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I have a question about heaven. CC. Pls do not fight.


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Here's what I want to know about heaven, because until recently I didn't realize there was a difference of opinion. There may be more variations on this that I do not know about. Don't confuse me. This is a KISS question.

 

When Christians die, they go to heaven.

 

Do they go there right away?

 

Or do they stay in limbo (for lack of a better phrase) until everyone is raised up together?

 

Thanks,

RC

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Scripture tells us (believers) that to absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. The thief on the cross was told by Jesus "this day you will be with me in Paradise" so according to scripture, one moment after you die you will either be with Jesus or in a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth.

There are denominations (Seventh Day Adventists, for example) that believe you simply sleep, unaware of anything until the Second Coming of Christ, at which point they will all rise to receive their reward (or punishment.)

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Here's what I want to know about heaven, because until recently I didn't realize there was a difference of opinion. There may be more variations on this that I do not know about. Don't confuse me. This is a KISS question.

 

When Christians die, they go to heaven.

 

Do they go there right away?

 

Or do they stay in limbo (for lack of a better phrase) until everyone is raised up together?

 

Thanks,

RC

 

It is true that there are different views on this, but here is what I think the Bible teaches. I am summarizing from the Westminster Confession of Faith, chapter 32.

After death a Christian's body returns to dust, but his/her soul is united with God in heaven and waits to be reunited with the body at Christ's return. At Christ's return is when the bodies of the believers will be glorified.

 

HTH

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Scripture tells us (believers) that to absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. The thief on the cross was told by Jesus "this day you will be with me in Paradise" so according to scripture, one moment after you die you will either be with Jesus or in a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth.

There are denominations (Seventh Day Adventists, for example) that believe you simply sleep, unaware of anything until the Second Coming of Christ, at which point they will all rise to receive their reward (or punishment.)

 

:iagree: you will probably do better to look into the scriptures on your own for this as it will depend on your own belief system.

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:iagree: you will probably do better to look into the scriptures on your own for this as it will depend on your own belief system.

 

Truth doesn't depend on a belief system, so I was hoping someone would point me in that direction, with scripture. Then again, if scriptures contradict one another, where does that leave us? If they don't, then why do people disagree on the answer to the question?

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Jesus said that among men, there was none greater than John the Babtist, yet a lesser one in the kingdom of the heavens was greater than him. He also spoke of "preparing the way for you". (gospels) We believe that some of those who will rule as kings and priests in heaven were asleep in death awaiting that resurrection until Christ began ruling in heaven after ousting Satan. (from Revelation)

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My Dad died a couple of years ago. I thought he was squared away in heaven, and the fact that he was cremated didn't matter.

 

Now I find out, through casual conversations with friends, that there is a difference of opinion about the destinations of Christians after they die, in terms of when they actually go to heaven. To top it off, some folks think that cremation is wrong because it doesn't preserve the body that is to be glorified, even though they can't explain how natural decomposition isn't virtually the same thing, just a slower process.

 

Truly, the cremation question doesn't bother me as much as the where is my Dad question.

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Truth doesn't depend on a belief system, so I was hoping someone would point me in that direction, with scripture. Then again, if scriptures contradict one another, where does that leave us? If they don't, then why do people disagree on the answer to the question?

 

This is an amazingly insightful question. About a year ago these types of questions caused me to question the faith I'd held to for 23+ years. I hadn't thought of it in terms of heaven before now, but I see what/why you are asking.

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RoughCollie, Your dad is where he is supposed to be. We, as humans, only know what we believe, what we feel, what we are taught, what we think, what we interpret from what we study, but none of us *really* can possibly know anything that happens beyond this life. Some people believe we go to Heaven immediately, some believe we wait for the second coming of Christ, some believe we are reincarnated, and some believe we are done when we are done here, and still others believe other things, and most of them believe it with every ounce of their being. Who is wrong, then? We really don't know anything. That's where personal faith comes into play.

 

Its hard to think about these things, and I'm sorry you're struggling. But please know, that your dad is exactly where he supposed to be, regardless of what we humans think (or don't think) about what comes after this life.:grouphug:

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My Dad died a couple of years ago. I thought he was squared away in heaven, and the fact that he was cremated didn't matter.

