Chris: Hello Joe, nice to see you again.
Joe: Hi, Chris. I believe that we agreed to discuss 1 Corinthians 15 today. In verse 50 it says that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. This proves that Jesus could not have been raised in his body, because otherwise he couldn't go to heaven.
Chris: What kind of flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God?
Joe: It is human flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.
Chris: Let's have a look at 1 Corinthians 15:50 It says Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption." Do you see the parallels that this verse draws between the kingdom of God with incorruption and flesh and blood with corruption?
Chris: It is obvious that the flesh and blood bodies that we have are subject to decay and death - they are corruptible. Corruptible bodies cannot inherit heaven. Joe, what must happen to these corruptible bodies in order that they may inherit heaven?
Joe: They can't ever inherit heaven. Flesh and blood can't go to heaven.
Chris: Joe, take a look at verse 53. It says that this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. Something is put on not taken away. Immortality is added to our humanity. This verse doesn't say that one must give up humanity to inherit heaven. Verse 52 confirms that humans will be changed, and verse 53 shows this change happens when humanity puts on immortality. Joe, why does the Watchtower says that those who will be going to heaven must sacrifice their humanity to enter heaven? This passage doesn't say that at all, can you show me a verse that does?
Joe: Well, Romans 8:23 says it very clearly. Let me read it to you from the New World Translation. "...but we ourselves also who have the firstfruits, namely, the spirit, yes, we ourselves groan within ourselves, while we are earnestly waiting our adoption as sons, the release from our bodies by ransom." You see, this clearly contradicts Christendom's view that human bodies can go to heaven. The anointed class who go to heaven are said to be waiting for their release from their bodies.
Chris: Joe, I have 8 translations of the New Testament here and none of them say that we are to be looking forward to the release from our bodies, all of them reference the release of our bodies. There is a big difference in the release of our body and the release from our body. The release of our body is the release from the pain of decay and death and that release is the addition of immortality.
Joe: Well, Chris, that's why the New World Translation is the best translation in the world. Only our translation says it correctly.
Chris: Do you have the Kingdom Interlinear Translation, you know the one that has the New World Translation on one side of the page and the Greek with English translation on the other side?
Joe: Sure, let me show you Romans 8:23 from the Kingdom Interlinear Translation. Here it is... It says "release from our bodies by ransom".
Chris: That's the New World Translation side. What does it say across the page in the original Greek- English translation side?
Joe: Let's see....it says "release by ransom of the body". I've never seen that before.
Chris: Joe, without the Watchtower's tampering with this scripture, this passage does not say that those who go to heaven must give up their bodies. Do you have a scripture that clearly says one must sacrifice their body to go to heaven?
Joe: Well, these scriptures were supposed to say that. I don't understand... But how can Jesus be our ransom sacrifice if he took back his body? Wouldn't that be taking back the price that was paid for us? And if Jesus had a physical body after his resurrection how could he walk through walls?
Chris: Those are really good questions. Let's talk about the answers next time that we meet together.