Repentance of Peter verses Judas

(John Van der Werff) #1

In Matthew 26 and 27 Matthew appears to describe both Judas and Peter as repenting. Is this a misunderstanding on my part and if so what is the difference?

(Jimmy Sellers) #2

From what I am reading it sounds like there was no repentance evident in the text. Judas was convicted of his action and the text says he regretted what he had done. I think it is possible to be convicted of wrong doing without a need to repent. In other words being caught and regretting an action are not the same thing as biblical repentance.
In Peter’s case I believe that the roosters sermon brought him to conviction and repentance. In John 21:15 he is restored.
Hope this helps.

(SeanO) #3

@JohnV It appears the word used for ‘repent’ in describing Judas is not the same Greek word generally used for repentance. In Judas’ case, the word implies that he was sorry for what he had done - he regretted it because of the massive guilt it caused him. But he did not truly repent and turn to God.

Matthew 27:3-5 - Now when Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus had been condemned, he regretted what he had done and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders, 4 saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood!” But they said, “What is that to us? You take care of it yourself!” 5 So Judas threw the silver coins into the temple and left. Then he went out and hanged himself.

Judas’s remorse was not repentance of sin, as the King James version suggests. Matthew did not use metanoeo, which means a genuine change of mind and will, but metamelomai, which merely connotes regret or sorrow. He did not experience spiritual penitence but only emotional remorse . Although he would not repent of his sin, he could not escape the reality of his guilt. Genuine sorrow for sin (metamelomai) can be prompted by God in order to produce repentance (metanoeo), as Paul declares in 2 Corinthians 7:10. But Judas’s remorse was not prompted by God to lead to repentance but only to guilt and despair.

μετάνοια, μετανοίας, ἡ (μετανοέω), a change of mind: as it appears in one who repents of a purpose he has formed or of something he has done, Hebrews 12:17 on which see εὑρίσκω, 3 ((Thucydides 3, 36, 3); Polybius 4, 66, 7; Plutarch, Peric c. 10; mor., p. 26 a.; τῆς ἀδελφοκτονιας μετάνοια, Josephus, Antiquities 13, 11, 3); especially the change of mind of those who have begun to abhor their errors and misdeeds, and have determined to enter upon a better course of life, so that it embraces both a recognition of sin and sorrow for it and hearty amendment, the tokens and effects of which are good deeds

μεταμέλομαι; imperfect μετεμελόμην; passive, 1 aorist μετεμελήθην; 1 future μεταμεληθήσομαι; (from μέλομαι, middle of μέλω); from Thucydides down; the Sept. for נִחַם; a deponent passive; properly, it is a care to one afterward (see μετά, III. 2), i. e. it repents one; to repent oneself (in R. V. uniformly with this reflexive rendering (except 2 Corinthians 7:8, where regret)): Matthew 21:29, 32; Matthew 27:3; 2 Corinthians 7:8; Hebrews 7:21 from Psalm 109:4 (Ps. 110:4).

(Stephen Wuest) #4

The language describing Judas’ change of mind, is not very common in the New Testament. And the focus is on wishing that something could be undone, or regretting that something happened. Peter is described as going out and weeping bitterly. I don’t think that any of this language necessarily indicates repentance.

Judas says, “I have sinned – I have handed over an innocent man.” But acknowledging one’s sin, is not the same as repenting of it, and asking God for forgiveness. By the time we see Jesus after the resurrection, at the Lake of Galilee, Peter has clearly repented of his denial.

(John Van der Werff) #5

Ahh. Thanks for clarification. Blessings to all of you.