Truly I tell you today – you will be with me in paradise

//Truly I tell you today – you will be with me in paradise

Stumper Questions for Jehovah’s Witnesses, #31

Jesus uses the phrase “Truly I say to you, …” over 50 times in the Bible. In the NWT, the comma is placed after the word “you” every time except in Lk 23:43, where the comma is placed after the word “today”. Why is the comma placed after “today” instead of after “you” in this verse? If the translation of this phrase in Lk 23:43 was consistent with the translation of this phrase in all the other verses in which it appears (see concordance), and the comma was placed after the word “you”, how would it read?

 

First, while Jesus frequently used the expression “truly I say to you,” he only used the expression “truly I say to you today” on one occasion, and that was on the day of his execution.

It should be pointed out that the original Greek  did not have such punctuation marks. It is up to the translator to determine where punctuation marks, such as a comma, should be placed. And in the instance of Luke 23:43 it is evident that the comma should be placed after the word “today” – so as to say: “Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise.”

This is where a little knowledge is helpful. And of course, honesty is also important.

Those who insist that a comma should be placed before “today” would have us believe that Jesus was promising the thief that he was going to be in paradise that very day.

This reveals a profound and appalling ignorance of a very fundamental truth expressed throughout the Bible. Even young children in Sunday school know that Jesus was killed and was in the grave for parts of three days and on the third day he arose from the dead. Jesus certainly was not transported to paradise or heaven or anywhere else on the day that he breathed his last – at least not as a living person. After he was taken down from the stake he was wrapped in burial cloth and carried by his secret disciples and laid in a tomb. In fact, even after his resurrection Jesus walked among his disciples for 40 days before he ascended back to heaven.

Furthermore, the Bible clearly explains that Jesus is the firstborn from the dead. Are we to assume that the thief preceded Jesus into paradise while the Lord lay in a tomb awaiting his Father’s call to awaken?

Moreover, after the holy spirit was poured out on the day of Pentecost the apostle Peter explained the resurrection of Jesus by referring the Jews to a Psalm that King David had written 1000 years before. The Psalm said that you will not leave the soul of your loyal one in the grave. And then the apostle explained that David was still in his grave and his tomb was among them to that day. (Acts, chapter two) He said that so that they could understand that the Psalm actually applied to the Messiah. So, if righteous King David was still in the grave waiting for the resurrection, are we to assume that the thief also preceded David into paradise?

It is disingenuous for someone who is steeped in the mythology of Christendom to take issue with Jehovah’s Witnesses and the New World Translation for the placement of a comma in a passage referring to paradise, when the common churchgoer has no understanding of what Jesus was even talking about. It is beyond their comprehension and willingness to accept the fact that Jesus was promising the evildoer who was executed alongside him that he would receive a resurrection, not to heaven, but into paradise on earth.

Ironically, even the thief apparently knew more of the truth than the average churchgoer today. He certainly did not expect to be transported to heaven then, or anytime afterward. Going to heaven was a foreign concept to the Jews. Even the apostles and original disciples imagined that Jesus’ kingdom was going to manifest itself on the earth. It was only after their anointing that their minds were opened up to the fact that they had been invited to join Christ in heaven. But the thief certainly had no expectation of a heavenly reward. Nor did he expect to be instantaneously resurrected. That is why he asked Jesus to remember him when he got into his Kingdom at some point in the future. 

Just as the men of Sodom will rise up in the resurrection and condemn the unbelieving Jews who rejected Jesus, we may expect the thief who is resurrected to paradise to condemn the stupidity and unreasonableness that characterizes churchgoers today, who know nothing of the truth but who attempt to teach Jehovah’s Witnesses with their empty-headed stumper questions. 

Here is what the Watchtower has written on the topic of paradise in the Reasoning from the Scriptures publication.

 

 

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2017-07-04T11:45:48+00:00 August 20th, 2015|Answers|101 Comments
  • Joe Dman

    “even the thief apparently knew more of the truth than the average churchgoer today.” How true. Prior to the advent of electronics, most people went straight to the source: the Bible. Now they bow their head to their electronic device and expect that whoever wrote whatever they’re reading to actually know what they’re talking about. It would be so much easier to talk to people who are familiar with the actual Bible and explain the meaning of something they’ve read. And on the rare occasion we encounter someone who is actually searching for God, our evil competitors have already contaminated their thinking. I misspoke, I should have said whatever video they’re watching. Most are too lazy to read, leaving nothing to their imagination.

  • John Roberts

    The vast majority of translators put the comma right where it’s supposed to go, and that’s before the word “today.” Why? Because you can’t find the phrase where it’s used afterwards anywhere else in the Bible! As you note yourself, Jesus repeatedly used the term, “verily I say unto you,” and each time the comma immediately follows. Now, this one time, you claim the Lord is saying, “Verily I say unto you _today_.”

    Why would the Lord suddenly begin to say “today”? Of course he’s saying it today; he wouldn’t say “I say unto you Tuesday.” I can find nowhere else, either in scripture or in any ancient text (Nag Hammadi, other apocryphal writings) is the term used. I’ve never used it in English (I’m tellin’ you today, you’re gonna love their salads!) — it wouldn’t make sense. The Lord wanted the thief to understand that he would that very day be with Jesus in Paradise, which is where the Lord went following his crucifixion.

    As Peter put it: “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.”

    Jesus suffered for the sins of mankind, the just for the unjust, so we might return to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, by which he went and preached to the spirits in prison, beginning with the disobedient spirits in the days of Noah. He also writes: “For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.” (1 Peter 4:6) Here’s the reason for the preaching, and to whom the preaching was to. It was to “the dead,” and it was so that those who heard the gospel might be judged as those of us in the flesh, yet live according to God as spirits. How could the dead be receptive to preaching if they were non-existent?

    The bottom line to scriptural exegesis is that the things of God must be established by men of God. Anciently, they were called “apostles” (or “sent ones”) and “prophets.” In modern times, most Christians teach, we simply don’t need them. They led us to Christ and their job is finished. What’s needed, were told, is a tenacious study of the Bible and a dedication to its sacred truths. It’s the final authority of all things holy, including its own meaning. This, of course, is absurd. Men have been extracting “truth” according to their own understanding for millenia, insisting they hold the keys of its understanding while all others are hopelessly mired in error. This is what Alexander Campbell believed, and William Miller, Charles Taze Russell, Joseph Rutherford, Herbert W. Armstrong and many others. They all believed the Bible was God’s final authority and they all believed they had discovered Bible truth that had eluded all those who came before. Yet none of them claimed that God called them to the ministry by actual revelation — the same sort of revelation received by the prophets. Jesus told the Twelve: “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you and ordained you.” This means they weren’t self appointed, but were called even as were the ancient prophets. Thus, how do we determine who is right and who is wrong about where Jesus was during the three days his body slept in the earth? You say he was sleeping body and soul, while I see Peter saying that he was in Paradise.