 

Now I find out, through casual conversations with friends, that there is a difference of opinion about the destinations of Christians after they die, in terms of when they actually go to heaven. To top it off, some folks think that cremation is wrong because it doesn't preserve the body that is to be glorified, even though they can't explain how natural decomposition isn't virtually the same thing, just a slower process.

 

Truly, the cremation question doesn't bother me as much as the where is my Dad question.

 

I wouldn't worry about the cremation issue at all. Our bodies weren't created to be preserved. They are to return to the dust.

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My Dad died a couple of years ago. I thought he was squared away in heaven, and the fact that he was cremated didn't matter.

 

Now I find out, through casual conversations with friends, that there is a difference of opinion about the destinations of Christians after they die, in terms of when they actually go to heaven. To top it off, some folks think that cremation is wrong because it doesn't preserve the body that is to be glorified, even though they can't explain how natural decomposition isn't virtually the same thing, just a slower process.

 

Truly, the cremation question doesn't bother me as much as the where is my Dad question.

 

I don't think cremation makes any difference. I think if God can make man from dust, he can certainly give us new bodies even if we've been cremated. And, what about folks who have died hundreds of years ago and whose bodies are now truly dust? Or people who've been lost at sea, or something? If God says we go back to being dust, then I don't think He's going to have any issues resurrecting believers from that dust.

 

As for your other question, I do believe to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Whether that's actual Heaven or someplace else where the Lord is, I am not sure. Scripture says we can not escape the presence of God, so as long as I'm in His presence after my earthly body dies, I don't particularly care where that is. :001_smile:

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I think it's only Catholic people who believe in purgatory / staying in limbo. Other Christian people usually hold one of the views stated above.

 

Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Catholicism does not recognize limbo. Nor is purgatory the same as limbo.

 

Catholicism recognizes Heaven and Hell, but defines Purgatory as a state of being, not a place.

 

 

HTH

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RoughCollie, Your dad is where he is supposed to be. We, as humans, only know what we believe, what we feel, what we are taught, what we think, what we interpret from what we study, but none of us *really* can possibly know anything that happens beyond this life. Some people believe we go to Heaven immediately, some believe we wait for the second coming of Christ, some believe we are reincarnated, and some believe we are done when we are done here, and still others believe other things, and most of them believe it with every ounce of their being. Who is wrong, then? We really don't know anything. That's where personal faith comes into play.

 

 

Its hard to think about these things, and I'm sorry you're struggling. But please know, that your dad is exactly where he supposed to be, regardless of what we humans think (or don't think) about what comes after this life.:grouphug:

 

 

:iagree: For what it's worth, my mom believes that Christians will be reunited with Jesus at the resurrection, but that it will seem to them as if that is happening immediately after their deaths.

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Several people have already shared about the thief on the cross. Also you could look at Luke 16:19-31, taking special notice of verse 22: Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried.

As far as the cremation question goes, there is not a clear-cut answer in the Bible, but I will try to help you out. First of all, God made man out of the dust. So if He could form one man from dust, could He not reform another man from the dust that had once been formed as that man? Secondly, we can read in Revelation about the martyrs crying out for vengeance. Revelation 6:10-and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"

Throughout church history, people have done horrible things to the bodies of believers. They have been cut into small pieces, burned, anything to destroy the body. But those people cannot destroy the soul. Since we are reading about the martyrs in Revelation, obviously they are in Heaven. God has ways to put their bodies back together and glorify them. I hope that I have been clear in what I am trying to say so that you might find some answers you are seeking.

Edited by mrsrevmeg
spellin
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I believe we go straight to heaven.

 

 

Luke 23:43 And He said to him, "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise."

FWIW, my translation is this: "Truly I say to you today, you shall be with Me in Paradise."

 

The idea that the thief will be in paradise with him on the same day doesn't seem to jive with the idea that Jesus was in hades for 3 days, then on earth after being resurrected, and finally after that went to heaven.

 

I also believe that the thief would not go to heaven as he was not babtized in holy spirit. The first babtism by holy spirit was Jesus himself. After that the first babtism in holy spirit occured after Jesus' earthly resurrection, upon his followers on Pentacost 33 CE.

