You will be with me in Paradise
I'm reading a book called, "What To Do When They Knock". It points out that on page 36 of the 2014 "What Does The Bible Really Teach?" book Jesus promises the criminal, "You will be with me in Paradise." Will Jesus be in the coming Paradise on earth with this criminal as He promised, or will Jesus be in heaven with the 144,000 (page 74, paragraph 22)? Does anyone know which page is right?
no, only opinions here.
None are right. It's all nonsense. Seriously, I'm not being a smart mouth. None of it is right; it's all nonsense.
It is not just nonsense, it is old nonsense, like the old teacher that thinks he can stop the genius from doing advanced math on the black board. Old nonsense like a talking snake taking control of the universe.
The perceptions of the afterlife in Jesus' time where very different and variable than they are now.
Paradise, in that scripture, does not refer to earthly paradise but to a region in the underworld (Hades/Sheol) were the spirits of the righteous dwelled in opposition to Gehenna (Lake of Fire) where the evil dwelled. It was believed to be a foretaste of heaven and hell throughout eternity. Both groups awaited the resurrection when they will receive a body and then go to either heaven or hell.
There was a confusing tangle of ideas and words to describe it since every culture and person had variations of Sheol - Hades/Heaven in their mindset. Below is an example. Note that Christ is in Paradise during his death (See the lines between the crosses and where they lead to.).
That statement is not found in Mark's gospel which is the first one written. Statement is found in Luke's gospel, and Luke was not a disciple, nor was he present in the site of Jesus's crucifixion. It's likely that statement is a later adoption by someone who had no idea about when Jesus was really resurrected.
Paradise was an invention of the Egyptians later adopted by some of the Greeks, they called Elysian or Elysian Fields. The Egyptians called it the Field of Reeds.
In Egypt the dead body or a version of the persons spirit (there was a total of 3) would travel to the underworld while its KA spirit would go out.
In the underworld it would go through triles or tribulations then be judged against the heart of MAat. If it's heart was pure it would rejoin its spirit and all its other parts and move on to paradise. If the heart was not pure it would be eaten by a animal demon god and the body would be cast off in to the lake of fire.
Christianity is a copy of these ideas including thier Astro theology.
VI, I love the complicated diagram attempting to reconcile the Bible's convoluted vision of what happens at death.
The reality is that a person stops breathing at death and that is the end of the matter.
If anyone wants to contradict; surely one person of the one hundred billion who have ever lived could come up with evidence to the contrary? Of course there is no evidence possible. It just shows that religion thrives on people's sentiment summarised by the expression "Surely there is more to life?
The point is that life really is precious and not to be wasted on futile dreams of paradise supplied by wealthy religious teachers.
and Crazyguy; you're dead right!
Using the official Witness reasoning, only those who die AFTER Jesus died would have the opportunity to go to heaven as one of the 144000.
So, therefore, IF that criminal was suddenly blessed with being chosen to be part of that exclusive group, then he could ONLY gain entrance to heaven IF he died a second or two AFTER Jesus died...