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Does hell exist?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by mgairs, Dec 31, 2002.

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  1. drmmjr

    drmmjr Regular Member

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    God of Love,

    You posted:
    Evidently you have misread what I have posted, since nowhwere did I say that it is a natural consequence. In fact most of those posts, you have been the one with the opinion of "natural consequences". You kept saying that I was the one who suggested God "imposed penalties'.

    Of course, what is PUNISHMENT but a penalty? Or have you changed your mind on this?
     
  2. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

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    Oh that's right OS, everyone who disagrees with your teaching is a culticHeritic!  give me a break!  You have not only made my point but the unknown author's as well!  You take apart the entire context of this great passage by Paul and use it as your own personal weapon against those who disagree with your teaching, sad, so sad.  So you want an explanation?  This explanation is for you OS and those who follow your sad Pagen doctrine of never ending torment and torture and your very own personal angry god who is not the God of the scriptures. 

    In this passage God wants to take vengeance away from us because we (you OS) kill with it, we are unjust with it, we falsely accuse with it. When we kill in the anger of vengeance, we cannot bring that person back to life. But our Father says that He can.... (Deut. 32:39) "See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand".

    The God of love (not your angry god) says the way to overcome evil is with good. If your enemy is hungry, feed him-don't kill him! If you want to kill him, kill him with kindness. Jesus is able to use death and "hades" for our good, not our ultimate destruction. Even Paul, learned how to use destruction in the proper way. So then, those who preach an "angry" god, preach a narrow god, one who can't redeem most of those who he died for. He is either powerless to save, to angry to want to forgive, or too lazy to really care.

    GOL, you are right, THEY CAN'T SEE IT!  thanks for your post brother.



     
     
  3. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

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    The following are excerpts by Thomas Whittemore:

    THE NATURE OF GOD

    God is love and love worketh no ill. "God is love." 1 John 4:8. "Love worketh no ill." Rom. 13:10. This is a very forcible argument. God's nature is the very essence of benevolence, and benevolence cannot be the origin of endless evil. If love worketh no ill, God can work no ill; and, therefore, God cannot be the author of endless evil.

    God loves all mankind. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son." John 3:16: and, as Jesus died for all men, so God loves all men. This argument adds great force to the last.

    God loves even his enemies. For he requires men to love their enemies, which he could not do if he hated his. (Matt. 5:44) And Jesus declared, "for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil." Luke 6:35. This is but an amplification of the preceding argument. If God loves his enemies, he certainly loves all men; for no one doubts that he loves his friends. And can God cause those to be endlessly miserable whom he loves?



     
     
  4. OldShepherd

    OldShepherd Zaqunraah

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    Oh thank you Franklin, I am so happy to know that people like Stalin, Hitler, Mao Tze Tung, Jeffery Dawmer, John Wayne Gacey, the 911 terrorists, etc. will be forgiven AFTER they die and spend eternity in paradise with Jesus.
     
  5. God of Love

    God of Love Regular Member

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    drmmjr,

    I stand corrected in my presentation, however, you did infer it was a consequence:


    No, I have not changed my mind in the slightest.  I agree that "punishment", "punishing", and "penalites" are all *nearly* the same thing.  My stance remains that these conflict and "have no home" within unconditional love, and that a God who loves unconditionally would not IMPOSE these penalties or punishments on His "children".

    Thus, I was "advocating" that what you were suggesting was a "punishment", and punishments did not concur with unconditional love.  You, were "advocating" that it was a punishment, but God "didn't want to punish" and therefore it was really just a "choice" or "consequence" for breaking rules.

    Obviously, an all-powerful God would not need to punish if He didn't want to.

    Hope that clarifies.

    God of Love   
     
  6. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

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    Your quite welcome OS, and here is another question for you:

    Would a loving God really create billions and billions of people which He knew in advance He would torture for all eternity? OS, do you think God knew about all the men that chose to become evil before He created them?  I hope this isn't too mindboggling for you?