Edited by Lovedtodeath
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Truth doesn't depend on a belief system, so I was hoping someone would point me in that direction, with scripture. Then again, if scriptures contradict one another, where does that leave us? If they don't, then why do people disagree on the answer to the question?

 

This is one of those questions where I'm not sure it matters. Is the answer going to change how I live my life as a Christian? It is interesting as far as discussion goes, but it doesn't affect my relationship with God if I don't have an answer to that.

 

My mom's old quote sums it up for me -

 

"It will be alright in the end. If it isn't alright, it isn't the end."

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This is one of those questions where I'm not sure it matters. Is the answer going to change how I live my life as a Christian? It is interesting as far as discussion goes, but it doesn't affect my relationship with God if I don't have an answer to that.

 

My mom's old quote sums it up for me -

 

"It will be alright in the end. If it isn't alright, it isn't the end."

Very true! We are safe in God's memory if we are not found elsewhere. Lazarus didn't have any memories of being somewhere else or waiting on Jesus. If it was important, then surely the narrative would have included that information.
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I don't think cremation makes any difference. I think if God can make man from dust, he can certainly give us new bodies even if we've been cremated. And, what about folks who have died hundreds of years ago and whose bodies are now truly dust? Or people who've been lost at sea, or something? If God says we go back to being dust, then I don't think He's going to have any issues resurrecting believers from that dust.

 

As for your other question, I do believe to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Whether that's actual Heaven or someplace else where the Lord is, I am not sure. Scripture says we can not escape the presence of God, so as long as I'm in His presence after my earthly body dies, I don't particularly care where that is. :001_smile:

 

Exactly! :iagree: wholeheartedly!

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Not to confuse the issue, but I believe that the experience after death is outside of time. As a Catholic, I believe that most of us need to be purified to remove the last vestiges of attachment and disorder before we can be fully united with God in heaven. That happens through purgatory. But again, God and heaven are outside of time as we understand it, so this process is, as another poster mentioned, a state of being.

 

My mental image of this is time as a ribbon, we are on the ribbon while on earth (in time) and God looking at the ribbon, outside of time. Heaven is with God. For us to be with God, we must be purified. So, if I have tendencies to, say, slothfulness, that has to be cleansed.

 

Sorry if this is confusing.

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My Dad died a couple of years ago. I thought he was squared away in heaven, and the fact that he was cremated didn't matter.

 

Now I find out, through casual conversations with friends, that there is a difference of opinion about the destinations of Christians after they die, in terms of when they actually go to heaven. To top it off, some folks think that cremation is wrong because it doesn't preserve the body that is to be glorified, even though they can't explain how natural decomposition isn't virtually the same thing, just a slower process.

 

Truly, the cremation question doesn't bother me as much as the where is my Dad question.

I think most of the burial issues are cultural, not religious (ducking). As long as we're not eating our dead I think we're alright ;)

 

A pp poster already said this, but I'm going to repeat it :p

Heaven and hell are outside of time (from my understanding). The same way that God is not bound to time, once you leave the earth (spiritually) you leave time. It's not like suspended animation (where you're frozen, but time goes one), but outside of time itself. So, either way (because I always assumed we went straight to wherever we're going) there's no long wait, because there is no time.

 

:grouphug:

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There are some neat links. John Piper is a great bible teacher.

 

Really, though, if we're going to have an intellegent conversation and Christian views were requested, I think we ought to agree to only use scripture as our source of information. Using catholic teachings are often outside the scope of what the Bible says. Just stating fact, folks. If we can agree to only use scripture, then we all have common ground and can discuss.

 

Something else that came to mind, was when Jesus was telling the people in John 3:12: "I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?" I'm not accusing anyone of unbelief, but as people (as a collective) I thought it was interesting.

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There are some neat links. John Piper is a great bible teacher.

 

Really, though, if we're going to have an intellegent conversation and Christian views were requested, I think we ought to agree to only use scripture as our source of information. Using catholic teachings are often outside the scope of what the Bible says. Just stating fact, folks. If we can agree to only use scripture, then we all have common ground and can discuss.

