The good thief


#1

Peace be with you!

I have a protestant who has brought up the good thief to try to disprove Purgatory and Salvation. Obviously, Jesus told the good thief that “This day you will be in Paradise with me.” What would be the best answer to this?

In Christ,
Rand


#2

The only thing that would make sense is if the good theif didn’t need purgatory bacause of a perfect act of contrition… But would that get you into heaven staright away???.. i know not for sure…
It really depends on the theif’s state of grace. Maybe because of his willingness to accept the Lord into his life,
OR, I JUST THOUGHT OF THIS…
…it might work…
Maybe, just maybe, he gained himself a PLENARY INDULGENCE for defending the Lord while on the cross from the other theif…
Don’t know…
They sound like the best explanations…
Ask an apologist.


#3

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]Peace be with you!
Obviously, Jesus told the good thief that “This day you will be in Paradise with me.” What would be the best answer to this?

In Christ,
Rand
[/quote]

This is the same kind of interpetation that leads people to read Genesis literally with the creation of the world happening in exactly 7 24 hour days as we know them today (even though an exact day is not exactly 24 hours…hence a leap year)…did Christ literally mean that the theif would enter Heaven at some point in time in the next time in the next 24 hours as measured from Earth? What if the crucifixion happened during the change in daylight savings time (note sarcasam–yes I know it was non-existant then) was Christ going to add or subtract an hour? In all honesty, it dosen’t contradict any notion of Purgatory or our notion of salvation at all…we don’t say everyone stops in Pugatory…and the best person to ask if someone needs final purification is Christ, and lucky for the Theif He was there. Now that being said, it still dosen’t prove or disprove that the good theif didn’t experience some kind of purgatory…you can’t look at eternity with a sense of “Earthly Time” since God stands outside of time.See part below for a light hearted approach

It also dosen’t contradict our notions of Salvation–Christ saw that the good theif was a man who didn’t have the chance to know Him in life and was never exposed to the Church (since it was founded but not active yet) so he had no exposure to the sacraments…he couldn’t have…through no fault of his own, however, his heart obviously truly desired to follow God and respond to his Grace leading him to confess his guilt and defend Christ while both were dying a painful death on a Cross…Christ, by privilage of Him being God, I assue, saw this in his heart and willed his Salvation…this dosen’t contradict with Catholic teaching as far as I know, and don’t let him beat you with a narrow–and in this case non-applicable view of extra ecelesia nulla salus.

Note this part somewhat jokingly stated:

But let’s entertain that thought of containing God to time for a moment to further prove your friend’s point is wrong–Christ promised the good theif that he would be with Him today in Paradise…now they died sometime around 3 o’clock…by my watch that leaves at least around 9 more hours purgatory–but Maybe Christ was refering to a 24 hour period begining that moment (are you starting to see the absurdity of the whole notion of containing God to time?!?) So the good theif has now steped into eternity and is outside the bonds of time, yet, if we measured it from earth he may be spending up to 24 hours in Purgatory.


#4

Poor Saint Dismass no saint has been so publicly abused by7 Catholic academics.
for centuries he was the good thief.Than the liberals in the ICEL started messing with him. It became a Game for me on Passion Sunday.What would he be turned into by those liberals this year. So far he has been Called, a dissident,Freedom fighter, and a couple I have forgotton. I am waitig for him to be a Bolshevik and have him whistling the Internationale from his cross.


#5

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]I have a protestant who has brought up the good thief to try to disprove Purgatory and Salvation. Obviously, Jesus told the good thief that “This day you will be in Paradise with me.” What would be the best answer to this?
[/quote]

I would ask him to re-read the passage. Notice that Jesus does NOT say “this day you will be in heaven with me.” He says, “paradise.”

These are NOT the same words, either in English or in Greek, and they do NOT mean the same thing.

