In Luke 23:43 the New King James Version reads, “And Yeshua said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
Most Believers interpret this Scripture to mean that Yeshua and the thief on the stake entered Paradise together the same day they were executed on the stake. This is not so!
During His ministry, Yeshua prophesied that He would lie in the grave for three days and three nights (Matt. 12:40). Immediately after He was executed on a stake, He was placed in the grave where He remained for the three days and three nights (Matt. 12:39-40; Mark 8:31; 9:31; Matt. 27:63; John 2:19-21; 1 Cor. 15:3-4). When Mary came to the tomb after Yeshua was resurrected, He told her, “...Do not hold Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father, but go to My brothers, and tell them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, to My Elohim [God] and your Elohim [God]’” (John 20:17).
Most Christians believe that Yeshua’s body was buried while His soul went elsewhere. This belief has no Scriptural support. Again, after Yeshua was resurrected, He told Mary, "...Do not hold Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father...."
Yeshua could not have been in Paradise because, today, Paradise is located in the third heaven where Elohim resides (2 Cor. 12:1-5; Rev. 2:7; 22:1-2). Since Yeshua did not enter Paradise the same day He was executed on a stake, neither did the thief, for Yeshua has “pre-eminence” in all things (Col. 1:18).
The key to understanding this Scriptures is to understand that it was not translated correctly. E.W. Bullinger, a Nineteenth-Century Anglican theologian, in appendix 5173 of the Companion Bible, states, “The interpretation of this Scripture depends entirely on punctuation, which rests wholly on human authority, the Greek manuscripts having no punctuation of any kind till the ninth century and then it is only a dot separating each word.” A comma placed before the word “today” is incorrect; the comma should follow it. Thus, punctuated correctly, this Scripture should read: “And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you today, you will be with Me in Paradise.” Thus, by placing the comma after the word “today,” it refers to the timing of Yeshua’s statement, not the timing of when He and the thief enter Paradise. This is consistent with Yeshua being in the grave for three days and three nights, and how it is rendered in this version.
[ BACK TO: Corrections Page | APV Main Page ]