 

Something else that came to mind, was when Jesus was telling the people in John 3:12: "I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?" I'm not accusing anyone of unbelief, but as people (as a collective) I thought it was interesting.

 

Ok, so the rules are:

 

No John Piper and no Catholic teachings.

 

Which version of the bible are we using for this thread?

 

 

a

Edited by asta
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Truth doesn't depend on a belief system, so I was hoping someone would point me in that direction, with scripture. Then again, if scriptures contradict one another, where does that leave us? If they don't, then why do people disagree on the answer to the question?

 

My intended meaning of that statement was it will depend on your relationship with God and how his word translated to you as to which way you will feel is the truth. I think the reason people disagree is the difference in the translation they get when they read the scriptures. That is why I recomnmened that you rely on God to give you this answer instead of us mere mortals, Lol!

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I was recently quite surprised to find out that Christians differ in views on this too!

 

Here's the explanation I've seen (in short):

 

Upon death the

 

body returns to the earth

spirit (which was breathed into existance by God) returns to God

soul returns to the unseen place (where there is no consciousness)

 

Ecc 9:5, 12:7

Psalm 6:5, 13:3

Daniel 12:2

1Thess 4:13

 

I haven't studied this out, but wanted to share where others may arrive at that conclusion.

 

Either way, believers will ultimately reside with their Savior, and that is the great joy!!!

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Really, though, if we're going to have an intellegent conversation and Christian views were requested, I think we ought to agree to only use scripture as our source of information. Using catholic teachings are often outside the scope of what the Bible says. Just stating fact, folks. If we can agree to only use scripture, then we all have common ground and can discuss.

 

 

JFYI. You need not exclude Catholic teachings to remain Biblical.

 

Here is a link to a basic diagram and general statements about Catholic belief. The bottom links specific pages that provide detailed scriptural references to support the teachings.

 

http://www.catholicapologetics.org/ap090000.htm

 

To the OP:

The idea of Purgatory is very hard to understand. Purely my own take on it here, I like to think of it more as the state of mind where we fully "comprehend" our own existence. It is then that we will see all of our experiences and choices in clarity. Naturally this process will not be the same for everyone, which is why we talk about the "state" of someone's soul upon death. Some of it will include the "punishment" of seeing the real harm that we have done - really knowing the consequences of our sin will surely be the worst punishment we could get. But other parts might include seeing the "good" that we did not realize we did. Yet another part might be in forgiving ourselves for things that we thought we did, but we were wrong about.

 

The book, I think it was called, Five People You Meet in Heaven was kind of about this idea. Also, the movie Final Cut included such a concept - where the main character (played by Robin Williams) finally "sees" an event in his childhood clearly and realizes he was not guilty in the way he had recalled.

 

This is why Purgatory is not a "place" but a state of mind. I think it is hard to imagine that this is not a necessary part of the Final Things. Who does not desire to have a cleansing bath after a long journey? Although I do think there will be painful parts, being Holy before God will be the result. Yet other Christians do not accept this teaching. That is okay. Thankfully, it is all up to God.

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JFYI. You need not exclude Catholic teachings to remain Biblical.

 

 

 

Many Catholic teachings are not found in the bible. I was simply trying to find common ground for which we could all engage in this conversation. If it is found in Scripture, it is biblical. So let's just keep to the bible. ;)

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So, does cremation mess this up? What if the ashes are scattered over the ocean or something?

 

 

I haven't been online all day, and I have not read the other replies yet, so please forgive me if this has already been answered.

 

No, cremation does not mess up the glorification of the body any more than natural decomposition. Personally, I believe that the God who spoke the entire universe into existence is more than capable of dealing with a little decomposition. :)

 

HTH

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Many Catholic teachings are not found in the bible. I was simply trying to find common ground for which we could all engage in this conversation. If it is found in Scripture, it is biblical. So let's just keep to the bible. ;)

 

Okay, besides the obvious point that my link was to a ton of Scripture...