    BUT the final argument is Jesus’ parable regarding Lazarus (Luke 6). Jesus was clearly teaching it as all his other parables, and that’s true to life. Ask yourself, would it have been appropriate for Jesus to have given a parable about two men dying and both being reincarnated, one as a pig and the other as a swan? Of course not, for it would have sent the wrong message and his followers could have reasonably concluded that he was teaching reincarnation. So it is with the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. Jesus would not have given a parable about men having spirits if it were not so. He never gave fables of animals talking to men or each other, nor of reincarnation or any other false doctrine.

    Or am I wrong?

    • ewatchman

      You are obviously truth averse. Or perhaps you just don’t believe that Jesus really died on that very day and that he laid in a tomb for parts of three days.

      • patri

        or perhaps a faulty bible understanding of the human soul and what happens at death.

        Paul calls death an enemy, should we not welcome death as a friend if it were true that we go directly to heaven/paradise.

        Paul when speaking to the elders says “I declare to you THIS DAY that I have been faithful” acts 20.
        He meant, right NOW. He doesn’t say I declare to you (comma) THIS DAY I have been faithful
        Not saying the comma is divinely inspired or anything but putting the comma after the word “today” changes the meaning of Jesus’ words dramatically and dovetails perfectly with bible truths from beginning to end.

        John R says “I have faith in the teachings of the apostles, but I do not have faith in the interpretations of men” – and then quotes Origen – “after death the saints go to paradise a place of learning or school of the spirits in which everything they did on earth would be made clear to them”

        I may be wrong but so far as i can tell, all those who “died” in near death experiences have not shouted from the housetops that they were in heaven/paradise

      • John Roberts

        eWatchman » Yes I believe very much that Jesus died, but what is death? It’s a separation of the body and the spirit. Spiritual death is a separation between man and God. Resurrection is a rejoining of the body and the spirit. Thus, Jesus’ body slept in the earth while he was made alive in the spirit. And what is sleep? It’s rest from the labors of the day. Nowhere in the Bible are we told that it’s a cessation of our existence. You cite the writer of Ecclesiastes, one of the seven Jewish Books of Wisdom (Sapient) in the Septuagint, as saying that when we’re done with this life, our “thoughts” (meaning our wealth, our titles, plans, our petty ambitions, “every work that hath been done under the sun”) all cease for us and life continues for the living. “Man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets…. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” (12:5-7)

        • ewatchman

          Okay, so let’s break this down. You’re saying that Jesus died, but it was only his body that died, he had a spirit that departed into paradise with the thief at the moment of his death. But then on the third day Jesus’ departed spirit was reunited with his resurrected body. Presumably the thief was will then welcome Jesus into “paradise” since Jesus was on the earth for 40 days more after his reunion with his resurrected body before he ascended into heaven.

          If that is the way you see it, if Jesus was already alive in the spirit before his body was brought back to life, doesn’t that make a resurrection pointless? If the dead are already alive you really make God out to be a con artist since God’s promise is to bring the dead back to life.

          Of course, we who know the truth know that God is not lying. The dead are dead. It is a pity the Devil won’t let you believe the truth. But that is the way you want it apparently.

    • Bklyn Kevin

      Perhaps this is your personal test due to your lack of true faith that Jehovah really exist.

      Hebrews 11:6 Hebrews 11:6
      6 Moreover, without faith it is impossible to please God well, for whoever approaches God must believe that he is and that he becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him.

      James 1:
      6 But let him keep asking in faith, not doubting at all, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven by the wind and blown about.
      7 In fact, that man should not expect to receive anything from Jehovah;
      8 he is an indecisive man, unsteady in all his ways.

      This is why I tell you, all the things you pray and ask for, have faith that you have received them, and you will have them Mark 11:24.

      • John Roberts

        +Bklyn Kevin » Just curious, sir, but what does this issue possibly have to do with faith?? I have faith in the words of Peter, who said Christ was put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit (1 Peter 3-4), by which he went to preach to the spirits of the dead — who continued to live as spirits, but were judged as though they had been in the flesh. Otherwise, when was Jesus made alive in the spirit? Three days after his crucifixion, he wasn’t made alive in the spirit, but was made alive in the flesh (“for a spirit hath not flesh and bone as [the apostles] see that I have.”) Your view it’s that Jesus was resurrected as a spirit who then materialized a body to deceive the apostles. After he was finished with it, he abandoned ít, and you use Peter’s words to justify this doctrine. I have faith in the teachings of the apostles, but I do not have faith in the interpretations of men. But I’m open to being corrected if you can show me where I’m wrong.

        • Song of Hannah

          Jesus was dead for 3 days before he was resurrected. So there was no way he could have been in Paradise “today”. Also 1 Peter says Christ was made alive in the spirit – not the flesh. Here are some scriptures to back these statements up…

          Matt 12:40 For just as Joʹnah was in the belly of the huge fish for three days and three nights, so the Son of man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.

          Mark 8:31 Also, he began teaching them that the Son of man must undergo many sufferings and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and rise three days later.

          Mark 9:31 For he was teaching his disciples and telling them: “The Son of man is going to be betrayed into men’s hands, and they will kill him, but despite being killed, he will rise three days later.”

          John 2:19 Jesus replied to them: “Tear down this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

          Ec 9:5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing at all, nor do they have any more reward, because all memory of them is forgotten.

          • John Roberts

            But didn’t Peter say that Jesus was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit? Since Jesus was resurrected a physical being of flesh and bone, he could not have been raised a spirit, right? As for Ecclesiastes, I wouldn’t interpret it as doctrine. Solomon wasn’t a prophet, nor was Ecclesiastes a doctrinal work. It’s philosophical. No prophecies, no heaven, no hell, no judgment, no messianic expectations. It was written by a bitter old man who had lost the spirit of revelation. Besides, the early Christians believed people have spirits. The idea of people dying and ceasing to exist was theorized before the discovery of early Christian apocryphal writings in 1947. They prove that people having spirits was not a Greek intrusion at all, but an accepted doctrine. You’re behind the times.

            • ewatchman

              You make the Bible out to contradict itself just so you can appear to be right. But, of course, you’re wrong. Jesus was not resurrected as a flesh and bone creature. He was made alive in the spirit. He materialized flesh and bone for the purpose of convincing his disciples he had been resurrected. Spirits from God have materialized many times before Christ and after.

            • iscamer

              Revelation 4:2 and Romans 8:11. Sorry I could not resist. 🙂

            • John Roberts

              But, sir, how can you say I’m wrong without being able to _show_ that I’m wrong? I’ve backed up my conclusions in some depth. Just _saying_ I’m wrong just doesn’t cut it. I know you believe I’m wrong and I know how you interpret scriptures, but I don’t see how your views are correct, and that’s my point. People can read the same scriptures and come away interpreting them in completely different lights.

