On his third missionary journey, Paul spent over two years in the city of Ephesus (Acts 19-8-10). He then went to Macedonia and Greece, before passing back through Ephesus on his way to Jerusalem, as that third journey came to an end.
On his way to Jerusalem, Paul spoke to the elders in Ephesus (Acts 20:18-35), reminding them of a major part of his ministry when he was with them. He said that his ministry involved, “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (emphasis added).
This verse is significant because it combines the words repentance and faith. What is the relationship between the two? First, this article will look at how some scholars understand the relationship, based on this verse. Second, it will evaluate the grammatical issues involved. Third, it will look at the context of the passage. And finally, it will offer a Biblical interpretation of the role of repentance and faith in Paul’s ministry in Ephesus.
II. DIFFERENT SCHOLARLY VIEWS
When NT scholars look at Paul’s statement concerning repentance and faith in Acts 20:21, they take different views of the relationship between the two terms.
A. A Chiastic Structure
Some scholars see a chiastic structure to this verse.
A chiasm is a “stylistic literary figure which consists of a series of two or more elements followed by a presentation of corresponding elements in reverse order.”1 An example is ABB’A’. Some see a chiasm in Acts 20:21. The A represents the word Jews, the B represents Greeks, the B’ represents repentance, and the A’ represents faith. If there is a chiastic structure here, Paul is saying he testified to the Jews that they needed to have faith (AA’) and that the Greeks (Gentiles) needed repentance (BB’).
The point here would be that the Jew simply needs to believe in Jesus, while the Gentile would need to repent, either of his idolatry or his pagan lifestyle.
A problem with this view is that it makes unbelieving Gentiles worse sinners than unbelieving Jews. It could even be argued that it demands from different kinds of people different requirements for receiving eternal life.
It is interesting to note that a few scribes recognized this problem and changed some manuscripts to say “repentance and faith towards God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” This would say that repentance and faith are both directed towards God, which is possible through the Lord.
Both I. Howard Marshall and C. K. Barrett discuss this view even though neither adopts it. They maintain that both Jews and Gentiles need to repent and believe.2
Richard Pervo says there is a chiastic structure. Instead of declaring that the Jew had one requirement and the Gentile another, he maintains that repentance is directed towards God, and faith is directed towards Christ. However, he also seems to weaken the importance of the chiastic structure when he says that faith and repentance practically form a hendiadys.3 This would mean that both Jew and Gentile need a repentant faith, whatever that is.
William Larkin does not call it a chiastic structure. However, when it comes to repentance, he does see a difference between the Jew and the Gentile. Larkin believes repentance is necessary for salvation and involves turning to God “with all one’s being.”4
B. Faith and Repentance Are Synonymous
Some take the position that repentance and faith mean the same thing. Often the argument is given that the Greek word repentance has as its root two words that mean after and mind. The word would then mean that there is a change of mind. A person who did not have faith in Christ before now does. He has changed his mind about Christ (repented) and now believes in Him (faith). With this understanding, the word repentance does not involve any change in behavior.
Some Free Grace advocates understand Acts 20:21 in this way.5
So do F. F. Bruce and Stanley Toussaint.6 Although Bruce sees repentance and faith as synonymous, he seems to change the meaning of faith to include costly action. With this new definition, faith and repentance are interchangeable. He quotes C. F. D. Moule, who says that faith demands a costly action.7
C. Repentance as a Change of Attitude
It is common to see a difference between believing and repentance in that repentance is seen as a change in attitude. Some hold this because they see Acts 20:21 as describing what is necessary for eternal salvation. Turning from sins would involve works, and it is recognized that such actions would mean that one is eternally saved by works, and this clearly contradicts the teachings of the NT.
William Barclay defines repentance as a new attitude towards the unbeliever’s previous sinful actions. This involves becoming aware of one’s sin and having regret and sorrow for those actions.8
Eckhard Schnabel also sees this aspect of repentance: it is necessary for all people because all people have sinned and face God’s wrath. Repentance is directed towards God because the unbeliever must acknowledge his rebellion against God both in his lack of faith and in his life. Repentance is the feeling of regret one has for that rebellion. Schnabel is somewhat unique in that he sees faith, and not repentance, as describing actions. He says that believing in Jesus involves turning away from everything that displeases God.9
D. Repentance Demands Actions/Works
It is common to find in the literature the idea that repentance involves changing one’s actions and therefore involves works. This is found even among those who say repentance is necessary to obtain eternal life. Clearly, this contradicts the idea that we are saved by grace apart from works.
