The Gospel of Thomas

About Métanoïa

Métanoïa is a Greek word, chosen by the French scholars to distinguish their work, that encapsulates one of the most fundamental and important concepts of the Gospel of Thomas. As Hugh McGregor Ross writes in Jesus untouched by the Church"from the Middle Ages and still to this day Métanoïa in the words of Jesus in the Bible has been mistranslated as to repent ... a negative emotion ... just the opposite of all that Jesus is offering in the Gospel of Thomas, which is a positive way forward to the Light."

Perhaps the logia in Thomas that come closest to conveying the true meaning of the word Métanoïa are No 2 - "... and when he finds, he will be turned around ..." and No 28 "... they will transform their Knowing ...". There is no sense of 'repenting for one's sins', no sense of sin even, rather a clear feeling of an internal turning to knowledge - and especially self-knowledge - of an entirely new kind.

  • Métanoïa appears to mean 'new mind' or 'above mind' but has been traditionally translated by biblical scholars as 'repentance'. (Wiktionary on-line dictionary)
  • Now in Greek the word for repentance (métanoïa ) is formed, not from the confession of a sin, but from a change of mind. (Tertullian, Five Books against Marcion, book II, ch XXIV)