One of the biggest French Bible societies has made a startling announcement. Apparently the word we translate as repentance doesn’t have a good equivalent in French. The Greek word in question is “metanoia.” In the last edition of the Bible they printed they used a French word you might recognize and they translated it “repentance” (pronounced with a pretty French accent)
But this year they are releasing a revised translation using creative replacements for this word. The Bible society has stopped printing the version of the Bible that uses the word repentance, and the shelves are bare. You can no longer buy the repentance version. Of course this isn’t the only translation change they have made, but it sounds like a potential controversy if you don’t know the context…. keep reading …
Since repentance is a word most people will never encounter outside of the church, a vast majority of people will not know the Biblical principal behind it. If your average French person decided to pick up the Bible and wanted to look the word repentance up in the dictionary, he would find one definition: “guilt, deep remorse” But is feeling guilt what God requires of us for salvation?
So now every time the Greek word “metanoia” appears it is translated, “change of attitude” which we hope will be more clear. And in a few cases they did decide to keep the word repentance if the context already explains the attitude change necessary and illustrated a turning from sin.