John Polhill, for example, holds the view that repentance means to turn from one’s former life to God.10
William Larkin says that repentance is different from faith. It denotes a total surrender to God with all one’s being, recognizing that He is God when it comes to the decisions we make. Larkin says that repentance is proved by our deeds, according to Acts 26:20.11
Everett Harrison also maintains that faith and repentance are distinct. Both, however, are needed to obtain eternal life. Repentance is needed by unbelievers “because of their sin.” This repentance makes them “candidates” for salvation, which can only be achieved afterward through faith.12
Regarding repentance, David Peterson places more emphasis on works. He says repentance is a turning away from every form of rebellion and serving God. There is also a difference between Jews and Gentiles in the area of repentance. For the Jew, it means turning to Christ. For the Gentile, it means a continual turning away from everything that displeases God. Genuine faith demands repentance, and this repentance will continue to flow from saving faith.13
E. Two Sides of the Same Coin
It is also common to find the view that repentance and faith go hand in hand, as intimately connected.
C. K. Barrett asserts that faith and repentance are two elements of conversion, and since they share one article in the original Greek, they are bound together.14
Darrell Bock argues they are two sides of the same coin. Paul uses both words to describe conversion, and either can be used: he uses the word repentance/repent in Acts 17:30; 26:20; he uses the word faith/believe for the same purpose in Acts 11:17; 14:23; 16:31; 20:21; 24:24.15 It is understood that when one word is used, the other is also part of the transaction.
Larkin says that the two go together to tell us what is necessary to become a Christian.16
Wallace, as will be discussed below, also contends that faith and repentance go together. One can be used as “shorthand” for the other. Faith includes repentance.17
F. For Unbelievers or Believers?
Perhaps a more basic question is whether the need for repentance and faith is addressed to believers or unbelievers. In other words, are both requirements for obtaining eternal life and becoming a believer, or is one or both of them something that a believer needs to do?
All of the scholars discussed in this paper believe that both are addressed to unbelievers. Faith and repentance are part of the gospel of eternal life. Marshall is a typical example. He acknowledges that repentance is not a word commonly found in the writings of Paul. But Marshall says that the Apostle does use the word in 1 Thess 1:9 as a requirement for Christian conversion—even though the word is not found there.18
Luke Johnson also says that Acts 20:21 reminds us of 1 Thess 1:9-10 and that the word repentance in the NT frequently refers to Christian conversion, but that this is found in Luke’s writings (Luke 3:3, 8; 5:32; 10:13; 11:32; 15:7; 16:30; 17:3-4). He acknowledges as well that it is a word rarely found in Paul.19
However, some point out that repentance is also enjoined upon believers. Ben Witherington points out that Paul speaks of the need for Christians to repent of their sin (2 Cor 7:9-10).20 Peterson says that repentance is necessary for the “nurture” of believers.21 Pervo also acknowledges that repentance is not a word Paul would normally use for Christian conversion, even though it is a favorite word for Luke.22
Bruce agrees with this assessment; he says that repentance is not usually used by Paul in soteriological messages and that here in Acts 20 it includes admonitions to believers.23
Bock perhaps suggests the same thing when he says that even though he thinks this is a soteriological verse, repentance is part of the “full scope” of the good news and includes all that is beneficial.24
Schnabel says that the gospel includes repentance (v 20) and that repentance is also useful for the everyday life of the believer since it gives knowledge of God’s will concerning holy living in an unholy world.25
The idea that the message of repentance can be commanded of believers is a very significant observation for understanding Acts 20:21. More on that later.
Paul mentions both faith and repentance in Acts 20:21. There are many different opinions as to how these words are related. There are also disagreements about the meaning of repentance. Does it involve works or does it refer merely to a change of mind about Christ? More basically, the question must be asked whether Paul is talking about his message to believers, unbelievers, or both.
The grammar of Acts 20:21 will provide the key to understanding these issues. It will help us interpret the meaning of repentance and its relationship to the gospel of eternal life.
III. THE GRAMMAR OF ACTS 20:21
When Paul says that he testified “both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ,” he used a grammatical phrase that is related to what is commonly called the Granville Sharp Rule.26 Specifically, this rule relates to the words in question: repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
The word repentance and the word faith are nouns in the accusative case. The word and (kai) is a connective that joins the two nouns. Even though it is not translated in English, there is a word that appears in Greek immediately before repentance. It is the article (tēn) which is often translated as the.
