 8, 2; 10; 53; Jo 2:13; Jon 3:10; 4:2; Am 7:3, 6; Prayer of Manasseh [=Odes 12] 7; TestJud 15:4; Philo, Virt. 180; Jos., Ant. 7, 264; Just., D. 95, 3.—B-D-F §235, 2) ἐπὶ τῇ ἀκαθαρσίᾳ of their immorality 2 Cor 12:21. ἐπὶ τοῖς ἁμαρτήμασιν of their sins 1 Cl 7:7 (Just., D. 141, 2; cp. OGI 751, 9f). ἐπί w. subst. inf. foll. MPol 7:3 (Just., D. 123, 6). Also διά τι Hv 3, 7, 2. Since in μ. the negative impulse of turning away is dominant, it is also used w. ἀπό τινος: repent and turn away from someth. ἀπὸ τῆς κακίας (Jer 8:6; Just., D. 109, 1) Ac 8:22 (MWilcox, The Semitisms of Ac, ’65, 102–105). ἀπὸ τῆς ἀνομίας 1 Cl 8:3 (quot. of unknown orig.). Also ἔκ τινος Rv 2:21b, 22; 9:20f; 16:11. W. ἐπιστρέφειν ἐπὶ τὸν θεόν Ac 26:20. μ. εἰς ἑνότητα θεοῦ turn in repentance to the unity of God (which precludes all disunity) IPhld 8:1b; cp. ISm 9:1. But μ. εἰς τὸ πάθος repent of the way they think about the suffering (of Christ, which the Docetists deny) 5:3. W. inf. foll. Rv 16:9. W. ὅτι foll. repent because or that (Jos., Ant. 2, 315) Hm 10, 2, 3. W. adv. ἀδιστάκτως Hs 8, 10, 3. βραδύτερον Hs 8, 7, 3; 8, 8, 3b. πυκνῶς m 11:4. ταχύ Hs 8, 7, 5; 8, 8, 3a; 5b; 8, 10, 1; 9, 19, 2; 9, 21, 4; 9, 23, 2c. μ. ἐξ ὅλης (τῆς) καρδίας repent w. the whole heart 2 Cl 8:2; 17:1; 19:1; Hv 1, 3, 2; 2, 2, 4; 3, 13, 4b; 4, 2, 5; m 5, 1, 7; 12, 6, 1; Hs 7:4; 8, 11, 3. μ. ἐξ εἰλικρινοῦς καρδίας repent w. a sincere heart 2 Cl 9:8.—The word is found further, and used abs. (Diod S 13, 53, 3; Epict., En 34; Oenomaus [time of Hadrian] in Eus., PE 5, 19, 1 μετανοεῖτε as directive; Philo, Mos. 2, 167 al.; Jos., Ant. 2, 322; Just., D. 12, 2; Theoph. Ant. 3, 24 [p. 254, 17]; εἰ ἤκουσαν μετανοήσαντες, οὐκ ἐπήγετο ὁ κατακλυσμός Did., Gen. 186, 9; ἁμαρτωλὸς … πρὸς το͂ μετανοεῖν πορευόμενος Orig., C. Cels 3, 64, 5) Lk 17:3f; Ac 2:38; 3:19; Rv 2:5a (Vi. Aesopi G 85 P. μετανόησον=take counsel with yourself), vs. 5b, 16, 21; 3:3, 19; 2 Cl 8:1, 2, 3; 13:1; 15:1; 16:1; IPhld 3:2; 8:1a; ISm 4:1; Hv 1, 1, 9; 3, 3, 2; 3, 5, 5; 3, 7, 6; 3, 13, 4a; 5:7; m 4, 1, 5; 7ff; 4, 2, 2; 4, 3, 6; 9:6; 10, 2, 4; 12, 3, 3; Hs 4:4; 6, 1, 3f; 6, 3, 6; 6, 5, 7; 7:2; 4f; 8, 6, 1ff; 8, 7, 2f; 8, 8, 2; 5a; 8, 9, 2; 4; 8, 11, 1f; 9, 14, 1f; 9, 20, 4; 9, 22, 3f; 9, 23, 2; 5; 9, 26, 6; 8; D 10:6; 15:3; PtK 3 p. 15, 11; 27.—S. also MPol 9:2; 11:1f, in the sense regret having become a Christian; AcPl Ha 1, 17.—Windisch, Exc. on 2 Cor 7:10 p. 233f; Norden, Agn. Th. 134ff; FShipham, ET 46, ’35, 277–80; EDietrich, D. Umkehr (Bekehrg. u. Busse) im AT u. im Judent. b. bes. Berücksichtigg. der ntl. Zeit ’36; HPohlmann, D. Metanoia ’38; OMichel, EvTh 5, ’38, 403–14; BPoschmann, Paenitentia secunda ’40, 1–205 (NT and Apost. Fathers).—On the distinctive character of NT usage s. Thompson 28f, s.v. μεταμέλομαι, end.—B. 1123. DELG s.v. νόος. M-M. TW. Spicq.