    Oh & as for paradise and living in God's throne room, that is another subject and no one but God and His Son dwell there.  What makes you think you are going to dwell there?  You will return to dust just like every other human and your spirit will return to God who gave it just like all of his creation will.  What Bible are reading?

    "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it".  Eccl 12:7
     
     
  7. God of Love

    God of Love Regular Member

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    AMEN!  God is indeed LOVE.
     
  8. OldShepherd

    OldShepherd Zaqunraah

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  9. OldShepherd

    OldShepherd Zaqunraah

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    Where is this statement or anything like it found in the Bible? This is a rationalization, trying to make the Bible fit your unbiblical teaching.
    And what is your point? I suggest you stick to addressing my responses and NOT make public comments about my mind.

    The Bible says nothing about 144,000 chosen disciples of Charlie Russell being the only ones in paradise, and OBTW heaven and paradise are the same.
    • Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

      Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
    • Matt 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
    According to Franklin and GOL, Jesus really meant to say their bodies would return to dust and their spirit back to God. Does the JW Bible have this verse?
     
  10. drmmjr

    drmmjr Regular Member

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    Yes it is a consequence, but not a "natural" consequence as you have said I was inferring.
    But God does "punish" or chastize, as a result of breaking the rules. God doesn't punish just for the fun of it. God does love us and wants us to do what is right. But, if a wrong is done, then a corrective action is required.

    Hebrews 12:5 - And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
    6 - For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
    7 - If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
    8 - But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye b*a*s*t*a*r*d*s, and not sons. (edited approx. 2:00 2/17 - some words just need to be used.)
    9 - Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
    10 - For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

    We have been talking about unconditional love and punishments. Having unconditional love doesn't mean that a back is turned to when something is wrong is done. If that were the case, then why would we need to do anything that God tells us. He's not going to do anything about it anyway.

    But that is not the case. Because God loves us, he corrects us. This is in normal, everyday life.

    But since this thread is a question about "hell" existing, and some thinking that there is "eternal/everlasting" suffering there, one would think that would be considered a "punishment". But you say that there is no punishment with unconditional love. What then happens to those who don't do the will of God? Does everyone end up in the presence of God no matter what they did?
     
  11. God of Love

    God of Love Regular Member

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    Agreed.  My error.

    drmmjr,

    This is where we disagree.  You feel that God does the actual punishing.  I feel that "punishing" does not concur with unconditional love, and that God -- who is perfect in His love -- has given us "rules" to protect us from ourselves and mechanisms of the universe which are too complex for most (if not all) of Man to comprehend.  

    In this manner, there is "punishment" -- there are naturally occuring consequences for actions, and God has told us what to avoid  -- but these punishments are not "dished out" by God. 

    This concurs with unconditional love and TRUE free will.

    Without meaning to get personal, for the pure sake of example here, let me ask you a question that might aid my point.

    Suppose on judgment day, you're standing in the great line, waiting to be judged, and "Mom" is about 50 folks ahead of you.  Suppose that when Mom reaches God's throne, God finds her "unfit" -- that she made the wrong choices -- and hurls her over the brink, into "the Lake of Fire".

    As you see her face, screaming in fear and agony, how are you going to feel about God?  Are you still going to love Him, knowing He chose to destroy "Mom" (Day, Grampa, etc.) rather than forgive?

    Even if "judgment" occurs instantaneously, by what I gather you believe, you are still left afterwards knowing that God "d a m n e d" your Mom because she made the wrong choices.   

    ???

    Here again, I disagree.  Unconditional love does mean allowing persons to make ANY choice they desire.  When you place "conditions" or "terms" on unconditional love, saying "I'll love you unless you do this or that", you've just conditionalized it -- Man's greatest oxymoron of all time: "conditional-unconditional love"


    Thank you for your gentle tone, and may God love and bless you.

