This book explores the central function of the concept "repentance" in the narrative structure and implied social world of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, and examines how repentance is presented as part of the divine plan. In Luke-Acts, everyone is eligible for membership in the community of God’s people. Such inclusivity requires a radical change in thinking on the part of many in the emerging religious community of Luke-Acts. Repentance in Luke-Acts represents this fundamental change in thinking that enables diverse individuals to receive the salvation of God and to live together as a community of God’s people. The book sets the literary and theological motifs of the New Testament narrative within the social realities of the Greco-Roman world, including varieties of Judaism. It elaborates ways the implied audience would have thought about changing one’s mind, attitudes, and behavior as a step in the progress toward virtue. The book provides an excellent synthesis and analysis of the usage of "repent" and "repentance" in Classical, Hellenistic, Hellenistic Jewish, and early Christian literature.
Guy D. Nave, Jr. is Assistant Professor of Religion at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, USA.