              So how can you say with conviction that your interpretation is correct and that mine are wrong? Everyone thinks they’re right, but the scriptures say one can know these things only by the power of the Holy Spirit.

            • ewatchman

              You, like Iscamer and millions of others, are petty con artists. I say petty because you are not very good at it. If Jesus was made alive in the spirit as you admit, then that’s it. There are not two Jesus, there is not a spirit Jesus and a flesh and bone Jesus. I ask you to stop wasting my time and bandwidth with this sort of silliness. Thanks

            • John Roberts

              I’m puzzled that you find it so difficult to conceive of Jesus (and man) having spirits. I’m no con artist and many more millions of people believe as I do than you in Christianity. That doesn’t mean I’m right, but it does mean I might be. Why would the vast majority of Christian scholars who speak and read ancient Greek and Hebrew conclude and believe as I do, and they are far better schooled than either you or me? And why do you pretend not to understand the concept that man is dual natured — that he is a spirit clothed with a mortal body? You act as though it’s a foregone fact, and it’s not.

              According to your own belief, Jesus came into this world as a spirit. Michael became Jesus Christ in your viewpoint, which means he had a premortal existence, entered Mary’s womb and was born the Savior of all mankind. When he died, does it not stand to reason that he returned to being a spirit? And if so, why is it so difficult to believe that both you and I also had premortal identities; that we both came into the world to be tried and tested? Also to die and our bodies return to the dust from whence it came? Why would so many second century sources seem to be entirely at one with this doctrine? How did the ancient saints go from believing that man is an empty shell to believing he is a spirit who came to Earth, trailing clouds of glory, all within a hundred years? The JWs have always claimed that the early Christians got the doctrine from the Greeks, who corrupted the teachings of Jesus and his apostles. But how did this happen so quickly? Origen’s earliest memories were that the church believed that all men have spirits, and he was born only about 150 after Jesus was resurrected. How did the church come full circle in so short a time?

              Listen, I’ve had it with this question. No one’s going to hell for choosing the wrong position on the state of the dead. The apostles speak of being in the flesh and out of the flesh, in the body and out of the body. To them the body was like a cloak that the spirit could put on or take off. And Paul spoke of wanting to depart and be with Christ, but he said remaining “in the flesh” was more beneficial to the saints who needed his direction. But please note that the name calling has already begun, and I vowed long ago not to engage in it. I asked if someone could explain why Jesus would give a parable based on life after death if it was a false doctrine. I wasn’t being rude or out of line and I asked if Jesus would have given a parable based on reincarnation.

              Your reaction? I’m called a con artist as if I’m out to purposely deceive you, and that is completely untrue. Even if I could deceive you, why on Earth would I?

              Again, believe as you wish. The scriptures are clear that God is called “The God of the spirits of all flesh” (Numbers 16:22), and “the Father of spirits” (Hebrews 12:9). The word for “spirit” can also be rendered “breath,” but it’s difficult to be the Father of a breath. We also have the words of Paul speaking of his body as a tabernacle: “Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; knowing that shortly I must put off this, my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.” He’s clearly saying here that “he” (his being, or intelligence) is “in” (inside) his “tabernacle” (body). When you die, you will experience it yourself. You’ll find that you will put off your body like you would your coat and that you will be able to “depart” from it and be separate from it and exist while your body sleeps in the ground. A spirit cannot generate a physical body under any circumstance. When Jesus’ body lay in the tomb, his spirit went to Paradise where he preached to “the spirits in prison” or, as Peter himself said, “the dead.”

              If you wish to believe any differently, you may be my guest and I bear you no ill will nor, again, am I inclined to believe you will suffer in hell for believing a doctrine so at odds with the scriptures. You did not arrive at your biblical exegesis on your own; you were taught it by someone else. My own belief is based on my own biblical interpretations and bolstered by my own canon of scripture. (See https://www.lds.org/ensign/1971/11/vision-of-the-redemption-of-the-dead?lang=eng) I don’t claim to have used only my own interpretive skills, but the revelations of God, the same as in ancient days.

            • Brian

              The fact that many millions of people believe as you do is confirmation that you are on “broad road” as many are said to be on it.

            • John Roberts

              Okay, where do the scriptures say he materialized his body (chapter and verse, please)? We’ve already discussed the “made alive in the spirit” scripture as pertaining, not to Jesus’ resurrection, but to his activities during the three days his body lay in the tomb. The so-called Apostles Creed says, “he was crucified, dead and buried.” Then, “He descended into hell” without any regard, or reference, to preaching. This is not to in any way give credence to the creeds of men, but it illustrates the fact that that it’s been widely understood for many generations that the verse in question does not refer to the resurrection. Yet you treat the verse as obviously referring to it and its just an interpretation. My question is why do toy is why should your interpretation carry more weight than mine? If you were able to point to another verse that bolstered your point of view, that would be one thing. Or if you found some verses in non-canonical writings that illustrated that other ancient writers or theologians were interpreting the verse that way, that would be another; but to come along in the 21st Century and present your own private interpretation, not as a possibility, but as a foregone fact — where do you get that authority? Did God reveal it to you?

              Are you a prophet?

              I don’t mean to sound flip, but you’re making a lot of absolute declarations as if they’re fact, and they’re just religious interpretations.

        • Brian

          Where does it say that Jesus, when resurrected went off to preach to the spirits of the dead (those asleep in death)?

          • Bklyn Kevin
            • Brian

              I don’t have a problem with what Peter was talking about, I asked the person to explain about those that are dead in the grave being given a ministering to by Jesus, I know that it states that Jesus “preached” to those that forsook their positions in Heaven, to cohabit with the women and run-amok in the ancient world.

        • Bklyn Kevin

          Was not Noah and his family saved because they not only were obedient to Jehovah’s spoken word / “directions” but they also put faith in Jehovah’s word and their actions can surely testified concerning this fact.

          So it can be said it was ultimately their faith in Jehovah which truly saved them,
          a baptism through the tumultuous waters as it were.

          Baptism, which corresponds to
          this, is also now saving you (not by the removing of the filth of the flesh,
          but by the request to God for a good conscience), through the resurrection of
          Jesus Christ.1 Peter 3:20-21

          Keep in mind Jehovah told Noah he was going to flood the earth and wipe out every living creature by making it rain for 40 days and nights and Noah and his family after receiving directions from Jehovah by faith not only preached but also preceded to build the ark although they did not have the details of the final outcome
          Noah proceeded to do according to all that Jehovah had commanded him. Genesis 7:4-5.

          Noah and his family must have felt just as Paul felt when he said”
          For at present we see in hazy outline by means of a metal mirror but then it will be face to face. At present I know “partially”, but then I shall know accurately even as I am accurately known. Now, however, there remain faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:12-13

          Paul clearly stated he knew “partially” so Paul didn’t have all the details either yet he stood firm in his faith and hope as well as his love for Jehovah and that’s why Paul like Noah are accurately known by Jehovah.