    God of Love
     
  12. drmmjr

    drmmjr Regular Member

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    GOL,

    Did you happen to read the scripture that I posted earlier? If not, then please read it. If you did, then how do you explain it. More specifically verse 6:

    Heb 12:6 - For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

    If God loves you, He will chasten you. If He doesn't love you, then He won't chasten you, and you are not considered a son.

    A fine example. But at that time, we won't be concerned with what might have been. We will be so happy to be with God that the things of the past will not bother us. One should be more concerned that they have done what is required to be written in the Book of Life.

    Rev 21:4 - And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

    But then, you believe that God has unconditional love and will not punish those who deserve it. But what about the unconditional love that God had for Sodom and Gomorrah?

    Gen 19:24 - Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;
    25 - And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

    God totally destroyed those cities for what they had done. By your definition, God didn't have unconditional love at that time. Again please refer to Heb 12:6 - For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

    Have a good afternoon.
     
  13. God of Love

    God of Love Regular Member

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    I see no mention of Him not loving *all*.  Isn't that what you've been saying: He loves us all and gives us a "choice"?  Yet now you are suggesting there are some whom He doesn't love?

    Am I reading that right? "If He doesn't love you..."

    Sorry, but this answer strikes me as a bit convenient.


    I agree.



    Are you suggesting God created Sodom and Gomorrah without knowing their plights?  That He created them, knowing He would eventually destroy them?

    Futhermore, do you believe that God killed the innocent children of this village and others?  Infants and the unborn?  Again, creating them, knowing He would kill them.

    Yet meanwhile, He spared the lives of Lot and His daughters, knowing the daughters would sleep with Lot and give birth Lot's "sons" (or is it grandsons?)? 

    What kind of God is this?  One who loves the world so much (including the "sinners") that He sent His only begotten son to save? 

    By my definition, you are citing a figurative story as if it were literal. 

    God Bless,

    God of Love

     




     
     
  14. drmmjr

    drmmjr Regular Member

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    God always gives a choice. Look at Adam. He had the choice of either eating or not eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge. God didn't make us to be puppets, we have the ability to make choices, whether they be good or bad. God would like us to make all the good choices, but knows that there is the possiblility that we won't. But if there is not chastizement or punishment when those bad choices are made, then we won't know that they are bad choices.

    The point being, you say God doesn't punish because of "unconditional love", and I was pointing out that the only time God wouldn't punish is when He doesn't love you. But since He DOES love us, we are chastened or punished.

    Sorry if you find it a bit convenient. It's true.

    Again, God didn't create man to be a puppet or robot blindly doing everything that is good. God created man with a mind to make choices.

    If you plant an apple tree in your garden, you expect it to produce fruit. But what would you do if after many years, the tree does not produce fruit? You would remove it and plant another. Now, did you know that the tree would not produce fruit? No, you planted it with the understanding that it would produce fruit. You had no control over the tree to produce fruit or not to. Oh, you could fertilize, water, prune, etc., but the tree still doesn't produce the fruit.

    And as you will probably point out, man is nothing like an apple tree. But, again, God created man with the ability to make choices. Yes He wants us to do what is right, but there are times when we don't and He has to chastize us.
    A "figurative" story? Please check the following: Is there any evidence for the Biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah's destruction by fire and brimstone (sulfur)?

    And if you do a search on the Internet, you will find many other sites with information about this as well.

    Was Moses and the exodus of the children of Israel out of Egypt a story as well? Did God part the Red Sea to allow Moses and his party cross? Did David kill Goliath with a small stone? Did Daniel survive the lion's den? Did Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego live through the fiery furnace? Was Jesus born of a virgin? Did Jesus die on the cross for our sins?

    Just where do you see the scriptures as being literal and figurative?
     
