Did Jesus ascend to Paradise the same day as the crucifixion? There appear to be two contradictory answers here.

Luke 23.43

Yes. He said to the thief who defended him, “Today you will be with me in Paradise.”

John 20:17

No. He said to Mary Magdelene two days later, “I have not yet ascended to the Father.”

  • 3
    How do you know "paradise" is where the Father is? – curiousdannii May 4 '20 at 0:48

There is no such contradiction when we understand the original language of the biblical text. In Hebrew and Greek there were no punctuation marks like now, which allows us to make spaces between the words and understand its meaning. Since a comma makes the difference.

But some don't put the comma after the word TODAY to support their own ideas. The Bible does not teach that when someone dies they immediately go to paradise, Rather it explains that paradise will be in the future.

So if we want to see conformity in the text it is obvious that it should be translated like this: ✓I tell you today, you will be with me in paradise.

And no: ×I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.

And it's not really a strange answer that he uses the word TODAY, rather it highlights the commitment to keep his word.

You can find a good explanation here. Impartial and with expert sources that explain the language well: https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1101989252

  • All things are clear don't cover sun by screeing , In the same time (a) is answer 1 and b is answer 2, where is the problem ? – Mohamed Salim May 5 '20 at 1:04
  • Don't get me wrong, I believe in Jesus, but it is a proven fact that there were no punctuation marks. Now if you are impartial, open-minded and really want something reasonable, You must understand that Jesus did not assure that the evildoer went to heaven that same day with Him, because Jesus would be dead, and would rise again 3 days after. Otherwise he would be a liar, saying that he would be dead to the disciples, but saying that the wrongdoer was alive. – Luis Hernández May 5 '20 at 1:37
  • Christ frequently employed the expression truly I say unto you, but nowhere else made a point of adding the word today for emphasis. As such, this explanation, though not theoretically impossible, does seem particularly plausible either. – Lucian May 5 '20 at 23:21
  • I don't think you are interested in seeing conformity in the text, you just hope that someone supports the idea that there is a contradiction. Because you're just looking for an irrefutable explanation. Jesus gave impressive explanations that left opponents speechless, but did not make them change their minds, are you the same as them? – Luis Hernández May 6 '20 at 2:05

No, Christ did not ASCEND into heaven after His death on the cross.

Assumptions cause confusion. Whenever scripture appears to us to be contradictory, it is because we are bringing our own ideas or preconceived thoughts into the reading. The appearance of a contradiction should be the indicator that we need to put our ideas aside and examine the scriptures more closely. As the scriptures are the word of YHWH, the work of the Holy Spirit, He does not contradict Himself. We are the problem.

The assumption in your question is that Paradise, or Abraham's Bosom as is the correct translation, is in the highest heaven. Luke 16:19-31 clearly shows that Paradise was a section or part of the grave, the place of the dead. The rich man looked across the divide or gulf to see Lazarus being comforted in Abraham's Bosom. No one could cross that gulf. As they both had died, they were in the prison of Hades (Greek), or Sheol (Hebrew), to which Christ held the keys (Rev. 1:18).

So, Christ did not ascend into heaven at His death on the cross. He descended into that part of the grave called Paradise to preach to those spirits who were in prison (1 Pet. 3:19) what He had already preached to His disciples - that the kingdom was at hand, shortly to be established. He was letting them know they didn't have to wait much longer.

He then rose the 3rd day, appeared to Mary in the garden, and to many others for approx. 40 days before He ascended into heaven in Acts 1:9.

See also my answer to the question of death and Hades in Rev. 20:14 here

See also my answer to the question about the keys of hell and death in Rev. 1:18 here

  • "Whenever scripture appears to us to be contradictory, it is because we are bringing our own ideas or preconceived thoughts into the reading." Is this an assumption? – TRiG Mar 10 at 9:56
  • No, it is a tried and true conclusion from years of study and research. – Gina Mar 10 at 10:56

Contradiction in the Bible “ Jesus ascend to Paradise the same day of the crucifixion”? Any clarification?

Did Jesus ascend to Paradise the same day of the crucifixion? The scriptures say, NO

There is no contradiction, contrary to common belief, and in harmony with the scriptures the comma should be placed after the word "today", note the rendering by Lamsa's Aramaic Peshitta NT

Lamsa's Aramaic Peshitta NT Luke 23:43

Jesus said to him, Truly I say to you today, you will be with me in Paradise.

For example, Jesus said that he would die and be "in the heart of the earth"​, the grave for three days. Jesus was resurrected, not on the day that he died, but on the third day after his death, so it is evident that the criminal could not be with Jesus in Paradise on the same day that Jesus spoke to him.

John 3:13 (NASB)

13 "No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man."

Matthew 12:40 (NASB)

40 "For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

Also, the Bible states that Jesus was resurrected as “the firstfruits of those who [had] fallen asleep in death” and that he ascended to heaven 40 days later.

1 Corinthians 15:20 (NASB)

20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.

John 20:17 (NASB)

17 Jesus *said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’”

Colossians 1:18 (NASB)

18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.

Acts 1:1-3 (NASB)

1 The first account I [a]composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had [b]by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. 3 To [c]these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of

The Evildoer

1/ On the night of his death Jesus made a covenant with his faithful disciples, "that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom", the evildoer did not have such a condition of faithfulness and was not included. (Luke 22: 28-30)

Luke 22:28-30 (NASB)

28 “You are those who have stood by Me in My trials; 29 and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you 30 that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

2/ Jesus in his conversation with Nicodemus, said to him that "unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God", the evildoer did not meet such a requirement. (John 3:3-5)

John 3:3-5 (NASB)

3/ Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born [a]again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

3/ Where are the dead? Adam’s "sin" ​had far-reaching consequences. By sinning, Adam lost for himself the prospect of living forever. Moreover, when Adam sinned, he lost perfection and pass on his imperfection and death to his descendants. God said to him: "dust your and to dust you shall return." and that is where the evildoer is, awaiting the promised resurrection, John 5:28-29 (Gen. 3:19, Compare Rev. 20:13, Eccl.9:10, Isaiah 26:19 )

Genesis 3:19 (NASB)

19 "By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.”

‘Truly I say to you today, you will be with me in Paradise.’ The promise was made on that day and it was to be fulfilled later. This is a characteristic of Oriental speech implying that the promise was made on a certain day and would surely be kept.” Therefore, the Greek phrase at Lu 23:43 may reflect a Semitic way of expressing emphasis. The Hebrew Scriptures provide numerous examples of the idiomatic usage of “today” in solemn expressions, such as promises and commands. (Deuteronomy 4:26; 6:6; 7:11; 8:1, 19; 30:15; Zechariah 9:12) The evidence presented above suggests that Jesus used the word “today” to call attention, not to the time of the criminal’s being in Paradise, but to the time at which the promise was being made.

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