          But first you must have faith because whoever approaches God must believe that he is and that
          he becomes the rewarder to those earnestly seeking him, not doubting at all.

          Now in regards to Jesus preaching to the spirits in prison In reference to
          1Peter 3:19.
          Jesus did not literally preach to them, and he certainly didn’t preach any good news to them and just by his very actions of not only dying faithfully as well as obedient to Jehovah in itself served as a witness to the demons of their ultimate doom, thus his actions preached to them without a spoken word.

          Indeed, the sacred secret of this godly
          devotion is admittedly great: ‘He was made manifest in flesh, was declared
          righteous in spirit, appeared to angels, was preached about among nations, was
          believed upon in the world, was received up in glory.’ 1 Timothy 3:16.

          Also It is no big deal that Jesus could materialize a human body at his whim as he saw fit when necessary to accomplish Jehovah’s purposes I mean after all did not two angels materialize human bodies and appear to Lot in order to accomplish Jehovah’s purposes. Genesis 19:1.

          I think Brother Robert has you pegged right when he said
          You are obviously truth averse. And that’s likely due to your
          lack of truth faith.

          • patri

            Kevin, I say to you today, (now) you deserve a POW!!!

            • Bklyn Kevin

              Double “POW”!! back at you

    • Brian

      The dead your are referring to here are dead in the spirit, the only ones alive in the spirit are the ones that take part in the first resurrection, the sons of God. Do you think he went off to the grave to administer to the ones laying there, and where exactly would that be?

      • John Roberts

        When Paul defended the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead to the Corinthians, he referred to those Christians who believed and practiced baptism for the dead. “Else what shall they do who are baptized for the dead if the dead rise not at all?” he asked them. “Why are they then baptized for the dead?” (I Corinthians 15:29) Clearly these were vicarious baptisms in which the living were being baptized for and in behalf of their dead friends and relatives. But why would they do that if the dead we’re not capable of hearing and receiving the gospel message? They wouldn’t. Not unless the gospel could be preached to the dead, as Peter taught.

        Again, what is death? It’s a separation of the body and the spirit. Jesus’ body slept in the earth after his crucifixion, while he was made alive in the spirit. When we sleep at night do we cease to exist? The writer of Ecclesiastes says that when we’re done with this life, our “thoughts” (meaning our plans, our petty ambitions, “every work that hath been done under the sun”) all cease for us. “Man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets…. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” (12:5-7) In 1947/48, the Dead Sea Scrolls (Jewish) and Nag Hammadi (Christian) libraries were discovered and changed overnight what we thought we knew about the ancient Jews and Christians. The concept of man having an immortal soul was not a Greek interpolation as the adventists have long claimed. Nor was the concept of the premortal existence of man. The ancient Christians and Jews believed that when men die, they don’t cease to exist, but that they continue on while their bodies fall asleep in the Lord and await a physical resurrection.

        • e.v.g

          The apostle Paul wrote in Hebrews 11:39
          And yet all of these, although they received a favorable witness because of their faith, did not obtain the fulfillment of the promise,
          but, what means the promise?
          Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “and to your descendants,” in the sense of many. Rather, it says, “and to your offspring,” in the sense of one, who is Christ. (Galatians 3:19)
          The promise has to do with Jesus and the heavenly hope or resurrection in heaven.
          Because of the hope that is being reserved for you in the heavens.You previously heard about this hope through the message of truth of the good news (Colossians 1:5)
          The faithful before Jesus had no hope of going to heaven as Christians such as Paul wrote to the Hebrews, they are completely dead (if you understand that) awaiting a resurrection in earth.

          • e.v.g

            The souls of the faithful before christ and the dead christians are not in in some kind of purgatory or whatever, for example where is the soul of Adam and Eve? they sin, isn’t .Is it their soul wandering in space?
            or probably in hell? God did not say that they were going to hell if they would sin isn’t, God dead servants are sleeping, (John 11:11) as in a state of unconsciousness,

            • John Roberts

              Don’t worry about Adam and Eve. They’re fine. They were supposed to fal; that’s what they came into the world to do. Only through the fall of Adam and Eve and the atonement of Christ can man be resurrected and glorified, becoming like God (see 1 John 3:2). Adam and Eve did not have that potential. They had to learn the difference between good and evil, but it had to be their decision. They may eat of it, they were told, meaning the forbidden fruit, but the Lord added, “Remember that I forbid it.” So they didn’t sin. They just had to decide for themselves, and the Lord made sure they could not later blame it on Him. It was their decision and they chose correctly and wisely.

            • You’re probably a Biblical scholar well-versed in all the scriptures, probably speak several languages and took college classes on theology. Yet you can’t see the simple truth that the Bible offers to all mankind. I always heard that Mormons and scientologists serve up the best Kool-Aid, DRINK UP !

            • e.v.g

              I don’t like kool-Aid, I never liked it.

            • That’s good, so you won’t get Jim jonesed!

            • e.v.g

              That’s old Kool-Aid, get ready for new artificial flavors.

            • John Roberts

              Sorry you feel that way, but I disagree. How can you say you I’m missing simple bible truth unless you have that truth and I don’t? Further, how can you say that you’re right and I’m wrong unless you, yourself, have had it revealed to you through revelation? We have, you see, a difference in opinion, and it takes more than saying, “You’re completely wrong, you poor soul, only you don’t know it!” Please forgive me when I say that I find that quite arrogant.

              Also, to what sort of new age beliefs are you referring?

            • Because most people would not outwardly worship or follow Satan he has disguised himself, just as he did in the den by pretending to be a lowly serpent. Paul said that Satan could easily transform himself into an angel of light. In other words, just as Satan pretended to enlighten Eve the Devil is the biggest promoter of religion.

            • This compound “magical-alchemical symbol” replaces the above triangle with a hexagram and adds more shapes within the magical circle: a cross [in this context it become an occult counterfeit) and an additional circle with the Hindu “Bindu” (dot in the center) at the top of the hexagram.

            • The Magical Circle

              An ancient and universal symbol of unity, wholeness, infinity, the goddess, female power, and the sun. To earth-centered religions throughout history as well as to many contemporary pagans, it represents the feminine spirit or force, the cosmos or a spiritualized Mother Earth, and a sacred space. Gnostic traditions linked the unbroken circle to the “world serpent” forming a circle as it eats its own tail.

            • The only revelations you’ve been receiving is from your father the Devil, you poor soul.

            • John Roberts

              Well, I got you there. I got it from the Stargate SG-1 television show. Nothing dark or mysterious, alas! It was used to symbolize the earth.

            • patri

              “POW”!!! Don’t you just love our brothers and sisters and the unity that comes from loving the truth.
              Thank you Joseph. Thank you everyone. Thank you Robert.

            • Yes !!
              Your welcome!!

            • patri

              Do us all a favour, now mysteriously disappear. Goodbye.