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Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 17 2019 4:10 PM

NIDNTTE:

GL Both the vb. μετανοέω and the noun μετάνοια (from the prep. μετά G3552 [“with, after,” but used in compounds to indicate change] and the vb. νοέω G3783 [“to understand, think”]) are attested no later than the 5th cent. BC, but these terms are used infreq. (and the noun rarely) during the class. period; they become more common in the Hel. age (e.g., each is used several times by Polyb.). The word group conveys the idea of thinking differently, and if the change of mind involves the recognition that the previous opinion was false or bad, we get the sense of feeling remorse or regret. In ancient Gk. culture, however, the thought of a radical change in a person’s life as a whole does not seem to play an important role. Thus the Christian concept of conversion is not derived from Gk. thought, and its origin must be sought elsewhere.

JL 1 In the LXX μετάνοια occurs only 7×, and only once in the canonical Heb. books, namely Prov 14:15, which says that, in contrast to the gullible, simpleminded person, πανοῦργος … ἔρχεται εἰς μετάνοιαν, lit., “a clever person comes to a change of mind,” i.e., shows thoughtfulness (but even here the Heb. text reads differently). All remaining occurrences are found in the Apoc., where it is used of repentance from sins (Wis 11:23; 12:10, 19; Sir 44:16; Pr Man 8 = Odes 12.8 [2×]).

The vb. μετανοέω is used 24× (incl. 5× in Jeremiah); although it renders several Heb. terms in isolated cases, it most freq. stands for נחם H5714 niph., and in most instances it is used with ref. to God. Thus we read, in the context of Saul’s punishment, that God οὐκ ἀποστρέψει οὐδὲ μετανοήσει ὅτι οὐχ ὡς ἄνθρωπός ἐστιν τοῦ μετανοῆσαι αὐτός, “will not turn back [Heb. יְשַׁקֵּר, ‘deceive’] or change his mind, for he is not like a human, that he should change his mind” (1 Sam 15:29 NETS [contrast the use of Heb. נחם in 15:11]; cf. also Jer 4:28; Zech 8:14). Elsewhere, however, the point is made that God does change his mind in the sense that, because of his mercy, he relents from bringing judgment on sinful human beings (Jer 18:8; Joel 2:13–14; Amos 7:3, 6; Jonah 3:9–10). In some passages, mainly in the Apoc., human repentance is in view (e.g., Jer 8:6; 31:19 [LXX 38:19]; Wis 5:3; Sir 17:24; 48:15; Pr Man 13 = Odes 12.13), but the concept of spiritual conversion to God is more commonly expressed with ἐπιστρέφω G2188 (see στρέφω G5138).

2 By contrast, μετάνοια and μετανοέω become the characteristic terms for conversion in later Jewish-Gk. writings. This shift in usage is evident in the refs. from the Apoc. already mentioned and even more so in the Pseud. writings (e.g., Sib. Or. 1.129 et al.; T. Reu. 1.9; 2.1.; T. Jud. 19.2; Jos. Asen. 15.6–8). It is striking that the word group is common in Philo (c. 65×) and Jos. (c. 75×), both of whom use the terms mainly to denote repentance of one’s sin (cf. esp. Philo’s extended discussion in Virt. 175–86; for more detail, see J. Behm in TDNT 4:991–95). Some have thought that whereas ἐπιστρέφω focuses on the concrete, physical motion implied by the OT use of שׁוּב I H8740 (e.g., going to the temple in Jerusalem, returning to the Holy Land), μετανοέω directs attention to the thought or the will. It would be a mistake, however, to think that this lexical aspect intellectualizes the concept. The term has in view the conversion of the whole person.


