Re: Silly Greek Questions?

From: George Athas (
Date: Fri Apr 03 1998 - 22:05:26 EST

Paul S. Dixon wrote:

> What would be the sense if a comma goes after SHMERON? "Truly I say to
> you today, you shall be with Me in paradise." This seems to suggest that
> tomorrow, or the next day, He may say something else about it. Not
> exactly an encouraging interpretation of the words for the dying thief.
> Besides, this punctuation would render SHMERON superfluous. Of course
> Christ was saying these words that day. When else would He be saying
> them?
> No, it makes excellent sense with the comma before SHMERON. It makes
> SHMERON non-superfluous and critical. Christ's words are for
> encouragement - today you shall be with Me in paradice.

If we put the comma after SHMERON, it still makes perfect sense, Paul.
Notice that the thief asked Jesus to remember him 'when he entered his
kingdom'. The thief is looking ahead to a time when Jesus will still
consider him - when the kingdom is fulfilled. If the comma were to come
after the SHMERON, then Jesus is affirming the thief's salvation now, and
that he doesn't have to wait for some distant time to be assured of his
salvation.The thief's presence in the kingdom was secured right then and was
as good as done. So, Jesus is remembering the thief right there on the
cross. It makes perfect sense for the comma to come after SHMERON. I think
it makes less sense for the comma to be before, because the thief is asking
to be considered in the future coming of Christ. It seems odd then, that
Jesus would say it would happen that day. It makes much more sense for Jesus
to promise the thief right then that when the Kingdom is fulfilled (sometime
in the future), the thief will be there. Yes, it was as good as done on the
cross, but the completion of salvation is only at the end of the ages.
Christ was affirming this to the thief. How's this for a colloquial

Thief: "Remember when you enter you kingdom."
Jesus: "Consider it done!"

Best regards!
George Athas
 PhD (Cand.), University of Sydney
 Tutor of Hebrew, Moore Theological College
Phone: 0414 839 964 ICQ#: 5866591
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