            • e.v.g

              I respect your beliefs, althouhg this website is mainly for JW’s, the message is related to the faith of the same, probably you can’t understand the message because your understanding of the bible is totally different. We believe that it is necessary to have knowledge of Jehovah and Jesus (John 17:3) We are aware of who we are worshiping, unfortunately the organization of JW’s are under the influence of the devil like the other religions of the world (this is God’s will) also your own religion has the same condition ( you can visit this site http://vigilantcitizen.com/sinistersites/sinister-sites-temple-square-utah/)The father of the lie is working hard to mislead mankind, it is necessary God’s help to get out of deception also is necessary humility on our part and pray to God to gain understanding otherwise it is very likely that we have no chance to be ready for the tests that the devil will put us, therefore it is necessary to analyze the teachings exposed here and not discuss them, you decide whether or not to believe in them.

            • John Roberts

              Fair enough. I understand the crises the WTBTS is going through and wonder how it can be Jehovah’s church when Yahweh never called it or any of its officers. The LDS is presently having retention problems, especially in Europe where militant atheism is so in vogue. We don’t, however, have the same problems as the authority of the church is well established among its membership.

              I don’t wish to get too political, but we’re seeing people all over the world trying to consolidate power. A decade ago Turkey had a strong military that kept the Islamic radicals at bay and guaranteed the rights of women. Now the military has been packed with the President’s men, he’s consolidating power, throwing newspaper editors and reporters in jail and is robbing the Parliament of their power. In the U.S. Obama steals whatever power he wants and thumbs his nose at Congress. And in the WTS, the Governing Body is doing the same by assuming the faithful and discreet slave role to the exclusion of everyone else.

              You say the organization is under the influence of the devil, but how could God allow that to happen? You also say the purpose of this site is to “analyze the teachings exposed here and not discuss them, you decide whether or not to believe in them.” I’ve never taken that position before and don’t quite understand it. But it shows how differently people read things in the scripture. How can anyone know for certain who’s right and who’s wrong. Anyway, you’re right. This site is to reinforce your beliefs, not to critically comment on them.

            • e.v.g

              The bible is our guide, but it’s not just that, is about loving God and the neighbour, we are knowing Jehovah and Jesus through the Bible. You are similar to the majority of JW’s, you don’t believe that the devil is influencing God’s people and the world in general, the purpose of this website is teaching about that matter, sometimes we are fools speaking or talking something that we can’t understand (I also have done this) but it is time for thinking and reflect about God’s will and not about our own will, through God’s Word.

          • John Roberts

            Your doctrine is strained, my friend. It’s the result of being taught the precepts of men who really have no idea about Hebrew and early Christian history, nor are they, in my view, inspired. So far we’ve found our doctrine to be at loggerheads. You attach completely different interpretations to scriptures that send us in two wildly different directions. I see no scriptures that tell me that Jesus was resurrected and materialized a body, nor do I find the writer of Ecclesiastes to be a credible source of eschatological doctrine. The words of Jesus to the thief on the cross make no sense to me with the comma placement after the word today. You say that “Jesus did not literally preach to [the dead], and he certainly didn’t preach any good news to them and just by his very actions of not only dying faithfully as well as being obedient to Jehovah in itself served as a witness to the demons of their ultimate doom, thus his actions preached to them without a spoken word.”

            But how do you know all this. Or that he didn’t preach to the dead? Peter said he did. And he said it happened so they might live according to God in the spirit, but be judged as men in the flesh. If it’s not the literal dead, what other dead can it be? What other kind of dead can exist as spirits? Demons aren’t dead, neither would there be any point to poaching to them.

            This is why the Bible cannot be interpreted by man. It takes apostles and prophets as it did anciently. Many have tried and they all have failed to restore the gospel of Christ to the earth through study. Only heavenly messengers can restore that which has been lost, and that includes the authority to act in God’s name. As it is, neither you nor I can prove our beliefs. It’s a he said, he said (or she said). Only God knows the truth.

            • Brian

              I am presuming that you are one of these?

            • iscamer

              John, you make some points. My question is on what basis do you judge the books of the bible that are inspired and which are not. The ones you agree with vs the ones you do not? Also, can you explain why Jesus, the Son if God, would quote from the writings of Solomon if he was just a tired old man and not a prophet of God?

            • Bklyn Kevin

              It’s good to see you started using your powers of reasoning.

              Make sure of all things; hold fast to what is fine.1 Thessalonians 5:21.

              Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired statement, but test the inspired statements to see whether they originate with God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
              1 John 4:1

            • iscamer

              Bklyn Kevin, I have an honest question for you; Why would a spirit ever need to be resurrected? Can you give multiple examples of spirits being resurrected in the bible?

            • Bklyn Kevin

              To my knowledge there is not one account in the bible that I know of where angelic beings have been resurrected .

            • iscamer

              Thanks

            • John Roberts

              No, I judge them according to my knowledge. I know, for example, that Solomon has to be writing philosophically because I know how he lived his life and I know without question that the ancient saints believed and taught that man has an eternal spirit. The fact that baptism for the dead was widely preached by the ancient saints shows that, right or wrong, they couldn’t have practiced it and believed that the dead are unconscious. I’ve also read Ecclesiastes and I don’t find it particularly edifying.

              As I said, I don’t believe all scripture should be judged as equal. Daniel and Revelation are similar books to each other, but they are apocalyptic and are totally different than Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs. Finally, as a latter-day saint (Mormon), I believe in revelation and divine authority. That also helps.

            • iscamer

              Yes, but it was also inspired by God or it would not be in the bible. I agree some books have different emphasis but all agree because they were inspired by God. If you think there are any conflicts in the bible then it isn’t reliable at all and should be ignored. If a scripture doesn’t seem to support your position it either because your position is incorrect or you need clarification of its meaning

            • Brian

              2 Timothy 3:7

            • Ed(the other Ed)

              I remember a Mormon once said to me, ” Jesus was reincarnated in the US, I bet you didn’t know that?” I had to bite my tongue out of respect. So now we have here a Mormon debating JW’s. This is going to be interesting

            • John Roberts

              This is incorrect. Reincarnation is completely distasteful to the latter-day saints. Joseph Smith even declared that the doctrine of reincarnation is of the Devil. Resurrection is completely different than reincarnation in that one once again takes possession of one’s own body. I can’t ever see that any LDS would ever day such a thing. You were either talking to someone who was purposely attempting to misrepresent our faith or you misunderstood. Certainly Jesus himself took possession of his own body as it was missing from the tomb.

            • iscamer

              Since there is no record in the bible of spirit creatures being raised from the dead, only human bodies are resurrected… where did Jesus’ body go and why would a spirit eat and drink?