It is common to refer to this as a TSKS construction.
The “T” represents the first letter of the article (to). The first “S” represents the first noun (or substantive). The “K” stands for the first letter of the conjunction and (kai). The second “S” stands for the second noun (or substantive).
In Acts 20:21 we see the TSKS construction in the words repentance and faith. There is an article that is not translated (T). Repentance is the first “S.” This is followed by the word and (K), followed by faith, the second “S.”27
In Greek, when there is a TSKS construction, the two nouns have a close connection. There is some kind of unity between them. The Granville Sharp rule says that this unity is at its highest level when the two nouns refer to the same person or thing.28 However, this highest level of unity, when both words refer to the same person or thing, only applies if neither of the nouns is impersonal, neither is plural, and neither is a proper name.29
An example of this rule is found in Heb 3:1. It calls Jesus “the Apostle and High Priest” [ton (T) apostolon (S) kai (K) archierea (S)] of the Christian confession. There is only one article (T) and two nouns. The words apostle and high priest refer to the same Person, Jesus Christ.
The problem with Acts 20:21 and the TSKS construction is that both of the nouns (repentance and faith) are impersonal. That means they cannot have the highest level of unity. Therefore, some other option must explain the relationship between the two nouns.
A. TSKS Constructions and Four Options
Wallace says that there are about fifty TSKS constructions that have impersonal substantives, such as occurs here in Acts 20:21.30 When they occur, there are basically four options when it comes to the relationship between the two nouns (S). They always are united in some way.
First, the nouns can be completely distinct things. An example would be Luke 21:12, in which the Lord tells of persecution that His followers would face. He says that their enemies would be involved in, “handing you over to the synagogues and prisons.” The nouns are synagogues and prisons. They are different, but they are united in the sense of being places where the disciples will be taken when persecuted. This TSKS option is very common in the NT.
Second, the first noun can be a subset or type of the second. An example of this is Col 2:22: “the commandments and teachings of men.” The first noun (commandments) is a type of the second noun (teachings). There are many types of teachings, such as doctrine, history, encouragement, prophecy, etc. Commandments from God are one type of such teachings.
Third, the relationship can be reversed so that the second noun is a type or subset of the first. Both the second and third options are also very common in the NT.
Fourth, both nouns can be identical and refer to the same thing. This is very rare and only occurs once in the NT. In Acts 1:25, Luke talks about what Judas Iscariot lost when he betrayed the Lord. He lost his ministry and apostleship. Both of these refer to the same thing.
Since the words repentance and faith in Acts 20:21 are in a TSKS construction, and they are impersonal nouns, we can make certain assumptions.
We can assume they are almost certainly not the same thing, since that would be the rarest option (occurring only in Acts 1:25), and hence the least likely possibility. In other words, repentance is likely not a synonym for faith.
The other three TSKS options are common in the NT. Each one is a type/subset of the other, or they are distinct things. Since nobody argues that faith is a type or subset of repentance, there appear to be two options left. Either repentance is a subset of faith, or repentance and faith are distinct. Whatever the case, they are conceptually united in some way.
IV. REPENTANCE IS A SUBSET OF FAITH
After pointing out that repentance and faith almost certainly cannot be synonymous in the TSKS construction in Acts 20:21, Wallace argues that repentance is a subset of faith.31 He gives two reasons. First, he believes Luke uses repentance in other passages that speak of the requirement for eternal life. Second, this is a common usage of the TSKS construction.
A. Luke’s Use of Repentance in Evangelistic Verses
Wallace says that Paul did use the verbiage of “turning” to God in his evangelistic presentation to Gentiles. He cites 1 Thess 1:9 in this regard even though the word repentance does not occur in the verse.32 Wallace admits that the word repentance is fairly rare in Paul’s writings. In fact, the noun only occurs four times (Rom 2:4; 2 Cor 7:9, 10; 2 Tim 2:25) and the verb only once (2 Cor 12:21).
These five occurrences are noteworthy, because none of them deal with what a person must do to be eternally saved. Four of them are addressed to believers. The other (Rom 2:4) deals with what a person must do to avoid the discipline of God in one’s life. This at least raises the question as to whether Paul would use the word in Acts 20:21 to refer to what an unbeliever must do to obtain eternal life.
