The repentant sinner

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Lev Tolstoy
portrayed by Ilya Repin in 1887

The repentant sinner ( Russian Кающийся грешник , Kaiuschtschisja greschnik ) is a Russian legend , the Leo Tolstoy in February 1886 Alexander Afanassjews collection Russian folk legends removed, retold, and in April of the same year in the fourth Russian reader of the anthology Rasskasy is "Nowoi asbuki" in Sankt Petersburg published. In 1982 the text appeared in vol. 10 of the 22-volume Tolstoy edition in Moscow .


A 70 year old sinner dies and knocks on the locked door of heaven. Neither the porter Peter nor the porter to King David open the door. The sinner insists on admission, because his sins, which he confesses at the gate, are certainly no greater than those of the two porters. But it is not opened to him. So the sinner knocks a third time. John , Jesus' favorite disciple , opens the door and - following his word “little children, love one another!” - lets the repentant sinner into the kingdom of heaven .

German-language editions

  • The repentant sinner. German by Arthur Luther . P. 146–148 in: Gisela Drohla (Ed.): Leo N. Tolstoj. All the stories. Fifth volume. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1961 (2nd edition of the edition in eight volumes 1982, edition used)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Wikisource Russian Folk Legends (Russian)
  2. Russian Рассказы из "Новой азбуки", in German stories from the New Alphabet
  3. Vol. 10 of the 1982 Tolstoy edition
  4. NT ( John 13:34  EU )