The Greek word that is translated as “paradise” is paradeisos, which means a garden, like Eden. This word is Biblically unusual - it is used only three times in the New Testament. In addition to Luke 23:43 (the verse in question here), the word is used in:

[list]
*]2Cor 11:4 - “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven… and I know that this man was caught up into Paradise.”
*]Rev 2:7 - “To him who conquers I will grant to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the paradise of God.”
[/list]In the first verse, it is not clear whether Paul is describing one vision or two. If he is describing one event, then he is saying that Paradise = Third Heaven. We don’t know exactly what “third heaven” means, but I imagine the Saints are in First or Second Heaven, for what that’s worth. It is certainly describing some order of hierarchy in the afterlife (and, therefore, this verse is often used in support of the doctrine of Purgatory). If these are two different visions then we can’t equate “paradise” with any degree of “heaven.”

The second passage from Rev further reinforces the notion that Paradise is not Heaven. The Tree of Life was in the Garden of Eden, not Heaven (and “paradeisos” means “garden”).

The word for “heaven” is “ouranos,” which is FAR more common (occurring 276 times). If Jesus had wanted to imply the man would be in heaven, He would have said so! Why did Our Lord say “paradise” instead of “heaven?”

What is this Paradise? It could be Purgatory. Some non-RCC denominations which have not rejected the notion of Purgatory actually call this place “Paradise.” For example, traditional Anglicans believe in Purgatory, but they call it Paradise.

Some contend that the “happiness” aspect of “Paradise” is not consistent with the penitintial notion of “Purgatory.” But many Catholic theologians echo the sentiments of (I think) St. Catherine of Siena, who said, “The most miserable soul in Purgatory is happier than the happiest person on earth.” (I know some Saint said that - I believe it was CoS). The souls in Purgatory suffer from the full realization of their sin, yet they know their salvation is assured.

Others think that Jesus might have been referring to the “Bosom of Abraham.” In some theological thinking, pious Jews who died before Christ went to this place to await the Savior (and Jesus built a parable around this concept). Maybe the good thief went to the Bosom of Abraham to await the Lord’s coming with the other pious Jews (he would not have had to wait long).

Our Lord did NOT say “heaven.” He said “paradise.” We can debate about whether Paradise means Purgatory or the Bosom of Abraham, but one thing is clear - it does NOT mean Heaven where the angels and Saints are gathered around the Throne of God.

The passage your friend cites actually supports the idea of Purgatory. And very strongly supports it, I might add.


#6

Does not the Apostle’s Creed read “He descended into hell and on the third day rose again from the dead”. Now then does this hell (purgatory ?) mean the “paradise” (bosom of Abraham) that Our Lord refers to?

1 Peter 3:19 “It was in the spirit also that he he went to preach to the spirits in prison”. Is this prison then not purgatory? Remember the parable saying something to the effect that “he will not be released from prison until the last penny (of the servant’s debt) had been paid”.

John 20:17 “Do not cling to me because I have not ascended to the
Father …”. All these go to show that Jesus was not going to heaven that day but to another place and to which the good thief was also going.:hmmm:


#7

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]Peace be with you!

I have a protestant who has brought up the good thief to try to disprove Purgatory and Salvation. Obviously, Jesus told the good thief that “This day you will be in Paradise with me.” What would be the best answer to this?

In Christ,
Rand
[/quote]

Why are ya’ll making this so diificult?

In the Beginning, God said “Let there be Light”, and there was light. Why?!? Because God said it, and it was so.

Jesus said, “Today, you will be with me in Paradise”. So how do we know he bypassed Purgatory and went straight to heaven? Because God said it, and it was so.

Simple, just like me.

NotWorthy


#8

[quote=NotWorthy]Why are ya’ll making this so diificult?

In the Beginning, God said “Let there be Light”, and there was light. Why?!? Because God said it, and it was so.

Jesus said, “Today, you will be with me in Paradise”. So how do we know he bypassed Purgatory and went straight to heaven? Because God said it, and it was so.

Simple, just like me.

NotWorthy
[/quote]

Are you then saying that paradise = heaven? You cannot sin in heaven (nor enter it if you are unclean) so what did Adam & Eve do in paradise? The good thief, I IMHO believe, eventually did go to heaven but not on that day (when Jesus dies).