Turning to the writings of Luke, Wallace says that Paul’s preaching in the Book of Acts includes the idea of repentance in order to receive eternal life. He cites five passages, even though only one of the five contains the word repentance.33 Acts 19:8-9 is one such passage and is typical of the other four. In these verses Luke records Paul’s teaching in the synagogue in Ephesus:
And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God. But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus (emphasis added).
It is hard to conclude from verses such as this that Paul taught that repentance was necessary to receive eternal life. Not only does the word repentance not occur, but the issue seems to be that they “did not believe” what Paul had told them (i.e., they did not have faith).
The other four verses Wallace cites in Luke-Acts in which he believes Luke includes repentance in the requirements for eternal life are Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38; 3:19; and 5:31.34
In Luke 24:47 the Lord says that repentance was to be proclaimed among all the nations. This is intimately connected with Acts 20:21. But is this is a requirement for eternal life, or is this a message for those who have already believed? This will be discussed below.
The three verses Wallace cites in Acts are addressed to the nation of Israel. God was calling Israel to turn from their sins so that He would bring the kingdom of God to the nation. The conditions for Israel to receive the kingdom are not the same as the conditions for an individual to obtain eternal life. In Acts 2:38, for example, we see that the people Peter was addressing believed in 2:37 and already had eternal life. God now required that they repent of their sins and be baptized, but neither of these were necessary to be born again. They already were born again!
When one looks at the writings of Paul and Luke, there is not one clear verse that says that repentance is necessary for eternal life. Is Acts 20:21 an exception? Wallace says that the TSKS construction suggests it is.
B. A Common Use of the TSKS Construction
After concluding that both Luke and Paul use repentance as a requirement for eternal life, Wallace points out that this is supported by a common use of the TSKS construction in Acts 20:21.35 The grammatical point made by Wallace needs to be addressed.
He maintains that repentance and faith in Acts 20:21 are an example of the first noun (repentance) being a subset of the second (faith). This means that faith includes repentance. Repentance is the beginning of the entire process that is called faith. Spiritual conversion is not a two-step process, but a one-step process of faith that includes repentance.36
This means that when Luke uses only the word faith/believe as a requirement for eternal life, as in Acts 13:48, it is a “theological shorthand.” It is understood that this faith includes repentance. He does not have to make that explicit every single time.
Wallace reminds us that when the TSKS construction occurs with impersonal nouns such as repentance and faith, it is common that the first is a subset of the second. But it appears that Wallace has changed the definition of the terms here. As discussed above, Col 2:22 is an example of this use of the TSKS construction. Commandments are a type of teachings. You can have other types of teachings that are not commandments.
Wallace is not saying that repentance is a type of faith. He is saying that you cannot have faith without repentance. There are no other types of saving faith. In other words, in Wallace’s explanation of the relationship between repentance and faith in Acts 20:21, repentance is not a type of faith; it defines faith. Repentance is part of the definition. That is not the same thing as the first noun (repentance) being a subset of the second (faith).
More importantly, since Wallace says that repentance and faith are not synonymous, this means that simple belief in the promise of eternal life in Christ is not sufficient to receive that gift. Works (repentance) of some kind are also necessary for true faith to exist.37
However, there is another option.
V. REPENTANCE AND FAITH ARE DISTINCT
As mentioned above, another common use of the TSKS construction with impersonal nouns is that the two nouns are completely distinct things but are still united in some way. This makes the most sense here.
Faith does not include repentance. We can define faith without repentance. Faith is the conviction that something is true. Saving faith is thus the conviction that what God has said about eternal life in Jesus Christ is true.38
While most agree that this is the meaning of faith in a general sense, many maintain that saving faith is different—it must have other elements involving the will, emotions, or actions such as repentance. But these are artificial additions to the meaning of faith in the NT, as Gordon Clark has effectively pointed out.39 These additions spring from theological systems, not the Scriptures.
Repentance means to turn from sins (Jonah 3:5-10; Matt 12:41). It involves actions. While attitude and emotions play a part, repentance does not take place unless one actually turns from his sins. That is, the person stops doing what he was doing previously. An example of this is found in 2 Cor 7:10 in which Paul writes to Christians in Corinth and states that, “godly sorrow worketh repentance.” Paul had written to them a hard letter in which he charged them with sin. Not only did they feel sorry for their sin, but they turned from it. That is, they repented of it.
