Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 9 years ago

How would you punctuate this in line with Christian teaching and why?

Luke 23:43:

'Amen I say to you today with me you will be in the Paradise.'

There was no punctuation at all in the original text.

(Amen was in the original Koine text and not 'Truly I tell you', since Amen is a cognate and I see this as a language teacher's gift from God, I would always leave them in).

Thinking about when is the Paradise - today or later?

When is the man 'with' Jesus - there and then on the torture stake, being on his side against those objecting to him, or later in the Paradise? Is Jesus going to be in the earthly Paradise with the man or ruling over it from Heaven as he has the heavenly hope and is with his bride later?

Why would I be wrong for saying it ought to read:

"Amen I say to you today with me, you will be in the Paradise." My reasoning being that the man stood up for Jesus and was 'with him' next to him on a torture stake and 'on his side when being reproached' - Matthew 27:44, Mark 15;26-32, Luke 23;39-41.

In many places the word 'amen' has been translated as 'truly' or 'truly I tell you' when in fact 'amen' has always been a command meaning 'so be it' and it is a cognate. A cognate is a word which remains the same in other languages. It appears to me that when Jehovah confused our languages at the time of Nimrod and the building of the tower of Babel, He did in fact leave us with cognates. Sadly the early churches have chosen to take this very important one out of the bible and weaken it with the translation of 'truly' or 'verily'. At Luke 23;43 it does actually change the meaning somewhat as it takes away Jesus's right to give the man a place in the Paradise at this moment when He is giving his life as a ransom and paying the ultimate price for being allowed to now do this judging.


I am using the Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures from Jehovah's Witnesses, which uses the text from Westcott and Hort ( which I believe is UBS4). I do not necessarily go along with the way in which the J.W.s have punctuated it though, or Westcott and Hort.

9 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer


    Of course punctuation did not appear in the earliest Greek texts so the punctuation must be added by the translators.

    Many translations have placed the comma AFTER “today” rather than in front of it and so read "I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise."

    Obviously these translators felt that the word SHMERON (today) had reference to the time the promise was made rather than to the time it was to be fulfilled. Their choice was solidly based on valid translation principles including Greek grammar, usage and context.

    While scholars generally view the grammar as allowing the comma to occur in either position, when we look at identical grammatical constructions we find the grammatical evidence strongly argues for the comma to be placed after the word "today."

    For example, if Luke had wanted to say "today you will be with me" instead of "I tell you today," he could have used hOTI, (that) before "today" (Lk 2:11; 4:21; 5:26; 19:9; 22:61).

    On the other hand, Luke could also have made it clear that he meant to say "I tell you today, you..." by placing HOTI after "today." Since he did not use HOTI at all the matter cannot be *absolutely* settled by grammar alone.

    But, we also have strong evidence which supports placing comma after “today” from the use of the exact phrase in the OT.

    There are at least 33 occurrences of "I tell you today" in the LXX which are grammatically parallel to Lk 23:43 in using a verb of speech or command with "today." ALL these examples are clearly to be understood with SHMERON (today) connected with the preceding verb so as to stress the veracity and significance of what is being said. That is, the comma should follow "I tell you today, ..." in every case.

    Lamsa, in "Gospel Light" says: "According to the Aramaic manner of speech, the emphasis in this text is on the word 'today' and should read: 'Truly I say to you today, you will be with me in Paradise.' The promise was made on that day and it was to be fulfilled later. This is characteristic of Oriental speech implying that the promise was made on a certain day and would surely be kept."

    So, the overwhelming evidence in the occurrences of this exact phrase is that Christ's use of the word "today" was not to give the time of the evildoer's being in Paradise but, rather, to call attention to the time in which the promise was being made.

    Now, although the weight of evidence from grammar and usage resoundingly supports placing the comma after “today”, the definitive proof comes from the context.

    First, Mark himself and other Scriptures state that Jesus was dead and in the grave (hADES) for three days. So he could not have been in "paradise" on that day (Lk 24:46; 9:22; Ac.2:31; Mt.17:23; 1Cor.15:4). The Bible states explicitly that those in hADES are not conscious (Gen.3:19; Eccl.9:5,10; Ps.146:4).