#9

I have though about this in the past.
Here is what it says:39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Lk23
Some things I notice is that he says KINGDOM vs PARADISE. Would you consider purgatory the Kingdom? I wouldnt.
The guy gave a sort of profession of faith and isnt there a prayer where you say it before you die that you admit you are a sinner or something? He admits that Jesus did not deserve it, but he did. And as was talked about we dont fully know what the timeframe of “today” means.

In my opinion it was not purgatory, it was a one way ticket, Jesus can do that you know.


#10

If God is the ultimate judge as to where we go after death, heaven, hell or purgatory then why couldn’t Jesus decide that the thief go directly to heaven? Is there some set formulaic law that God must follow in allowing people in heaven? I don’t think so.

As far as salvation, didn’t the Good theif have both the baptisim of desire and the baptisim of blood? Maybe his sufferings on the cross counted for his time in purgatory.


#11

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]I have a protestant who has brought up the good thief to try to disprove Purgatory and Salvation. Obviously, Jesus told the good thief that “This day you will be in Paradise with me.” What would be the best answer to this?
[/quote]

Exceptions don’t disprove the rule. Jesus Christ is God. If he wants to make an exception to the way things are normally done, who are we to complain?

– Mark L. Chance.


#12

[quote=Catholic Dude]I have though about this in the past.

Here is what it says:39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Lk23

Some things I notice is that he says KINGDOM vs PARADISE. Would you consider purgatory the Kingdom? I wouldnt.

The guy gave a sort of profession of faith and isnt there a prayer where you say it before you die that you admit you are a sinner or something? He admits that Jesus did not deserve it, but he did. And as was talked about we dont fully know what the timeframe of “today” means.

In my opinion it was not purgatory, it was a one way ticket, Jesus can do that you know.
[/quote]

Hi Catholic Dude,

I absolutely agree with your last sentence (Oops! or should I have sais “line”)

Isn’t Jesus King (therefore his kingdom) over Heaven, Earth, Hell, an Purgatory (or whatever)? Then are you saying Purgatory is not part of his kingdom? Tell me, is Our Blessed Mother, Queen of Hell (let alone Purgatory)? I believe so. If I am wrong please enlighten me. If she is then I have no problem with purgatory being part of Jesus’ kingdom nor should you.

God bless.


#13

[quote=Catholic Dude] And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Lk23
.
[/quote]

I read somewhere that there would be no punctuation in the original; punctuation being a later addition to language.
So this could say
"Truly I say to you today, you will be with me in Paradise" (i.e. at some unspecified future time)
or
"truly I say to you, this day you will be with me in Paradise"
They mean different things, especially regading a justification of Purgatory.
I don’t know if there is any validity in this - I mean perhaps the original Greek is quite clear.
Any comments?


#14

[quote=NotWorthy]Why are ya’ll making this so diificult?

In the Beginning, God said “Let there be Light”, and there was light. Why?!? Because God said it, and it was so.

Jesus said, “Today, you will be with me in Paradise”. So how do we know he bypassed Purgatory and went straight to heaven? Because God said it, and it was so.

Simple, just like me.

NotWorthy
[/quote]

:clapping: :bowdown2:

God can do anything. I agree with you!


#15

[quote=gap51]Does not the Apostle’s Creed read “He descended into hell and on the third day rose again from the dead”. Now then does this hell (purgatory ?) mean the “paradise” (bosom of Abraham) that Our Lord refers to?

[/quote]

I always assumed that the “hell” referred to in the Creed was the Hebrew Sheol, the place of the dead, where souls were both punished and rewarded.

Didymus


#16

[quote=gap51]Are you then saying that paradise = heaven? You cannot sin in heaven (nor enter it if you are unclean) so what did Adam & Eve do in paradise? The good thief, I IMHO believe, eventually did go to heaven but not on that day (when Jesus dies).
[/quote]

Are you saying that Paradise = Purgatory?!?
I think the Good Thief went under a Baptism of Fire and was made perfect “BY JESUS’ WORD”. Again, the point is, God makes it so just by saying it is so.

Notworthy


#17

[quote=NotWorthy]Why are ya’ll making this so diificult?

In the Beginning, God said “Let there be Light”, and there was light. Why?!? Because God said it, and it was so.