This repentance on the part of the Corinthians did not have anything to do with gaining eternal salvation. They were already believers when they repented of the sin Paul charged them with.
In the letters in Revelation 2-3 to the seven churches (believers) in Asia Minor, Jesus repeatedly tells them that they need to repent (Rev 2:5, 16, 21, 22; 3:3, 19). In each case, the Lord tells these churches to turn from particular sins that they are committing.
Clearly, then, faith and repentance are different things. But in what way are they united since they occur in a TSKS construction in Acts 20:21? The answer is simple. Repentance and faith were both central to the message that Paul proclaimed while he was in Ephesus. They were both part of what he preached in that city. However, Paul did more than evangelize unbelievers in Ephesus. He also instructed believers.
VI. PAUL’S MINISTRY IN EPHESUS
When we look at Acts 19:8-10, we see that Paul ministered in Ephesus for well over two years. During that time he had a diverse ministry.
A. Paul Ministered to Believers and to Unbelievers
There is an obvious aspect of Paul’s ministry that is seldom addressed in discussions of Acts 20:21; namely, Paul’s ministry in Ephesus included teaching disciples. In other words, Paul’s ministry was not only evangelistic. A major part of it was directed towards believers.
For example, we see in 19:8-9 that Paul taught the disciples for two years. He did so on a daily basis.
In Acts 19:18-19 we are told that many who had believed came confessing their sins and burning their books of magic. Dr. Charles Ryrie pointed out they had been Christians for some time. (The word translated had believed is a perfect participle, which certainly suggests this.) In other words, believers in Ephesus were repenting of their sins, especially that of engaging in pagan magical practices.40
Paul’s ministry to believers is also evident in 19:20. As a result of all that was going on in Ephesus, the word of the Lord “grew mightily.” Believers understood what they needed to do to please the Lord.
These things should be kept in mind when interpreting 20:21. Paul is summarizing his ministry in that city. Bruce calls the whole section of Acts 20:18-35 a “retrospect” of Paul’s ministry there.41 A major part of that ministry was instructing believers on how to live. In this retrospect, Paul reminds them of this fact. He tells them that he “taught them house to house,” and he told them “all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:20, 27). Surely the most natural understanding here is that Paul taught believers in their homes what God required of them.
B. Believers and Unbelievers Can Both Be Called to Repent and to Believe
Paul’s ministry in Ephesus was directed to both believers and unbelievers. However, we should not make the mistake of thinking each category of person requires only one kind of ministry, as if only believers needed to be told to repent, and only unbelievers needed to be called to faith. On the contrary, it is appropriate to call both believers and unbelievers to faith and repentance.
Believers are frequently called to continue to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (cf. 1 Cor 15:2; Col 1:21-23). And if a believer strays from the Lord and lives an immoral lifestyle, he needs to repent of those sins. Hence, it is appropriate to preach repentance to believers.
An unbeliever clearly needs to have faith in the promise of eternal life. And in many cases an unbeliever may be living an obviously depraved lifestyle. He may recognize that even before he comes to faith. While repenting of such things will not bring eternal salvation, it will deliver the unbeliever from the negative effects of sin.
During Paul’s long stay in Ephesus, he spoke of repentance and faith (Acts 20:21). Since these terms occur in a TSKS format, we can safely conclude that faith and repentance are not the same thing. While Wallace maintains that it means Paul preached a faith that included repentance, I have argued that this is a redefinition of what the TSKS construction means.
Since we know that faith and repentance are united in some way, the most obvious conclusion is that Paul is saying that they were united in his preaching in Ephesus.
Acts 20:21 need not be seen as a statement of Paul’s ministry to believers or to his ministry to unbelievers, but as a summary of his ministry to both. If we keep this in mind, a verse like Acts 26:20
becomes clear. Paul said that on his missionary journeys he told both Jews and Gentiles that they needed to repent. He specifically says that this would result in doing good works. Since eternal salvation is not by works, this cannot be what is being addressed. Paul is simply saying that part of his ministry was teaching believers how to live.42 If unbelievers repented, they would benefit from such repentance as well.
Paul preached both faith and repentance. We should follow his example. However, we must never confuse the offer of eternal life by grace through faith alone with the call to turn from one’s sin. Believers need faith and repentance. So do unbelievers. However, repentance is not a part of faith.
1 James L. Bailey and Lyle D. Vander Broek, Literary Forms in the New Testament: A Handbook (Louisville, KY: Westminister/John Knox, 1992), 178.
