Impenitent thief  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The impenitent thief was one of the two thieves who was crucified alongside Jesus. According to the Gospels, he taunted Jesus about not saving himself, while the penitent thief asked for mercy. The impenitent thief is given the apocryphal name Gestas, which first appears in the Gospel of Nicodemus, while his companion is called Dismas.

Pious folk beliefs later embellished that Gestas was on the cross to the left of Jesus and Dismas was on the cross to the right of Jesus. In Jacobus de Voragine's "Golden Legend", the name of the impenitent thief is given as Gesmas. The impenitent thief is sometimes referred to as the "bad thief" in contrast to the good thief.

The apocryphal Arabic Infancy Gospel refers to Gestas and Dismas as Dumachus and Titus, respectively. According to tradition, Dumachus was one of a band of robbers who attacked Saint Joseph and the Holy Family on their Flight into Egypt as recorded in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's The Golden Legend.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Impenitent thief" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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