Seventh-Day Adventists/Luke 23:43
I have read a past question and answer on this topic. I am against your reply though because i feel it is not deep enough. The answer you gave is quite shallow in terms of history and original manuscripts. Let us not forget that Jesus' spoke to the thief. They communicated verbally and not in writing. Punctuation was only added much much later in the manuscripts with the soul purpose of easier reading. So help me understand, what do you understand from this verse?
Dear Brother Rob:
Thank you for the question. My understanding of Luke 23:43 is that our Lord is promising the good thief that because of his faith he would be with Jesus in Paradise that very day. "And He said to him, 'Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.'" (NASB). As you correctly pointed out punctuation was added at some later date. Does this mean that one can put punctuation wherever one wants? No, there are Greek grammar rules to follow and those who are experts in this area have placed the comma (or colon) as it appears in most Bibles today. I surveyed 33 versions of the Bible and found that 29 of them had the comma (or colon) before "today" in the verse. The other 4 versions offered no punctuation. That is evidence for my position and against yours.
The phrase, "Truly I say to you" is used by Jesus 70 times in the New Testament. Excluding for the moment Luke 23:43, in the other 69 times he never uses "today" as part of the phrase. It is always, "Truly I say to you" followed by the truth Jesus wishes to teach. Your belief that the comma needs to be placed after the word "today" I believe is driven by your theological bias. I ask you to consider why such a vast number of Greek language scholars and Bible translators disagree with your position? Could it be because you are wrong and they are right? It's not a case of the majority rules so your position must be wrong. I don't see it that way at all. However, since you are in the minority it is up to you to prove the majority wrong. Therefore, please give me your reasons for disagreeing with the vast number of Greek language experts, Bible translators, and Christians who disagree with you. Please know that I will sincerely consider your arguments.
Have a Blessed Day,