R. T. France
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A variety of Hebrew and Greek words are used in the Bible to convey the concept of ‛conversion’. The New Testament recognises both ‛insider conversion’ and ‛outsider conversion’—the former being a call to return to their God and the latter demanding both a new experience of God and a change of religious affiliation. The distinction rests on where a person comes from and the degree of dislocation involved in joining the community of faith. Nevertheless, within the new community the distinction is theologically unimportant. As the church became increasingly separate from Judaism, the conversion of Jews was seen more and more as ‛outsider conversion’; with the growth of ‛nominal Christianity’ the need for ‛insider conversion’ has redeveloped.

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