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Products>‘Return To Me’: A Biblical Theology of Repentance (New Studies in Biblical Theology)

‘Return To Me’: A Biblical Theology of Repentance (New Studies in Biblical Theology)

, 2015
ISBN: 9780830826377

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“Return to me, says the LORD of hosts, and I will return to you” (Zechariah 1:3). 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 of repentance. 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.

Mark Boda, in response, offers a comprehensive overview of the theological witness of Scripture to the theme of repentance. 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.

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Key Features

  • Contains scholarly and accessible volumes written by well-respected Biblical scholars
  • Includes notes that interact with the best of recent research and significant literature
  • Engages the immense challenges facing today’s church
  • Offers new insights and challenges established positions
  • Encourages Christians to better understand their Bibles through biblical theology


  • Introduction
  • Repentance in the Torah
  • Repentance in the Former Prophets
  • Repentance in the Latter Prophets: Penitential Process
  • Repentance in the Latter Prophets: Isaiah
  • Repentance in the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah and Ezekiel
  • Repentance in the Latter Prophets: The Twelve
  • Repentance in the Writings: Wisdom and Worship
  • Repentance in the Writings: Exile and Restoration
  • Repentance in the Writings: Chronicles
  • Repentance in Old Testament Theology
  • Repentance in the New Testament
  • Repentance in New Testament Theology
  • Theological Implications of Repentance

Top Highlights

“Repentance may be expressed orally through confession of sin and intention to change, but this must be accompanied by sincerity of heart and a change in behaviour.” (Page 37)

“Repentance is not just the gateway into relationship with the triune God; it is the pathway for that continuing relationship, as Luther wrote: ‘the entire life of believers should be one of repentance’.4 The Christian life involves a lifelong relationship, and as long as we are in this fallen world repentance will be an enduring part of our lives.” (Page 194)

“‘To assume that sinners can turn to the Righteous One without turning from their own unrighteousness is the height of theological nonsense.’” (Page 193)

“He exhorts them to ‘put away’ (sûr, hiphil) their foreign gods, ‘purify’ themselves (ṭhr, hiphil) and ‘change’ (ḥlp, hiphil) their garments (35:2). Here we see penitential activity that precedes worship, that is, repentance as preparatory to an encounter with God.” (Page 36)

“Repentance is fundamentally a return to intimate fellowship with the triune God. This is made possible because of the gracious act of this God through the gift of the Son and the Spirit who invite us into the fellowship of the Trinity. This relational return to our Creator and Redeemer arises from the depth of the human heart, enabled by the work of the Spirit. Such Christian repentance will often be expressed through oral confession and necessarily entails turning from the sinful attitudes and actions that frustrate the intimacy we as humans can enjoy with our Creator and Redeemer.” (Page 198)

Praise for the Print Edition

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.

—John H. Walton, professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College and Graduate School

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.

—J. Daniel Hays, dean of the Pruet School of Christian Studies and professor of biblical studies, Ouachita Baptist University

In Return to Me Mark Boda has made his immense scholarship on repentance and penitential prayer accessible to all who want to study this critical biblical-theological concept in Scripture. As he moves from Genesis to Revelation, his stimulating study is exhaustive and demonstrates the richness and extensive scope of the theme. All serious students of the Bible, but particularly pastors and seminarians, will benefit from his impressive work.

—Tremper Longman III, Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College

  • Title: ‘Return to Me’: A Biblical Theology of Repentance
  • Author: Mark J. Boda
  • Series: New Studies in Biblical Theology
  • Volume: 35
  • Publishers: Apollos, IVP
  • Print Publication Date: 2015
  • Logos Release Date: 2015
  • Pages: 232
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Bible › Theology; Repentance › Biblical teaching
  • ISBNs: 9780830826377, 9781783592692, 0830826378, 1783592699
  • Resource ID: LLS:NSBT35
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-30T01:54:33Z

Mark joined the College in 2003 after teaching for nine years at what is now Ambrose University College/Seminary. He has authored six books, edited eight volumes of collected essays, and written over 50 articles on various topics related to the Old Testament and Christian Theology. Key areas of interest include Old Testament Theology, prayer and penitence in Old Testament and Christian Theology, Babylonian and Persian Period Hebrew Books and History (Jeremiah, Lamentations, Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi), the Book of the Twelve (Minor Prophets) and Judges. Mark enjoys mentoring students and teaches with enthusiasm about the Old Testament and its continued relevance to the Christian life today.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


4 ratings

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  1. Brent Baxter

    Brent Baxter


  2. Nathan Wilder

    Nathan Wilder


    Whole-bible thematic biblical theology on the topic of Repentance. Boda does a good job presenting the topic without falling squarely into either side of contemporary debates surrounding soteriology (Lordship Salvation versus Easy-Believism). His demonstration of a lifestyle of repentance in both testaments stands out as the most important emphasis of the volume.
  3. Forrest Cole

    Forrest Cole


  4. Rob




Digital list price: $27.99
Save $8.00 (28%)