  15. God of Love

    God of Love Regular Member

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    I agree, a loving God does provide choices.  What we disagree on is that a loving God would lay choices before Man, and then condemn or punish Man for making the "wrong" choices.  Why would a loving God create the second choice if He didn't want Man to chose it? 

    For example, if you don't want your children to play with the pistol you keep for home protection, you lock the pistol away.  It's that simple.  It's a matter of being responsible, with your children's best interest at heart.  You do this *because* you love your children, to prevent them from falling to curiosity's harm.

    We as humans do this because we are not ALL-KNOWING.  God, however, being all-knowing would know what choice a person would make before the choices were laid before them.  Therefore, there is no need for Him to "test them".  Suggesting that God would lay choices before a person "knowing" they would choose the wrong choice would be like you handing your child a loaded gun, knowing they would pull the trigger.

    You can apply to this a "literal" perception of the story of Adam and Eve.  However, if you read the story of Adam and Eve as a completely "literal" story, you will quickly encounter many problems.

    Because of this and many other reasons, the story of Adam and Eve is completely symbolic in nature.  I'll be glad to discuss it with you, but it is a topic in itself.

    Of course He didn't.

    This returns us to the first paragraph of this post.  To begin with, who determines what is "right" or "wrong", "good" or "bad"?

    God?

    And if so, why again would God present a "bad" or "wrong" choice, knowing a person was going to take that "wrong" choice?

    I'll tell you a little secret here, it is Man, not God, who has determined what is "good" or "bad".  These "polarities" were based on Man's own fears.   God provided choices and through unconditional love showed there are consequences for every action.  Generally speaking "good begats good" and "bad begats bad".  Saying that much more correctly, the choices we make operating on LOVE bring us "good" and the choices we make operating on our own fears bring us "bad".

    God would not hand you a loaded pistol, knowing that you would point it at your head and pull the trigger. 

    We already don't know what is "good" and "bad".  We make it up as we go along.

    Think back to your story about the child in a coma.  Is it "good" or "bad" to "pull the plug"?  Suppose you decide that "pulling the plug" is "good", and you "pull the plug" 2 minutes before God was going to perform a miracle for that little girl?

    Was pulling the plug still good?

    You can internally debate with this subject over a lifetime without every knowing what is truly "good" and "bad".  And as long as you can't discern between these, how can you tell if God is "punishing" or "rewarding"?

    The bottom line is, there is a higher way, one that can bring you contentment and comfort.  It is knowing that God loves us regardless, and that He never punishes.  He DOES provide choices, and there are naturally occuring consequences for every decision one makes.

    So now are you suggesting God loves ALL of us, or only some of us?   I don't really think we can go forward until you've decided.

    No offense meant or taken.  It is simply a matter of different perceptions.   

    I have such a tree and love it dearly.  It's not an apple tree, but instead a huge sprawling pecan tree, that has exceeded its fruit-bearing years.

    The flaw with this argument is it is based on Man's erroneous perception of "limited quantity".  For example, if you have a LIMITED orchard space, most people would have to cut the tree down.  Then again, if you have 100,000 acres for your orchard, why bother?

    Does the tree still not produce oxygen and provide beauty?

    Does it not provide pollen for the bees, and follage for grazing deer?

    As you can see my friend, Man's challenge is to transcend *his own thinking*, and find beauty in every aspect of God.  By doing so, we are "praising God" in the highest extent. 

    The question is, how big is God's garden?  Does He need to weed away the "bad"?  And then again, why would He create the "bad" if He knew it would "never produce fruit" and need to be "removed"?

    This is the question I would most like you to answer.


    Thanks, it was a good link, but I found it a bit biased.

    Virtually every story of the old testament was symbolic.  Parts of the story of Jesus weren't "symbolic" per se (except parables, of course), but were engineered to provide a very specific message. 


    God bless.  If nothing else, I'm hoping this dialogue helps you to see "there are other ways of looking at things".

