Q. Lately I have been reading comments on Facebook regarding whether or not a soul goes to heaven after death of the body. They use the fact that there were no commas in the original writing of scriptures. Therefore, when Jesus told the thief on the cross next to him, he would be in Paradise with him it didn’t mean he would be with there with him on that very same day. If you move the comma it says, “I tell you the truth today, you shall be with me in Paradise.” These people use this argument to prove their belief that no one is in heaven yet. Is it possible that the comma was put in the wrong place?
A. For as long as I can remember, people who dislike what the Bible says have tried to make the claim that it’s incorrectly translated. They want us to believe that for the past 2000 years the very best scholars in every generation have all made the same mistakes in translating the original languages, and they’re the ones who have finally discovered it. This is one of those instances.
But when we exercise our discernment we can see how unlikely these claims are. To have a major piece of doctrine hinge on the placement of a single comma is a real stretch if you ask me. And in this case it puts the words of Jesus in conflict with Paul’s teaching that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:6-8) This means one of them had to be wrong, which is impossible.