            • ewatchman

              Jesus was the first human who was born again. That is why Paul called him the firstborn of many brothers. Furthermore, Jesus was the firstborn from the dead. Not the first resurrected, since Jesus himself resurrected a few people. But Jesus was the firstborn of the new creation, that is to say, he was the first human resurrected as an immortal spirit. After Jesus was resurrected as a spirit he appeared in various human bodies, like angels had done many, many times before. Have you never read the account where Abraham slaughtered the fattened calf for three angels who had materialized?

            • iscamer

              Jesus is immortal?

            • Brian

              He is now. Life in himself.

            • iscamer

              I thought you said firstborn actually meant “born”, created. So Jesus was annihilated(body destroyed), born as a spirit with all the holes in his body from his death/murder and then went to heaven and was annihilated once more to be born again as Michael?

            • ewatchman

              You should probably just start at the beginning with a Bible study. Obviously everything you know, or that you think you know, is wrong. And I am not going to walk you through the Bible in this comments section. If you have sincere questions I’ll be happy to answer them in the Mailbag. Otherwise, stop it.

            • iscamer

              I have had bible studies. No where have I read that anyone was resurrected as a spirit. No spirit creature has ever needed resurrection.

              When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples therefore rejoiced when they saw the Lord,” (John 20:19-20).
              “And He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Z39 “See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have,” (Luke 24:38-39).

            • iscamer

              My take after reading scripture is that the term ressurection means to “stand up again” As Jesus stated: Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews therefore said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” 21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body,” (John 2:19-21).

              Jews would understand this to mean the temple would be rebuilt as it was, physically, materially. The same with Jesus’ body. I would argue, he had to die physically and be raised physically in a glorified body for there to be true atonement power.

            • Ed(the other Ed)

              There was no misunderstanding. He basically told me that after Jesus’ death, he reappeared in the US sometime in the mid 1800’s. I’m assuming it had something to do with Joseph Smith around that time.

            • John Roberts

              Your friend, then, was mistaken. After his resurrection, Jesus did visit his “other sheep” in the Americas, descendants of Joseph who was sold into Egypt; however, that most likely happened in Mesoamerica. At no point was he reincarnated. Jesus also appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland, Ohio, Temple in 1836, but again, no reincarnation.

            • Ed(the other Ed)

              Not really, he seems to be in agreement with your belief. Forget about reincarnation….insert re-resurrected if it helps.
              So Jesus did appear to Joseph Smith huh?? I don’t remember reading that anywhere in the bible. Is it possible that your both misled?

            • Sam

              Ah. but you miss the point. It’s in the book of Mormon so that solves that little dilemma. Wait..Isn’t there something about not adding or taking away from the inspired record? No, I must be mistaken

            • John Roberts

              YES, it’s in Acts 3:19-21. “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. And he SHALL SEND JESUS CHRIST, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive UNTIL THE TIMES OF THE RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”

              Although many Christian sects, including the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Churches of Christ, and Church of God, claim to be the restoration of ancient Christianity, only two claim to be called out and chosen of God through revelation and prophets. These are the Seventh Day Adventists, through Ellen G. White, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, through Joseph Smith.

              Jesus Christ, Elijah and Moses appeared in 1836 and restored ancient keys of authority to the said Smith and Cowdery. Unlike White’s movement, the LDS Church abided by the law of witnesses, whereas in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word would be established. In any event, you put “reincarnated” in quotes the first time and insisted there was no misunderstanding the second time. Now you say you may have been mistaken. I assure you you were. Jesus was resurrected once and for all in a perfect body of flesh and bones animated by spirit instead of blood. He retains that body today and has never left it, and he need not revert to being a spirit to walk through walls, ascend through ceilings or travel great distances.

            • e.v.g

              Would not be the Church LSD?

            • e.v.g

              Before John Smith the apostle Paul wrote:
              However, even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to you as good news something beyond the good news we declared to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, I now say again, Whoever is declaring to you as good news something beyond what you accepted, let him be accursed.
              (Galatians 1:8,9)

            • iscamer

              1st Corinthians 2:13

            • Bklyn Kevin

              Excerpt from Who were the spirits in prison to whom Jesus “preached”?
              read more .https://e-watchman.com/spirits-prison-jesus-preached/

              HOW DID JESUS PREACH TO THE DEMONS?

              But in what sense did Jesus preach to those wicked spirits? Since the Lord refused to have any dealings with demons when he was on the earth, telling Satan to “go away” and commanding the demons to be silent when they spoke to him through the human victims they possessed, it is out of the question that Christ had any kind words for the spirits in prison, or any words at all.

              His preaching to them was not in the form of a spoken sermon. As the context makes clear, Jesus was put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit. His death was brought about by the demons. But his being made alive was by the power of God and it signified that Christ had accomplished his mission and pleased God. One of the primary reasons Jesus was required, not just to die, but to die and excruciating, agonizingly painful death, was to answer Satan’s taunt that no man would give his soul to God.

              Jesus’ death and resurrection sealed Satan’s fate. His angels’ too. The offspring of the woman was faithful and recovered from his heel wound inflicted by the serpent. So, Christ’s very presence in the spirit realm sent the spirits in prison the message, loud and clear: Your doom is sealed!

              What about 1 Peter 4:6, which states: “But these people will render an account to the one who is ready to judge those living and those dead. In fact, this is why the good news was declared also to the dead, so that although they are judged in the flesh from the standpoint of men, they might live in harmony with the spirit from God’s standpoint.”

              The apostle had described the main characteristics of a world alienated from God. Such persons are dead in God’s sight. Elsewhere the apostles spoke of persons who did not know God as being dead —spiritually dead. For example, Paul wrote to the Ephesians: “Furthermore, God made you alive, though you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you at one time walked according to the system of things of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.”

              Jesus even used the metaphor when he said “let the dead bury their dead.” Obviously, Jesus was not alluding to some sort of invasion by zombie gravediggers. He was simply referring to persons who chose not to follow him as being dead.

              Also, in the third chapter of Revelation Jesus spoke of being spiritually dead, when he said: “These are the things that he says who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars, ‘I know your deeds, that you have the name that you are alive, but you are dead. Become watchful, and strengthen the things remaining that were ready to die, for I have not found your deeds fully performed before my God.’” (By the way, this is an effective scripture to share with the Evangelicals who may chide Jehovah’s Witnesses for believing that Christians are required to perform works or deeds, that salvation isn’t just gift-wrapped like a Christmas present.)

              So, the good news was declared to the dead then, and it is being declared now. Those who give heed will live. And those who are spiritually dead when the great day of Jehovah commences will become literally dead for all eternity.