NT 1 The noun μετάνοια occurs 22× in the NT, but half of the occurrences are found in Luke-Acts (only 4× in the Pauline corpus, 3× in Hebrews, 2× in Matthew, plus Mark 1:4 and 2 Pet 3:9). The vb. μετανοέω is used 34×, with 14 instances in Luke-Acts and 12 in Revelation (otherwise 5× in Matthew, 2× in Mark, and 1× in Paul [2 Cor 12:21]). The adj. ἀμετανόητος, “unrepentant,” which occurs only in Rom 2:5, is attested only once prior to the NT (T. Gad 7.5, unless Christian influence lies behind this passage); later the term is often used with a different sense, “not to be regretted, unchangeable” (e.g., Lucian Abdic. 11).

2 The closest link with the prophetic call is undoubtedly found in the ministry of John the Baptist, who called the people to a “baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Mark 1:4 par. Luke 3:3; cf. Matt 3:2, 11; Acts 13:24; 19:4) and to produce its corresponding fruit, i.e., to show the genuineness of their repentance through their conduct (Matt 3:8 par. Luke 3:8). But whereas the motivation for repentance in the OT was linked with the past—characterized by social unrighteousness and idolatry—for John it was that “the kingdom of heaven has come near” (Matt 3:2). Those wishing to escape judgment (cf. 3:10) must repent, so that their whole lives may be changed and brought into a new relationship with God.

3 According to the Synoptics, the preaching of Jesus was virtually identical to that of the Baptist: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near” (Matt 4:17; cf. Mark 1:15). The clear difference between them, however, was that Jesus did not, as did John, look for one to follow him (Matt 3:11 par.). He saw in his own coming the beginning of God’s decisive work (11:6; Luke 11:20; 17:21)—hence the woes addressed to the towns that were not ready to repent (Matt 11:20–24 par.). That is why the inhabitants of Nineveh will find it better in the day of judgment than will the contemporaries of Jesus. The former “repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here” (12:41 par.). Thus repentance is viewed in terms of commitment to a person; the call to repentance becomes a call to discipleship. So repentance, faith, and discipleship are different aspects of the same thing (Mark 1:15, “Repent and believe”).
According to Luke 5:32, Jesus stated that he had come (ἐλήλυθα) to call the sinners, not the righteous, εἰς μετάνοιαν, “to repentance” (the par. in Matt 9:9 and Mark 3:13 do not incl. this phrase). Because God has turned to sinners through the coming of Jesus, sinners may and should turn to God. Hence conversion and repentance are accompanied by joy, for they mean the opening up of life for the one who has turned. The parables in Luke 15 bear testimony to the joy of God over the sinner who repents and calls on others to share it (cf. 15:7, 10). God’s gift to people in their conversion is life. When the parable of the prodigal son pictures conversion as a return to the Father, it can be said of the one who has repented, “this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found” (15:24; cf. v. 32).
One should keep in mind that there are many passages in the Gospels where the terms μετάνοια and μετανοέω do not appear, but in which the thought of repentance is clearly present. For instance, “Truly I tell you, unless you change [στραφῆτε] and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 18:3); if we wish to become Jesus’ disciples, we must be willing to “let go” (ἀποτάσσω G698) of all our possessions (Luke 14:33). These and other statements help us to see to what extent Jesus’ message was determined by the call to repent in the light of God’s sovereign rule, which he himself had brought in.

4 Primitive Christian preaching continued the call for repentance (cf. Mark 6:12 and the sermons in Acts). This missionary preaching linked with the call for repentance all the elements we have already met: the call to faith (Acts 20:21; 26:18; 19:4) and to be baptized (2:38), the promise of forgiveness of sins (Luke 24:47; Acts 3:19; 5:31), and the assurance of life and salvation (11:18; 2 Cor 7:9–10). Conversion is turning from evil (Acts 8:22; 2 Cor 12:21; Rev 2:21–22) to God (Acts 20:21; 26:20; Rev 16:9). In Acts 3:19 and 26:20 μετανοέω and ἐπιστρέφω are placed side by side as equivalent terms, though in these cases the former may focus on the abandonment of evil and the latter on the turning to God.

5 The fact that this word group occurs rarely in the Pauline writings and not at all in the Johannine corpus (apart from Revelation) does not mean that the idea of conversion is not present in them, but only that in the meantime a more specialized terminology had developed. Both Paul and John convey the idea of conversion by highlighting faith. Paul speaks of faith as being in Christ, as the dying and rising of a person with Christ, as the new creation, as putting on a new self. The Johannine lit. represents the new life in Christ as new birth, as a passing from death to life and from darkness to light, or as the victory of truth over falsehood, and of love over hate.