2 I. Howard Marshall, The Acts of the Apostles, Tyndale NT Commentaries (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1980), 331; C. K. Barrett, The Acts of the Apostles, vol 2, ICC, (New York, NY: T. & T. Clark, 1998), 22.
3 Richard I. Pervo, Acts, Hermeneia (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2009), 520-21.
4 William J. Larkin, Jr., Acts, The IVP New Testament Commentary (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1995), 294.
5 See, for example, Richard A. Seymour, All About Repentance (Hollywood, FL: Harvest House, 1974), 126 (cf. 13, 66, 109).
6 F. F. Bruce, The Book of the Acts, NINCT (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1988), 389; Stanley Toussaint, “Acts,” The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983), 413.
7 Ibid. Moule, says that “faith involves a response to the finished work of Christ, involving the believer in the cost and pain of repentance.” See C. F. D. Moule, “Obligation in the Ethic of Paul,” Essays in New Testament Interpretation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982), 271-72.
8 William Barclay, Turning to God (Philadelphia, PA: Westminster, 1964), 18-23.
9 Eckhard J. Schnabel, Acts (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012), 840-41.
10 John B. Polhill, Acts, The New American Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman& Holman Publishers, 1992), 425.
11 Larkin, Jr., Acts, 294.
12 Everett F. Harrison, Acts: The Expanding Church (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1975), 314.
13 David G. Peterson, The Acts of the Apostles, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2009), 564-65.
14 Barrett, Acts, 22.
15 Darrell L. Bock, Acts, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publisher, 2007), 627.
16 Larkin, Jr., Acts, 294.
17 Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar: Beyond the Basics (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1997), 289.
18 Marshall, Acts, 331. It is beyond the scope of this paper to discuss repentance in 1 Thess 1:9. However, it can be said that in 1 Thess 1:7-8, Paul declares that faith is what made them believers. Their “turning” (v 9) allowed them to “serve” God. It is worth noting, however, that the word “repentance” does not occur in the verse at all. In any event, there is a difference between believing for eternal life and serving God.
19 Luke Timothy Johnson, The Acts of the Apostles, Sacra Pagina (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1992), 361. As in the previous footnote, it is beyond the scope of this paper to discuss repentance in Luke’s writings outside of Acts 20:21. However, it would be appropriate to question whether Luke included repentance in the gospel but Paul did not.
20 Ben Witherington, III, The Acts of the Apostles: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998), 617.
21 Peterson, Acts, 565.
22 Pervo, Acts, 520.
23 Bruce, Acts, 389.
24 Bock, Acts, 627.
25 Schnabel, Acts, 840-41.
26 Wallace, Grammar, 270-90.
27 The words towards God and towards our Lord Jesus Christ do not affect the construction. In the original it says, tēn (T)…metanoian (S) kai (K) pistin (S).
28 Participles and adjectives can function as nouns in these constructions.
29 Wallace, Grammar, 270-71.
30 Ibid., 286-88. Wallace discusses the different types of these constructions. He includes five options, but one of them is extremely rare (it only occurs once in the NT), and it has no bearing on this article. He calls it “overlapping” nouns.
31 Ibid., 289.
32 Ibid.; Cf. footnote 16 above.
33 The exception is Acts 26:20. This verse says that Paul preached repentance among both the Jews and Gentiles. In the same verse, Paul says that they needed to do works in line with that repentance. This verse will be discussed below. The issue is whether this part of Paul’s message was addressed to believers or unbelievers.
37 For a discussion of how others have added the requirement of works to faith by redefining faith, including by adding repentance to that definition, see Joseph C. Dillow, The Reign of the Servant Kings (Haysville, NC: Schoettle Pub Co., 2006), 273-84. Dillow also points out how the lexicon meaning of the word “faith” in Greek does not include the idea of repentance.
38 Zane C. Hodges, Absolutely Free! (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1989), 31.
39 Gordon Clark, Faith and Saving Faith (Jefferson, MD: Trinity Foundation, 1983).
40 Charles C. Ryrie, Balancing the Christian Life (Chicago, IL: Moody, 1974), 171-72.
41 Bruce, Hebrews, 389.
42 The same thing could be said about the Lord’s teaching in Luke 24:47 and the need of repentance. See Zane C. Hodges, Absolutely Free! (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1989), 143-63.