 

I tend to think that people posting on these kinds of boards are interested in the perspective that other people on these types of boards might have in various topics that they bring up. As such, if someone asks about heaven on a classical education board, they might be interested in various ideas about heaven that have been held by various people in history - especially Christian history as it is highly linked with classical education in the West. They may be interested in sources for those beliefs. They may be casting a wide net for a lot of things. Why the need to constrict the conversation to your terms?

 

Common ground. No Catholic perspective on heaven and hell on a classical education board. Okay, right. :confused:

 

People reading Dante need not interject here. LOL! :001_huh:

 

Sounds like a dull conversation to me, so I'll leave you all to it. My apologies to the OP who asked that we not argue.

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Just to concur with Tea Time, as Catholics we believe that everything we teach is in the Bible, at least implicitly, if not explicitly. I know that that often surprises other Christians -- and some Catholics! -- because Catholics don't tend to be very well versed in Sacred Scripture, but it is nonetheless true. For example, the Catechism of the Catholic Church which the Vatican published in 1994 as the authoritative source for Catholic teaching is packed with Scripture references.

 

Now, other Christians will certainly disagree with our interpretation of Scripture on those points where we see our teachings affirmed, but that's a separate issue... the point is that we *do* believe that what we believe can be found in the Bible.

 

FWIW!

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Here's what I want to know about heaven, because until recently I didn't realize there was a difference of opinion. There may be more variations on this that I do not know about. Don't confuse me. This is a KISS question.

 

When Christians die, they go to heaven.

 

Do they go there right away?

 

Or do they stay in limbo (for lack of a better phrase) until everyone is raised up together?

 

Thanks,

RC

 

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is what our faith teaches about what happens after death, and it is what I believe:

 

I believe that when people die, the righteous go to a place called Paradise, a place of rest and peace. Those who were wicked go to a place we typically call Prison. Collectively, Paradise and Prison comprise the spirit world. I believe that the Lord's mercy is such that preaching the gospel continues in the spirit world. The dead each wait for the day of resurrection, followed by Judgment, where each person will be judged and received into a kingdom of glory, which will be based upon the depth of our conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ (and thus how well we have accepted His Grace), as well as upon our obedience to His commandments.

 

Here is some additional information about our beliefs about life after death from one of the church's official websites. I hope that helps. No matter what faith you are, death is a difficult subject. I hope you can find some peace on the matter.

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Not to resurrect an old thread (har har) but I was reading Corinthians this morning and thought the following was appropriate for this discussion:

 

I Cor 15:35-58

 

35But someone will say, "How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?"

 

36You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies;

 

37and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else.

 

38But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own.

 

39All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish.

 

40There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another.

 

41There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

 

42So also is the resurrection of the dead It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body;

 

43it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;

 

44it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

 

45So also it is written, "The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL " The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

 

46However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.

 

47The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.

 

48As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly.

 

49Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.

The Mystery of Resurrection

 

50Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

 

51Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed,

 

52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

 

53For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.

 

54But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory.

 

55"O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?"

 

56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;

 

57but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

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My Dad died a couple of years ago. I thought he was squared away in heaven, and the fact that he was cremated didn't matter.

 

Now I find out, through casual conversations with friends, that there is a difference of opinion about the destinations of Christians after they die, in terms of when they actually go to heaven. To top it off, some folks think that cremation is wrong because it doesn't preserve the body that is to be glorified, even though they can't explain how natural decomposition isn't virtually the same thing, just a slower process.

 

Truly, the cremation question doesn't bother me as much as the where is my Dad question.

 

I am no expert on these types of questions, but when I think of my loved ones who have past on, I think of them in Heaven.:)

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Great diagram! I'd never seen that before! I don't know, it's not my thread ;) but perhaps a balanced version like NIV? I use all the versions on the right and in the middle, and my dh loves New Living from the left. :lol: I'm no help. :lol:

 

Yes, it was very interesting. I noticed the Catholic Bibles there with all the other Christian Bibles. We are Christians too.

'The translation ... is simple, clear, and straightforward and reads very smoothly. It is good American English, not as pungent and colorful as the N.E.B. [New English Bible]. Its translations are not striking but neither are they clumsy. They seem to be more conservative in the sense that they tend not to stray from the original' [/Quote]
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