Church of God, New World Ministries

Bible Q & A

Q. Luke 23:43 - Does this say the thief on the “cross” entered paradise on the day he was crucified?
  1. Jesus said the crucified thief would be with Him in paradise (Luke 23:43). Paradise is located in the presence of God’s throne. (II Cor. 12:2-4).

  2. Christ did not go to paradise that same day. Christ went to the grave (Acts 2:31).

  3. The truth of this scripture lies in the proper punctuation. A comma placed before the word “today” is incorrect. The comma should follow it - “verily I say unto you today, thou shalt be with me in paradise.”

    Remember that punctuation was not used in the original Greek which Luke wrote. It was added into the Greek and English centuries later by men.

  4. The inspired original Greek could be read either way. Since the punctuation can change the meaning entirely, we need to let the remainder of the Bible interpret what Christ said.

  5. By using the word “today,” Christ was stressing the time he was making the promise - not the time that the thief would be in paradise. Christ was saying that He could make this promise today, even as He hung on the stake.

    He could see by the attitude of the thief that he had repented and when he was resurrected he would then enter paradise - God’s Kingdom - and be with Christ.

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