As a devout Christian doing service in both campus and youth ministry, I have encountered several enthralling spiritual topics. One of them is that I have always wondered what Paradise means. Is it an actual or metaphorical place? In addition, is this Paradise on Earth or in Heaven, or somewhere else? This led me to raise the question, how many times is Paradise mentioned in the Bible?
The Bible mentions Paradise three times in the New Testament. It is found in Luke 23:43, 2 Corinthians 12:4, and Revelation 2:7. In all three contexts, Paradise alludes to a beautiful place in the heavenly realm identified as God’s dwelling place and where humanity is welcomed after death if they are righteous.
In this article, I will define what Paradise is. I would also like to share my insights and understanding with you regarding whether Paradise is a different place than Heaven. By exploring the scriptures, I also aim to shed light on what the Bible says about Paradise and where the Paradise that Jesus spoke of is. Without further ado, join me on this exploration as we delve into the history behind this intriguing topic.
What is Paradise?
According to the Britannica Dictionary, the term paradise has several meanings. The first one is that Paradise refers to a very beautiful, lovely, or serene place that appears to be perfect. Secondly, it refers to a perfect location for a unique activity or for a person that likes the activity. Thirdly, Paradise is a state of ultimate happiness. The fourth meaning of Paradise is that it is a place in some religions, such as Christianity, known as Heaven, where God lives, and the righteous people are believed to go upon death, as illustrated in Revelation 21:1-3. Lastly, Paradise refers to the place known as Eden, where Adam and Eve initially lived according to the Bible, as illustrated in Genesis 2:8.
Is Paradise a different place than Heaven?
Paradise is a residence of blessing with God where the righteous believers go after death, according to Revelation 21:1-3. In the Bible, the word paradise is a term usually used as a synonym for Heaven according to Revelation 2:7. Paradise is said to be situated where The Almighty resides as His holy and special habitation as described in Deuteronomy 26:15 and 1 Kings 8:20. It is a place way above the Earth and beyond outer space as described in 2 Corinthians 12:4. Heaven is equally located high above the world and beyond the universe and the highest heavens as described in Deuteronomy 10:14. Additionally, Heaven is a place where God and the angels reside and will be joined by the saints who died believing in the Lord as expressed in Daniel 7:27. Heaven is also referred to as the eternal Kingdom of God which is the epitome of Paradise as depicted in Daniel 2:44. Therefore, based on the above scriptures, Paradise is not a different place than Heaven as the two are tantamount.
What does The Bible say about Paradise?
In Genesis 3:8, the term paradise can be used interchangeably to refer to the Garden of Eden. The scriptures address that Adam and Eve were hiding amid the trees of Paradise. The context of the word determines that the Garden of Eden was a place of Paradise. In addition, the Tree of Life that can enable one to live forever can only mean that it is in Paradise. When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, which was from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, God banished them from enjoying Paradise so that they would not live forever in Eden, as denoted in Genesis 3:22.
In Luke 16:19-31, there is a segregation of believers and unbelievers after passing away. The righteous will go to Paradise, and the wicked will go to hell. This means that Paradise is the ultimate destination for God’s people as their reward for believing in God through Jesus Christ and for being good and living righteously.
In Hebrews 11:10-16, the terms paradise, Abraham’s bosom, and Heaven are three unique depictions of the same location. Abraham’s soul appears to go to Heaven upon passing on due to his faith in God and was looking forward to God’s promises. He was anticipating a city with firm foundations in Paradise and whose architect and builder is the Creator. As one of the Old Testament saints, Abraham desired a better place, which is the heavenly realm. The Almighty is not regretful to be identified as the God because He has prepared a city of paradise for them in Heaven.
In Psalms 73:24-25, David the psalmist seemed to imply that glory is in Paradise and that he would go to Heaven upon his demise. While on Earth, God guides him with His counsel, and afterward, He will take him into a glorious paradise in Heaven. He seeks God, who lives in Paradise, because the world has nothing he desires.
The apostle Paul told the Corinthians of a man, probably himself, who was caught up in Paradise to the third Heaven. He wrote that he was uncertain if he went to Paradise in the body or out of the body, but that only God knows. This means that he is not sure if he underwent a bodily or a spiritual experience but that he heard of things that are not supposed to be spoken and that no mortal is authorized to utter. Because God is immortal, the only plausible place that Paul went to in this context is the third Heaven, known as Paradise according to 2 Corinthians 12:2-4.
Bible verses about Paradise
The term paradise has been mentioned three times in the Bible in the New Testament. The first instance is in Luke 23:43, where Jesus told the thief on the cross that he would be with Him in Paradise. The second instance is in 2 Corinthians 12:4, where the apostle Paul states he saw a vision from the Lord of a man in Christ who was caught up in Paradise fourteen years before. The last instance is in Revelation 2:7, where John the revelator writes that whoever overcomes will be given the right to eat from the Tree of Life, which was initially lost in the Garden of Eden but is now reclaimed in the New Heaven and the New Earth which is the Paradise of God.
Where is the Paradise that Jesus spoke of?
In Luke 23:43, when Jesus was crucified and dying on the cross, one of the two thieves crucified next to Him asked for mercy. He asked Jesus to remember him when He returns to His kingdom. Jesus promised him that he would be with Him in Paradise. Jesus knew that His death was impending and that He would soon be in Heaven with God. In this case, Heaven and Paradise are synonymous and are not mutually exclusive. Therefore, the Paradise that Jesus spoke of is in Heaven.
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.