"Garden of Eden," from Old French paradis
"paradise, Garden of Eden" (11c.),
paradeisos "park, paradise, Garden of Eden,"
Iranian source similar to Avestan pairidaeza "encIosure,
(Modern Persian and Arabic firdaus "garden, paradise"),
pairi- "around" + diz "to make, form (a waII)."
element is cognate with Greek peri- "around, about",
the second is
from PIE root *dheigh- "to form, buiId"
Pardis) is a religious or metaphysical term for a place in which
existence is positive, harmonious and eternal. It is conceptually
a counter-image of the supposed miseries of human civilization,
and in paradise there is only peace, prosperity, and happiness.
Paradise is a place of contentment, but it is not necessarily a
land of luxury and idleness. Paradise is often described as a
"higher place", the holiest place, in contrast to this
world, or underworlds
such as Hell.
notions are cross-cultural, often laden with pastoral imagery, and
may be cosmogonical or eschatological or both. In eschatological
contexts, paradise is imagined as an abode of the virtuous dead.
In Christian and Islamic understanding,
old Egyptian beliefs, the othen/vorld is Aaru, the reed-fields
of ideal hunting and fishing grounds where the dead lived
the Celts, it was the Fortunate Isle of Mag Mell.
the classical Greeks, the Elysian fields was a paradisaical
land of plenty where the heroic and righteous dead hoped to
Vedic Indians held that the physical body was destroyed by
fire but recreated and reunited in the Third Heaven in a state
the Zoroastrian Avesta, the "Best Existence" and the
"House of Song" are places of the righteous dead.
On the other
hand, in cosmological contexts ‘paradise’ describes the world
before it was tainted by evil. So for example, the Abrahamic
faiths associate paradise with the Garden of Eden, that is, the
perfect state of the world prior to the fall from grace, and the
perfect state that will be restored in the World to Come. In the
Christian context it is simply the place where the dead in Christ
rested waiting for the final resurrection and rewards rather than
the final state of bliss.
word, originally used for an orchard or hunting park in Persia,
was used in Septuagint to mean "Garden of Eden," and in
New Testament translations of Luke xxm:43 to mean
"heaven" (a sense attested in English from c.1200).
Meaning "place like or compared to Paradise" is from
pardes, is probably borrowed from the Persian word, and does not
appear before the post-Exilic period (post-538 BCE). It occurs in
the Song of Songs 4:13, Ecclesiastes 2:5, and Nehemiah 2:8, in
each case meaning "park" or "garden", the
original Persian meaning of the word, where it describes to the
royal parks of Cyrus the Great by Xenophon in Anabasis.
Second Temple era Judaism "paradise" came to be
associated with the Garden of Eden and prophesies of restoration
of Eden, and transferred to heaven. The Septuagint uses the word
around 30 times, both of Eden, (Gen.2:7 etc.) and of Eden restored
(Ezek. 28:13, 36:35 etc.). In the Apocalypse of Moses, Adam and
Eve are expelled from paradise (instead of Eden) after having been
tricked by the serpent. Later after the death of Adam, the
Archangel Michael carries the body of Adam to be buried in
Paradise, which is in the Third Heaven.
Judaism, the word ‘Pardes’ recurs, but less often in the
Second Temple context of Eden or restored Eden. A well-known
reference is in the Pardes story, where the word may allude to
Notes on the Bible
paradise - The word "paradise"
occurs but three times in the New Testament; Luke 23:43; 2
Corinthians 12:4; Revelation 2:7.
often in the Septuagint, as the translation of the word garden;
2:8-10, Genesis 2:15-16; Genesis 3:1-3, Genesis 3:8,Genesis 3:16,
Genesis 3:23-24; Genesis 13:10; Numbers 24:6; Isaiah 51:3; Ezekiel
28:13; Ezekiel 31:8-9; Joel 2:3.
Isaiah 1:30; Jeremiah 29:5; and of the word
pardéc in Nehemiah 2:8; Ecclesiastes 2:5; Sol 2:13.
It is a word
which had its origin in the language of eastern Asia, and which
has been adopted in the Greek, the Roman, and other western
In Sanskrit the word
"paradesha" means a land elevated and cultivated;
in Armenian, "pardes"
denotes a garden around the house planted with trees, shrubs,
grass for use and ornament.
In Persia, the word
denotes the pleasure gardens and parks with wild animals around
the country residences of the monarchs and princes. Hence, it
denotes in general a garden of pleasure; and in the New Testament
is applied to the abodes of the blessed after death, the
dwelling-place of God and of happy spirits; or to heaven as a
place of blessedness."
The word is
found in the three places.
— by Jesus on the cross, in response to the thief's request that
him when he
came in his kingdom.
