The novel idea that μετανοειτε or μετανοια means only an abstract intellectual exercise is nonsense. Indeed, there is a form of veneration, a deep bow from the waist while touching the floor with the fingers of the right hand, called a "metania" and a full body prostration (the great metania) of the sort we use while saying reciting the great penitential Prayer of +Ephraim the Syrian. Both words are obviously find their root in μετανοια.
BTW, imagine a congregation doing 3 full body prostrations while reciting this:
"O Lord and Master of my life, give me not the spirit of sloth, idle curiosity, lust for power and idle talk.[prostration]
But grant unto me, Thy servant, a spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love.[prostration]
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own faults and not to judge my brother. For blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen."[prostration]
We do this in Great Lent. Μετανοια, indeed, means more than simply changing one's mind about life and one's relationship to God. It means at least self examination followed by intense penitential prayer and even physical action.
Hi. My words were not meant to suggest that Biblical repentance was "purely an intellectual exercise," (as i have made clear in response to the repeated false assertion that sola fide historically meant a faith that was alone), but was in reaction to any idea that the 3,000 Jews were to first go do works of self affliction before they could be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit.
I stated that
"the official Roman Catholic Bible [of the U.S. Conference of Bishops], rightly states repent, and the word occurs 34* times, and essentially means a change of mind. While this results in a change of life, it is used in distinction from the actual works, as in Acts 26:20, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet [corresponding to] for repentance.'
As for the Vulgate, see note 2 on page 16 here. http://www.churchlatin.com/library/books/samplepages/RBS02.pdf
There is no contention on my part that this interior change results in outward results, and a type faith that does not produce works corresponding to faith in the Lord Jesus is not one that is salvific, and i have said more than once that it is faith out of a contrite heart that appropriates justification, listing the penitent publican as one example. The labor of an evangelist is to bring souls to that point, in the light of the holiness and justice of God, and Peter did so in convicting them by God that they were culpable in the death the One whom God had exalted as Lord, and who would make them His footstool. Not a good place to be.
I also stated that God may convict a soul to take some steps toward reform his life before conversion, and in fact, one must obey light that he has if he will move towards the Light. But some can make reforms others cannot before conversion, and my key contention is that requiring that conversion must include first manifesting prescribed or formal public physical manifestations of repentance (such as in first making restitution, or fasting or other like acts) would be adding to what is revealed, while precluding that such may be required before conversion would be subtracting from it. Immediate forgiveness of a brother is indicated in Lk. 17:3,4 upon repentance, while an expression of repentant contrition which signified future changes is seen in Mt. 11:21 as well as Lk. 18:13,14.
Repentance and belief are inseparable, and often (as in John) only belief is used, as what you really believe is manifest in your actions, (assuming one can choose), and what a person overall lives out is what their religion really is, regardless of what they profess. Idolatry is the chief sin, with its false finite objects of supreme affection, allegiance, or security, and the command to love God is the primary one, and what conversion most basically consists of is a change of god(s) toward the true and living God, including turning from a false notion of Him, and thus in faith to truly confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus (Rm. 10:9) which in those days typically meant a radical reduction in physical life expectancy by the Holy Spirit (cf. 1Cor. 12:3), signified a change in heart allegiance, etc., and required a faith that by nature would result in a changed life reflecting this changed heart.
The cross is indeed contrary to the idea that man can earn eternal life by the merit of His works, avoiding the abasement before God as sinners in need of salvation on Christ's expense and righteousness, yet God-given justifying faith is one that has works. However even then if the emphasis in living this out is primarily placed upon works or conformity to structure, etc., versus real heart faith in the God of the Bible, then it will produce mere religion, while New Testament writings reveal that believer were driven by a relationship centered life, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. " (Hebrews 12:2) Out of which all flows. May i make my eye more single. (Mt. 6:22) To God be their glory.
As exemplified by St. John the Baptist the Forerunner. Note that all St. John did was action: he baptized, he wore a hairshirt and fasted, and lived in the desert. Other than profecy about the "axe being taken to the root", we don't know what exactly he taught his disciples. But we know he taught them certain praxis (Mark 2:18 and all four gospels). To speculate that somehow St. John's favorite word was referring to a pure state of mind is ignoring the evidence of the Gospel.