    God of Love 
     
  16. HesMyAll

    HesMyAll Senior Contributor

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    Unconditional love does not mean that there will be no punishment if the rules are breached. As a parent, I love my children unconditionally but if one of them does something that they know is not allowed there will be punishment.
    Love sets limits. I don't want my child to stand on the train tracks when the train is coming because it is something that could harm them. God sets limits for our own good; to protect us. However it is up to us if we will obey or rebel. There is a price for disobedience.
     
  17. God of Love

    God of Love Regular Member

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    I agree, brethren IF the MOTIVATION is correct.  I'll expand on this briefly... 

    Better said "fear imposes limits"; perfect love has no bounderies.

    This is understandibly true.  What's important to realize is, there is a difference between "actions and their predictable consequences" AND "rules with set punishments" AND "Threats with ultimatums" .

    If your child stands on the track with a train coming, their "action" (standing on the track) has a probable "consequence" or "outcome" (being struck by a train).  Therefore, by making the decision to stand on the track, there is a predictable NATURALLY OCCURING consequence or outcome.  Just as if you lay your hand on a hot stove, your hand being burned is the predictable consequence. 

    This, in itself, is one complete quotient.  It is a complete "thing" in itself.  It is a naturally-occuring "risk/consequence" that would apply to ANYONE who stood on the tracks -- regardless of "other rules" -- and without prejudice.

    Understand so far? 

    If your tell your child "Don't stand on the train tracks or you'll get your fanny warmed", this differs from the aforementioned "risk/consequence" because it is a "rule and punishment".  It is a seperate "quotient" or "thing" in itself.  It also differs because it is not "naturally-occurring", but instead is IMPOSED by you as the parent.  It can either be based on (SELFLESS) LOVE for the child's well-being, or it can be based on one's (SELFISH) FEAR that the  child might be lost (as a result of the PRE-EXISTING "risk/consequence").  

    If you went on the tracks yourself, you would only be subject to the naturally-occuring "risk/consequence".  However, by imposing this "rule/punishment" on the child, the child is subject to BOTH.

    Still following?

    To fully understand, you first need to be able to differentiate between "risks/consequences" and "rules and punishments", and then must be able to differentiate between "rules and punishments" versis "Threats and ultimatums".

    As parents, it is natural for us to apply "rules and punishments" to our children for their PROTECTION FROM NATURALLY-OCCURING  "risks/consequences" (such as playing in the street, standing on the train track, etc.).  We do this hopefully not for the FEAR of our OWN loss (the pain caused by losing them), but rather out of LOVE for THEM (their own well-being and safety).

    If it is done selfLESSly (soley for THEIR well-being), it would comply with unconditional love. 

    When there is no NATURALLY-OCCURING "risk/consequence" involved, however, ANY "rule/punishment" is not driven by the desire to "protect", but instead by ONE'S OWN PERSONAL MOTIVATION OR AGENDA.  When it is a matter of ONE'S PERSONAL MOTIVATION, it is no longer based love, but SELFISHNESS. 

    To take that one step further, it's not truly a "rule and punishment" anymore, but rather a "Threat/ultimatum".

    Understand?

    For example, if your wife approached you and said "I'm giving you a new "rule", the rule is you must buy me a new dress each week.  If you don't the "punishment" is divorce" -- she's not really giving you a "rule and punishment", what's she's really giving you is a "threat/ultimatum" because it is not based on love for you, but love for herself (selfishness).

    Using THESE SPECIFIC definitions (which we had never previously defined here), I would agree that "rules and punishments" can exist in unconditional love.  And using THESE SPECIFIC definitions, it is clear that by God's (supposedly) saying "You must love me or I will destroy you in Hell", He would be issuing an ULTIMATUM.  It is not an "action with a predictable outcome" nor is it a "rule and punishment", but rather a "threat/ultimatum".  What delineates it from the former (two) is the ABSENSE OF LOVE/CONCERN for the recipient, but rather for one's OWN SELFISH/PERSONAL REASONS.