              Spirits Are Killers

            • John Roberts

              The argument that the dead are “spiritually” dead is an interpretation on your part, and it’s a reach as well. The NWT of the Bible goes way out of the way to obfuscate the true meaning of the scripture. You wrote it as: “In fact, this is why the good news was declared also to the dead, so that although they are judged in the flesh from the standpoint of men, they might live in harmony with the spirit from God’s standpoint.” In the Greek there’s nothing that even resembles “in harmony.” Literally, the translation reads: “for for this also to dead men was good news proclaimed, that they may be judged, indeed, according to men in the flesh, and may live according to God in the spirit.” (Young’s Literal Translation) The word “accord” can be used as a transitive verb to mean “to harmonize,” or “to reconcile,” but in this case that’s not what it means. The King James version is meticulously correct, but the New World Translation is dead WRONG. That’s why no serious scholar uses it. Another literal translation is used in the Wycliffe Bible as a footnote: “For why for this thing to dead men it is evangelized also, that they be deemed soothly [truly] after men in flesh, but that they live after God in spirit.”

              Peter is saying that Jesus preached to “dead men” (not demons) so that they may be judged as though they were “in the flesh” and yet live as God “in the spirit.” I checked seven other translations and not one used the term “in harmony.”

              Unless you can show me why this verse should be interpreted any other way than how it’s written I must reject it. And if Peter meant to say “demons” or “spiritually dead,” why didn’t he say so? The scripture is so plain that one would have to close his eyes not to see it. If no prophecy of the scripture is open to private interpretation, why do you then try to privately interpret what is a plainly rendered scripture? Obviously, your doctrine does not allow you to believe the dead are conscious. So you have to interpret all other scriptures in the light of that understanding. Is that not so? Solomon said when one dies his thoughts perish, so thus Peter can’t possibly mean that anyone preaches to the dead. But what if you’re wrong about what Ecclesiastes says? Then that leads to many other scriptures that have to be wrested so that they’ll fit. Meanwhile if I’m right, that means you’ve misinterpreted all those other scriptures and that your entire understanding of the state of the dead is wrong. This, then, is up to you.

            • Bklyn Kevin

              You are continuously and deliberately distorting / twisting the scriptures in order to support your own incoherent nonsensical beliefs which have no scriptural basis.
              Due to your unreasonableness I find it necessary to no longer continue this conversation with you as it is going nowhere, however I will leave you with these scriptural thoughts from Paul

              1 Timothy 6:
              3 If any man teaches another doctrine and does not agree with the wholesome instruction, which is from our Lord Jesus Christ, nor with the teaching that is in harmony with godly devotion,
              4 he is puffed up with pride and does not understand anything. He is obsessed with arguments and debates about words. These things give rise to envy, strife, slander, wicked suspicions,
              5 constant disputes about minor matters by men who are corrupted in mind and “deprived of the truth”.

            • Brian

              These are the traits of those that posses mans wisdom instead of Gods. 2 Timothy 3:76

            • Bklyn Kevin

              1 Corinthians 3:
              19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God; for it is written: “He catches the wise in their own cunning.
              20 And again:
              “Jehovah* knows that the reasonings of the wise men are futile.”

              1 Corinthians 1:
              18 For the speech about the torture stake is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is God’s power.
              19 For it is written: “I will make the wisdom of the wise [men] perish, and the intelligence of the intellectual [men] I will shove aside.
              20 Where is the wise man? Where the scribe? Where the debater of this system of things? Did not God make the wisdom of the world foolish?
              21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not get to know God, God saw good through the foolishness of what is preached to save those believing.

            • patri

              Paul’s words you quoted hit the nail on the head Kevin.
              Many people don’t understand the basic purpose that God has for re-establishing His theocracy and giving sinful humans the chance of reconciliation through Christ while they are still alive on the earth. How can they understand when they believe the first lie?

            • Bklyn Kevin

              1 Corinthians 2:
              14 But a physical man / [ John Roberts ] does not receive the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot get to know [them], because they are examined spiritually
              12 Now we received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is from God, that we might know the things that have been kindly given us by God. 13 These things we also speak, not with words taught by human wisdom, but with those taught by [the] spirit, as we combine spiritual [matters] with spiritual [words].

        • patri

          John,
          1cor 15:29 ” otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them? You ask why would they do that if the dead were not capable of hearing and receiving the gospel message and I’d like to share what I’ve found in context with the rest of the bible, briefly.

          Paul made it simple. The resurrection is a reality, even pagans believe in the resurrection otherwise, why would THEY baptize the dead. He did not say WE. He said “they”.

          And man became a living soul when God blew into his nostrils the breath of life…WHOOOOOSH… Up Adam’s nostrils it goes, the SPIRIT, God’s life -force, that part of humans that is committed to God with a hope of a resurrection, that power over life- force that resides with God when we die.
          Satan said you don’t die. God says we positively do. You choose.

          • John Roberts

            The WE and THEY argument is silly and a lot of people use it because it’s the only argument they can think of. Historically baptism for the dead is a very old practice that goes back to the earliest days of Christianity. The apostles of the first century would not have used a heretical practice to bolster a true principle. And notice Paul never criticized the practice. It’s very similar to Jesus’ parable of Lazarus and the rich man. Would Jesus use a heretical doctrine to make a point? Would he have ever given a parable using the concept of reincarnation? Absolutely not.

            In a very early and popular work entitled the PASTOR OF HERMAS, a second century book considered scripture by the early Christians, baptism for the dead and man having a spirit were both taught, proving the doctrine was not introduced by the Greeks as adventists have claimed four years. In the book, the Pastor tells Hermas: “Because,” saith he, “these, the apostles and the teachers who preached the name of the Son of God, after they had fallen asleep in the power and faith of the Son of God, preached also to them that had fallen asleep before them, and themselves gave unto them the seal of the preaching. Therefore they went down with them into the water, and came up again. But these went down alive [and again came up alive]; whereas the others that had fallen asleep before them went down dead and came up alive. So by their means they were quickened into life, and came to the full knowledge of the name of the Son of God. For this cause also they came up with them, and were fitted with them into the building of the tower and were builded with them, without being shaped; for they fell asleep in righteousness and in great purity. Only they had not this seal. Thou hast then the interpretation of these things also.”

            The early church clearly used the term “falling asleep” to represent the death of the body. The term “seal” referred to an ordinance, in this case baptism. The living here represent those who were alive and did the work (baptism for the dead), as well as those who had fallen asleep. The latter would have the gospel preached to them and then the former would do the vicarious work. If the dead accepted the work, they would, as Peter said, “live according to those in the spirit, but judged according to those in the flesh.” This is the work Jesus began when he and the thief visited Paradise after they were put to death in the flesh.

            It’s true what eWatchman said: “The demons don’t like it when someone starts putting the pieces together.”

            • patri

              John, the WE and THEY was not an argument that I thought of. I simply tapped 1cor 5 into my phone, until info came up that had a ring of TRUTH which appealed to my limited understanding of God’s word. God’s word is truth, right. And.
              False teachers had infiltrated the corinthian congregation teaching “that there is no resurrection of the dead” v13.
              Paul was saying, by way of the entire 15th chapter, why are these false teachers, who did not even believe in the resurrection, why would they want to baptise for the dead, if the dead did not rise at all?
              I would say that there is confusion and speculation about this chapter rather than silliness.
              So WHO was actually practising baptism for the dead. Paul says…”what shall THEY do which are baptised for the dead, why are THEY then baptised for the dead ”
              Paul did not say, why are YOU (corinthian Christians) then baptised for the dead.
              He did not say, why are WE (the followers of Christ) then baptised for the dead.
              He did not say, why AM I ( paul himself) baptised for the dead.
              Baptism for the dead was a PAGAN religious practise found in the location north of Corinth, and that’s what Paul’s worry and concern was over.

