Interpretation question


Hi everyone,

I first posted this on the Scripture forum, but had no takers. So, I figured I’d try it here. Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

Hello all,

I was hoping that someone could help me to understand the church’s teachings regarding 1Thessalonians 4 13:17. These 5 verses taken alone remind me of what the JWs believe about soul sleep, which I know is incorrect. It looks to me like these verses may be talking about the body and soul joining. However, I would like to hear from someone more knowledgeable than myself (since I am just coming in) with regard to church teachings. Thanks and peace to all.



The word sleep is an old word for the dead. Here Paul is talking about the time when all the dead will be resurrected. That means every person who ever lived on earth.

Where he used the word “first”, it is not meant to be in a chronological order but it means the “first” have more dignity.

Remember that Paul was said to be difficult to understand by Peter.

It would be helpful if you, Sherilo, would tell us what the JW mean by sleep. It really would.


Thank you Exporter. I am not completely sure what the JWs mean by sleep, but I have a JW friend who says that they believe that after death, the soul remains in some kind of suspended and timeless state until the resurrection-soul sleep. Don’t completely understand it, I just know that they don’t believe what we believe, and was wondering if those verses might be where they arrive at their doctrine.



Thanks, Shirilo. I don’t want to get too deep right here concerning time, but:

When we die, our soul goes from the body. We all agree on that. Here on earth ( it is physical- has demensions and mass) we measure time as that which separates two events from each other. Time in the physical is determined by "how much time it takes the earth to go around the sun in one year. In heaven or purgatory there is NOT this measure of time.

We say God is outside of our time. God is a Spirit. Spirits are outside of time, but they (including God) enter time if they want to. If a spirit is outside of our time then events are not occuring so there is no time! Ten million years ago or one million years in the future ARE THE SAME THING!

This idea of JW “sleep” is not to be thought about as pivitol or important - it is not important. We are just saying the same thing with different words.

Ask them if Angels have any umbrellas or wrist watches, ha ha ha , if they say yes, ask what kind!


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