There are no commas in the original text. The translators of the English Bible(s) have inserted their own idea and so we have:TallMan wrote:People assume that "paradise" means heaven, and therefore the thief was sincere in his comments. Matthew and Mark's account of this dialogue both say that both of the thieves were speaking mockingly to Jesus immediately before the darkness - the same time of the dialogue reported by Luke:-
“THE THIEVES also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth. Now from the sixth hour there was darkness . .. ” (Matthew 27:43-45)
“THEY that were crucified with him REVILED him. And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.”
. . . did they both miss the point that one thief repented and had a great revelation of Jesus coming with a kingdom?
Meanwhile his own disciples were in sorrow and fear, they obviously didn't understand, so, are we to believe that this thief had a greater revelation of Jesus than all of them, including John, the disciple whom Jesus loved?
Or is it more reasonable to say that the thief was speaking mockingly when he said:-
"Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom"
If the thief was sincere, this would have been a comfort to Jesus at this time when he represtented man's sin (for which there can be no comfort).
But what of the prophesy:-
"Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was NONE; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink." (Psalm 69:20-21) ?
Why does Jesus say "today you shall be with me in paradise" not just "you shall be with me in paradise"?
No man enters into heaven until Jesus returns!
"no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven" (John 3:13)
"in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his comin" (1 Cor. 15:22-23)
The word "paradise" is used figuratively for heaven elsewhere, but literally it means GARDEN, WHERE JESUS WAS BURIED THAT DAY; Mary later thought he was the gardener (John 19v41, 20v15). This would mean Jesus was saying that the thief would be buried also in the tombs in the garden.
But, EVEN IF one thief was sincere it's a red herring for people today since God is now dealing under the New Covenant. People are being taught to reject the need for water & Spirit baptisms because of what Jesus says to a thief in Luke - sounds like a thief's gospel to me!
Commas can play a huge part in meaning and context of sentences. For example, the above seems to indicate that Jesus is saying, "this very same day"...however if the comma is moved:Luke 23:43 NIV wrote:Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
This takes on a whole new meaning, with which I tend to hold more to in light of on rising from the dead, Jesus says to Mary in John 20:17Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth today, you will be with me in paradise."
Now, even if Jesus did say/mean "today" as that very same day, in believing as Jesus did that death was a sleep with an awakening at "the last trump" where the dead would be raised, it still fits in with this thinking. If one dies today, the very next thought in the mind is Christ's call at the second coming. Much like once one falls asleep, there is no consciousness of time passing until the eyes open again being awakened from sleep.John 20:17 NIV wrote:Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father.
The other point that suggests the latter interpretation of it being a truth told to the thief THAT day, is that crucifixion was meant to take days...the legs of the thiefs were broken as they were taken off the cross in order to "keep" the Sabbath, so the thief didn't even die THAT day.