    As you can see, "threats/ultimatums" do not comply with unconditional love.  The only love they are based on is the love for one's self.

    Hope that helps, and God Bless.

    God of Love
     
  18. Ratioann

    Ratioann Regular Member

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    Hell-o!

    I'm getting into this kinda late, but I just had to respond to the Lazarus posts near the beginning of this thread. Here is my take on the parable of Lazarus:

    Remember the parable about the good soil? This parable was a model for all other parables (Mark 4:13 And He said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?). This parable was talking about true and false converts. They are christians, they heard the word.

    The rich man was a christian, he had all the good things of God, namely the gospel. He, however, was a false convert. He did not share the word.

    Lazarus was a non believer "desiring to be fed from the crumbs that fell from the rich mans table." The rich man shared nothing with him though.

    I'm not going to say much about hell, except that I do believe it's a real threat. When and how don't matter much to me, I just don't wanna go there. I believe God created hell not just for punishment, but to send people after the cross to salvation. I'm going to finish reading the second half of this thread now...
     
  19. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

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    What makes you think your interpretations are so biblical, hmm? And no, this question really isn't in the bible? no kidding? I thought it was! It has nothing to do with rationalizing OS, it has to do with approaching the scriptures with commonsence and some level of logic in order to draw logical conclusions! What method of logic and reasoning do you use to approach God's word? With that said, I'll ask the question again.


    Would a loving God really create billions and billions of people which He knew in advance He would torture for all eternity?
    Believe it or not OS, this is not rationalizing with God's word, it just requires a logical answer. God for it, I know you can do it! ;)

    Now OS, let's keep this in perspective, what and how did Charlie Russell get into this argument any way, there you go again using your worn out JDubya argument again, you guys always have to rely on your cultist accusations when your running out of options in your arguments you know that? The passage you are quoting about the thief dieing on the cross next to Jesus leads many to believe that according to the teachings of tradition many conclude that there is a transition at death and that death is not the end of life but rather the beginning of a new existence.

    Your quote reads as thus:

    Luke 23:43, "...Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with Me in paradise."


    However, the correct reading of this verse should read:

    Luke 23:43, "...Verily I say unto thee To day , thou shalt be with me in paradise."

    Notice the placement of the comma in the second quote from the first?  It changes the whole meaning of the passage. And no OS, it's not out of the Jdubya's reference book or their bible BTW.....
    If Christ went to Paradise that very day, He would surely have gone into the very presence of God. But Jesus did not go to his Father that day, for he said to Mary three days later, after he had been raised from the dead, "…I am not yet ascended to My Father…" (John 20:17). Christ was resurrected for 40 days (Acts 1:3) and ascended to the father only after his 40 days were fulfilled (Acts 1:9-11). Therefore, they were not together anywhere that day, except on the cross. When Jesus made this statement to the thief, it was in a reply to what the thief said to Jesus: Luke 23:42-43, "And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee To day, thou shalt be with me in paradise. " Notice, the thief said "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy Kingdom." He did not say "when thou goest." He didn't go anywhere except the grave to go to sleep.
    I wouldn't know, because I have never read from a JayDubya's bible. :rolleyes: 
     
  20. OldShepherd

    OldShepherd Zaqunraah

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    The only Bible I am aware of that places the comma in front of today is the JW NWT! Here is quoted from The Greek New Testament, Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo Martini, Bruce Metzger, and Allen Wikgren, UBS, 1975. On page 312, It clearly shows the comma before today and no other alternate readings are listed which means NOT one single manuscript of Luke has the comma after “today” There is NO historical or manuscript evidence for placing the comma before today.

    • Luke 23:43 kai eipen autw o ihsouV amhn legw soi, shmeron met emou esh en tw paradeisw

      43 kai eipen auto o ihsouv amhn lego soi, semeron (today) met emou ese en to paradeiso
     
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