-2 Cor.12:4 -
in Paul's description of a man's description of a third heaven
may in fact
be a vision Paul himself saw.
in a reference to the Gen.2:8 paradise and the tree of life
Dictionaries - Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology
loanword for "an area enclosed by a wall" or
"garden." Its three uses in the Hebrew Bible ( Neh 2:8 ;
Eccl 2:5 ; Sol 4:13 ) retain this meaning. The Septuagint uses the
Greek paradeisos [paravdeiso"] for the garden of Eden in
Genesis (called the "garden of God" in Isa 51:3 ; and
intertestamental literature completes the transition of the word
to a religious term. Human history will culminate in a divine
paradise. Since Israel had no immediate access to the garden at
history's origin or conclusion, paradise, sometimes called
Abraham's Bosom, was associated with the realm of the righteous
dead awaiting the resurrection of the body.
Testament understands paradise in terms of its Jewish heritage. In
Luke 23:43 Jesus promises the penitent thief: "Today you will
be with me in paradise." The intermediate state was
transformed by Jesus‘ emphasis on being with him
"today." No longer is paradise just an anticipatory
condition awaiting the messianic presence at the end of the age.
Those who die in faith will "be with Christ" ( Php
1:23). The dead in Christ will not experience life diminished, but
enhanced, as Jesus‘ words to Martha in John 11:23-26 imply.
Revelation 2:7, the overcoming church will eat from the tree of
life in the eschatological garden. Sin and death through
redemption are now cast out of human experience. The way is open
for the faithful to return to the garden of God. Paradise is the
Christian's final home.
glimpse of paradise ( 2 Cor 12:4 ) likely refers to the
intermediate state. If so, it is one source of Paul's confidence
that Christ is present among the righteous dead, even though he
does not relish the unnatural state of death ( 2 Cor 5:1-10 ). Yet
it is quite possible that the dead in Christ more clearly see the
paradise at history's conclusion than do earth-bound believers.
Thus, Paul tells the Thessalonians that it is a matter of small
consequence if one dies in the Lord or is still alive at the
second coming ( 1 Thess 4:13-18 ). Christ's presence
the intermediate state and the final kingdom.
- International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Paradise
probably of Persian origin meaning a royal park. See GARDEN. The
word occurs in the Hebrew Scriptures but 3 times:
Solomon 4:13, where it is translated "an orchard";
Nehemiah 2:8, where it is translated "a forest" (the
Revised Version margin "park"); Ecclesiastes 2:5, where
it is in the plural number (the King James Version
"orchards," the Revised Version (British and American)
"parks"). But it was early introduced into the Greek
language, being made specially familiar by Xenophon upon his
return from the expedition of Cyrus the Younger to Babylonia (see
Anab. i.2, section 7; 4, section 9; Cyrop. i.3, section 14). In
Septuagint the word is of frequent use in
other terms of kindred significance. The Garden of Eden became
"the paradise of pleasure or luxury" (Genesis 2:15;
3:23; Joel 2:3). The valley of the Jordan became ‘the paradise
of God‘ (Genesis 13:10). In Ezekiel 31 :8,9, according to
Septuagint, there is no tree in the ‘paradise of God‘ equal to
that which in the prophet's vision symbolizes the glory of
Assyria. The figures in the first 9 verses of this chapter may
well have been suggested by what the prophet had himself seen of
parks in the Persian empire.
2. Use in
apocryphal and pseudo-epigraphical literature the word is
extensively used in a spiritual and symbolical sense, signalizing
the place of happiness to be inherited by the righteous in
contrast to Gehenna, the place of punishment to which the wicked
were to be assigned. In the later Jewish literature "Sheol"
is represented as a place where preliminary rewards and
punishments are bestowed previous to the final judgment (see
OF THE OLD TESTAMENT; and compare 2 Esdras 2:19; 8:52). But the
representations in this literature are often vague and
conflicting, some holding that there were 4 divisions in Sheol,
one for those who were martyred for righteousness‘ sake, one for
sinners who on earth had paid the penalty for their sins, one for
the just who had not suffered martyrdom, and one for sinners who
had not been punished on earth (En 102:15). But among
Alexandrian Jews the view prevailed that the separation of the
righteous from the wicked took place immediately after death (see
The Wisdom of Solomon 3:14; 4:10; 5:5, 17; Josephus, Ant, XVIII,
I, 3; B J, ll, vm, 14). This would seem to be the idea underlying
the use of the word in the New Testament where it occurs only 3
times, and then in a sense remarkably free from sensuous
3. Used by
the word but once (Luke 23:43), when He said to the penitent
thief, "Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise" (see
ABRAHAM'S BOSOM (compare HADES)). This was no time to choose words
with dialectical precision. The consolation needed by the penitent
thief suffering from thirst and agony and shame was such as was
symbolized by the popular conception of paradise, which, as held
by the Essenes, consisted of "habitations beyond the ocean,
in a region that is neither oppressed with storms of rain, or
snow, or with intense heat,
but that this
place is such as is refreshed by the gentle breathing of a west
wind, that is perpetually blowing from the ocean" (Josephus,
BJ, II, vm, 11).
Forms and Uses:
His public teaching did Christ use the word "Paradise."
