'Return to Me': A Biblical Theology of Repentance, Vol. 35 (New Studies in Biblical Theology)
Boda, Mark J.
“Mark Boda begins this book with a great quote from Luther affirming that 'the entire life of believers should be one of repentance.' So repentance is not just for gross wrongdoers or people who have turned right away from God. It is for all of us. Most of the book then treats the biblical material book by book, even passage by passage, which will make it especially useful for Bible study and for preaching. It's not a book to read in one go. Read it section by section and let it draw you to God. But Dr. Boda doesn't stop at the book-by-book treatment, and he is especially illuminating when he stands back and relects on the material as a whole.”– John GoldingaySee All
Tremper Longman III
Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College
“In 'Return to Me' Mark Boda does an outstanding job of explicating the oft-neglected theme of repentance, moving across the canon as he demonstrates the important role of this theme within biblical theology. A welcome new addition to the New Studies in Biblical Theology series. I recommend it heartily.”See All
J. Daniel Hays
dean of the Pruet School of Christian Studies and professor of biblical studies, Ouachita Baptist University
“Mark Boda has shown himself to be a master of exegetical analysis and theological reflection. He traces repentance in both its relational and behavioral dimensions, both of which call for faith and trust. As he unfolds the richness of biblical teaching about repentance and its significance, we are called again to 'return to the Lord.' Pastors will be motivated by this book to engage their congregations in a study of repentance and a recommitment to it.”See All
John H. Walton
professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College and Graduate School
“I have not found another book that sets out to treat repentance in quite the way that Mark Boda has: he patiently, thoroughly and effectively works his way through Scripture to learn what repentance means and what it looks like in each canonical corpus, covering not only commonly used words but also the fundamental concepts.”See All
D. A. Carson
“Boda's book will serve pastors and scholars well in showing that repentance is neither mechanical nor forced upon people in the Bible's presentation; rather, it springs from a deeply personal encounter between sinful people and a holy God.”See All
J. Andrew Dearman
Themelios, December 2015
"Return to me, says the LORD of hosts, and I will return to you," (Zech 1:3 ESV).
Repentance concerns the repair of a relationship with God disrupted by human sin. All the major phases of church history have seen diversity and controversy over the doctrine. The first of Luther's famous ninety-five theses nailed to the church door in Wittenburg in 1517 stated that 'the entire life of believers should be one of repentance'. In recent times, two divisive debates within evangelicalism over 'lordship salvation" and "hypergrace" have had repentance at their core.
The theme of repentance is evident in almost every Old and New Testament corpus. However, it has received little sustained attention over the past half-century of scholarship, which has been largely restricted to word studies or focused on a particular text or genre. Studies of the overall theology of the Bible have typically given the theme only passing mention.
In response, Mark Boda offers a comprehensive overview of the theological witness of Scripture to the theme of repentance in this New Studies in Biblical Theology volume. The key to understanding is not simply to be found in word studies, but also in the broader meaning of texts as these communicate through a variety of words, images and stories. The importance of repentance in redemptive history is emphasized. It is fundamentally a return to intimate fellowship with the triune God, our Creator and redeemer. This relational return arises from the human heart and impacts attitudes, words and actions.