Jesus said, “Today, you will be with me in Paradise”. So how do we know he bypassed Purgatory and went straight to heaven? Because God said it, and it was so.

Simple, just like me.

NotWorthy
[/quote]

I’m with you on this one! Jesus said he would be with Him and that’s that - wherever “Paradise” is.
Jesus, as God, can bring anyone to heaven He wants to although it’s not the normative way. This was a special circumstance maybe due to an especially perfect contrition on the thiefs part? When we get to heaven, we can ask Dismas what actually happened!

Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to the Apostles to help them remember all the He taught them before He acsended into heaven. Jesus, Himself, taught us the normative way to salvation, through Baptism, the Sacraments, etc. We are constricted by time and space, God is not. If Jesus wanted to save the good thief, then He certainly can do it. That event does not prove or disprove Purgatory - all we can do is speculate but that event has nothing to do with Purgatory or (normative) salvation! All it proves is that God can save anyone He wants, any way He wants!


#18

[quote=gap51]Does not the Apostle’s Creed read “He descended into hell and on the third day rose again from the dead”. Now then does this hell (purgatory ?) mean the “paradise” (bosom of Abraham) that Our Lord refers to?
[/quote]

Purgatory is NOT hell.

The Bosom of Abraham is “limbus patrum” or “Limbo of the Fathers.”


#19

[quote=didymus]I always assumed that the “hell” referred to in the Creed was the Hebrew Sheol, the place of the dead, where souls were both punished and rewarded.

Didymus

[/quote]

It is. Except the souls were not punished here. They were just seperate from the full beatific vision of God until Christ’s sacrifice opened the Gates of Heaven.

In the New Testament, Christ refers by various names and figures to the place or state which Catholic tradition has agreed to call the limbus patrum. In Matt. 8:11, it is spoken of under the figure of a banquet “with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven” (cf. Luke 8:29; 14:15), and in Matt. 25:10 under the figure of a marriage feast to which the prudent virgins are admitted, while in the parable of Lazarus and Dives it is called “Abraham’s bosom” (Luke 16:22) and in Christ’s words to the penitent thief on Calvary the name paradise is used (Luke 23:43). St. Paul teaches (Eph. 4:9) that before ascending into HeavenChrist “also descended first into the lower parts of the earth,” and St. Peter still more explicitly teaches that “being put to death indeed, in the flesh, but enlivened in the spirit,” Christ went and “preached to those souls that were in prison, which had been some time incredulous, when they waited for the patience of God in the days of Noah” (I Pet 3:18-20). It is principally on the strength of these Scriptural texts, harmonized with the general doctrine of the Fall and Redemption of mankind, that Catholic tradition has defended the existence of the limbus patrum as a temporary state or place of happiness distinct from ***Purgatory.*** As a result of the Fall, Heaven was closed against men. Actual possession of the beatific vision was postponed, even for those already purified from sin, until the Redemption should have been historically completed by Christ’s visible ascendancy into Heaven. Consequently, the just who had lived under the Old Dispensation, and who, **either at death or after a course of purgatorial discipline, had attained the perfect holiness required for entrance into glory, were obliged to await the coming of the **Incarnate Son of God and the full accomplishment of His visible earthly mission. Meanwhile they were “in prison,” as St. Peter says; but, as Christ’s own words to the penitent thief and in the parable of Lazarus clearly imply, their condition was one of happiness, notwithstanding the postponement of the higher bliss to which they looked forward. And this, substantially, is all that Catholic tradition teaches regarding the limbus patrum.

newadvent.org/cathen/09256a.htm


#20

[quote=NotWorthy]Are you saying that Paradise = Purgatory?!?
I think the Good Thief went under a Baptism of Fire and was made perfect “BY JESUS’ WORD”. Again, the point is, God makes it so just by saying it is so.

Notworthy
[/quote]

NO.

In the case of the good theif, Jesus was inviting him to be with Him in limus patrum or Limbo of the Fathers or Abraham’s Bosom when he preaches the Gospel to all the worthy who passed before Christ opened the Gates of Heaven.


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