He does indeed, when speaking in parables, employ the figure of
the marriage supper, and of new wine, and elsewhere of Abraham's
bosom, and of houses not made by hands, eternal in the heavens;
but all these references are in striking contrast to the
prevailing sensuous representations of the times (see 2 Esdras
2:19; 8:52), and such as have been introduced into Mohammedan
literature. Likewise Paul (2 Corinthians 12:4) speaks of having
been "caught up into Paradise"
"heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to
utter." See ESCHATOLOGY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT. But in 2
Corinthians 12:2 this is referred to more vaguely as "the
third heaven." In Revelation 2:7 it is said to the members of
the church at Ephesus who should overcome, "l (will) give to
eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God,"
where the Eden of Genesis 2:8 is made the symbol of the abode of
the righteous, more fully described without the words in the last
chapter of the book. The reticence of the sacred
respecting this subject is in striking contrast to the profuseness
and crudity both of rabbinical writers before Christ and of
apocryphal writers and Christian commentators at a later time.
"Where the true Gospels are most reticent, the mythical are
most exuberant" (Perowne).
especially noticeable in the Gospel of Nicodemus, the Acta
Philippi, the writings of Tertullian (De Idol. c. 13; De Anim. c.
55; Tertullian's treatise De Paradiso is lost), Clement of
Alexandria (Frag. 51), and John of Damascus (De Orthod. Fid., ii,
11). In modern literature the conception of Paradise is
effectually sublimated and spiritualized in Faber's familiar hymn:
Paradise, O Paradise,
long to see
place my dearest Lord
hearts and true
Stand ever in
thro' and thro',
In God's most
in the great Dicts., especially Herzog, RE; HDB; Alger, Critical
History of the Doctrine of a Future Life; Schodde, Book of Enoch;
Lightfoot, Hor. Heb. on Luke 23:43; Salmond, The Christian
Doctrine of Immortality, 346. For a good account of Jewish and
patristic speculation on Paradise, see Professor Plumptre's
article in Smith's D.B, ll, 704.(G. F. Wright)
In the 2nd
century AD, lrenaeus distinguished paradise from heaven. In
Against Heresies, he wrote that only those deemed worthy would
inherit a home in heaven, while others would enjoy paradise, and
the rest live in the restored Jerusalem Origen likewise
distinguished paradise from heaven, describing paradise as the
earthly "school" for souls of the righteous dead,
preparing them for their ascent through the celestial spheres to
Witnesses believe that Jehovah's purpose from the start was, and
is, to have the earth filled with the offspring of Adam and Eve as
caretakers of a global paradise. After God had designed this earth
for human habitation, however, Adam and Eve rebelled against
Jehovah, so they were banished from the Garden of Eden, or
Witnesses believe that the wicked people will be destroyed at
Armageddon and that many of the righteous (those faithful and
obedient to Jehovah) will live eternally in an earthly Paradise.
(Psalms 37:9, 10, 29; Prov. 2:21, 22). Joining the survivors will
be resurrected righteous and unrighteous people who died prior to
Armageddon (John 5:28, 29; Acts 24:15).
are brought back because they paid for their sins by their death
and/or because they lacked opportunity to learn of Jehovah's
requirements prior to dying (Rom. 6:23). These will be judged on
the basis of their post-resurrection obedience to instructions
revealed in new "scrolls" (Rev. 20:12). This provision
does not apply to those that Jehovah deems to have sinned against
his holy spirit (Matt. 12:31, Luke 12:5).
Jesus's last recorded statements before he died were the words to
an evildoer hanging alongside him on a torture stake, "You
will be with me in Paradise."—Luke 23:43. Witnesses believe
scriptures such as Matthew 12:40 and 27:63 and Mark 8:31 and 9:31
show that Jesus himself expected an inten/al of three days between
his own death and resurrection, making impossible a reunion in
Paradise on the same day as Jesus's "you will be with me in
In Latter Day
Saint theology, paradise usually refers to the spirit world. That
is, the place where spirits dwell following death and awaiting the
resurrection. In that context, "paradise" is the state
of the righteous after death. In contrast, the wicked and those
who have not yet learned the gospel of Jesus Christ await the
resurrection in spirit prison. After the universal resurrection,
all persons will be assigned to a particular kingdom or degree of
glory. This may also be termed "paradise".
In the Qur'an,
Paradise is denoted as jannah (garden), with the highest level
being called firdaus. The etymologically equivalent word is
derived from the original Avestan counterpart, and used instead of
Heaven to describe the ultimate pleasurable place after death,
accessible by those who pray, donate to charity, read the Qur'an,
believe in: God, the angels, his revealed books, his prophets and
messengers, the Day of Judgement and the afterlife, and follow
God's will in their life. Heaven in Islam is used to describe the
It is also
used in the Qur'an to describe skies in the literal sense, i.e.,
above earth. In Islam, the bounties and beauty of Heaven are
immense, so much so that they are beyond the abilities of
mankind’s worldly mind to comprehend.
Book portrays Paradise as the "eternaI center of the universe
of universes," and as "the abiding place of the
Universal Father, the Eternal Son, the Infinite Spirit, and their
divine co-ordinates and associates." The book states that
paradise is the primal origin and the final destiny for all spirit
personalities, and for all the ascending creatures of the
evolutionary worlds of time and space.