    In "How To Choose a Bible Translation" J. Parkinson says: "‘And Jesus said unto him. Verily I say unto thee today, thou shalt be with me in paradise.' Grammatically the comma goes equally well before or after the word ‘today'...It is preferred to go after ‘today,' because until the third day, according to Acts 2:31, Christ went to ‘hell'--which is not normally considered Paradise."

    Putting the comma before the word "today" would make Jesus a liar since he knew he would be in hADES for three days not in "paradise." Putting the comma after the word "today" causes no such contradictions.

    Second, Jesus had clearly stated that his faithful disciples would be with him in his kingdom only in the distant future (Lk 22:28-30; Jn.14:1-3; Mt 19:28). If the long-faithful Apostles will not be with him until his far distant future coming, why would the evildoer get to be with him immediately?

    Third, Scriptures plainly state that the resurrection of chosen humans to eternal life with Christ would only occur after Christ's future coming and presence in the "last days." God did not promise anyone that they would be rewarded at death. (Mt.16:27; 24:3; Lk.14:14; Jn.11:24; 14:3; 1Cor.15:22,23,51,52; 2Tim.4:8)

    Many years after Christ's resurrection the righteous dead were still "asleep" in death (1Cor.15:6; 1Thes.4:13) and the resurrection was still future (Ac 24:15; Rev. 20:12,13; cf. 2Tim.2:18).

    Since Jesus was "the first fruits" of all resurrected to eternal heavenly life the man could not have preceded him to heaven that very day (Ac.10:40; 1Cor.15:20,23; Col.1:18).

    According to all these explicit passages the resurrection of the thief could not have taken place on the day of his death.



  • 9 years ago

    After death, the person's next event will be resurrection. And between death and resurrection, the dead person is not mindful of the events of the living. So upon resurrection, it is imperative that the dead person will feel to have just woke up from a long sleep thinking that the thousands or hundreds or tens of years passed by were just like hours ago. In other word, it implies that the moment you are conscious again, you will be with me in paradise.

  • The New World Translation has it correctly.

    Not just individual words, but the context of a verse must be taken into consideration.

    The thief could not have been with Jesus in paradise "today," because Jesus himself was in the grave that day, not in paradise.

    The ancient 2nd/3rd century Sahidic Coptic version (along with the ancient Syriac version) recognized the context, and translated Luke 23:43 this way:


    English translation:

    "He said to him, 'Amen [or, Truly] I say to you today, you will be with Me in Paradise."

    ϪЄ in Coptic functions as a comma, and in the Coptic version, ϪЄ comes after "today" [ΜΠΟΟΥ] so it is "I say to you today,..." and not "I say to you, today..."

    Source(s): The HOLY Bible
  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Luke 23:43 And he said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." [ESV]

    I don't understand what you mean by "torture stake". Jesus died on the cross.

    I don't really get the point you are making. As with one of the other answerers, you seem to have a corrupted translation of the Bible.

    Source(s): Bible [ESV]
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  • Alexis
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    "'Amen I say to you today with me you will be in the Paradise.'

    There was no punctuation at all in the original text.

    Thinking about when is the Paradise - today or later?"

    If Paradise is today:

    "Amen, I say to you; today, with me, you will be in the Paradise."

    If Paradise is later:

    "Amen, I say to you today; with me, you will be in the Paradise."

    If Paradise is later, and Jesus isn't going to be there:

    "Amen, I say to you today with me; you will be in the Paradise."

  • 9 years ago

    "I promise you that today you will be in Paradise with me".This is self explanatory. "Today" means today, no matter how you try to interpret it. Paradise is heaven. So it can also read : "I promise you that today you will be in Heaven with me". Are you having trouble understanding how Jesus can be in heaven and also be on earth at the same time?

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    No matter how you punctuate it, if the Son of Man was talking about the future, he would not have used the word 'today'. Today, means just that. It doesn't make sense otherwise.

  • 9 years ago

    It's a rubbishy book - did you know there's bits of it say that some guy walked on water and died and came back to life and took off into the sky and all sorts of silly stuff like that.

  • 9 years ago

    That is a Jehovahs Witness mistranslation.

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