6 The early church soon began to consider whether it might be poss. for someone to turn repeatedly to God. The question arose from experiences in their missionary activity and from certain elements in their tradition; e.g., after Peter had long been following Jesus he was told, “when you have turned back …” (Luke 22:32, where ἐπιστρέφω is used). Some believe that the writer of Hebrews took the matter to its logical conclusion; they see Heb 6:1–8 as rejecting the possibility of a second repentance. In any case, the passage is intended to stress the absoluteness of conversion over against a form of Christian faith that was lapsing into apathy. Elsewhere the writer suggests that conversion was not just an independent human act but that God must give a “chance to repent” (12:17 NRSV; μετανοίας τόπον, lit., “a place of repentance”). A person who sins deliberately, i.e., defiantly, after receiving enlightenment incurs God’s judgment (6:8; 10:26–27). Such a heavy emphasis on the finality of conversion does not exclude God’s all-embracing desire to save. He is patient, “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Pet 3:9). Rather it stresses the absoluteness of his mercy: God saves completely and finally.

Posts 417
Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 17 2019 8:01 PM

Ronald Quick:

I've heard preachers say that "repentance" is a military term which means "about-face", but I've searched the Greek word, μετανοέω, in my lexicons none discuss this being a military term.  Also, I have a number of commentaries, yet the only one I can find that says it is a military term is The Teacher's Commentary, which I've never heard of and I don't even know what I purchased to get it in my library.  I've copied the section below, but it doesn't say much about it.

"Repentance and faith. The word repent is a military term meaning make an about-face. The men to whom Peter spoke had refused to accept Jesus as Lord and Messiah. They had hesitated, then passively participated in His execution. Now they were asked to make a clear-cut commitment and symbolize their response of faith by public baptism. And if they did? Then everything that Jesus’ death and resurrection promised would become theirs: full forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit. The God they had scorned would welcome even them and, entering their lives, fill them with power to launch out new lives."

Larry Richards and Lawrence O. Richards, The Teacher’s Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1987), 767.

 

I did a search of my resources and could not find any reference suggesting repentance could be a military term. However, I did find the following comment in an article on repentance in one resource:    Repentance is a turnabout, or “about turn” in military terms.

 Source:  Anthony C. Thiselton, “Repentance, Repent,” The Thiselton Companion to Christian Theology (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2015), 732.

On that basis, while it may not actually be a military term as such, repentance could be likened to an 'about turn' in military parlance.

Perhaps on a similar note, I found that in a discussion on James 4:7-12) the term ‘submit” (which also arises in 1 Peter 2:13 and 1 Peter 5:5) received this comment in one resource:   

“Therefore submit to God …” was given as the first duty of a repentant Christian. “Submit,” in the original language, was a military term meaning to get into one’s proper rank or order.

Source:  Marni Shideler McKenzie, Romans, Galatians, and James, vol. 3 (Dickson, TN: Explorer’s Bible Study, 2002), 67.

I guess that it may be a traditional military approach to punish ‘insubordination’, an improper refusal to submit to proper authority. Yet I would  also hesitate to claim that 'submit' is a military term used in NT times, unless there was evidence to support that position. Claims of a military connection for such terms may simply be misleading. Hope that helps. Keep well  Paul 

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 18 2019 2:46 AM

Left, righ, left, right....stop! Repent soldiers!

Hahaha nah, I don’t think is a military term. 😂

DAL

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Ronald Quick | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 18 2019 7:07 AM

A lot of helpful information.  I couldn't find anything to support this "definition" of the repentance and I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything.

Thanks!

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Dayasagar | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 30 2019 10:21 PM

I am studying the same term because I recently faced with different meaning than it used to be (from david pawson ,N.T wright....) .So What are your conclusion of the research?

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Gary Osborne | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 1 2019 3:19 AM

Dayasagar:

I am studying the same term because I recently faced with different meaning than it used to be (from david pawson ,N.T wright....) .So What are your conclusion of the research?

While the origin and basic meaning of the word in Greek doesn’t have a connection to our modern military “about face” marching order, I’d hope no one here is suggesting that repentance cannot be likened to an ”about face”.  It most surely can.  Preachers and teachers should be careful to Make clear it isn’t a military term at its root, but they can rightly say repentance would be similar to an “about face”.

