METANOIA

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Fri Aug 24 13:38:14 EDT 2001


At 5:22 PM +0000 8/24/01, Mark Wilson wrote:
>Nelson:
>
>You wrote:
>
>------
>>I am wondering about the word METANOIA and I'm looking for some information
>>about the original sense or meaning of this word in NT Greek, I don't mean
>>some theological biases or ideas, just the common use of this word in that
>>time. I'm not thinking on any specific pasage .
>>What is its origin? What is its meaning?
>-----
>
>When discussing the "origin" of METANOIA, I think you simply must
>consider documentary evidence BEFORE the NT, otherwise, I doubt
>we can truly speak of this word's "original sense."

When you say "documentary evidence" I would assume that you are talking
about evidence from ancient GREEK texts? What have you in mind?

>However, I think I understand your question, and would like to
>offer this suggestion:
>
>Consider METANOIA the turning away from XYZ, NOT the turning toward
>something

I think rather it's BOTH turning away AND turning toward.

Something very close to this came up a couple days ago on the B-Translation
list, where the question concerned rather the imperative METANOEITE; my
reply then, slightly revised now, was:

I've always thought the clearest gloss or clarification of Jesus' first
exhortation in the Synoptic gospels (e.g. METANOEITE in Mk
1:15) was Rom 12:2 KAI MH SUSCHMATIZESQE TWi AIWNI TOUTWi, ALLA
METAMORFOUSQE THi ANAKAINWSEI TOU NOOS EIS TO DOKIMAZEIN hUMAS TI TO QELHMA
TOU QEOU, TO AGAQON KAI EUARESTON KAI TELEION.

"Don't let the world around make you in its mold, but let yourselves be
reshaped by radical renewal of your understanding, so that you discover
in action what the will of God is, what's good and acceptable and fully
mature." (This, of course, isn't a literal version, but Wayne Leman
suggested that I might unconsciously have been imitating the J.B. Phillips
version)

Of course every part of this is subject to further clarification, and yet,
it seems to me that Rom 12:2 offers in fine detail the content of the
simple imperative METANOEITE.

-- 

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/



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