"Verily, I say to thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise."
[ LUK 23:43 ]
Yes, that is what Jesus said to the repentant thief on the cross -- and many
believe that this text proves that the righteous ascend to heaven "immediately"
when they die.
But there's a BIG PROBLEM here: Christ did NOT go to "paradise" on that day.
read John 20:17.
When Mary saw the resurrected Jesus THREE DAYS after His death, He said to
her, "I am not yet ascended to my father".
If Jesus had not yet ascended to heaven, how could the thief "be there with
Jesus" if Jesus wasn't there yet and hadn't gone.
Here's the answer... As originally written, the Greek was WITHOUT
PUNCTUATION. The adverb SEMERON, "today," stands between two clauses which
read, literally, "truly to you I say" and "with me you will be in paradise."
_ _ _ _ _ _
Here's the Greek: "AMEN SOI LEGO SEMERON MET EMOU ESE EN TO PARADESO"
Literally: "Truly to-you I-say today with-me you-will-be in the paradise."
There are literal Bibles which given unabridged definitions of the Hebrew and
Greek for words and phrases based on the context they were used in the original
In the construction of this sentence it is impossible to determine whether
the adverb "today" modifies "I say" or "you will be".
But because we KNOW that Jesus did not ascent to heaven on the day he died on
the cross, we know the translators (uninspired men) put the "comma" in the
Here's how Luke 23:43 SHOULD read:
"Verily, I say to thee today, Thou shalt be with me in paradise."
Why did this happen? It's simple: the translators were guided by the
unscriptual concept that the dead enter into their rewards after death. That
comma belongs AFTER the word "today."