Spiritual Realms (Paradise)

This entry is part 5 of 20 in the series Spiritual Realms


The term

“Paradise” is a Greek term meaning a royal park or a garden.  While Paradise is uniquely a Greek term, it should also be noted that the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) translates the garden of Eden “the garden of Paradise.” 

Thus it can be gleaned that the Greek understanding of “Paradise” was more than a mere garden.  It denoted a place of peace, innocence and freedom from the sinful realm.

The Texts

Paradise occurs three times in the New Testament:

Luke 23:43 (NIV) [to the thief on the cross]
43 Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

2 Corinthians 12:2-4 (NIV)
2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know–God knows. 3 And I know that this man–whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows– 4 was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.

Revelation 2:7 (NIV) [to the church at Ephesus]
7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.


·         “Paradise” is a term for the place of the righteous dead.

o   That place changes (more on that later), but wherever that place is, it is Paradise.

§  Luke 23 refers to Paradise prior to Jesus’ resurrection

§  2 Corinthians 12 and Revelation 2 refer to Paradise after Christ’s resurrection.

§  It will later be demonstrated that Paradise is not the same after Christ’s resurrection as it was before.  However, Paradise is still that place where the righteous dead are in each usage.

·         For that reason, we will also observe that “Paradise” and “Heaven” are not necessarily synonymous.

·         Paradise is different locations

o    In Luke, Paradise is located at Abraham’s bosom.  (this will be demonstrated later)

o   In 2 Corinthians, Paradise is equated with “the third heaven.”

§  “heaven” is Gk. Ouranos, literally “heaven.”  However, ouranos is used to describe three different places.

·         This will be developed more fully in the section on “Heaven.”

·         However, suffice it to say for now that the third heaven refers to Heaven proper, the throne of God.

o   In Revelation 22, Paradise contains “the tree of life,” which indicates, too, that Paradise is in Heaven proper.


Paradise is another name for the righteous side of Hades/Sheol, or Abraham’s Bosom.

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