September 7, 2022
39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
44 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.
45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.
46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
47 Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.
48 And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned.
49 And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.
Did you know … there’s a years long debate regarding the placement of the comma in Jesus’ spoken words in verse 43? Remember, in the original languages, Aramaic and Koine Greek, there is no punctuation. The translators had to figure out where the comma should go, as one was plainly needed to clarify His statement.
So the one school of thought is that Jesus obviously meant on that very day, the thief would be with Him in paradise. The other school of thought is … not so fast! If the comma should be placed between the words ‘today’ and ‘shalt’, that changes the meaning to “I’m telling you today that at some time in the future you will be with Me in heaven.”
I’ve been blessed to have very sound, very smart priests. When I discussed this debate one Coffee Hour with Fr. Poole, he taught me a huge lesson. He said, “What is important is, does the placement of the comma affect our salvation?” The answer, of course, is no. So from that day on, when I encounter those kinds of debates as I do research on different things, that’s the first question I ask myself. It’s the best way to discern the importance of any debate.
Look at it this way … that question (Is it important to our salvation?) is the pin with which to pop the balloon full of hot air!