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 1 2019 6:15 AM

Ronald - The applaud you for taking the time to research it. As teachers/preachers, we lose credibility when we state as fact things which we are unsure about (or worse, which are demonstrably false!). 

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 1 2019 11:49 AM

JT (alabama24):

Ronald - The applaud you for taking the time to research it. As teachers/preachers, we lose credibility when we state as fact things which we are unsure about (or worse, which are demonstrably false!). 

Yep, like a preacher I heard once saying there were 6 hours of darkness during Jesus’s crucifixion when it was only 3 and it started at the 6th hour.  When I told him about it he said he got it from a friend 🤦🏻‍♂️

DAL

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Beloved | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 1 2019 2:18 PM

Ronald Quick:
I've heard preachers say that "repentance" is a military term which means "about-face", but I've searched the Greek word, μετανοέω, in my lexicons none discuss this being a military term.  Also, I have a number of commentaries, yet the only one I can find that says it is a military term is The Teacher's Commentary, which I've never heard of and I don't even know what I purchased to get it in my library.  I've copied the section below, but it doesn't say much about it.

Ronald,

You've had some great input on this issue. I would like to offer you my approach. I sought to determine what the Greek military term for about-face was. What I found may be of interest to you. First, I searched on line and found this


Exeligmos (GR): counter-march. 
Exeligmos Lakoonikos (GR): ‘Laconian counter-march’; manoeuvre in which the file-closer does an about-face on the spot and the file-leader leads his men past the file-closer. 
Exeligmos Makedonikos (GR): ‘Macedonian counter-march’; manoeuvre in which the file-leader does an about-face on the spot and the rear-rankers counter-march to form up behind him.

Following up with a search of Logos and found

ἐξελιγμός, ὁ, countermarching, ἐ. Μακεδονικός, Λακωνικός, Κρητικός, Ascl.Tact.10.13, 14, 15, cf. Arr.Tact.23.2, 3, 4; οἱ ἐπὶ τῶν ἵππων ἐ. Them.Or.1.2b.

Liddell, H. G., Scott, R., Jones, H. S., & McKenzie, R. (1996). A Greek-English lexicon (p. 590). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

The term was also used in astronomy with regards to planetary revolutions. I don't know about your facility with the Greek, but I also found that it is referred to in a Perseus volume called Tactica.

I hope I have contributed positively to the discussion on this interesting topic. Blessings!

Meanwhile, Jesus kept on growing wiser and more mature, and in favor with God and his fellow man.

International Standard Version. (2011). (Lk 2:52). Yorba Linda, CA: ISV Foundation.

Posts 999
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 1 2019 4:22 PM

JT (alabama24):

Ronald - The applaud you for taking the time to research it. As teachers/preachers, we lose credibility when we state as fact things which we are unsure about (or worse, which are demonstrably false!). 

This is an incredibly important point.

Posts 402
Liam Maguire | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 1 2019 11:06 PM

Beloved:

I would like to offer you my approach. I sought to determine what the Greek military term for about-face was. 

What a great methodology! I'll certainly be using this in the future, thank you for sharing.

Check out my blog 'For Fathers'

Posts 89
David Staveley | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 5 2019 9:04 AM

JT (alabama24):

Ronald - The applaud you for taking the time to research it. As teachers/preachers, we lose credibility when we state as fact things which we are unsure about (or worse, which are demonstrably false!). 

The best thing about the dissemination of God's Word in democratic countries, either through the writing of books or preaching is that anyone can do it. You don't need a Government licence to do it; you don't necessarily need a University degree to do it; In fact, you don't need anyone's permission, other than that from the LORD Almighty Himself. And as such we have the freedom to say pretty much whatever we like. Such is the blessing of Christian ministry.

The worst thing about the dissemination of God's Word in democratic countries, either through the writing of books or preaching is that anyone can do it. You don't need a Government licence to do it; you don't necessarily need a University degree to do it; In fact, you don't need anyone's permission, other than that from the LORD Almighty Himself. And as such we have the freedom to say pretty much whatever we like. Such is the curse of Christian ministry.

Dr David Staveley Professor of New Testament. Specializing in the Pauline Epistles, Apocalyptic Judaism, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Posts 2351
David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 5 2019 10:53 AM

David Staveley:
  

YesYes

Posts 181
Matt Hamrick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 5 2019 12:00 PM

It's not a term in the military we use but some soldiers now preaching illustrate it as the about face which is a military term. It's only natural civilian pastor's catch on using the same illustrations. 

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