I received the following comment:

In your metanoia study you said that A. T. Robertson disagreed with the common translation of metanoia.  But did you ever say what he thought was the correct translation? Below is one study by him.  If you search in the document you will find that he believed that it should be translated to mean “change of mind or life” which is the current common view.


Read his commentary on Matt 3:2 listed here for a fuller idea of what he felt.


It is wise to not use a quote from a man who opposes your viewpoint to falsely bolster your own.  It is disingenuous and when ultimately found out, reduces your argument to rubble.

No, I did not say what Robertson thought was the correct translation. I actually said what I thought was the correct translation. What I actually said is that Robertson quoted his father-in-law as saying that translating “metanoia” by “repentance” is the worst translation in the New Testament. I am not sure I agree…there are some pretty badly mistranslated words. But I used his quote to point out that there is some agreement that the translation the way we have it now is far from satisfactory.

There is an aspect of what he says in metanoia, but I believe that Christ was metanoia (He participated in the baptism of metanoia!), and He didn’t have to change a thing. One can submit without ever having been in rebellion. This is the problem with making “metanoia” have to do with a change at all.

I actually looked Robertson’s teachings on “metanoia” up online myself and included this quotation in my writings on Luke 3 not too long ago.

I admit to being rather nonplussed at your argument here. How have I improperly quoted Mr. Robertson? I was speaking from memory when you heard me teach on it, and so I paraphrased what he had said. The exact quote is the first sentence in his commentary on Matthew 3:2, which you have linked to above. “Broadus used to say that this is the worst translation in the New Testament.” That is almost exactly what I quoted Mr. Robertson as saying, save that I didn’t remember that his father-in-law’s names was Broadus. How, then, have I “falsely bolster”ed my argument by quoting this?

You seem to imply that it is dishonest to quote anyone positively regarding any issue unless that person agrees with your own viewpoint completely regarding all aspects of the argument. Such a rule would make it very difficult to quote anyone, since few people have exactly the same viewpoint. I do not recall ever making any false claims about Mr. Robertson. I never said that my translation of “metanoia” came from his writings. Nor did I ever claim that he agreed with my conclusions regarding the meaning of this word. The only claim I made is that he thought this was the worst translation in the New Testament, or at least that he quoted his father-in-law as saying this. I quoted this to bolster my statement that “repentance” is a very poor translation. I never again mentioned Mr. Robertson when setting forth what I thought the word meant. How, then, did I misrepresent what Mr. Robertson wrote?

I do not believe Mr. Robertson disagrees with my viewpoint that repentance is an extremely poor translation of “metanoia.” In fact, it appears to me that he agrees completely. We do not agree on how it should then be properly translated, but I never said that we did, nor do I believe that it was necessary that we agree on this point before I could quote Mr. Robertson regarding another point. Quite frankly, I find your charge that I falsely bolstered my argument using his words to be ridiculous.