            • John Roberts

              Well, at least we’ve determined we have limited understanding of God’s word.

              So let’s look at your WE/THEY argument and move it up to modern times. As you’re most likely aware, we latter-day saints practice baptism for the dead. Jesus said no one could obtain eternal life unless he or she was born of the water and the spirit. Simply, this means baptism by immersion in water and the gift of the Holy Spirit. So baptism is essential to eternal life. Thus, for all to have this same opportunity, they must either receive baptism during their lives or they must afterwards receive it vicariously.

              But let’s say for the sake of argument that this is all twaddle. Let’s say Paul is writing to modern day churches, trying to get them to accept the concept of the physical resurrection. And what if he said, “Else what shall the Mormons do who are baptized for the dead if the dead rise not at all? For what purpose are they then baptized for the dead?” Remember that in this scenario that the LDS faith is completely wrong. Yet if Paul is trying to convince congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the truth of the resurrection, why would he craft his argument around Mormons? Yet this is exactly what you’re saying happened in the early church. If baptism for the dead was a heresy, why would Paul use it to prove a gospel principle to believers? He wouldn’t any more than Jesus would use a false doctrine as his basis for the parable of the rich man and Lazarus.

              Just try to think this through. Does the WE/THEY argument really appear to be a sound foundation for teaching a true doctrine or principle — taking a false principle to prove a true one? Yet for Lazarus and the rich man and baptism for the dead, this is exactly what you think happened. And btw, baptism for the dead wasn’t just some small time heretical teaching that cropped up. It was a popular practice. It doesn’t mean it was correct, but what if it was? What if it was one of the established teachings of the forty days? How would you know? How DO you know? To pretend to know when you don’t is disingenuous at best.

        • Brian

          Why do you quote the scriptures in old English, are you a Quaker? Plain normal 21st English would be just fine.
          Why do you turn thoughts into “plans and petty ambitions when quoting Ecclesiastes?
          I read 9:5 as it is written “There is hope for whoever is among the living, because a live dog is better off than a dead lion. For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing at all, nor do they have any more reward, because all memory of them is forgotten. Also,
          their love and their hate and their jealousy have already perished, and
          they no longer have any share in what is done under the sun. NWT
          The plans and petty and not so patty ambitions are all catered for in the scripture , and all are liked to vanity which is the point, in the end they are all vanity and then you die and there is no reward in the grave.
          Of course you have the choice to believe in whatever you wish to believe.

          • patri

            Since 1840 to this day, Mormons have been baptising for the dead,

            • (sarcasm) its because God is incapable of knowing whos dedicated to him whithout someone else making the decision for them and he wont be able to resurrect anyone without anyone else being dunked in magic water

            • Brian

              This does not surprise me, didn’t these guys think the blacks were turned black by God as a punishment!

          • i am not sure that gent is a Quaker but if ‘t be true that gent is then, i bet that gent can maketh a valorous bowl of cereal

            • John Roberts

              Not a Quaker…a Mormon.

            • Brian

              Nuff said!

            • explains a lot

            • Brian

              Ha Ha Ha! : ) Oats I presume!?

          • John Roberts

            I use the scriptures I’m the most comfortable with.The beauty of the language and the integrity of the translation used by the King James translators appeals to me. If you’d like for me to use another version, I’d be happy to oblige.

            I’ve covered the Ecclesiastes scripture enough. To me, not all scripture is equal. Solomon, like his father, was a king with enormous potential who succumbed to the temptations of the flesh and was unfaithful to Yahweh. Moreover, although he was blessed with revelation when he was righteous, he was NOT a prophet and his twilight years were not joyous. His writings, if they were Solomon’s, reflect his bitterness over a life of poor personal choices and the trials and tribulations — and the weaknesses of the flesh. He had married many wives and concubines that the Lord had not given him, and many of these were determined to bring their abominable religious rites to the region. That’s when the heavens closed and the light of revelation dimmed. And his reflections on life also dimmed.

            If he thought that a live dog is better off than a dead lion, that’s his opinion, but how does he define “better off”? Even if he believed dogs and lions don’t have spirits, why would he conclude that the living dog is better off than a dead lion? Does being dead hurt? What if the dog was sick or getting up in years? What if it had to fight predators every day for its food? Is life the only criteria for being better off? I’m not trying to make light of this, but that’s the problem with philosophy. It invites such speculation. I have an uncle with Alzheimer’s, but if I die tonight, who’s better off?

            Conclusion: If I want to know what happens when I die, Ecclesiastes is not my go-to book. I know the Society teaches that every word of every book of the Bible was written by the hand of God, but I just don’t buy that. As I’ve indicated, Ecclesiastes is NOT a doctrinal work but a philosophical book. You don’t go to it to learn about life after death, heaven or hell, salvation and damnation, the judgment of the world or messianic expectations. It’s not that kind of book. And to build your entire doctrine of life after death on one verse from it is a huge miscalculation in my view.

            • Brian

              Therein lies the problem, you are viewing Solomon’s writings from a man’s philosophical point and not from God’s point of view. “His” point is, seeing as we are mere dust to “him”, Solomon really does outline the futility in all that we do and strive for, and end up in death with nothing else, it may not be the place to go to try and specifically learn about “life after death, heaven or the grave, although he is quite specific about the “inhabitants” status in the grave. What it does give one is some understanding about our lives now in comparison to what will be availed to mankind in the future under the resurrection of the righteous and unrighteous, where life will be fruitful and purposeful, not doing things that are considered to be in vain.
              Of course you can have your own understanding as you wish, be careful you are not going to be one gnashing of teeth in the not too distant future, there will be many, many!

              Just because Solomon’s writings don’t fit your image does not make them any less valuable to the discerning reader.

            • Brian

              About the dog and the lion, really? Anything alive is better than something that is dead, this really should be obvious.

            • Song of Hannah

              Funny, I don’t remember reading “All Scripture -except for what Solomon wrote- is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, so that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.”

    • Brian

      What do you think that the message was that Jesus was giving to in the parable of Lazarus and the rich man?

    • patri

      John,
      Jesus would have been lying had he promised paradise on the same day he died because he was DEAD and in the tomb for three days, awaiting his resurrection.
      So your understanding of the placement of the comma is erroneous

  • Thumbs up if you think it is time for John Roberts to dust off his bike and ride on out of sight, because we aren’t buying what he is selling.

    • patri

      Three thumbs in one from me!

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