The Hope of the Gospel
Independently Published, Feb 8, 2021 - 86 pages
God and man must combine for salvation from sin, and the same word, here and elsewheretranslated remission, seems to be employed in the New Testament for the share of either in the greatdeliverance.But first let me say something concerning the word here and everywhere translated repentance. Iwould not even suggest a mistranslation; but the idea intended by the word has been somisunderstood and therefore mistaught, that it requires some consideration of the word itself to getat a right recognition of the moral fact it represents.The Greek word then, of which the word repentance is the accepted synonym and fundamentally theaccurate rendering, is made up of two words, the conjoint meaning of which is, a change of mind orthought. There is in it no intent of, or hint at sorrow or shame, or any other of the mental conditionsthat, not unfrequently accompanying repentance, have been taken for essential parts of it, sometimesfor its very essence. Here, the last of the prophets, or the evangelist who records his doings, qualifiesthe word, as if he held it insufficient in itself to convey the Baptist's meaning, with the three wordsthat follow it-[Greek: eis aPhesin amarti˘n: -kaeruss˘n Baptisma metauoias eis aphesin amarti˘n]-'preaching a baptism of repentance-unto a sending away of sins'. I do not say the phrase [Greek: aphesisamarti˘n] never means forgiveness, one form at least of God's sending away of sins; neither do I say thatthe taking of the phrase to mean repentance for the remission of sins, namely, repentance in order toobtain the pardon of God, involves any inconsistency; but I say that the word [Greek: eis] rather untothan for; that the word [Greek: aphesis], translated remission, means, fundamentally, a sending away, adismissal; and that the writer seems to use the added phrase to make certain what he means byrepentance; a repentance, namely, that reaches to the sending away, or abjurement of sins. I do notthink a change of mind unto the remission or pardon of sin would be nearly so logical a phrase as a change ofmind unto the dismission of sinning. The revised version refuses the word for and chooses unto, though itretains remission, which word, now, conveys no meaning except the forgiveness of God. I think thathere the same word is used for man's dismission of his sins, as is elsewhere used for God'sdismission or remission of them. In both uses, it is a sending away of sins, with the difference ofmeaning that comes from the differing sources of the action. Both God and man send away sins, butin the one case God sends away the sins of the man, and in the other the man sends away his ownsins. I do not enter into the question whether God's aphesis may or may not mean as well thesending of his sins out of a man, as the pardon of them; whether it may not sometimes meandismission, and sometimes remission: I am sure the one deed cannot be separated from the other.